Nokia Lumia 1520 Camera, Video Best Features of This 6-Inch 'Phablet'

REVIEW: This large phone from Nokia seems designed to bridge the gap between the company's standard-sized phones and its newly-released Windows RT tablet.

Nokia's Lumia 1520 is a phone with a 6-inch display, a high-end camera and accessories that seem intended for use as much as a tablet as a phone.

To put the device in perspective, it's larger than the smaller models of Samsung's Galaxy Note "phablets," and its larger screen includes an extra row of live tiles, making it seem more tablet-like than Nokia's smaller Lumia series of phones.

The larger size of the 1520 makes using the on-screen keyboard very easy, and the added screen real estate reduces the amount of scrolling that's necessary to see the tiles you're most likely to need. The phone is large enough that Nokia was able to put more of its Windows Phone 8 tiles on the screen at once, which means you can move the most important tiles to positions on the screen that best suit you.

The larger screen also makes the phone a little unwieldy to use as a phone. It's too big to fit comfortably in a shirt pocket, for example. Nokia seems to have recognized this since it has included an optional integrated case and cover for the device that they sent with the review model. The cover seems identical to the cases Apple sells for the iPad Air and even includes the tri-fold hinges that allow it to be propped on its side for viewing videos.

The camera on the Nokia Lumia 1520 seems to be a primary focus. This phablet gets a 20-megapixel sensor with Carl Zeiss optics and a new camera app that promises to bring the flexibility of Nokia Pro Camera and the features of Nokia Smart Camera in a single app called Nokia Camera.

Nokia claims that the Lumia 1520 camera will record full-high-definition video, but this proved difficult to verify, since the Lumia 1520 lacks an HD video output. Presumably, you can capture your video to the internal Secure Digital (SD) card (the phone will handle cards up to 64GB), transfer it to another device, and connect that device to an HD television or monitor to view it. While I couldn't tell for sure if the video the device captures is really HD, it does take nice photos and videos that benefit from the device's optical stabilization feature.

As is the case with many Windows Phone 8 devices, the Lumia 1520 includes a mobile version of Microsoft Office that works with SkyDrive (also included) to let you view and edit documents. You can also create documents using the included on-screen keyboard, but despite the device's size, it's still too small to comfortably type large documents.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...