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Nokia Lumia 1520 review

Finns' quad-core 6in Windows Phone might be its best yet
Mon Nov 18 2013, 14:00

Product Nokia Lumia 1520
Specifications 6in 1080x1920 IPS LCD 367ppi touchscreen, quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, 20MP rear-facing camera with optical image stablisation and dual flash, 1.2MP front-facing camera, GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100, 4G LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, 3,400mAh battery, microUSB port, headphone jack, Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system, 163x85x8.7mm, 209g
Price TBC 

FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia is, if nothing else, a risk taker. First came the Nokia Lumia 920, a chunky device that promised to outclass rival smartphones with its market leading camera and vibrant casing, and then there was the Nokia Lumia 1020, an equally chunky smartphone with a whopping 41MP rear-facing camera.

Now there's the Nokia Lumia 1520. While buyers are still warming to Windows Phone, Nokia clearly isn't playing things safe. Its latest device is the largest Windows Phone 8 device yet with a 6in HD 1080p display, and the phone echoes the Finnish firm's previous releases with its eye-wateringly vibrant casing.

While the world might not be ready for a Nokia Lumia phablet device, we think that the Lumia 1520, albeit massive, might be the Finnish phone firm's best Windows Phone device yet.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is, to put it mildly, a beast of a smartphone, and is in the same league as the monstrous HTC One Max and Sony Xperia Z Ultra smartphones.

It's not as annoyingly large as HTC and Sony's phablets, however, as at 8.7mm thick the Nokia Lumia 1520 is impressively thin considering its overall huge chassis, and the phone is surprisingly comfortable to use for long periods. With a weight of 209g the handset is by no means light, but it feels daintier in the hand than most other phablet devices on the market.

Nokia Lumia 1520 compared to the Nokia Lumia 1020 design

The Nokia Lumia 1520 will be available in yellow and red, as well as black for those who want to play it safe. We got our hands on the yellow model, which features the same soft-touch, polycarbonate backing as the Lumia 1020. As well as feelling nice in the hand, this means the handset is unlikely to pick up scuffs and scrapes easily, and the material is also good at not picking up grease and fingerprints.

The red model, which we took a look at for our Nokia Lumia 1520 hands-on review, features a glossier texture, similar to that of the Lumia 920.

The 6in display on the Nokia Lumia 1520 is the firm's first HD 1080p display, and the first ever HD 1080p Windows Phone 8 device.

While we've never had many complaints about the HD 720p screens typically found on Nokia's more recent devices, the upgrade to HD 1080p makes a huge difference, and makes Microsoft's Live Tile interface look better than ever.

Nokia Lumia 1520 with Windows Phone 8 main

There's no fuzziness whatsoever around the crisp white text of application icons, and the black background seems even deeper than before. The main difference we noticed is the vibrancy of whites throughout the mobile operating system, which have lost the yellowness we've often experienced on Lumia devices.

While the display is great overall, we did notice that we struggled to reach the same brightness levels as those of the smaller Nokia Lumia 1020. This is likely due to the lack of AMOLED screen technology, with Nokia opting for an IPS LCD display on the Lumia 1520 instead. However, with Nokia's Clearblack technology the viewing angles remain just as impressive as those on previous Lumia devices.

Excuse us for stating the obvious, but the display on the Nokia Lumia 1520 is also massive, measuring 6in diagonally. Of course, you either like big screens or you don't, and for those after a device for watching Netflix, gaming and working on the go, the Lumia 1520's screen holds up well.

Next: Performance, operating system.


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