Nokia Lumia 1520 review

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

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT


Windows Phone 8, 6.0in 1,920x1,080 display

With Android phone/tablet hybrids, or phablets, everywhere you look, it was only a matter of time before Nokia launched its own Windows Phone model. The Lumia 1520 was the 14th Lumia phone since the launch of the Lumia 800 towards the end of 2011, showing the then team of Nokia and Microsoft, and now just Microsoft, will stop at nothing to fill every possible segment with a new handset.

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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