Nokia Lumia 1520 Review

Nokia had a busy 2013 gunning for every segment of the smartphone market. The now Microsoft-owned company took the low-end market by storm with the popular Lumia 520, while the Lumia 720 and Lumia 625occupy the mid-range, and the Lumia 925 keeps the high-end in check. Let’s not forget the Lumia 1020 either, whose monstrous 41-megapixel camera makes it the perfect smartphone for photography lovers.

Nokia Lumia 1520 – $699 (unlocked)

  • 6.0”, 1920×1080 IPS LCD (368 ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage, microSD card slot
  • 20 MP camera, 1/2.5” sensor, f/2.4 lens, 1080p30 video
  • 3,400 mAh, 12.9 Wh battery
  • LTE, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Windows Phone 8 Update 3
  • 209 grams, 8.7mm thick

And yet there was another slice of the market that Nokia hadn’t touched, until now. Throughout the past year we’ve seen companies try and pry the large-screen crown away from Samsung’s Galaxy Note line, but the likes of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and HTC One Max have failed to make a serious impact. Nokia is hoping that their Lumia 1520 will give the Note 3 a run for its money, especially with its impressive spec sheet.

The Lumia 1520 is the first Windows Phone to come with a Snapdragon 800 SoC, the first with a quad-core CPU, the first with a 1080p display, and the first to really compete on a hardware level with top Android devices of the same generation. It also sees Nokia’s vast imaging expertise put to good use once again, with the inclusion of a 20-megapixel PureView shooter sure to please enthusiasts out there.

Chucking in all this top-end hardware isn’t a simple key to success, though, as it has to be complemented by a well-integrated software suite. Will this flagship Windows Phone be able to deliver?

The Nokia Lumia 1520 used in this review was provided by Expansys. Check them out for unlocked, off-contract devices at great prices, with fast shipping around the globe.


Packing a six-inch display into a smartphone is never going to make it small, so the challenge for any designer is keeping it portable. The Galaxy Note 3 is large but it never feels restrictive, whereas the Xperia Z Ultra and its 6.4-inch display felt cumbersome and affected usability. The Lumia 1520 fits somewhere in between: it’ll take large pants pockets to accommodate the device’s footprint, but the display always feels manageable.

The largeness factor is soothed by good ergonomic choices that don’t affect the handset’s looks. The edges of the 1520 are curved to perfection, and the display’s Gorilla Glass protection also glides away to either side, making it remarkably easy to manipulate content on-screen. Despite the 1520’s curves, it still looks like a device that’s made for today’s market, featuring a squarish body that complements Windows Phone 8 and reasonably small bezels.

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