Encounter with a Goliath – Nokia Lumia 1520

This is the my briefing about my encounter with the 6 inch Nokia Lumia 1520, the biggest Windows Phone ever, and its 1080p resolution is a first for Microsoft’s mobile operating system.  It is also the first phone that utilizes a Quad Core processor in Windows 8.

Hardware

At first glance the Lumia 1520 looks like a magnified Lumia 925 – it has almost same design and build except for it ditches aluminum, with a small camera hump.  The 6 inch display fills up your hands and your face. There is nothing much in the front.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 has a 6″ IPS LCD screen of 1080p resolution, the pixel density works out to 367ppi. The LCD incorporates Nokia’s ClearBlack tech – a set of polarizing filters, which minimize glare. Plus, Gorilla Glass 2 on top for protection.

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The 1080p IPS LCD display is one gorgeous display very similar to HTC One’s Super LCD3 display, it has excellent real tone color reproduction unlike Super Amoled , viewing angles are excellently wide with only a minor shift in contrast when going to extremes , adjustable saturation and temperature levels, and you’ve got an outstanding Smartphone display. The panel can’t render blacks as deeply as the Amoled  panel of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy S4, but it has pure rendering of white which is lacked in Amoled panels to IPS LCD. So both are kind of a compromise. Above the screen is a 1.2MP(720p) front-facing camera along with an array of sensors. The front of the phablet is entirely coated with Gorilla Glass 2, which covers the screen, the capacitive keys and front camera. It is powered by 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 with 2GB of Ram. So it is no slouch. It has the latest processor and latest hardware. Its main competitor Samsung Note 3 in India has an Exynos 5 Octa Chipset which is not bone to bone match for Snapdragon 800(mind you,  the US version Note 3 uses Snapdragon 800 and have 4K recording). But it has 3GB of RAM, which helps in better multitasking.

Rounding out the superstar spec sheet is the 1520′s storage capacity. In addition to the 32GB of onboard storage, the 1520 also offers a MicroSD card slot for storage expansion up to an additional 64GB – making it the only flagship Nokia device to do so.

Battery life is great as per GSM Arena, “The massive battery of  3,400mAh, light-weight Windows Phone OS and power-efficient display, with an overall rating of 107 hours, the Lumia 1520 is well ahead of the other phablets we’ve tested so far. What this number means is that the Lumia 1520 should manage four and a half days on a single charge if used for one hour each of calls, web browsing and video playback daily.”

And I was surprised it was coming with Nano Sim, only Iphone have opted for it so far, may be they were trying to make it future proof.

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The phablet also comes with built-in wireless charging, a feature I totally love. To make use of it however, you would have to buy separately a Qi wireless charger – which is available for quite a while now.  Add in 802.11ac, BT 4.0, and NFC support; and LTE capability ( only for US I believe) alongside HSPA+, and you’re looking at the highest-end Windows Phone ever to hit the market.

Software

Windows Phone’s tile-based UI is still as sharp and as “metro” as ever – and the 1520′s larger, higher-resolution display allows it to spread out to a much better way(it can fit in more tiles on the front metro UI). Instead of scrolling around to find the tile you’re looking for, the 1520 has enough room to display everything, all at once.

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I am really disappointed that they don’t have proper multitasking like Note 3. Split screen multitasking in Note 3 is one of the best ways to use the huge screen estate. Right now, there is no one to match them.

Even though you’re confined to running  apps one at a time, applications like Skype, Netflix, Amazon Kindle, and the Microsoft Office suite benefit greatly from all that real estate.

Wrapping up the software offering, Nokia’s traditional enhancements are all here, from the huge suite of custom apps to everyday usability enhancements like the double-tap-to-unlock gesture and the Glance screen. And thanks to that Snapdragon 800 and Windows Phone’s inherent stability and fluidity.

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It has the best maps from Nokia, no other  maps are match for its offline navigation. And you get a lot of cool Nokia exclusive apps and Microsoft office suite.

Camera

The 20MP PureView module is optically-stabilized, with six-element Carl Zeiss optics and a 1/2.5 inch sensor with an aperture rating of f/2.4, complimented with a dual-LED flash. You can shoot in full resolution (19mp) if you want but just as with the Lumia 1020, Nokia’s automatic oversampling produces far more manageable 5MP shots. Lossless digital zoom is here as well, offering up to 2x magnification for photos. Just like Nokia Lumia 1020 it capture both 5mp and 19mp images in one shot. And you can reframe the 19mp image later to as many 5mp images.

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It’s all controlled by the new Nokia Camera app, a new title combining all the best features of Nokia Smart Camera and Nokia Pro Camera. In addition to the familiar sliders allowing manual control of everything from shutter speed to focus, a handful of automatic modes are now available alongside the various motion and color filters.

1555266_593713224033465_904733887_nNokia-Pro-Camera-app-24

The results from camera was pretty good. It had good detail, little saturated, and OIS makes sure that shot looks clean and makes it an ally of low light photos. These are the sample images, click on the link to see the 5mp photos

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99484279@N05/11700220356/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99484279@N05/11699711563/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99484279@N05/11699842314/

 

The Video is good, not the best. The indoor video just like any other Smartphone was more noisy unlike the Nokia Lumia 1020 or 808 pureview. But I think Lumia 920 had a better camcoder than this in lowlight, but in daylight it shines and with his 4 HAAC mikes no cameraphone is a match for the sound recorded through this phone.

The rear camera of Note 3 is very competent in normal lighting but in low light Note 3 is no match for  Lumia 1520. Video recording is almost same to same but with better sound recording it is slightly better than Note 3 overall. All thanks to bigger camera sensor – 1/2.5″ vs 1/3.06″ and higher resolution – 20MP vs 13MP, OIS and 4 HAAC microphones for WDR audio recording

Another advantage to Pro Camera is that it allows the Lumia 1520 to shoot in RAW. It’s DNG – a digital negative – format developed by Adobe, which is widely supported by various photo editing applications. While casual consumers will probably stick to JPEG, photo enthusiasts can work wonders with a RAW file – since there’s no software processing or JPEG compression applied, editing RAW files gives you more headroom for editing than a JPEG image. Keep in mind that those files are around 20MB big. A full-resolution JPEG is around 4MB, while the 5MP JPEGs are a mere 1MB. RAW files cannot be viewed by most apps either (e.g. web browsers) without processing, which is another thing to keep in mind if you want to share photos.

Lumia_camera_settings

Performance

Just like any other Windows phone the performance was buttery smooth. Day to Day usage will be fantastic and touch response is top notch (with supersensitive touch). I played games like Temple run 2, NFS and Asphalt 8 , modern Combat 4 and all worked like a charm, no issues whatsoever.

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Used Moliplayer for viewing videos and it was a pleasure to see Videos in the 6 inch display. Every format throwed in just played smoothly and loud speaker quality was pretty loud and clear.


Conclusion

It is a huge phone and that itself is a letdown for me. But seeing the sales our local manufacturers are making through phablets, I see lot of people is not like me and they enjoy media consumption with a huge phone. Right now it truly is a match for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in hardware and sometimes better, but in software departments it is a total kill, Note 3 with its top notch multitasking and cool S-pen features, Lumia is no match for in software. But if your idea is to have a huge phablet with Big screen with an awesome camera and you love using phone for multimedia consumption and Microsoft office suite for work(it has full version of it since it is a windows phone8), this phone is for you, if you are a poweruser, nothing beats the Note 3 now in phablet category.  The Nokia Lumia 1520 is priced 46,000Rs/- and is available Matte Black, Matte Yellow, Matte White and Glossy Red colours

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About Rahul Radhakrishnan