Nokia Lumia 1520 review

Price when reviewed

Android fans have plenty of choice when it comes to super-sized smartphones, but those on other platforms have been stuck with screens below 5in – until now, that is. The Nokia Lumia 1520, with its huge 6in, Full HD display, fills that gap for Windows Phone users.

Whether or not it’s a gap that needs filling is a matter of debate: some say having such a large screen means easier typing, more comfortable web browsing and a more enjoyable gaming experience; others find such devices hip-jabbing, pocket-splitting comedy phones, too impractical for everyday use.

Whichever side you come down on, however, there’s no doubting the Lumia’s 1520 top-end credentials. It may be large, measuring 86mm wide, 193mm tall and weighing 209g, but its slim profile and elegant lines make the most of the situation.

Nokia Lumia 1520

In common with much of the Nokia Lumia range, this is a beautifully made piece of hardware: its brightly coloured, matte-plastic finish feels silky in the hand; there’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 2 on the front; and the whole unit feels built to last. There’s even a modicum of practicality: the Lumia 1520 sports a microSDXC card slot, which allows you to boost the storage from 32GB to a maximum of 96GB. There’s support for 4G and wireless charging, as well as NFC for quick Bluetooth pairing. However, there’s no way to replace the internal battery.

All-round performance and specifications are just as good. Under the hood is the popular quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, clocked at 2.2GHz and backed up by 2GB of RAM. This is enough to attain top results in all the mobile benchmarks we ran on the handset: it recorded an average time of 537ms in SunSpider, and 25fps in the graphics-heavy GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex HD.

Windows Phone 8 runs flawlessly on this phone, top games play smoothly, and the screen size means you can truly immerse yourself in the action. The 6in display also means you can squeeze more into the Windows Phone homescreen: whereas the 4.5in Nokia Lumia 1020 can show two columns of the larger, square tiles, the Lumia 1520 can display three (or six of the smaller icons). We rather like the way this looks: there’s plenty of information on show, yet the grid layout keeps it neat.

Nokia Lumia 1520

The quality of the huge display is excellent. Colours pop off the screen at default settings, but it’s possible to adjust the overall colour temperature and saturation if you crave a more sedate or vivid palette. Although the maximum brightness isn’t up with the best we’ve tested – we measured it at only 366cd/m[sup]2[/sup] – Nokia’s ClearBlack polarising filter technology does a great job of keeping the screen readable in the brightest of conditions. Outdoors, it’s just as readable as the iPhone 5s.


Cheapest price on contractFree
Contract monthly charge£37.00
Contract period24 months


Dimensions86 x 9.5 x 193mm (WDH)
Primary keyboardOn-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity2.00GB
Camera megapixel rating20.0mp
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes


Screen size6.0in
Resolution1080 x 1920
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes


OS familyOther

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