Nokia's Lumia 1520 and 1320 Are 6-Inch Windows Phones Beasts (Updated With Hands-On)

By Kat Hannaford on at

The phablet world just saw two new monsters roar into town -- Nokia's mammoth 6-inch, 1080p resolution-screened phone, the Gorilla Glass 2-displayed 1520, and a lower-specced 1320. With a third column of live tiles, there'll be ample homescreen space for adding new Windows Phone 8 apps Vine and Instagram (yes, really) shortcuts. Updating live...

Available in red, yellow, white and black (the latter made from recycled polycarbonate), the 1320 will cost $339 in the US before taxes, and will arrive in Europe next year in orange, yellow, black and white. Meanwhile, the bigger brother, the 1520, will be $749 (before taxes) in the US this quarter, before it arrives in Europe a tad bit after.

Inside, the 4G LTE-compatible 1520 is running on a Snapdragon 800, and has a 20MP PureView camera with Zeiss lens with 2x lossless zoom and dual-LED flash. With some new Nokia Camera features (an easier-to-use toggle mode, for example), it's yet another Lumia phone which just cements Nokia's reputation as being camera kings. Oh, and you can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps, with image stabilisation built right in -- take that, HTC One Max.

Rounding it off nicely, the 1520 has a 3,400mAh battery capable of wireless-charging, and runs on Qualcomm's quad-core 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. Inside, 32GB of storage is present, with the option of expanding thanks to a 64GB-compatible microSD card slot. Interestingly, the 1520 is the first Lumia to use the nanoSIM, rather than microSIM, making it more than easy for iPhoners to upgrade...

Updated: While I'm really partial to Nokia's Lumia design, the fact that they chose glossy polycarbonate for a 6-inch device is mind-boggling. You want more grip with larger devices, so it would've been great to see the matt finish on these two phones. Plus, I can't help but feel cheated by glossy plastic phones -- like Samsung's Galaxy range, the 1320 and 1520 appear almost cheap because of it.

Nonetheless, the devices are light (209 grams for the 1520), which is more than can be said about the recent HTC One Max, which weighs in at 217grams. While there's not much between the two, the Lumia 1520 just feels lighter -- perhaps it's that cool plastic playing tricks on our mind.

The 1520, which we focussed most of our attention on, runs on the latest build of Windows Phone 8, GDR3. The only noticeable lag felt was when I opened up the new Nokia Storyteller app, but it wasn't before long that the images popped up and I was able to view the geo-tagged photos and video pre-loaded on the test device.

The one blip on the horizon for the 1520 and 1320 are the cases, which felt really flimsy and almost like third-party accessories. While the yellow case looked striking against the red Lumia, the overall effect was akin to holding the Lumia in a cheap yellow Snappy Snaps carrier bag -- needless to say, I wasn't a fan of that one.

Specifications for the Nokia Lumia 1520:

Operating System: Windows Phone 8 with the latest updates
Networks: GSM/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz; WCDMA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz; ROW LTE: 1, 3, 7, 8, 20; USA LTE: 2, 4, 5, 7, 17; HSPA+: DL 42 Mbps (Cat 24) / UL 11.5 Mbps (Cat 7)
Speed: LTE 150/50 mbps, DC-HSPA 42mbps
Memory: 2GB RAM, 32 GB internal user memory; 7 GB SkyDrive cloud storage, micro SD card support up to 64GB
Display: 6-inch full HD 1080p LCD , ClearBlack, High Brightness Mode, Sunlight readability, Super sensitive touch for glove and nail usage, Gorilla Glass 2
Processor: 2.2GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Primary camera: PureView 20-megapixel Auto Focus ZEISS optics with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), 2x lossless zoom, oversampling technology, dual LED flash, 1080p @ 30 fps full HD video with optical image stabilization
Secondary Camera: HD 1.2-megapixel wide angle
Size & weight: 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7mm (volumetric). Weight: 209g
Connectivity: NFC, A-GPS+GLONASS, WLAN (2.4/5Ghz) a/b/g/n/ac, μUSB, BT 4.0 LE, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor
Battery: 3400 mAh (integrated) with built-in wireless charging (Qi compatible)
Audio: Rich Recording with four microphones; Wideband Voice and multi-microphone noise reduction with four microphones; Dolby(R) Headphone, Graphic equalizer, Audio leveling; FM radio

Specifications for the Nokia Lumia 1320:

Operating System: Windows Phone 8 with the latest updates
Networks: LTE-ROW: GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz; WCDMA 850, 900, 2100 MHz; LTE 800, 1800, 2600; LTE-LTA: GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz; WCDMA 850, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz; LTE 700, 850, 1700, 1900 MHz; HSPA+: GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz; WCDMA/HSPA + 900, 2100 MHz.
Speed: LTE:3, 7, 20 bands – 100/50 Mbps (cat 3); DC-HSPA ROW: 42/5.76Mbps (cat 24 DL/Cat6 UL); HSPA+ CHINA: 21/5.76Mbps (Cat 14DL/Cat6 UL); GSM: EGPRS 236.8Kps
Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB internal user memory; 7GB SkyDrive cloud storage, micro SD card support up to 64GB
Display: 6-inch HD LCD IPS (1280×720), Super sensitive touch support for glove and long nail use; Gorilla Glass 3
Processor: 1.7GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
Primary camera: 5MP Auto Focus, flash. Video 1080p @ 30fps
Secondary Camera: 0.3MP VGA.
Size & weight: 164.25 x 85.9 x 9.79* mm (*volumetric). Weight: 220g
Connectivity: BT 4.0 + LE, Micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm AHJ, WIFI 802.11(2.4GHz b/g/n)
Battery: 3400 mAh (integrated)
Audio: 1 HAAC mic; 3.5mm AV connector, HD Voice; FM Radio