Nokia Lumia 1520 Review

Simply put, the Lumia 1520 is the most powerful, most versatile and most capable Windows Phone smartphone in existence. It has the best display as well, and outstanding battery life, and a 20 megapixel camera that beats most competitors. It is very difficult for me to find anything bad about the Lumia 1520. Very difficult. But then, I can be fastidious. Before we dive into the Nokia Lumia 1520 review proper, first the pros and the cons of the device.

Nokia lumia 1520 in hand

– Good design and good feel
– superior performance
– Exceptional 6-inch display
– Outstanding battery life
– future-proof: ready for Windows Phone 8.1

– bug with USB connectivity: sometimes won’t charge or get recognised by PC until restarted
– inability to reply (you can send) emails with attachments apart from images

The Lumia 1520 is a big phone – a phablet with a 6-inch display, so you need to decide if its your thing. It also uses a nano-SIM, which is even smaller than a micro-SIM. If you are okay with the size and with cutting your SIM, the Lumia 1520 is a compelling device.

Nokia Lumia 1520 review - lockscreen

Nokia Lumia 1520 Review

It is very difficult to review an outstanding device. The Lumia 1520 is an outstanding device. That means this review is difficult. It is the most powerful and most advanced Windows Phone smartphone in the market. It has got muscles that match anything the competition throws down – a Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 processor and 2GB of RAM. Performance is silky smooth. Multi-tasking is nice. I leave an app open to go copy something from another app and return to find it open as I left it.

Performance is so good that gameplay of even a heavy game like Asphalt 8: Airborne is a joy. Here is a screenshot:
Asphalt 8 1520
I am not much of a gamer. but I have given Angry Birds Go! a spin too several times and thoroughly enjoyed smooth performance.

The 1520 has perhaps the most gorgeous display on any smartphone – with Gorilla Glass 2 protection and Nokia’s renowned. ClearBlack display. All 6 inches of that is great for web browsing, video watching, picture viewing, reading, and anything else you can come up with. Whether it is content consumption or creation, the Lumia 1520 has got you well covered. Creating and editing Office documents is top notch.

Its 20 megapixel PureView camera with Carl Zeiss optics is second only to the Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel PureView camera. With optical image stabilization, autofocus, and dual-LED flash, the Lumia 1520 has one of the best cameras on any phone in its class. The camera lets you zoom 2x without compromising image quality. It produces both down-sampled 5MP images and the full 20MP files. The down-sampled files are of great quality (the PureView effect), while the full images give greater detail. While the dual-LED flash is not on the same level as Xenon, it is very powerful – better than what i have seen with other phones.

I have put the through its paces, and I am amazed at the fine results that it gets. The Nokia Camera app is so versatile, giving the user detailed control. Here is a photo of a leaf captured in Bokeh (the leaf is in focus and the background faded):
Bokeh - Nokia Lumia 1520 camera

There is stereo audio recording when shooting a video too, and it is outstanding when you play it back. My unit here has 32GB of built-in storage and there is a microSD slot to expand storage. There is FM Radio. In addition to GPRS, EDGE, 3G, 3.5G, and 3.75G, there is LTE and WiFi. Nokia’s HERE Maps is here.

Lastly, the 3400mAh battery keeps the Lumia 1520 going on and on – sometimes for between 18 and 26 hours between charges. The battery performance on this beauty is breathtakingly amazing. It is the best battery life by far that I have experienced on any phone.

Not Perfect

No; the Lumia 1520 is not perfect. Download of media files in the browser is not supported, but as they say, there are apps for that. You cannot send Office and PDF files as attachments from inside the email app, but you can do so from inside the Office Hub. Not quite user-friendly, but it works. But it also means that you are unable to reply an email directly and attach those documents. You have to send a fresh mail to whoever mails you to request for them.

Lastly, there is an issue that I think is a bug with my particular device. Once in a while, USB functionality seems to be plagued by a bug. Connecting the 1520 to a PC or to the mains by USB would yield no results – no charging and no recognition by the PC. A reboot sorts it out and all is well. It doesn’t happen often, but it is a mild irritant all the same.

What About the Apps?

As far as I can see, Windows Phone is almost finally on par with Android and iOS when it comes to apps – in terms of actual usefulness. With 200,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store, the vast majority of users are covered now. yes; Android and iOS have way more apps, but most of those apps include things like over 1,000 flashlight apps. What does any platform need 1,000 flahlight apps for? The extra number of apps on android and iOS are mostly redundancies.

All the popular apps that you need are fully available on Windows Phone – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Google Plus, Dropbox, Evernote, Foursquare, Messenger, LinkedIn, Shazam, Quickteller, Skype, Spinlet, Youtube, WordPress, and more are all available, sometimes with 3rd party apps that provide much better functionality than the official apps. The only app that I am missing on Windows Phone now is BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), and both Nokia and blackberry have announced that it is on the way already. Only people with niche needs may find Windows Phone apps inadequate now. Everybody else is covered. Still, its your call.

My Verdict

The Lumia 1520 scores high in many ways and has a few weak points. It is no doubt one of the finest phablets in the market. Very much recommended. The Lumia 1520 retails for around N115,000 in the market.

Device Class: Flagship Phablet
In-Class Rating: 9.5/10

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