Phablet: Nokia Lumia 1520

Although the Lumia 1520 has been out for over a year now, there still is no real competition to it if you are after a Windows Phone phablet. The 6 inch behemoth still packs a punch too with the Snapdragon 800 SoC inside, which we found transformed the Windows Phone experience when we reviewed the Lumia 930. Also shared with the Lumia 930 is the excellent 20 megapixel 1/2.5” camera coupled with optical image stabilization and a six element lens with Zeiss optics.

The six inch display has a 1080p LCD with Glance support, a ClearBlack polarizer layer, and per pixel Content Adaptive Backlight Control for superior outdoor visibility. With 368 pixels per inch, it does not quite reach the insane 500+ ppi of some devices, but should still provide a crisp clear image. Nokia also includes Super Sensitive Touch, which allows the touchscreen to be operated with gloves on – a great idea at this time of year.

  Nokia Lumia 1520
SoC MSM8974VV 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800
RAM/NAND 2 GB LPDDR3, 32 GB NAND + microSD 128 GB
Display 6.0” 1920x1080 IPS ClearBlack LCD Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Network GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSPA/LTE up to 150 Mbps
Dimensions 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 (mm)
Weight 209 grams
Rear Camera 20MP, 1.1 µm pixels, 1/2.5" CMOS, f/2.4, 26 mm focal length, Dual LED Flash
Front Camera 1.2 MP wide angle, f/2.4, 1280x720 video resolution
Battery BV-4BW 3400 mAh, 3.8 V, 12.92 Wh
OS Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Cyan Firmware
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0, USB2.0, DLNA, FM Radio
Location Technologies Cellular and Wi-Fi network positioning, A-GPS, A-GLONASS, BeiDou
SIM Size Nano SIM

The 1520 has 32 GB of internal NAND, and support for an additional 64 GB through microSD if you find yourself craving additional storage.

The large form factor allows Nokia to pack a 3400 mAh 3.8 V battery into the 1520 as well, so all day computing on your smartphone should be no problem at all.

If you want a phablet, and you want Windows Phone, this is the device to get, and you can find it for less than $500 now.

Flagship Phone Mid-Range Device
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  • JoBalz - Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - link

    I just purchased my first smartphone, a Nokia Lumia 635 (wanted to see first if I liked WP and that a smartphone would be useful before I plunked out a lot more money on a phone). Well, I love it! Sound quality, connection, wireless Internet, the apps, and CORTANA! Back to the point, I wanted to say I also noticed that there was a distinct gulf between low end and high end Windows Phones with little in the mid-range ($200-$375) range, after which there were quite a few phones to choose from at $400 and above. I admit the HTC M8 looked interesting but I just wasn't as familiar with the brand as I was with Nokia and a few others. I'm very happy with what I got, for now it's a good introduction to Windows Phone, and I feel certain I'll be replacing it in the future with another Windows Phone. Just hope Microsoft and other companies will develop more hardware in the mid-level price range. Reply
  • craighamilton - Saturday, December 6, 2014 - link

    Agree...M8 is truly amazing. Receive high review rating at http://www.topreport.org/phones/ based on consumer satisfaction. Reply
  • LarsBars - Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - link

    Brett, I really appreciate the Windows Phone coverage here at AT. Reply
  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    Second this. The inexplicable, self-imposed long-term embargo of WinPhone on Anandtech was a most unfortunate circumstance.

    To merely have had the blackout lifted marked a definite editorial improvement. That this void was filled with a voice such as yours, Brett, is distinctly positive & is very much appreciated!
    Reply
  • theKai007 - Thursday, December 11, 2014 - link

    it seems that Acer is preparing to present at least one new smartphones based on Microsoft’s platform. According to Focus Taiwan and sources close to the project, the Taiwanese company will unveil its return in 2015 with Acer Windows Phone, a device that could be mid-range or an entry-level, therefore cheap.http://bit.ly/1zU7zZj Reply
  • Ananke - Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - link

    I have all Windows phones on TMobile, but I am close to giving up and get most likely iPhones for the family. It is just a matter of cost - in US if I am to pay so much for a phone, it is going to be the most popular for applications, resell value and trendy device.

    Microsoft have the US market abandoned, there is no price choices, just very expensive devices that are competing with iPhone or S5 and have zero resell value, aka they are all overpriced with at least $200 a piece. Hence, MS phones are destined to oblivion, as of now.
    Reply
  • trivor - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    I picked up a couple of ATT 520s during a sale ($50 each) to use as cheap MP3 players and also to become familiar with Windows Phone. My main complaints about it are very slow to task switch (penalty of 512 MB RAM) and 3.7" is too small. Otherwise a good value. Recently upgraded to a 635 (ATT) and nice 4.5" screen but on screen buttons makes it more like a 4.3 inch and the 840x480 resolution doesn't bother me. The app situation hasn't gotten any better than it was 2 years ago (you could argue about the top 50 or top 100 doesn't matter) because there are way too many categories that just arent' available - regional banking/credit unions, dedicated sports apps (Hockey, Football, Baseball, Basketball), limited choice for e-mail. calendar, todo lists, minimal support of Google services (MS has excellent support of their services on both iOS and Android and in many cases better than their WP counterparts), mediocre keyboard, no flagship or choice of multiple flagships (Android has Galaxy Note, GS5, LG G3, Moto X (2014), HTC One (M8), Sony Experia line (Z3 compact @ 4.3") up to a 6.0" phablet, Nexus 6. I think WP is going to bounce along the bottom at around 3-4% until MS gives it up. MS needs to be in mobile and 3-4% isn't enough for smaller organizations (like regional credit unions) to support the platform. IT's hard to see what would jump start WP in the US/Canada. There is no killer app or expansive eco system and saying WP is "better" than iOS or Android is a very subjective reason especially with Google upping the ante with KitKat and now Lollipop. Android is a mature, stable OS that has excellent phones at every price point (from the Moto E at $100 to the Galaxy Note at $700). There are a ton of MVNOs and the major carriers all have their own prepaid plans in addition to MVNOs for lower rates/better value. There are plenty of good phones under $300 that you can buy outright to get away from subsidized phones and higher monthly costs. Personally, while I find Windows Phone to be a decent OS it is missing too much (especially since I live about 50/50 in the Google/MS universe) for me to ever consider a WP for my daily driver. Reply
  • JoBalz - Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - link

    I bought my first smartphone, a Nokia Lumia 635 right after Christmas. Absolutely love the Windows Phone 8.1 OS on it. I haven't been a big Windows 8 fan (at least as far as using Metro) but I'm finding my way around quite easily and only a couple of quick looks at the users manual to figure how to do something. The little guy is responses and recoption & sound quality is great. Around the house use wi-fi instead of my 4G data plan for anything involving the Internet. And Cortana is the jewel of the package. So far I haven't been able to ask for anything that has thrown it, that it's misunderstood. I can see that Cortana and I are going to become good buddies! After using WP 8.1, I find it hard to believe that people won't give this OS the time of day, other than from personal animus against Microsoft. Reply

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