Real user experience from one of my fellow
1.) Size – Let me first say that I have large hands, so the Lumia 1520 did not feel uncomfortable in the hand at all. I felt like most of the time I could use it with one hand, and only a few instances did I need two hands to do what I needed. I used to have a Note 2, which I felt fit in my pocket quite easily. When I had the Note, I actually felt like the screen could have been slightly bigger with no issues. If you have small hands, wielding this phone may be a challenge. The ATT rep did let me put the phone in my pocket. I was wearing a pair of gym shorts, and it did fit, but barely. I would probably have to figure out a way to carry the device instead of in my pockets since it is borderline. I think a belt holder or something might be easier to use. I could fit it in my pocket, but would probably be worried about breaking the screen. If you wear cargo pants or shorts there is probably no issue. If you wear tight jeans or pants…forget it. The bottom line for me is this is about the limit of how large a phone I could use. Yes, at times it won’t be the most portable, but you have to look at if everything else about the phone outweighs this factor. The 1520 although being much larger than the 1020, it actually felt lighter. This is a very thin phone. The weight is spread out nicely. Still has a premium lumia feel, but not overly heavy.
2.) Screen quality: The 1520 was sitting right next to a Lumia 1020 and Lumia 925 in the ATT store. The screen absolutely blows the 1020 out of the water in my opinion. I went into the settings in all 3 phones and turned auto brightness off on all of them and set them to high. The screen brightness on the Lumia 1520 is much better than any previous lumia I have seen. It’s an amazing screen, and probably the best I’ve seen on any device. The Lumia 1020 looked like it had a yellow tint to it next to the 1520. For me the extra screen real estate made a huge deal when reading articles and going into apps. I never found myself pinching to zoom. Text was ultra clear and easy to read on the 1520. I felt like I was having a tablet experience in most apps. Browsing websites, going to youtube and watching videos was much more enjoyable on the 1520.
3.) Performance: Performance on the 1520 compared to the 1020 showed no real difference that I could tell. Apps seem to load at the same speed and moving throughout the OS seemed to happen at the same pace. I think the RAM has much more to do with this than to dual core processor in the 1020 because I did notice a difference in performance in the 1520 compared to the 925.
4.) Camera – The camera on the 1020 is definitely better than the camera on the 1520. I saw much more detail in most shots on the 1020, I should say that the 1020 did take longer to take the pictures themselves so you do have a few seconds more lag on the 1020 compared to the 1520. I could take multiple photos much more quickly on the 1520, which had almost no lag between shots. Not quite as fast as my iPhone 5, but not far off either. The 1520 camera didn’t blow me away. In average lighting in the store, it produced shots only slightly better than the 925 from what I could tell. Definitely no slouch, but not near what the 1020 can do from the limited testing I was able to do in the store today. Some shots on the 1520 looked blurry post processing. I used to have this issue on my lumia 920, so I’m not sure if it’s a software thing or what. It only happened a few times in the Nokia Pro Cam app. On the regular camera app there were no issues. There was no blurriness using the lumia 1020 and the pro camera app.
Final thoughts: For me, I do not think this phone is too large. After testing the 1520 in store for about an hour, I looked at my iPhone 5 and couldn’t believe how small it seemed. I didn’t even want to pick up my iPhone after looking at the 1520. It just seems way too small now. The 1520 is right at the cusp of what I feel is acceptable for a mobile device. I feel the screen size/quality, along with a strong camera , and updated hardware compared to older editions of the lumia line make this a definite go for me. You have an amazing content consumption/multimedia experience. With respect to the size of this phone, I feel the positives outweigh the negatives. Sure, there is a slight loss in portability, but using that large screen makes it much more enjoyable so I feel the sacrifice is worth it. Even if Nokia releases a 5″ flagship, I still feel I’d want the bigger screen on the 1520. I would almost think of the lumia 1520 as an ultra portable tablet with a phone and a superb camera, than a smartphone itself. The biggest challenge for me with this phone will probably be how to carry it around comfortably. I don’t think I would have a problem carrying it around in a belt case, or just getting a case and carrying it around like a small tablet.