Back in October 2013, Nokia announced their first 6″ smartphone, the Lumia 1520 in Abu Dhabi and I was there to cover the event. Just recently, it was released here in Malaysia. We have been using the device for about a month now so this is the ultimate review of the Nokia Lumia 1520.
Before we continue, let’s check out the specs:
Speed: LTE 150/50 mbps, DC-HSPA 42mbps
Memory: 2GB RAM, 32 GB internal user memory; 7 GB SkyDrive cloud storage, micro SD card support up to 64GB
Display: 6-inch full HD 1080p LCD , ClearBlack, High Brightness Mode, Sunlight readability, Super sensitive touch for glove and nail usage, Gorilla Glass 2
Processor: 2.2GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Camera: PureView 20-megapixel Auto Focus ZEISS optics with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), 2x lossless zoom, oversampling technology, dual LED flash, 1080p @ 30 fps full HD video with optical image stabilization
Size & weight: 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7mm (volumetric). Weight: 209g
Connectivity: NFC, A-GPS+GLONASS, WLAN (2.4/5Ghz) a/b/g/n/ac, μUSB, BT 4.0 LE, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor
Battery: 3400 mAh (integrated) with built-in wireless charging (Qi compatible)
Audio: Rich Recording with four microphones; Wideband Voice and multi-microphone noise reduction with four microphones; Dolby(R) Headphone, Graphic equalizer, Audio leveling; FM radio
So here we are, looking at the glossy red Lumia 1520 under bright Malaysian sun light. The phone is really huge. When I first took it out of the box, it felt like a piece of big screen and its kinda heavy, but upon closer inspection, I started to see it in a different way. The curves on the edges and the glossiness of the body makes this device really sexy. Just think of a Ferrari, with a 20 megapixels camera. Haha.
Apart from the amazing Pureview camera (which we will get to in a while), the screen is one of the most talked about topics among the people I showed it to. The Lumia 1520 screen is full HD at 1080p resolution. Colours are super vibrant, texts are sharp, contrast is very high. I would say this is top notch quality screen. The new ClearBlack technology that Nokia has used on the 1520 is amazing. Notice the 2nd photo above? The screen is still visible under sun light as if we were holding it indoors. I have never experienced this before on any other phones.
As big as the device is, the Lumia 1520 feels very comfortable in the hand, thanks to the smooth edges on both sides of the screen. Many have asked me if the phone lags or hangs. Well, it doesn’t lag or hang at all. The nature of Windows Phone itself is to be light weight, smooth and fast. Coupled with the quad core processor, I think it is as fast as a high end device can be. Animations are very smooth as well. Somehow I wish it was waterproof, but then again that’s just too much to ask for. LOL
I can honestly tell you that the camera is on par with the Lumia 1020 but somehow it lacks clarity under low light. Not sure if I was using the right settings but photos just didn’t turn out as good as expected. Apart from that, photos taken under sufficient lighting are superbly vibrant, sharp and natural. The built in antishake works very well in countering hand shake. I also especially love the Refocus feature whereby we can snap a photo first, and then tap on where we want to focus. Check out the video below to see my demo.
Here are some photos captured using the Lumia 1520. Click to enlarge.
Outlook & size
The Lumia 1520 looks stylish, premium and solid. It gives the same feeling when one touches it as well. Truly a premium phone in a funky body. When compared side by side with the Note 3 (5.7″), the Lumia 1520 looks like a giant as the Note 3 is already a very big phone. But the 6″ full HD screen is so attractive one may not care about the size and purchase it straight away for the screen (and camera of course).
Here’s the side view of the Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520 and the Note 3. By now you should be able to imagine the real size of the phone.
We all know that Windows Phone is the 3rd mobile ecosystem, hence does not have as many apps in the store compared to Android and iOS. Microsoft and Nokia have been working really hard to bring the essential apps to the tray and I can say that all the apps one needs and use daily are already in the Windows Phone store. For example, here are the list of apps I need everyday and have already installed them on the Lumia 1520:
The Lumia 1520 now costs about RM1.8-1.9k which I think that the price is just right for a smartphone with 6-inch screen and 20 megapixels camera. Note that not all phones have the built in antishake like the Lumia, so I guess the price is justifiable. Apps wise, all essentials apps are available so no problems there. Battery life is good. On average, I get about 9 hours for my daily usage. If you are looking for a big screen phone with a good camera, that it is highly recommended to buy the Lumia 1520, but if you are the kind that installed 100 diff apps a day then this is not the phone for you. (seriously, do you use all those apps everyday?)
Tell me what you think of the Lumia 1520 and if you have any questions, leave them in comments below and I shall reply you as soon as I can.