Nokia Lumia 1320 review

A capable phablet, but is it already obsolete?

Nokia Lumia 1320 review
Nokia wants us to enjoy this budget moment

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I've been comparing the Nokia Lumia 1320 to its bigger brother the Nokia Lumia 1520 for pretty much the whole review, and it's easy to see why.

The two were announced at the same time, and both provide a 6-inch Windows Phone 8 experience with a distinctive Nokia twist.

Nokia Lumia 1520

Make no mistake, though, the Nokia Lumia 1520 is the better phone in every way except for one. Its quad-core CPU makes it faster, its unibody design is better looking and tougher yet slimmer and lighter, it has a massively superior 20MP PureView camera, and its display packs in twice the number of pixels.

The Nokia Lumia 1320 has one thing going for it in this comparison, and that's price. But even this isn't the advantage it once would have been.

Having been on the market for several months now, you can pick up the Lumia 1520 for less than £400. With the Lumia 1320 arriving at around £300 ($340, AU$450), it no longer looks like the great value alternative it was shaping up to be.

The direct rival

Sitting close to the Nokia Lumia 1320 in terms of price, size and specs, the Samsung Galaxy Mega is another hefty mid-ranger.

It has a similar 6.3-inch 720p LCD display, a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU, and the same severely limited internal storage allowance compensated for by the presence of a microSD card slot.

Samsung Galaxy Mega

Of course, the Samsung runs on the Android OS, which instantly gives it the advantage of Google's vast Play Store filled with the kind of apps and games that Windows Phone can only look at enviously.

Conversely, this Android phablet has Samsung's overly fussy and less-than-fluid UI slapped on top, compared to which the Lumia 1320's unmolested Windows Phone 8 feels decidedly top-end.

The aging outsider

Huawei's take on the affordable phablet, the Ascend Mate, is getting a little long in tooth now, and a new model was announced at CES 2014. But that means that the already affordable original can be had for a knock-down price – around £235 (about $392 / AU$435) online.

Huawei Ascend Mate

What you get for that price is a 6.1-inch 720p IPS display, a decent 8MP camera, and astonishingly good battery life.

On the negative side, Huawei's own cut-price processor simply isn't up to the standard of even Qualcomm's mid-range effort (as found in the Lumia 1320), which results in a stuttering Android experience.