Nokia has taken the wraps off a host of new devices at its event in Abu Dhabi. And the list comes with a bunch of firsts for the company, including a new phablet, the Lumia 1520. The device is notable for the huge display it brings to the table, and is a clear signal that Nokia is bucking up to the competition, all of which have big-display bearing devices to their names.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg for the Lumia 1520, which was earlier known as Bandit. So what has the Finnish smartphone manufacturer packing into the new handset? We took a closer look to find out:
Nokia and Microsoft have now come together to give the new phablet a retooled version of Window Phone 8 Amber OS. This time around, the OS has been tweaked for the larger screen, and the most notable difference is the addition of a third column to the Live Tile home screen. The new three columned UI is aimed at devices that comes with 5-inch or bigger screens with a resolution of 1,920x1080 pixels, meaning that current Windows Phone 8 users might not see the biggest changed that the latest update has in store.
The phablet comes with a new 3 columned UI
The OS has been tweaked a bit to look better for the eyes. The company has now shrunk the fonts by 83 percent for 6-inch screens. The font size on handsets falling in the 5-inch to the 5.9-inch range will remain the same size, though. You can also see more information being displayed in certain apps like email, which now comes with two preview lines. New Lumia 1520 users can also close apps by closing the X button that now pops up in the multi-tasking window. You can also get a new Driving mode, which is an enhancement that uses Bluetooth to determine if you’re driving.
The 1520 comes with support for all usual suspects. Packed into the device is support for 2G, 3G and 4G LTE, although we don’t know the exact bandwidths. The handset makes use of a micro-SIM card, and users will have the ability to surf the web on HSPA+ speeds in India.
The highlight of the Lumia 1520 is definitely the massive 6-inch capacitive display with full HD resolution. The 1080x1920 pixel resolution results in a pixel density of 267ppi, which is pretty good overall. The company has taken a lot of effort in reducing screen reflectance with a polarised filter called ClearBlack Display. This is an effort to cut down reading glare in direct sunlight and also to help keep light bounce back to a minimum indoors.
The 1520's massive 6-inch display
At the 209g, the Lumia 1520 definitely seems lighter than the rest, and easily beats the likes of the HTC One Max, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or the Sony Xperia Z Ultra in terms of weight. This is surprising, especially when you consider the display size. The handset measures 162.8x85.4x8.7mm, which may feel a bit big for some users.
In terms of design, the new phablet definitely looks slimmer than many other devices in the same category. It seems pretty clear that Nokia has worked hard to keep the new device as proportionate as possible. This approach has also extended to the rear of the phablet. While the device comes with a good sized camera, the mount only protrudes a little from the back, and comes with a sloped-up lip. The company is rolling out the device in a range of colours, including glossy red, matte black, matte white and yellow.
The 1520 gets most of the features when it comes to wireless connectivity. Apart from Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n as well as dual-band, the device also comes with DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot support, which is too be expected, looking at the current smartphone trends.
Despite the size, the device comes with pretty slim dimensions
Chipset and graphics
One of the most noteworthy parts of this phablet is the quad-core processor that it runs on, the first of its kind from Nokia and on the Windows Phone platform as well. The device comes with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.2GHz, coupled with 2GB of RAM. The hardware essentially put the 1520, processor-wise, in the same league as Sony’s recent phablet release, the Xperia Z Ultra.
The 1520 comes with 32GB of internal memory, which can be expanded by another 32GB via a microSD card slot. The design for the microSD card slot will now ensure that you don’t need to open up the rear panel to put in additional memory. Right above the micro-SIM card slot, you will now find the SD card slot, which should be pretty convenient for users. The 64GB total memory should definitely be sufficient for most users who want to use the 6-inch screen for watching videos on-the-go.
Nokia has packed in a 20-megapixel primary camera with the Lumia 1520. The new device comes with Carl Zeiss optics as well as the PureView technology that the company has been making a name for itself with. The camera also comes with optical image stabilisation as well as dual-LED flash, a change from the xenon flash seen in the recently launched Lumia 1020. Also packed in is a BSI sensor, a 2.4mm aperture, 16:9 aspect ratio and 26mm focal length.
A massive 20-megapixel camera comes with the new phablet
The 1520 is also going to come with a new Nokia Camera app, which roughly looks like the Nokia Pro cam app seen in the 1020, with onscreen controls that can help to control everything down to the exposure ratings and so on. The camera app on the 1520 also comes with a shortcut to the Nokia Smart Cam app. This basically means that the user can tap an onscreen button to quickly get to the camera’s tools, including group photos as well as some action modes. The phablet also comes with a front camera, although there are no details about the same yet.
Like most other smartphones that have been rolling out this year, the 1520 comes with an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a proximity sensor as well as a compass.
The new Nokia phablet comes with GLONASS as well as assisted-GPS for the user. Keeping in mind the current smartphone trends, these features have increasingly become a must in high-end releases.
Nokia's new announcement seems to be a good deal
The 1520 comes with NFC support, a good call considering all the peripherals that are making use of NFC support like speakers and so on.
The new device comes with a non-removable 3400mAh battery. Given the specs, the battery choice seems to a healthy one. The company has said that the device will give a stand-by battery time of 780 hours and up to 25 hours of talk time. Until we get our hands on the device, though, it will be tough to validate these claims.
The Bottom Line
The Lumia 1520 definitely comes with some top-of-the-line features. And Nokia is selling it like a premium device. The official launch price of the device has been set at $749 (Rs 46, 190). Compared to the company’s earlier smartphones, though, the 1520 is definitely a whooper, and the dimensions suggest that this will be one slim gadget. The massive screen, latest processor as well as the camera specifications makes the new phablet one of the most advanced Windows Phones we have seen so far. The device could also currently be one of Nokia’s most expensive offerings to the market.
The device scores well against other phablets in terms of design. Phones with big displays are currently doing pretty well, especially in the Indian market, so it makes sense for Nokia to take its first step into this arena. While the device scores will in terms of hardware, it is the operating system that may cause some issues for the sales of the device. While most other phablet devices in the market come with the ever-popular Android, only time can tell the Windows Phone-powered Lumia 1520 will shape up against the competition.