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

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

Cons:
– 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.

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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.

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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.

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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

  • nokia lumia 1520 review

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

0 thoughts on “Nokia Lumia 1520 Review

  • March 10, 2014 at 7:51 am
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    See Mr Mo tempting people to go and steal. Issorai!

    As for the rating, -0.5 is relatively small (too small); Can be ignored without even noticing.

    • March 10, 2014 at 11:36 am
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      @eYinka lol. I’m deliberately looking the other way with regards to this phone. I’m waiting to see what the WP8.1 offerings will be.

    • March 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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      eYinka,

      A man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts…not when he reads a mobile review by Mr. Mo… 🙂

  • March 10, 2014 at 8:23 am
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    Yes; I asked it before an! will ask it again
    .how come a company this good with devices ran into troubled waters?

    Life !

    This sounds like an impressive one.Thai battery life!

    Now, if one can have this same device running Android, it would be something to go to Maiduguri for!. Or, Paris.

    // It is thebest battery life by far that I have
    experienced on any phone.//

    Better than on the SamsungGalaxy Note II, even? Hmm..

    //As far as I can see, Windows Phone is
    almost finally on par with Android and iOS
    when it comes to apps //

    ## dialing that school_days Ophthalmologist friend.

    No sir!

    Do you have torrenting on WindowsPhone? Can you record telephone conversations? floating apps…mimicking desktop_like multitasking, capable desktop_class file managers, etc, etc?

    To the meat of it, do you have Automation apps, allowing you to literally turn your smartphone into a Computer..? apps like AutoMagic, AutomateIt, tasker, MacroDroid, etc. that really educe the “smart” out of “smartphones”?

    No, WindowsPhone is still several eons behind Android regarding apps.

    Maybe for people with simple needs or demands on their smartphones, a WindowsPhone app variety and collection would do.

    And that’s why I can not work up any enthusiasm (yet) for any WindowsPhone, no matter how gorgeous the hardware.

    -power is nothing without control….>> Pirelli
    -hardware is nothing without apps..software..>>
    Eyebeekay

    • March 10, 2014 at 8:53 am
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      With regards battery life, the BlackBerry Z30 beat the Note II. The Lumia 1520 beat both by miles. No contest. The 1520 is a mean beast. I published an article on that some time ago

    • March 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm
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      My dear eyebeekay,
      Na fight? Abeg what Mister Mo said was “Windows Phone is ALMOST finally on par with Android and iOS….” So please take am easy O.

      But seriously, I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with you on some points. But first, I believe android is without a doubt the most open OS around. Anyone can do absolutely anything they want with android. Therefore android will always have the widest variety of available apps.

      On the other hand, there are apps that you will never see on an OS like Windows Phone because the OS restricts access to those functions. Whether for security reasons, ease of use or smoothness and stability, windows phone is intentionally designed that way. Most of the examples of apps you gave fall into this category:

      Floating apps: Can’t work cuz Windows phone doesn’t multitask the same way android does.
      Desktop class file managers & Automation Apps: Windows phone doesn’t have this cuz the OS intentionally doesn’t give this level of access. Probably for security reasons.
      Recording Phone calls: Although previously available on WP7, WP8 prevents 3rd party apps from accessing the phone mic during calls. Again, probably for security reasons.
      Torrent apps: Readily available. I use ‘wpTorrent’. It works with both torrent and magnet links.

      But then again, do the reasons matter at the end of the day. Probably not to most people.

      “…WindowsPhone is still several eons behind Android regarding apps”

      This statement is actually my main grouse. If we accept that because of the above missing apps windows phone is “several eons behind android”, that means that IOS is also “several eons behind android” since those same apps are missing from the app store.
      It doesn’t exactly compute. Just my opinion.

  • March 10, 2014 at 5:56 pm
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    I’m deliberately looking the other way with regards to this phone. I’m waiting to see what the WP8.1 offerings will be.

    If I get you right, WP8.1 will stir up your urge to get the 1520?
    Also waiting for that wonderful bag of fixes value added services (WP8.1)
    Dear April, where are thou?

    A man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts…not when he reads a mobile review by Mr. Mo…

    Absolutely true but what happens when you are tempted at gun point? 😀

    • March 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm
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      @eYinka I’m binding and casting out this L1520 and waiting to see if there’s an 820 or 925 WP8.1 equivalent. April is not far away 😉

  • March 11, 2014 at 7:17 am
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    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.

    Hardware wise, I think the Lumia 1520 is almost there. Yeah, it can compete in hardware with the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note 3, LG G2 and Sony’s phablet flagship and will beat them in the camera department and maybe build quality too as well as battery from what this review can tell us, but a device running Windows Phone and having similar specs as its competitors on the Android platform costing more than Samsung Galaxy Note 3? That’s a big fail for them.

    Windows Phone is well, a stigma and it’s certainly going to douse the shines of this device as I can’t see anyone whose not a core Nokia or Windows Phone fan spending that much on any Windows Phone device, with all the documented shortcomings of Windows Phone. Good luck to them but that’s more like formality as they’ve already started themselves off badly with this irrational pricing.

  • March 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm
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    @Deen

    “…WindowsPhone is still several eons behind Android regarding apps”

    This statement is actually my main grouse. If we
    accept that because of the above missing apps
    windows phone is “several eons behind android”,
    that means that IOS is also “several eons behind
    android” since those same apps are missing from the app store.

    It doesn’t exactly compute. Just my opinion.

    I guess when we talk of apps superiority… per platform, we need to be on the same page to synchromesh.

    When I said Android is ahead, I was referring to the variety (not just the volume) of Android apps.

    And yes, if you wanna extrapolate that way, Android is eons ahead of iOS..both in numbers and app gimmicky..

    Hooe you are computing?

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