Nokia Lumia 1520 Review – The Big yet Bold and Beautiful phablet

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In today’s world of smartphones, there is a BIG ‘specs-war’ which is going on, with companies baking out devices with high-end specifications to stay on the top of the charts. Microsoft’s Windows Phone has been one mobile OS which has worked smoothly even on the lower side of the specifications, unlike Google’s Android OS which suffers on entry level smartphones. But change is the need of the hour and thus Nokia, which is soon-to-be a part of Microsoft decided to join the other OEMs and launched the Nokia Lumia 1520 comes with a quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM, full HD display and more as the Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update rolled out with support for these.

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The Nokia Lumia 1520 was announced back in December and launched in India just a couple of weeks back. We recently got the smartphone for review and for a price of Rs.47,000 (MRP), is the smartphone worth a buy? Read on to know more.

In the Box:

  • Nokia Lumia 1520 with non-removable 3200 mAh battery
  • USB Cable
  • Charger
  • User Guide
  • SIM Card tray PIN

Design and hardware:

Nokia is known for its hardware quality and anyone who has used any of the Nokia Lumia smartphones will surely agree to the nice built quality that the company provides and the Nokia Lumia 1520 is no different. Nokia has kept the design of the Lumia 1520 simple and like its other Lumia smartphones.

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The Nokia Lumia 1520 is the first Windows Phone smartphone to arrive with a large 6 inch full HD IPS LCD display with Nokia’s ClearBlack technology. Above the display we can find the speaker grill, Nokia’s branding, front facing camera and the ambient light and proximity sensors.

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On the bottom of the display, we have the 3 usual capacitive buttons, the back, the Windows Home and the search button.

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The right side of the Lumia 1520 holds the volume rockers, the lock/unlock/power button in the centre and the dedicated camera key at the bottom.

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On the left side of the device, we have the microSD card and the nano-SIM slot which can be accessed using the PIN which is provided in the box.

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On the top, Nokia has provided the 3.5mm audio jack whereas on the bottom, we have the microUSB port.

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On the back of the Nokia Lumia 1520, the company has placed a 20 megapixel PureView camera with dual-LED Flash. We can find the Nokia, PureView and Zeiss branding next to the camera while just above the camera are the microphones which help in rich recording. On the bottom, we can find the speaker grill.

Overall the hardware is top-notch, feels great to hold and use with the matte finish and premium unibody polycarbonate that the company has used in building the Lumia 1520.

Display:

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As we already told you, the Nokia Lumia 1520 is the first smartphone from Nokia to pack in a brilliant 6 inch IPS LCD ClearBlack display with full HD resolution and we must agree that the company has done a brilliant job with it. The display which is super sensitive and can even be used while wearing gloves gives a stunning pixel density of 367PPI. The colors are vivid and the viewing angles great. Using the smartphone in bright sunlight is not something you should be worried about given that you will clearly face no issue as the display is bright enough.

The images look quite impressive on the display and the usability is great. I personally feel that it will take sometime for a device to beat the display on the Nokia Lumia 1520.

Performance, Storage and Connectivity:

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The Nokia Lumia 1520 comes with a lot of firsts, from a huge 6 inch display to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor which has 4-core and clocks at 2.2 GHz and has Adreno 330 GPU. The Windows Phone 8 GDR 3 update brought in support for quad-core processors. The quad-core SoC is coupled with a 2 GB RAM. We all know that the Windows Phone UI is already smooth compared to other OSes but with so much power under the hood, the UI is snappier than ever and it was a pleasure to use the device. We rarely had any issue with multitasking on the device and everything worked smoothly thanks to all the added power.

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There is 32 GB of internal storage on board the Lumia 1520 of which users can use about 29 GB but they will always have an option to expand it using a microSD card.

The Lumia 1520 comes packed with the usual Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, GLONASS, 3.5mm audio jack, 2G, 3G and NFC when we consider the connectivity options. We didn’t face any call drops while using the phone and the call clarity is good.

Camera:

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A 20 MP sensor has been included on the Nokia Lumia 1520 which combines the Optical Image Stabilization and also low-light image taking ability onto the device and though the outcome is not as brilliant as the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Lumia 1520 fares well in the camera department.

The Lumia 1520 comes packed with the Nokia Camera app which combines the Nokia Smart Cam and the Nokia Pro Cam apps into one single app and this is one good decision by the company as it gives users easy access to the best of its apps.

We tried the camera and can say that this 20 MP camera can be the next best thing after the 41 MP sensor on the Nokia Lumia 1020. Check the camera samples below and you can explore the high resolution images here.

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Low light sample

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Long Exposure Sample

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OS:

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The Nokia Lumia 1520 runs on the Windows Phone 8 GDR 3 update which is the latest and comes with the Nokia Black update out-of-the box, which brings in loads of new features which were missed on the previous iteration of the OS including the rotation lock, new night-mode colors for the Glance Screen, include the ability to customize tones and close apps from the multi-tasking view which are great to use.

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But then, there might be a good number of people out there who will feel that the Windows Phone platform lacks many apps which are available on other platforms like Android and iOS and buying a phone worth almost half a lakh and not getting those big apps is a let down. But we do know that both Nokia and Microsoft are pulling developers to bring in their apps to the WP platform and that too fast. We have Asphalt 8 for the devices, and not to forget Instagram is now available for Windows Phone devices and we do know that there are many apps on their way to the Windows Phone Store.

So if you are not an app-crazy person then the Nokia Lumia 1520 with WP8 GDR3 and Nokia Black is worth a try.

Battery:

Battery life is one field where Nokia is expected to do the best in the market and the Lumia 1520 doesn’t disappoint a bit. The smartphone gets all the juice from a non-removable 3400 mAh battery and even with normal usage, you will not want to search for the charger for over a day and more. We managed to keep the device running for over 2 days and a few more hours with the Wi-Fi being on all the time and using it for mailing and using social networking apps and not to forget clicking LOADS of images.

Even with a 6 inch display to power and improved internals, the Nokia Lumia 1520 might pull through a day’s heavy usage for power users and might not disappoint you.

Conclusion:

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With Nokia’s hardware quality promise, a brilliant camera and whole lot of exclusive apps, the Lumia 1520 is a great buy but the only thing not working in its favor is the Windows Phone 8 OS which powers the device and we hope that Microsoft works sooner on improving the OS and giving some of the basic features like a notification center and more which are still missing from the platform but are rumored to be arriving soon. And if the price tag would have been under Rs.43,000 the device can be considered a steal for everything that it packs. So, our opinion is, if the price, size and WP 8 is not an issue for you, go for the Lumia 1520.

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