Nokia Lumia 1520 review

Nokia goes big on specs, but can Windows Phone 8 keep up?

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Sending messages on the Nokia Lumia 1520 is an intuitive and fluid experience, but it does serve as an example of where Windows Phone 8 needs to be more flexible when it comes to larger devices.

Nokia Lumia 1520 review

The messaging app itself is a typically crisp and succinct way to send SMS and MMS messages, with the main messaging screen showing you your most recent threads.

These threads take the chat-style indented speech bubble approach that's now pretty much standard across all three major smartphone platforms. Of course, in Windows Phone 8 it comes with a sultry black background, which looks inkily seductive on the Nokia Lumia 1520's display.

There's also the permanent option to attach a picture, video, location, contact or voice note to a message through the little paperclip icon at the bottom.

Back to the main messaging app, and a lateral swipe will take you to the Online section, Here you can also access Facebook chat, change your status, and check out which of your Facebook contacts are online.

It's at this point that we should probably address the Nokia Lumia 1520's keyboard. It's no different to the keyboard on any other Windows Phone 8.1 device, but that's the problem.

Nokia Lumia 1520 review

Thanks to Microsoft's restrictive requirements (you can't download keyboard alternatives like on Android, for example), Nokia has had to stick with a keyboard that was designed for a much smaller form factor.

It means that it still takes up a good half of the Lumia 1520's screen, which is complete overkill on a 6-inch device. More than that, it feels completely unoptimized.

It could have benefited from a dedicated row of numerical keys, or at the very least the ability to shrink it and reposition it to one lower corner of the screen to enable single-handed text entry.

Still, you get the same clearly laid out keyboard and the same unobtrusively smart word suggestion system, and with the Windows Phone 8.1 update it also gets the ability to swipe words rather than tapping them out, so it's by no means a write-off. It's just that the Lumia 1520 isn't the messaging or emailing power-house that it could have been.

Speaking of email, the Lumia 1520 comes with the usual email tools available to other Windows Phone 8 users. Set-up is easy, as it's set-up to deal with Hotmail and Nokia Mail (of course) as well as Gmail and Yahoo. We were even able to set up our Apple Mail account by selecting the "Other account" option, and it worked without a hitch.

There's still no unified email app for all of these disparate accounts, though, which is a bit of a pain. You have to have a different Live Tile for each account, which feels a little messy.

Nokia Lumia 1520 review

Especially as each app handles the same. You start with the All screen, which is a list of your emails, from newest down to older. Scrolling right enables you to order them by Unread or Urgent instead.

It's also possible to access all of your email account's separate folders by expanding the settings bar along the bottom and selecting Folders, so can view your drafts, deleted items and the like.

We like the way that individual emails are handled in Windows Phone 8. They're automatically resized to fit the width of the screen, so on your Lumia 1520's 6-inch HD display you get a supremely readable view. It's especially noticeable when you receive image-heavy emails (and tap the prompt to download images), such as those from any subscriptions you might have.

Here, at least, Windows Phone 8's default tool scales up well.

Attachments are also smartly handled, sitting just under the sender information near the top of the email.

You get the same drawbacks with the oversized keyboard in the email apps, but you also get helpful @ and prompts added to the default QWERTY view, which is handy. The email-entry screen is also white by default, which helps set it apart from the black messaging equivalent.

There remains a lack of haptic feedback for typing, which may prove an annoyance for some.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyLumia
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution20 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameNokia
Battery Talk Time1 Day
Product Model1520
Screen Size15.2 cm (6")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)209 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityChina RoHS, EU RoHS, WEEE, REACH
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density368 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.2 Megapixel
SIM Size SupportedNano
Height162.8 mm
Width85.4 mm
Depth8.7 mm
Battery Standby Time768 Hour
Product NameLumia 1520 Smartphone
Processor Speed2.20 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 800
Product LineLumia
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Magnetometer
Manufacturer Part NumberA00015322
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationSee more
A six-inch, 1080p full HD display with excellent outdoor readability and redesigned start screen lets you make the most of the extra space.

Tell better stories
Tell your stories the way they're meant to be told with Nokia Storyteller, image editing tools and a 20 megapixel, PureView camera.

Your creative canvas
With a six-inch, super-sensitive, full HD display and great readability in sunlight, the Nokia Lumia 1520 Tablet Phone is the perfect canvas to tell your story on.

When you can't find the words
Take amazing photos with a 20 MP PureView camera and let Nokia Storyteller organise them into stories using interactive HERE maps.

Pick up where you left off
The Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphone is a powerhouse of productivity. Built-in Microsoft Office means you can view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files without losing any original formatting. Save documents to SkyDrive and return to them whenever it suits you.

Fun with photos
Tell a different story by reframing and recropping high-resolution photos. Add captions and explore a whole range of creative effects and filters with exclusive photo editing tools.

Windows Phone 8 gets even bigger
The Nokia Lumia 1520 comes to the UK with all the exclusive features of Windows Phone 8, like Live Tiles and People Hub. And they're all optimised for the big screen, making your Windows Phone 8 experience even better.

Fit for business
The Nokia Lumia 1520 is a formidable business smartphone with built-in Microsoft Office, respected business applications like Microsoft Exchange, Office 365 and Lync, as well as enterprise-level security to give you peace of mind.
Package Contents
  • Lumia 1520 Smartphone
  • MicroUSB Charger
  • Charging and Data Cable
  • Headset
  • Quick Guide
  • SIM Door Key
Limited Warranty2 Year
Standard Memory2 GB