The Lumia 1520 is Nokia’s first ever phablet in the market today. It was announced during the Nokia World 2013 in Abu Dhabi along with other devices such as Lumia 2520, Lumia 1320, Asha 500, Asha 502 and Asha 503. This device has rising specs to meet Apple and Samsung’s offerings. The Finns have ensured that the 1520 lives up to the expectations of many consumers looking for a bigger smartphone with powerful specs. Yes, the Lumia 1520’s stellar features is more than enough to satisfy your phablet needs, not to mention its glorious battery life with 24 days of standby time.
Nokia has poured a lot of efforts to make this phablet worth a try or a better option to other phablets in store. Glad to know that the Finns have used the latest Snapdragon 800 to powered this device, with four cores to match other competing brands. On top of that, they have also included a full HD 1080p display and a PureView camera for a sweet fight back.
The Lumia 1520 comes with the Nokia Black update that includes lock the screen rotation, close apps easily in the app switcher, use custom ringtones for messaging and mail, among other things, Nokia Camera that combines Nokia Smart Camera and Nokia Pro Camera, the latest version of Nokia Glance Screen, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and enriched camera performance with better algorithm, enhanced battery monitoring, and other stability and usability improvements.
There are a number of Android phablets here and there but what is the edge of the Nokia Lumia 1520?
It felt so much excitement when I opened the Lumia 1520 out of the box. It’s really beautiful, no doubt. The look and feel are mutual. Yes, it’s big but it gives you a good feeling when you’re holding it. The design is seamless. Despite of a bigger camera sensor, the Finns has managed to make it slim (162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7mm) compared to the Lumia 920 with 10.7mm thick.
What strikes me is its glorious display. The 1080p Full HD IPS LCD screen gives out a superb viewing experience at 367ppi. The colors and saturation is pleasing to the eyes. The viewing angles are decent, color accuracy is intact even near-180-degree. Unboxing is the most exciting part of our review, seeing a beautifully crafted device is incomparable.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
- Nokia Lumia 1520
- Nokia AC-60 MicroUSB Charger
- Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-190CD
- Nokia Headset WH-208
- Quick guide
- SIM Door Key
Here’s the unboxing video of the Nokia Lumia 1020
There’s a lot more than this, so let’s find out!
THIN, BOLD, BIGGER
Nokia has worked really hard in bringing the best design on the Lumia devices. In fact, Nokia is the only manufacturer that can deliver a unique and clever design construction that combines quality and beauty. The iconic Fabula design language first used in the Nokia N9 and Nokia Lumia 800 has evolved on the Lumia 1520. It’s now slimmer and more compact.
The Lumia 1520 has a massive 6-inch screen with dimensions 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 mm. Though its a huge device, its not biggest phablet our there. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Mega has 6.4-inch and 6.3-inch screen, respectively. Despite of its massive screen size, it only weighs 209 grams which is 11 grams lighter than the Lumia 1320. So you won’t cry out for spraining your hands when using it. I thought its too big to handle but when I hold it, it feels just right. However, for people who have small hands, would probably have a hard time using it on one hand.
The Lumia 1520 design is obviously the bigger version of the Lumia 925, less the metal framing. With a rectangular look and pointed edges are trademark of the Lumia design. It also has the same placement of the camera hump at the back where the 20 megapixel sensor sits. There’s a curved Gorilla Glass 2, that covers the screen, the capacitive buttons and front camera.
The overall layout has not been changed, the buttons and ports remain on its usual place. You can find the nano Sim card slot on the left side of the Lumia 1520 together with the microSD slot. To open those ports, you need to use a dedicated SIM Door Key (included in the box). All we thought that Nokia will stick to “fixed storage” strategy on its flagship devices, but the Lumia 1520 has changed that norm. And we are glad that Nokia has finally realized that a 32Gb storage is not enough to store all your photos, videos, apps and files especially when there’s a 20 Megapixel camera on-board.
At the bottom of the phablet, you can find the microUSB 2.0 port, while the 3.5mm audio jack is on top. In comparison, the Lumia 1520 is slimmer than the Lumia 1020 (8.7mm vs. 9.4mm) due to a smaller sensor and lack of xenon flash.
The Lumia 1520 also has an in-built Qi wireless charging to power up your phone via a portable wireless charging device such as the Nokia Portable Wireless Charging Plate DC-50. The DC-50 is the most flexible and effortless charger, has the ability to power up any Qi-enabled device – without plugging in. Charging your phone has never been this much easier with the Lumia 1520.
