Interface and Functionality

As we’ve come to know, Windows Phone is unique for having an experience that’s consistent between devices. Knowing that, it shouldn’t surprise people to know that the experience here is nearly identical with both devices. Still, it’s worth mentioning that there’s an added benefit to the 1520, since it’s currently packing along the GDR3 update with its Windows Phone 8 experience. Indeed, there are some minor new features in tow with the slight update, but for the most part, the core functions and features are the same on both handsets.

Obviously, the first noticeable difference in the experience is found with their start screens, where the 1520’s larger display is able to accommodate more live tiles into its package. Additionally, the GDR3 update brings forth features like being able to close down apps in the multi-tasking menu, custom notification tones, locking the screen rotation, and a useful Driving Mode that monitors various aspects of the phone as we’re driving. Beyond that, we wouldn’t say that there’s an astounding amount of advantage with the 1520’s updates – especially when they both can download the wealth of Nokia branded apps.

Honestly, we like typing with both smartphones, mainly because they have simple layouts, super responsive, and offer killer auto-correct features. Then again, some people will appreciate the more spacious layout in play with the 1520’s offering.

As for the rest, they provide us with the same level of personalization, organizer apps, and even take into consideration all of those hardcore productivity folks with their inclusion of Office. So what can we learn from this comparison? For starters, Nokia Windows Phones in general have an added incentive over other Windows Phones, but in this particular case, it’s only those enhancements with the GDR3 updates that prove to be the sole differentiator. Then again, the 1020 is bound to receive the update as well.

Processor and Memory

This certainly is a moot point well proven time-after-time! It seems as though, no matter what hardware is under the hood, Windows Phones are just expected to perform flawlessly. Looking at the hardware between them, it’s safe to assume that the 1520 is more future proof because it’s packing a more modern piece of silicon – a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 330 GPU. No doubt, it’s fast and nearly perfect with its performance, but to tell you the truth, the 1020’s dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC with the Adreno 225 GPU and 2GB of RAM handles the same basic (and some complex) tasks with the same amount of performance.

With the AT&T variants of both handsets, the 1020 is packing along 32GB of storage, which is double over the 16GB of storage in the 1520. However, the 1520 is able to supplement its tally thanks to its available microSD slot.

Internet and Connectivity

When it comes down to it, the only thing separating the web browsing experience here is the larger display of the 1520 – enabling us to view more of page, without the need to pinch zoom. As for the rest, they’re identical with their offerings, which consist of fast 4G LTE speeds, fast page rendering, and very smooth navigational controls.

Being the newer smartphone, the 1520 is graced with the more modernized set of connectivity features too – such as Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. In contrast, the 1020 features Bluetooth 3.0 and only your standard 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi radio. However, their commonalities include aGPS and NFC. Sorry folks, neither AT&T variants offer wireless charging.

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