Nokia Lumia 1520 - Big on pictures (and the display) - Stuff

Nokia Lumia 1520 – Big on pictures (and the display)

We have seen Nokia’s Lumia 1520 smartphone and it is huge. Relatively speaking that is, it’s quite large for a Windows Phone device so that means that it’s in the same territory as the Galaxy Note 3 when is comes to size.

And, it would appear, that size translates to every other aspect of the Lumia 1520. The 1520 features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor, running at 2.2GHz, and a full 2GB of system memory, making this Nokia’s first real competitor to the top-end devices from the likes of Samsung, LG and Sony. The combination makes for a speedy device with the Windows Phone 8 OS reacting very quickly to every task or app that is initiated.

Lumia 1520 RedThe 1520’s display is six inches of 1,080 x 1,920 IPS capacitive touchscreen. The 1080p display is a first for Nokia’s smartphones and, given how good it looks, it probably won’t be the last time that we see something like this on a high-end device from the company. The touchscreen is responsive enough to make using the tile interface feel quick and easy but the display size, along with the bezel all around it, has resulted in a fairly bulky device.

Which isn’t unexpected for something that is technically a phablet. At least the overall construction is solid enough that you’re not always aware that you’re holding a large chunk of plastic in your hands, the build quality is arguably better than other Lumia devices. Completing the rest of the design choices are SIM card slots that require a universal multitool to open (better known as a paperclip) on the upper left of the handset, a headphone jack along the top, volume, power and a dedicated camera button down the right side and a microUSB charging port at the base.

Speaking of camera buttons, the Lumia 1520 is packing a 20 megapixel Carl Zeiss shooter that takes absolutely brilliant images and the Nokia Pro Cam feature lets users access a fearsome array of settings, assuming they know what they are doing. The camera lens offers only a slight distortion of the Lumia 1520’s back plate but not enough of one to be irritating. If there is one irritation it is that the lens itself is prone to being smeared when you’re handling the device during normal use.

Outside of the camera, anyone familiar with Windows Phone will be at home with the Lumia 1520, though the extra screen space and clarity will probably prevent them from going back to an older model any time soon. The typical collection of Microsoft and Nokia apps are present from the start but, as is normal with smartphones, a touch of customisation on the part of the owner probably won’t be going amiss.

The review model that Stuff was sent has storage aplenty, there was just over 3GB of the available 29GB used when the phone was handed over to us (Stuff was given the 32GB version of the Lumia 1520 to play with). If even that isn’t enough for you, one of the aforementioned universal multitool openings is used for a microSD card – you can add up to another 64GB if needed.

The Lumia 1520 is the best Windows Phone we’ve seen from Nokia (ever) and it has just become the device to measure others from its product family against. This is unfortunate for them since we don’t think we’re going to see its equal in terms of balanced features, performance and software from Nokia for a while to come. Unless they release a non-phablet version of the same device.

Stuff South Africa's online editor and print assistant editor, Brett Venter has churned out more words on more titles than most journalists will in a career. He's kind of shy.

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