CRISPER, BRIGHTER, IMPRESSIVE
The Lumia 1520’s 6-inch screen is topped by a 1080p Full HD resolution (1080 x 1920 pixels), IPS LCD, Gorilla Glass 2, Super Sensitive touchscreen and ClearBlack display.
The effect of the ClearBlack display technology is similar to that produced by a pair of polarising sunglasses where it adjusts the brightness automatically to optimum level depending on the conditions you are in. It makes photos and videos easier to see in bright sunlight and in pitch black – crisp and readable every day.
Powered by Synaptics, the Super sensitive touch technology allows users to interact with their Lumia devices more effectively by providing a more responsive touchscreen. It works perfectly even you’re wearing gloves or using your nail or stylus – it will automatically adjust the sensitiveness to offer the best possible touch screen experience. Gone are the days when you need to press the screen so hard or swipe it hard back and forth.
I’m sure these features are no longer new to you because you’ve seen this already on older Lumia devices such as the Lumia 920, 925 and 1020. But this time Nokia has ensured that this new Windows Phone phablet has something new to offer.
“SIMPLY, ONE OF THE BEST SMARTPHONE DISPLAY”
Nokia has partnered with Apical to introduce a new display algorithm called Assertive Display. This allows the screen to become more readable even on low brightness to optimize both visibility and quality. It takes control of both the screen brightness, and the color of each individual pixel of each video frame, and adjusts these coherently providing total control of viewing experience from total darkness to bright sunshine. Even you’re brightness level is only at 50%, the screen remains clear and readable compared to other displays at the same brightness level. This results to an increased battery life.
In actual use, the viewing angles are totally impressive even on outdoors. The color and contrast remains punchy even on a nearly 180 degree viewing angle. Colors appear true, but if you’re particular about saturation and temperature, Nokia has provided an option to tweak those settings manually under Lumia color profile.
This option comes in handy especially for IPS LCD enabled screens. The higher pixel density on this phablet also added some value on the overall experience. The Lumia 1520 has a 367 ppi pixel density, better than Sony Xperia Z Ultra with 344 ppi and Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 with 233 ppi only.
The Lumia 1520 is not just your ordinary phablet, it can capture photos better than any other smartphones or digital cameras in the market It packs a massive 20 Megapixel, ZEISS lens, smaller 1/2.5″ sensor and Nokia’s award-winning PureView imaging technology. It also has a smaller f/2.4 aperture size (compared to the Lumia 1020 with f/2.2), designed for great low light shots. The 1520. It features the same oversampling technique found on the Lumia 1020. Though not as big as 41 Megapixels, still it produces impressive shots with minimal amount of noise. It’s true that a good camera is not all about the number of pixels but it’s what you do with it.
The PureView technology on the 1520’s camera offers high quality shots even in low light. It offers five times more light than competing smartphones without using flash, making it possible to capture the best pictures and videos even at night. In the absence of Xenon flash, you can use the next generation dual led flash on this phone.
“PUREVIEW REMAINS THE BEST MOBILE IMAGING TECHNOLOGY, SECOND TO NONE”
More so, it offers Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), Backside-illuminated image sensor and 6 element lens. With these combined, will let you take brilliant photos, blurry free and with great color production.
The 1520 saves two versions of every image taken, a 5-megapixel for sharing and a 19-megapixel image for ‘reframing’. Given the Nokia Black update, the 1520 can also save a DNG file for RAW processing and post editing. You will need a special software on your computer to open this file format such as Adobe Photoshop. Digital Negative (DNG) is an open lossless raw image format which is widely used by most digital cameras, gives you the flexibility to change the outcome and explore your creativity.
SHOT LIKE A PRO!
The Lumia 1520 uses the most advanced camera app called Nokia Camera. It offers a range of camera options including white balance, manual focus, ISO, shutter speed and brightness levels. There’s also an option for bracketing and timed shots. If you are not comfortable with manual controls, you can use the Auto mode to capture great images with ease, and provides quick access to sport and night controls.
Inside the app, you can also find the Nokia Smart Cam, that was previously launched as a separate app. It features smart sequence, which quickly shoots a series of photos that can be combined in different ways. It allows you to emphasize motion, remove unwanted objects or show action using a strobe effect. You can also change faces in group shots and choose the best angle.
Lumia users have noticed that the Nokia Camera takes a time to load and capture photos. I know it’s a bit frustrating especially if you want to take multiple shots. But on the Lumia 1520, the app opens up faster, taking photos and saving is a whole lot faster – thanks to its quad-core processor.
