Nokia Lumia 1520 ReviewNokia Lumia 1520 9
Interface and Functionality
Thanks in part to its massive 6-inch 1080p display, the start screen is now able to accommodate up to six live tiles in a horizontal row – the smallest sized live tile option, that is. Besides that, the look and feel of the platform remains largely unchanged. It’s not a bad thing per se, seeing that the start screen continues to catch our attention with its animated presentation.
Out of all the mobile platforms out there, the Windows Phone 8 notification system is still messy – and that’s despite seeing a subtle enhancement here with the GDR3 update. Rather than having a centralized place where we can view them simultaneously, they’re largely handled by the start screen’s respective live tiles, which can be disorganizing as we’re trove through each one.
As for the multi-tasking experience, the GDR3 update now provides us with the ability to close apps by tapping on the “x” above each window in the multitasking view. However, it would’ve been better if there were an option to close several or all at the same time.
Don’t get us wrong, we are glad to see the most up-to-date version of Windows Phone here. Update 3 adds a lot of small improvements like custom notification tones, rotation lock, and a new Driving mode. To the untrained eye, though, it’s hard to see any difference between this latest version and earlier Windows Phone 8 versions. The more we look at it, we begin to see some of the platform’s limitations in comparison to its rivals. It’s flashy, animated, and has an appealing presentation, but it requires deeper functions with the core experience to appease power users.
Armed with that gigantic display, we’re greeted with the most spacious keyboard layout to ever hit a Windows Phone smartphone. In tow as always, is the responsiveness and killer auto-correct feature that’s always a staple with the keyboard. Alternatively, if you’re not about typing with your thumbs, its voice dictation service works rather well too.
Even with the updated experience, there’s nothing added to the email experience. Despite that, we can’t complain because it gets the job done by giving us a good balance between organization and productivity.
We like the selection of first-party apps on Windows Phone. Having mobile Office right out of the box is a huge plus. Since this is a Nokia phone, you also get some very neat applications that other Windows Phone handsets do not have. Nokia Drive with free offline turn-by-turn navigation and Nokia Music with its great free music streaming option are on board.
Basic functionality is also well covered with a phone app that integrates your social news circles (Facebook and Twitter) and contacts. Although its set of core organizer apps are more than usable, the platform is seriously lacking a contender in the digital personal assistance service category. Relying on its Bing service, it’s able to do basic things like making phone calls, sending text, opening apps, and much more. However, it lacks the smarter features of its rivals – like being able to perform calculations, conversions, and even answering who is the president of the US.
Processor and Memory
Finally!! Windows Phone ushers in a whole new era, as the Nokia Lumia 1520 is packing serious heat under the hood, to put it in the same light as its high-end Android counterparts. Sure to appease those specs conscious folks, the handset features a mighty quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, featuring the Adreno 330 GPU, coupled with 2GB of RAM.
A constant staple of the platform, it doesn’t surprise us that the Lumia 1520 is snappy and responsive with its operations. Our initial experience is positive, as everything seems to move quicker, but upon closer inspection, the platform is able to “hide” its slowness by employing different transition effects to mask its load times. Animations as a whole, however, still take up way too long often times and compared with Android and iOS. But on the surface, it exhibits a very smooth performance.
Higher is better
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
Lower is better
Internet and Connectivity
Accessing the web on a Windows Phone device happens exclusively via Internet Explorer and the Lumia 1520 is no exception. We don’t like the lack of choice, but luckily mobile IE is a good browser on its own and with 4G LTE on board surfing the web is a pleasure. Best of all, that new 1080p screen is just icing to an otherwise typical looking cake for Windows Phone.
The first Nokia phablet ticks all connectivity boxes: dual-channel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with LE support (courtesy of the Nokia Black update), NFC and GPS with Glonass. However, you should keep in mind that the Lumia 1520 is an AT&T exclusive in the US and it won’t support 4G LTE bands on other carriers.
Nokia Lumia 1520 Review - Interface and Functionality
|Display||6.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (368 ppi) IPS LCD|
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz, Krait 400 processor
2 GB RAM
|Size||6.41 x 3.36 x 0.34 inches|
(162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 mm)
7.37 oz (209 g)
|Battery||3400 mAh, 27.4 hours talk time|