Nokia Lumia 1520 Hands on and First Impressions

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe first Phablet from Nokia and the first to feature a quad core processor, the Nokia Lumia 1520 is a lot of device both inside and out. The phone features a huge 6 inch full HD (1920 x 1080p) display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2 GHz processor, 2 GB of ram, a 20 Megapixel PureView Zeiss Optics Camera with Dual Led flash and a ton of other high level specs packed into it.

 

Design wise the phone looks like a larger and much slimmer Nokia Lumia 920, which is pretty consistent with the design language Nokia has been known for in recent years. The face of the device is very clean with the Windows standard 3 capacitive buttons: Back, Start, and Search, that goes dark when the phone isn’t in use. On the upper portion of the front there is a centered Nokia logo with a speaker for voice calls. To the left of the speaker there sits the 1.3 Megapixel front facing camera for video chatting and self-portraits with a very subtle AT&T logo to the right of the speaker. On the back of the phone houses the large 20 Megapixel camera that actually sticks out a bit (not nearly as much as the Lumia 1020) and dual LED flash right below it is the PureView and Zeiss branding and way at the bottom is the speaker and 3 pins for wireless charging.

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The Nokia Lumia 1520 is a really nice looking phone, especially in the red version we have here.The edges of the device are curved and smooth which gives it a relatively nice feel in the hand despite the large size. Depending on how large or small your hands are it should be comfortable to hold with either one hand or two. On the top edge of the device there is a 3.5mm headphone jack while the bottom has the Micro USB 2.0 charging port. On the right edge there is a single volume rocker with the Sleep/ Wake button below it followed by the dedicated camera shutter key. On the left edge it’s relatively clean with covered slots for the Micro SD card and Nano-Sim card that can be inserted or removed with either a paper clip or a sim remover pin that comes in the box.

I’m really liking the design and the feel of the device. Let’s just get this out of the way now, this device is huge, so that could be an instant deal breaker for some people that aren’t ready to jump into the Phablet market with devices like this, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, or HTC One Max. With that being said I was surprised how quickly I adapted to the size. The large screen gives you abundant screen real estate which makes it very easy to type with two hands, makes viewing web pages and watching videos a joy, and just makes everything easier on the eyes.

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GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe performance is incredible on this device thanks to the Snapdragon 800 processor and 2 GB of ram. Transitions are very fluid and quick and so far I haven’t been able to slow this thing down. Videos and web pages load very quickly with scrolling and navigation being very smooth. I’m running the Windows 8.1 Developer Preview and even for a beta, the OS has a very nice polish and efficiency to it. Cortana, the new digital voice assistant, is working as advertised. For more information and a more in depth overview of Windows Phone 8.1, how it compares to other platforms, strengths and weaknesses, etc. look out for our review on Windows Phone 8.1 as well as other content in the coming weeks.

I can’t end this first impressions post without mentioning that great 20 Megapixel PureView camera. We’ll have more thorough testing in the full review, but overall the pictures in both sunny and poor lit conditions are coming out very well. We haven’t had a chance yet to dive into many features of Nokia’s ProCam and other photo suites, but with auto settings the pictures generally come out very well.

To conclude I’m really liking the phone so far and it’s a device that I look forward to testing and reviewing in depth. Once again look out for our review for a more detailed conclusion, but so far I’m finding that this is going to be a device that we can recommend if you’re in the market for a large screened phone.