Aside from taking still photos, you can also record videos for up to 1080p full HD resolution at 30fps. Audiophiles would really love the audio recording quality on this phone with its four special digital HAAC microphones. It enables high sound quality even in noisiest environment. It can capture more than six times the sound pressure level that you can record with any conventional smartphone microphones. This was first introduced in the Nokia 808 and brought to the Lumia series with enhanced audio recording features. Now, you can capture your memories of a rock concert or a fireworks festival or party.
Nokia has indeed push the limits of sound recording even further with use of Directional recording. This is a first on the Lumia 1520 where it focus the audio recording on where the subject is. This improves sound clarity especially if your recording a subject in front of the camera. This also eliminates unwanted noise when recording. Apparently, on the Nokia 808 it uses an Omni-directional recording that capture sounds in equal levels coming from different directions.
The use of OIS on video recording is very helpful especially when you’re just holding the phone in one hand. The OIS dampens the hand movements to avoid blurriness and shakiness. No need to use a tripod.
Here are some video recording samples we’ve taken:
I’ve used the Nokia 808 for more than a year. I’ve taken a lot of photos and videos including our unboxing and reviews. Having said that, it’s really hard to please other smartphones with a camera less than 41 Megapixels – but the 1520 was an exception. The shots taken by the Lumia 1520 were pretty impressive. Finally, the color reproduction draws closer to the Nokia 808 – thanks to the Nokia Black update.
We’ve got some shots here from the Lumia 1520 but you can click on the gallery below for more photos. All these shots were taken on Auto mode, no editing nor tweaks.
This photo above really impressed me. The details and color is accurate, it also has less noise. Best of all, this is only a cropped version, the uncropped version can be found on the gallery link below. It shows that oversampling really works despite of having only a 20MP camera instead of 41MP. This was taken at night, 8PM.
You can check all the photos taken by the Lumia 1520 below.
FAST AND FURIOUS
Years ago, Windows Phones are being criticized for being under powered. But with the arrival of GDR3 update, things have changed. Now Windows Phones can support for upto quad-core processors and 1080p full HD displays. Indeed, Windows Phone has finally filled in the gap.
The Lumia 1520 is the first quad-core device running on Windows Phone 8. It uses the latest quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2Ghz, which is the same processor used in the Samsung Galaxy Note. It is the most powerful chip ever in mobile devices today. We all know that Windows Phones are power-efficient as it runs smoothly on a single core processor with 512MB of RAM. So that gives you an idea on how fast a quad-core Windows Phone is.
The 1520 operates quickly from boot up to navigation. Flipping through tiles and transition is much faster and more responsive compared to other Lumias. Aside from that, the added cores provide faster response when opening apps and playing games. The Lumia 1520 uses Adreno 330 GPU for crisper and smoother HD content playback. This phablet also sports 2GB of RAM which helps the processor to do more especially for apps running on the background. It is more than enough to install any games from the store, without compatibility issues.
“THE MOST POWERFUL WINDOWS PHONE TO DATE”
Before, we believe that Windows Phone doesn’t need a quad-core, but upon using the 1520, we were surprised that its the added cores really matter. Is it an advantage? Of course, the 1520 works even better than any other dual-core Lumias yet more battery efficient.
INCREDIBLE BATTERY POWER
Faster processors require much power. But if your phone doesn’t have a bigger battery – then you’ll soon run out of juice. I’m glad that Nokia didn’t go wrong on the Lumia 1520. It packs 3400mAh battery, bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (3200mAh), that offers a superior battery life with 24 days of standby time. Based on tests, the Lumia 1520 scores 107 hours of battery endurance rating. That allows you to manage four and a half days on a single charge if used for one hour each of calls, web browsing and video playback daily.
In my experience, I fully charged the 1520 midday with LTE data on. Used it for music and video playback, casual browsing and some apps usage. The battery drops 80% at 10PM the next day after doing plenty of night shots with occasional flash and video capture – LTE data was kept on. It was really impressive, far beyond what my Lumia 1020 can go.
The Lumia 1520 also features in-built wireless charging by Qi Wireless for the international version. However, the AT&T version has no in-built wireless charging due to their alliance with Qi’s competitor, PMA (Power Matters Alliance). But there’s a third-party wireless charging back cover by Incipio, PMA compatible.
WINDOWS PHONE 8 BLACK
Most smartphone users want millions of apps and bigger screen. But today, smartphone users are also looking for reliability, great battery life, durability and security – things that you can’t get anywhere but with the Lumia 1520.
