Nokia Lumia 1520 review

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

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This being a Windows Phone 8 device, you're stuck with Microsoft's Internet Explorer as your default web browser of choice. It's no Chrome or even the latest Safari, but it does offer a reasonably clean and zippy browsing experience.

It's also worth noting that you can change the default search engine from Bing to Google, which transforms your browsing session into something a lot more familiar.

Nokia Lumia 1520 review

The first thing to get used to is having the address/search bar (which is unified like those aforementioned rivals) at the bottom of the screen. This actually makes reaching for it a little easier than on other mobile browsers. In fact, with that 6-inch display, it's a lot easier.

By expanding this bar in typical Windows Phone 8 fashion (hit the three dots), you gain access to tabs, recently visited sites, favorites, page search, and the ability to pin individual websites to your Start page.

The tabs implementation, which is a rigid list of separated thumbnails, feels extremely basic and somewhat removed from the general browsing experience compared to the likes of Chrome.

Meanwhile the favorites system is even more basic, offering a sparse white-on-black written list of your stored websites. It feels as if the Lumia 1520's display is wasted again here, as a representative thumbnail logo would aid browsing and look a darned sight more attractive to boot.

It is possible to exchange the refresh command, which by default sits to the left of the address bar, with tabs or favorites shortcuts.

Nokia Lumia 1520 review

This is another area we think the Lumia 1520's unique screen dimensions could have been capitalized on. Offering us all three commands simultaneously would not have felt overly congested here.

The web page viewing experience itself, however, is very pleasant. As you'd expect from a 1080p 6-inch display - which is only a little way short of compact tablet dimensions, after all - viewing content-rich websites is not a problem here.

We could read the entire desktop TechRadar home page pretty comfortably without any panning or zooming.

Try that on an iPhone. And the full TechRadar website completely loaded in around 11 seconds, and it was usable in less than half that. That's pretty nippy.

It's also worth noting that we got similar results on a both a decent Wi-Fi connection and with a full HSPA+ network connection. It bodes well for those of you on a 4G contract, which the Lumia 1520 supports.

Overall, browsing the web on the Nokia Lumia 1520 is a fine experience thanks to its speedy performance and near-tablet-like screen specs, but it feels somewhat hampered from reaching its full potential by the restrictive Windows Phone 8 OS with IE.


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