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Nokia Lumia 1520
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Huge 6 inch Full HD screen
Stunning 20 megapixel camera
Dolby Stereo sound enhancement
Full HD 1080p video recording
Powerful 2.2 GHz processor
Read our full review here >>>
by Mike Leader
The Nokia Lumia 1520 is Nokia's latest and largest Windows smartphone to date, sporting a huge 6 inch screen. The really big news though has to be the fact that under the hood, the running gear is now a match for the top Android smartphones. Given that Android are now some distance ahead of Apple iPhone's iOS, that's news worthy of a big screen indeed!
You get a 1920 x 1080 full HD screen this time, offering 367 pixels per inch though you would expect nothing less from a flagship phone - even a Windows flagship phone!
The screen itself is the IPS LCD type which gives a clearer, brighter display than conventional TFT screens and it makes a big difference, especially on a screen this size. Consequently the screen is up there with the best, something that is not always the case on large screen handsets.
So it's big, it's bright and it's also very sensitive thanks to Nokia's new Super-sensitive technology.
Well built, premium feel
You will have no problems viewing it outdoors in bright sunlight thanks to the High Brightness mode, though whether you want to carry the 208 grams heft of this massive smartphone around with you is another matter entirely.
It is big, and it is heavy compared with similar devices although build quality seems to be better than the already good but lower spec Lumia 1320 and it is actually around 30 grams lighter and at 8.7mm, 1.3 mm thinner.
It does have you wondering why the same casing could not have been used on the 1320, I suppose Nokia would argue that you get what you pay for with the more premium feel of the 1520 but we see no real excuse for two similar devices with the same size screen size not to have the same quality case.
Stunning 20 megapixel camera
We're happy to report that Nokia have ramped up the camera to a full 20 megapixel unit, incorporating their PureView technology seen on the 41 megapixel Lumia 1020, Nokia's previous flagship Windows smartphone.
It really is a superb camera, with intuitive, easy to control advanced features for focus and white balance and some cool features too. We particularly like Nokia Refocus, which as the name suggests lets you refocus the shot.
The brilliant thing is it allows you to do this after you have taken the photo, so for example you can bring the background into sharper focus, though it works best on close ups.
What is unusual on a smartphone - even on one this size - is the inclusion of optical image stabilisation.
Overall we prefer Sony's 20.7 megapixel camera on the Xperia Z range but that said you won't find anything not to like about the Nokia's excellent camera credentials.
It's worthy of mention that video is recorded at full 1080p HD too at 30 frames per second. There is also a 1.2 megapixel front facing camera for videocalling.
Nokia have provided plenty of power with a Qualcomm 2.2 GHz processor backed up by 2GB of RAM memory. This is more than ample to power a device with an operating system that uses less resources than any other.
One advantage of the Windows operating system is it becomes a useful business tool with Microsoft Office built in. You will have no problem viewing and editing your Excel, Word and PowerPoint files. Other features include online gaming via the XBOX hub and wireless charging.
One thing worthy of note is Nokia's quoted 32 days standby and 25 hours plus talk time, which is remarkable on a device of this size but this of course will drop dramatically with normal use.
16GB of flash memory is built in and you will also find a convenient MicroSD card slot which will accept memory cards right u to 64GB capacity which means you will have plenty of space to store those fabulous photos.
Full connectivity suite
Connectivity is comprehensive with quad-band 2G, 3G and 4G for worldwide use, dual band Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi hotspot, NFC for contactless payments and transferring files by simply touching a similarly equipped device and stereo Bluetooth.
You also get assisted GPS for sat nav and geotagging and can link up with the Russian GLONASS system too for improved performance so you will never get lost!
Overall there is little to fault the Nokia Lumia 1520 for. It is what it is, a huge 6 inch screened, well built, top performing smartphone. The question really is, is this what you want to carry around with you?
There are of course no other real options if you want a Windows Phone 8 device with a 6 inch screen, notwithstanding the lower specification Lumia 1320 of course. It's a little too big for my liking but if you decide it is what you want you will not be disappointed with the impressive specification and performance on offer here.