Windows Phone 8 brings new features that bring you closer to the people and things you care about. It’s the most personalized and streamlined mobile operating system. The Windows Phone is an ever reliable operating system, its fast and lag free. No need for multiple homescreens or dozens of static icons to get what you need. Everything is on your startscreen, with dynamic live tiles that delivers you updates and content fast and timely. Ease your worries with the level of security that it offers. Some people would criticize the Windows Phone for being a closed OS, no access to system files or other geeky modifications. An open source OS would give you all the access you need, but remember that it also opens yourself to risks and threats. As a closed OS, Windows Phone offers you a high level of security to safeguard your account access, your passwords or other activity on your device. No need to install any antivirus software and all those crap. Window Phone 8 is reliable and safe.
“WINDOWS PHONE 8 IS THE FASTEST GROWING MOBILE OS”
The Lumia 1520 runs on the latest version of the Windows Phone 8 with Nokia’s Lumia specific updated called Lumia Black. This update provides support for 1080p displays, new processors, enhanced battery monitoring, update to the camera and more. The Black update has significantly improved the imaging algorithm of the 1520 making it more natural than the saturated shots on the Lumia 1020 running on Amber. With this update, it allows the Lumia 1520 to capture RAW Digital Negative Format (DNG) to make the most of your photography needs. The Lumia Black firmware includes the latest platform enhancements, such as Glance notifications, double tap to wake and Bluetooth 4.0.
Want to know more about Windows Phone 8 Black? Click Here
200,000 APPS AND COUNTING
The Windows Phone store has grown into more than 200,000 rich apps (as of December 2013) that you download and enjoy. There are plenty of third-party apps too. It is quite small compared to other rival platforms but Windows Phone store assures you that you won’t get 500 frustrating fart apps. As the platform grows bigger and better, popular apps and game titles are now being ported to the store. Speaking of games, Lumia 1520 enjoys a variety of games from various game titles like Gameloft, Halfbrick, Rovio, Imangi Studios, Electronic Arts (EA) and Microsoft Studios.
The Lumia 1520, like other Windows Phones, has Xbox Live where you can find all your installed games. Not only that, you can set your own dynamic avatar, add, find and interact with other Xbox users, sync your score and achievements from your Xbox account on Xbox 360, Windows 8 and RT. You can also use your Lumia 1520 to interact with the Xbox 360 console via the Xbox Smart Glass. You can also see the upcoming games on Xbox and ‘Deals of the Week’ under Spotlights. Lumia 1520 supports all games available in the store including those heavy-graphic games like the Modern Combat 4, Zombie HQ, N.O.V.A. 3 and HALO: Spartan Assault to name a few. All games played well, without any lags.
MORE SOCIAL THAN EVER
The Lumia 1520 is a very social phone, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, Path, MoloMe – name it you have it. But what makes it unique from the competition is the deep social integration. You can just sign in to Twitter and Facebook and get all your updates straight from the ‘ME Tile’ and post your updates at the same time, no need to open an app. The Photo Hub also lets you access not only your photos but also your friends’, no need to open Facebook from the browser. Just turn your data connection or connect to WiFi on and let the Lumia 1520 do the rest.
Lumia 1520 supports LTE network bands: 2, 4, 5, 7, 17 that offers a download speed of 150 Mbps and upload speed of 50 Mbps (may vary on your carrier’s data/plan). File sharing made easy, as it offers both NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. You can share and receive files on any Bluetooth/NFC enabled-smartphones. You can also share your data connection by turning on the internet sharing option on your handset so you and your friend can stay connected. This works for up to 8 connected devices.
Despite the lack of HDMI port, Nokia has an app called PlayTo lets you enjoy your photos, videos and music on other web-enabled (DLNA) devices over the same Wi-Fi network.
Browsing in this handset is a breeze, with Internet Explorer 10, browsing is fast and smooth. Scrolling and panning is very responsive even on full desktop view. Internet Explorer 10 is the fastest mobile browser to date even faster than iOS and Android browsers.
What makes your Lumia 1020 even more smarter is the ability to act as your portable document editing device – thanks to Office 365 that offers free Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note. You can now view and edit your documents on-the-go with SkyDrive integration – thanks to its large 6-inch screen.
Nokia Lumia 925 offers the best mapping and navigation suite via HERE Maps, HERE Transit, HERE City Lens and HERE Drive – best of all its all free. HERE offers a lifetime sat-navigation with turn-by-turn voice guidance in 94 countries and true offline support – you’ll never get lost.
Aside from Nokia’s superb hardware and design, Nokia has made efforts in providing exclusive apps only for Lumia users which set them apart from the rest of the Windows Phone clan. Nokia has invested so much in developing apps that will help differentiate their devices against competing brands.
One of the newest app is called the Nokia Storyteller. This app debuted on the Lumia 1520 and 2520 that allows you to organize you to organize all your photos, videos and cinemagraphs into interactive groups called stories. You can also sort your photos and videos by location, as well as add captions to tell even more of the story. Plus, when you’re looking at a photo, you can zoom out to see where you took it on a map.
