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Living with the behemoth mammoth – The Nokia Lumia 1520

Windows™ Phone Expert

 

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It been nearly a month ever since I got myself a Nokia Lumia 1520 on my trip at Kuala Lumpur. I thought it would be cool to share my thoughts on large screened device like this one.

 

A dozens of device that I own over the past 2 years are mostly in the 3.5 to 4.8 inch range with the exception of one. Such as HTC Trophy 7, Nokia Lumia 800, 900, 920, 925, 1020, 520, iPhone 5, & Samsung Ativ S.

 

Previously I had a Sony Xperia Z Ultra with its colossal 6.5 inch scren and I felt that it wasn’t exactly a phone for me. One that ended up in the garage just after a week. Will the Nokia Lumia 1520 end up the same fate as Sony? Let’s take a look!

 

 

 

 

Is the phone too big?

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Maybe, perhaps. Clearly, it is not a phone for everyone.

To me personally, it’s never too big as soon as you have picked up one. Now the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 4.5 inch screen feels just too small and inadequate. Everything starts to feel small as soon as I have one that’s bigger. I’ll never ever touch an iPhone right now, until this starts to change.

 

I don’t wear tight jeans a lot, so it’s quite pocketable most of the time.

 

 

Do I still use the Nokia Lumia 1020?

With the 41 megapixel camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020, it’s a tough choice between it and the Nokia Lumia 1520. I tend to pick up both of them in my pocket for the whole of the past 1 month, I just wish, wish there’s a device in between to replace both.

 

Had the Lumia 1520 come with 41MP camera like its predecessor, I might only carry one device around. It’s a give and take I guess, to maintain the slimness and compact body. Perhaps, I should wait for a successor to the Nokia Lumia 1020.

 

It’s really up to what I will be doing with it on the day itself. Texting, surfing the web, taking photos, the usual stuff.

 

How about the 20MP camera?

Excellent! Sure it’s never on the same class as the powerful 41MP camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020 but it’s more than enough for most casual users for Instagram, Fhotoroom, PhotoPlay, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter etc. A simple lightweight camera that deliver great captures even in low light.

 

Did I mention that Instagram is available on Windows Phone? Yes!http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/instagram-beta/3222a126-7f20-4273-ab4a-161120b21aea

 

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Now, I don’t want to be bragging over here without giving you a sense of how it’ll be like.

Picture speaks a thousand word! Do check out some of the sample shots I have taken over the trip at KL at the following link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99182046@N08/sets/72157638119868673/

 

 

 I can’t tell much about the RAW format that’s currently supported. There isn’t a significant difference from day to day, except for photographers that want more control over how their photos will look without JPEG artifacts.

 

Still, it’s a nice option to have. As it’s the first time mobile photography get to enjoy capturing in RAW .DNG format. Heck, some Point & Shoot and DSLR camera still doesn’t have it.

 

 

Best in class display?


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If I were to rate this, I’ll give it a 10/10 instantly. It’s the best display in the market. Period.

Not even the iPhone 5S or Sony Xperia Z1 with its Triluminos display can beat it.

It’s not about how you brand it, it’s about how good you made it! Doesn’t matter how display technology like AMOLED from Samsung is named over the years from just AMOLED to Super AMOLED HD ++.

 

 

The Nokia Lumia 1520 delivers a rich, full HD content on a 6-inch IPS LCD ClearBlack™ screen and it is the first Nokia smartphone with “Assertive Display” technology that is completely visible even in the brightest sunlight of the all year round sunny Singapore.

 

 

 

It’s superior over the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its AMOLED ClearBlack™ display. As the AMOLED screen tends to cast a yellowish hue to it. Due to how AMOLED works by emitting light with its individual organic pixel, it’ll only get worst over time with whites turning brown instead. This is the same for most Galaxy handset produced by Samsung.

 

 

What is “Assertive Display”?

Rather than simply processing the whole display content with one set of parameters, the Assertive Display on the Lumia 1520 runs at an individual pixel level to make the screen more readable.

 

If the content on the screen is darker on the right than on the left, the pixels on each side will be stimulated differently to each other to maximize both visibility and quality. The result is a screen that’s fully responsive to the environment.

 

“Assertive Display is based on how the human visual system works. It processes the image in real time, just as your eye does,” says Jussi.

 

“Hardware is one critical element in the solution but the other equally important one is how you use it. What really makes the feature perfect are careful integration to existing automatic brightness control functionality and rigorous parameter tuning,” he adds.

Being able to read or even see what’s displayed on the screen on your device while outdoors is important as it frees you from the confines of a building and makes a device truly mobile.

 

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Perhaps not surprisingly, the screen isn’t only optimised to work perfectly outdoors, “We have also made improvements to how the screen reacts in a low-light environment, too.” says Jussi. “It’s important not to display too much light when you’re in bed checking emails, browsing, etc. The screen will dim and adjust itself accordingly in order to provide comfortable viewing experience.”

 

A smartphone with a 6-inch screen has many benefits.

