Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview

Interface and Functionality

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is the first Windows Phone phablet and it is a great example of how the platform makes use of the extra screen space. You can now fit more, much more Live Tiles and text is larger everywhere. While smaller Windows Phones fit 4 small icons, here you can get 6 small tiles in a single row on the interface.

The Lumia 1520 runs on the latest Windows Phone 8 Update 3 (aka GDR3) and it also has the Nokia Black update thauetooth 4.0 LE support. 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. Live Tiles still come in three sizes (we really wish there was an even large tile size that would fit an entire horizontal block on the Lumia 1520), the app drawer is still a vertically scrollable list of names, and there’s still no notification center.

Customization options on the Windows Phone 8 Lumia 1520 are limited to changing Tile Sizes and colors. You can also have at-a-glance clock on the lock screen and double tap to wake up the phone, but all these draw additional battery.

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, and for texting you have an extremely large version of the stock keyboard that is a joy to type on.

Processor and Memory

The Lumia 1520 is the first Windows Phone device to ship with a quad-core processor. Under its hood is the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 system chip, the same piece of silicon you can find on the current crop of Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It’s a 28nm architecture allowing the quad-core processor to hum at up to 2.2GHz speed, and it comes with Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM.

Our initial experience is positive as everything seems to move quicker. Animations however still take up way too long often times and compared with Android and iOS nearly everything takes a bit longer on Windows Phone, even on this fastest representative of the platform. We’d still reserve our ultimate judgment for the final review, though.

Internal storage comes at the fairly generous 32GB and it’s also expandable via microSD cards of up to 64 gigs, so it should be enough to satisfy even the most storage-hungry users.

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.

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.

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.



1. Epicness1o1

Posts: 309; Member since: May 30, 2013

When I hear 20 MPx camera with Carl Zeiss...yup no words for that just AWESOME!

14. sri_tech

Posts: 188; Member since: May 21, 2013

Why author mentions many times that its very big. shockingly big etc.. Note 3 is also very big and you cant use it with single hand unless you have huge hands. People who wants huge phones know this but they still buying them because they are OK about these limitations. May be these tech bloggers should concentrate on how the device works in every other aspects because users know about the size already.

26. RoyalPayne

Posts: 458; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

Very well said!

34. kirholstov

Posts: 146; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Yeah, actually I tried to use a Note 3 in a shop with one hand and I succeded! You should really just go and try to use a phone with a big screen. But Galaxy Mega and Z Ultra are too big even for me.

37. adecvat

Posts: 647; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Lumia 1520 is much bigger than Note 3 and you can use Note in one hand.

46. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

The Lumia 1520 is roughly the same size as the Galaxy Mega. It is "shockingly" big, but that will not keep me from getting one.

38. adecvat

Posts: 647; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

20mpix? What is wrong with 1520 camera - purple skies, purple video, shaky video and lazy autofocus. Shame.

42. hmmm...

Posts: 81; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

You didn't bother to read the previous article? The pictures here are the same ones in a previous article. Which was taken on a cloudy fall day if you read the previous article, so of course it isn't blue. If a phone shows beautiful blue skies when the skies are covered by clouds, then it isn't doing it's job well. Lumia does quite well here considereing how little light there is.

2. oNEWorld

Posts: 140; Member since: Aug 01, 2013

looks okay, just wish Nokia would change up their design a bit. Its getting old.

8. fouadqr

Posts: 326; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

the next lumias will have a metal body with new disign

9. oNEWorld

Posts: 140; Member since: Aug 01, 2013

good! they stuck with this design for too long.

15. sri_tech

Posts: 188; Member since: May 21, 2013

I hope they don't change it. Most people don't get bored with phones designs quickly. Otherwise iPhones won't still sell well with the same design for 4 years.

27. RoyalPayne

Posts: 458; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

oNEWorld i actually love this design, I had an eyegasm wen i first saw it! But respect ur opinion.

39. utg001 unregistered

for me, the Lumia 800 is still a sensual eyegasm, I wish they had a WP8 device with all design aesthetics of L800.

3. mahmood74

Posts: 18; Member since: Jul 24, 2013

Good i want lumia 1520

4. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

That thing is just awesome!

5. GrapeEyes

Posts: 248; Member since: Sep 01, 2013

If Jesus was to return, he will use a Nokia Lumia 1520 :)

35. Ikechukwu

Posts: 257; Member since: Oct 03, 2011

hahahahahahahahahaha!!!! :)

6. fouadqr

Posts: 326; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

PA..when you review the lumia 1520 ..make sure to use red or yellow :/ not black !

7. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I like this device...its Nokia's first and excellent attempt in phablet category...I may own a Nokia device in future when WinRT and WinPhone merge at some time in future...for now...I am sure 1520 will make a excellent gift for WP buffs.

10. Kishin

Posts: 706; Member since: May 30, 2013

I will wait to see a full review when the black update hits windows

11. MojoDojo

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

- "All this weight is distributed unevenly as the bulkier top overweighs the bottom where you hold the device, so you should be extra careful when you hold the device with one hand - a few times we almost dropped the device as it started tipping over" It's called physics, not the weight is unevenly distributed! The phone would obviously tip over if you keep your hand on the down part. Its a big phone. According to your reasoning, Nokia should distributed most of the weight in the down part of the phone so it does not tip over.

12. lifeyourlive

Posts: 126; Member since: Aug 23, 2013

This for me is one of the most beautiful phones both on the outside and inside aswell. Too bad it doesnt run android as stock OS


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

There are many Android Phablets, and trust me Windows OS is about to make waves. I love Android own GS3, and Now a Nexus 5, and my future holds a Note 4, which very well could be my last Android device if windows 9 does what it should. I see myself realisticly owning an Android, and a Windows phone at the smae time.

36. alexfiran

Posts: 40; Member since: Jun 13, 2013

wp 9 will be incredible..even 8,1 is outstanding..i have the biggest confidence in wp..even if now i,m using android


Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I agree, and I have been saying it for 2 years now, when it was unpopular. The Samsung Focus was smooth with live tiles, and I said that when this starts to mature it will be a force to be reckoned with. The live tiles were smooth and had an appealing look. The phone was its draw back. Nokia is firing on alll cylinders with this!

16. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

What is going on, Victor H is actually writing kinda objective and good review? I am used to see him doing anti-Nokia articles for years! Don't forget 4x HAAC microphones which makes this devices the best in audio recording and calling quality.

45. EasycapExpertti

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I agree this was the first good preview by Victor H about Nokia devices - now he even mentioned HAAC microphones which he didn't mentioned before with Nokia 808 PureView and Nokia Lumia WP8 phones (there is HAAC mics with all Nokia Lumia WP8 phones except Lumia 520/521). Here is what Victor H wrote in this preview about HAAC mics of Lumia 1520: "Sound recording is superb on the Lumia 1520. The handset features four HAAC (High Amplitude Audio Capture) microphones that are able to record a higher sound amplitude. That should come particularly handy for club and concert goers as recordings there will turn out actually completely usable and much cleaner than on a regular smartphone that at high volumes records almost useless crackling sounds."

17. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

I better get mines on launch day, so Microsoft change those words saying back order under my preorder, I do not like to see words like that

18. DAddYE

Posts: 48; Member since: Oct 04, 2013

If only will be able to run Android or anything else than Windows...
Lumia 1520
  • Display 6.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3400 mAh(25.1h 3G talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.