To find out more about Windows Phone 8 Click Here
There are plethora of phablets that you can find in the market, with different sizes and brands but there’s one thing in common – all are running on Android. There’s HTC One Max with a 5.9 inch screen, a magnified version of the HTC One, but it has a less impressive camera. It also has a less powerful processor using Snapdragon 600. Sony Xperia Z Ultra has an unreasonably huge screen and large bezels, making its 6.4-inch size looks awfully large. Though it’s an IP58-certified for water and dust resistance but you have to bear its size, for its too big to carry around your pocket.
The Galaxy Note 3 is one of the best out there, no doubt. In fact, it’s the product line that started this phablet revolution. In comparison to the Lumia 1520, it uses the same Snapdragon 800 chipset, 1080p Full HD resolution but a tad smaller than the 1520. It has SPen stylus support but the Lumia 1520 has a super-sensitive touchscreen that works even using your nails and gloves. The Note 3 sports a 13MP camera but still falls short against the 1520’s 20MP PureView camera with Carl Zeiss optics and optical image stabilization (OIS). Both can record up to 1080p Full HD videos, but the Note 3 offers 4k video recording. On the other hand, the 1520 promises crisp audio capture and clear videos with 2x lossless zoom.
Practically speaking, 4k recording may sounds great but in real life, you can film a decent movie even on 720p at 30fps. To prove that, the old Nokia N8 was able to record a short film called the Commuter which stars Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel. Also Ellie Goulding’s Tom and Issy short film was entirely shot by the Lumia 1020 on 1080p at 30fps. Those were excellently done without any tricks or whatsoever – so who needs a 4k recording anyway?
The Galaxy Note 3 has a very strong ecosystem, it has a million of apps from the store – one of the reasons why people love Android. And this is something the Windows Phone needs to catch up. Though the Lumia 1520 comes in as a challenger, it was never a set back. In fact, it offers a couple of things that you can’t find with other phablets today. It has an amazing camera and display, stunning design and great battery life.
Nokia has seen an opportunity to the growing number of phablets over the past few years. In fact, there were 25.6 million phablet devices sold in 2012 and expected to grow to 60.4 million in 2013. The Lumia 1520 is Nokia’s entry to the phablet space dominated by Android and no doubt, it’s an impressive start.
“THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE YET”
The Lumia 1520 is probably the best Windows Phone so far. It’s not only big and powerful but also beautiful and innovative. If you are looking out for your next phablet, want to explore outside Android and iOS, or an upgrade to your current Lumia – it’s time to try something new, the Nokia Lumia 1520 is worth it.
You can get the Lumia 1520 for only 34,990 SRP (785$) at Nokia stores in the Philippines. You can also get this at 24-27,000 PhP at local online stores (without Nokia warranty). In the US, you can get this for 549$ off contract or 199$ via AT&T. It comes in four different colors including matte black, white, yellow and glossy red. You can check more of your Nokia Lumia 1520 here: http://nokia.ly/1e92pld
Please feel free to leave any comment below or share us your experiences with the Nokia Lumia 1520.
|Nokia Lumia 1520|
|Dimensions||162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 mm, 120.3 cc|
|Display||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors 1080 x 1920 pixels (367 ppi)|
|Display features||Brightness control, Orientation sensor, High brightness mode, Refresh rate 60 Hz, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2, Easy to clean, Nokia Glance screen, Lumia Color profile, Wide viewing angle, Sunlight readability enhancements|
|Screen||6-inch, ClearBlack, Super Sensitive Touch, Assertive display|
|Memory||32GB internal storage (microSD up to 64gb), Free 7GB SkyDrive|
|Connectivity||WiFi dual band, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC|
|DLNA via Nokia Play To|
|Sound||Dolby Headphone sound enhancement, FM Radio|
|HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL|
|OS||Windows Phone 8 with Nokia Black (upgradable to WP 8.1)|
|CPU||Snapdragon 800 2.2Ghz dual-core, 2GB RAM|
|Camera||20 MP PureView, Carl Zeiss lens|
|Autofocus, dual Led Flash, Optical image stabilization, PureView, Backside-illuminated image sensor, 6-lens optics|
|f/2.4 aperture size, High resolution zoom 2x|
|ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200|
|HD 1.2 MP wide angle front-facing camera, Video recording, Still image, Video call|
|Video||1080p (Full HD, 1920 x 1080), video light|
|four HAAC microphones Nokia Rich Recording|
|Sensors||Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer|
|Colors||Matte Black, White, Yellow, Glossy Red|