 

“If you’ve got a bigger screen you can do more and see more. The Nokia Lumia 1520 features an extra column of tiles on the Start screen which means you’ll be able to put more of your important apps upfront and access them easily.”

 

“The full HD resolution on a screen this big makes for a clearer, sharper display in all lighting conditions. With the Nokia Lumia 1520 you’ll be able to see more and everywhere.” concludes Jussi.

 

 

How fast is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800?

 

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Blazingly fast. Yes, you heard it. Windows Phone 8 is relatively lag free even on the Nokia Lumia 520 (Qualcomm S4 1 GHz) that cost $150 SGD without a contract, you should expect the 1520 to be a bullet train speeding at light speed.

 

Throw anything, everything at it and it never feel slow or lags. Its only Windows Phone’s transient animation that might slow your pace a little. Still, it makes the user experience great overall.  I have installed close to 100 applications to date, and it’s never an issue.

 

Battery life?

With a huge display and a beefy processor you would have expect probably a battery life that’s slightly worse than the 1020? That is what I thought at first.

 

Well, don’t be. I’m getting the exact opposite result instead. It’s a huge mammoth packed with a gigantic 3400mAh battery. Even bigger than the battery packed in Samsung Galaxy Note III, HTC One MAX and LG G Flex. I can easily last a full day of heavy usage or 3 days with moderate use.

 

 

 

Accessories?

 

Nah, I’m never a fan of case, screen protector, etc. I like the way it is, especially the bright yellow striking design. With that being said, I’ll always be extra careful when handling this device.

 

 

 

Thoughts about using it in public

 

At first it feels awkward having such a large device, seems a lot like a show off. That’s for sure. Gradually I have just gotten used to it, where I’m comfortable to show it around. We have already seen people making calls with the huge Galaxy Note 8 that’s laughable, so why not. It’s a phone after-all.

 

My only concern is the eyes around you, especially MRT where having such a device will allow others to glance and peek what you are doing easily.

 

 

Things I liked about it

 

  • Big 6 inch display for everything you need (web browsing, Microsoft Office, videos, etc)

  • Great 20MP camera shooter

  • Blazingly fast processor and cutting edge technology

  • Its light!

  • Excellent design that attracts attention from the usually dull sea of galaxies and iPhones

  • Free fully offline GPS navigator with HERE maps

 

 

 

Complains

I hate the nano SIM standard used in the Nokia Lumia 1520. It makes switching between the Lumia 1020 and 1520 difficult. Luckily I have dual SIM line on my iPad Mini previously. Now I’ll have to make the choice between iPad Mini or Lumia 1520.

 

Regarding the camera, there is a bit of glare effect if the light source is facing directly from the above, like the iPhone 5. It’s not an issue until you start taking photos directly under the sun.

 

 

 

Sum things up:

 

It is not a phone for everyone, but once you have picked it up. There’s no simply going back. It might be a little inconvenience at times, but once you turn the screen on. You’ll be attached to it, and the cycle continues every day.

 

It’s only right now that I’m only starting to appreciate phones with large screen. Oh boy, how times have changed when the largest 3.5 inch phone was first shipped in 2007 by Apple. Now I truly understand why handsets like the Samsung Galaxy Note are that popular.

 

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6 Comments
Hub Associate

Agree with you that larger screen is very useful. And the 1520 looks simply awesome!

Senior Advocate

display and camera quality aside, how is the user experience?

 

on another note, you have a garage full of mobile devices?? i want~~

Valued Commentator

I bought a lumia 1520 and sold it after a day only to go back to Ultra Z. One and the only reason to ditch lumia 1520 was the DPI. Bigger phone should let you see more things on the screen than just making the contents look bigger. This is what Xperia Z ultra is good at, as I wanted to replace my phone & tablet to own a single phablet.

Senior Advocate

@shahulvmyeah i saw that too in the review

apart from the browser and additional tile on the homescreen, everything else was just blown up a la iOS

Valued Commentator

@RogerBlack Exactly. No doubt, the Lumia 1520 feel premium, but seeing everything big, just sucks. As though the eyesight is bad. While typing in whatsapp or messaging app, the keyboard occupies half of the screen and can only see two lines of the chat.. For this, I might as well use smaller Lumia 1020. 

 

Based on this review, I tried 1520 and regretted for taking the plunge.

 

Windows™ Phone Expert

Hey shahulvm,

 

As far as I know. Microsoft have only released GDR3 SDK to developers a week ago. It'll take some time before developers start to take advantage of the larger screen on the Lumia 1520 and 1320. At the moment there's apps such as Office, Messaging, People Hub (the usual stock apps) that's optimized for the larger screen.

http://www.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-gdr2-sdk-coming-download-link-live

 

I guess its really up to your personal preference.
I truly dislike how certain things are on Android, especially apps chock full of advertisements to your notification center and some even saving photos to your album. I want more security, and less fiddling to things, which is the reason why I didn't use my XZU much at all other than for application development over to Windows.