Nokia Lumia 1520 review

Nothing particularly ground-breaking, but the Nokia Lumia 1520 is very good Windows Phone phablet

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Processor: Quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Screen Size: 6in, Screen resolution: 1,920x1,080, Rear camera: 20-megapixel, Storage: 32GB, Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 163x85x9mm, Weight: 209g, Operating system: Windows Phone 8

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is a little old now, but neither Nokia or Microsoft have released a Windows Phone phablet successor to take its place yet, so it's still the best Windows Phone phone/tablet hybrid you can buy today. While its age makes it difficult to find on a 24-month contract, it's still available to buy SIM-free and prices have almost halved since it first launched, as you can now pick it up for just £360.

This is much better value than when the Lumia 1520 first launched, especially now that Windows Phone 8.1 is available (complete with Cortana, Microsoft's personal digital assistant, customisable backgrounds, app folders and 4K video shooting) and a free Windows 10 update is waiting in the wings. 

The Lumia 1520 does fit in a very defined niche, however; phablets are aimed squarely at those who are willing to compromise slightly on portability and screen size so as not to have to buy or carry both a phone and a tablet. It's also the very first Windows Phone with a Full HD screen.

Nokia Lumia 1520

A 6in Full HD screen leaves plenty of room for Windows Phone's Live Tiles

As with other phablets we’ve seen, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Mega and HTC One Max, the 1520 seems huge when you first hold it, but you quickly get used to its bulk. It even fits fine in trouser pockets, so long as your jeans aren’t too skinny. The main compromise over a normal-sized handset is that it's hard to use one-handed, but we find this is a problem with most smartphones over around 4.3in in size.

The 1520 is a classy phone all round, though, and even trumps the metal-bodied HTC One Max for build quality. It's a unibody design with a single piece of polycarbonate wrapping around the back and screen, and just feels lovely to hold. We still don’t think anyone, with the possible exception of Apple, makes such beautiful hardware as Nokia.

Nokia Lumia 1520

The polycarbonate chassis feels tough and is lovely to hold

The only thing we don’t like about the 1520's design is that it has a Nano rather than Micro SIM slot. This won’t bother you if you buy the 1520 on contract, but it's a pain if you want to get it SIM-free and use your current card. We wish manufacturers would settle on a SIM size standard, as three different types is two too many.

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