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Lumia 1520: A really, really big Windows Phone

Florence Ion | Nov. 22, 2013
Nokia has apparently decided that its next big strategy to increase market share is to make its phones bigger. The Lumia 1520 is the biggest Windows Phone yet, so big that the only people who will find it easy to hold are professional basketball players.

Nokia has apparently decided that its next big strategy to increase market share is to make its phones bigger. The Lumia 1520 is the biggest Windows Phone yet, so big that the only people who will find it easy to hold are professional basketball players.

Star athletes usually go for what's in vogue, and unfortunately for Nokia, that's not Windows Phone. The specs of the Lumia 1520 are impressive--it has a 1080p screen, a quad-core processor, and a fully capable 20-megapixel camera--but all of that is marred by the wide, cartoony polycarbonate body and the fact that the handset is tied to a platform that's still struggling to gain traction.

It's too damn big
Nearly everyone I showed the Lumia 1520 to was taken aback by the phone's gargantuan size. This isn't a device that you can comfortably make a phone call with--and forget about stowing it in your pocket. You'll need both hands to hold it, and unless you have especially large hands, you'll find the Lumia 1520 difficult to grip all the way around. I had to store the 1520 in the tablet portion of my unusually roomy messenger bag because it wouldn't fit in any of the designated phone pockets. And when I was snapping photos outside, I felt self-conscious with all the passersby gawking at the big red device I was carrying.

I am, however, impressed with the overall thinness of the 1520. This should have been the design for all Lumia phones, instead of the bulky, bricklike casing we've been stuck with. Nokia even managed to fit in a MicroSD and MicroSIM slot on the side.

A display to die for
The Lumia 1520 is essentially a mini television set. I admit that I spent the better part of my time with it watching Hulu Plus on its 6-inch 1080p IPS LCD screen. At 368 pixels per inch, the 1520's display is almost on a par with that of industry rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which has a pixel density of 388 ppi. But unlike the Note 3, the Lumia 1520 offers well-saturated colors, and the polarized ClearBlack display makes it easy to see outside in broad daylight. The Note 3 has a slightly better viewing angle, but the color accuracy on the Lumia 1520 makes for a better viewing experience.

Perhaps the phone's only shortcoming is that the Windows Marketplace is limited on apps that allow you to download or rent movies and television shows on the go. Also, the screen gets really bright--too bright to stare at without experiencing a bit of eyestrain.

 

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