Nokia Lumia 1520 Review and Gaming Performance: Thoughts and Impressions

Posted by B. Johnson
Nokia Lumia 1520 Review and Gaming Performance: Thoughts and ImpressionsHi guys, welcome back!

We all here already know that, in terms of popularity and market share, then Windows RT operating system is definitely still left behind by its strongest rivals – Android and iOS.

And this can be clearly seen by looking at the amount of apps that are available on Windows RT – which is still very small compared to the app collection on Android or iOS.

And this is not so surprising given that Microsoft itself is very strict when it comes to accepting the apps from some random developers and only grants the high-quality apps for Windows RT's App MarketPlace.

This has become the huge barrier for many developers to reap the revenues in Windows RT ecosystem.

But the good news is, there are still many popular apps and games that can be found easily on this platform – like Modern Combat 4, Asphalt 8: Airborne (and possible most of Gameloft’s games), GTA San Andreas and many others that come from major famous high-profile developers – or the new developers that have been known for its quality apps.

Nokia Lumia 1520 benchmarks and gaming performance

Anyway guys, earlier in my previous reviews, i just showed you one great tablet – a flagship one – made by the company that’s known mostly for its cell phones – Nokia.

The Nokia’s tablet that i just showed you in my previous review was Nokia Lumia 2520 – a Windows RT tablet sporting some high-class hardware specs on it, from 1080p resolution on its 10.1-inch display, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 330 GPU, a huge 8120mAh battery, great set of cameras (6.7MP and 2MP back and front with Carl Zeiss optics and many more.

Today, to be exact, i still have 2 other tablets made by the same company that i want to show you in my next reviews (i mean this review and the other one after that).

They are Nokia Lumia 1520 and Nokia Lumia 1320.

I know that these both devices are only packing a 6-inch display – which is not the standard screen size of tablet.

However, given that these devices are also not smartphones and still bigger than phablet size (5.5 to 5.7-inches), then these 2 Nokia’s 6-inch devices can be considered as tablets, right?

Anyway, the first tablet that i’m about to show you today is Nokia Lumia 1520, which will be followed by Nokia Lumia 1320 in my next review.

Well, if you’re interested to know more about this 6-inch tablet, including its gaming performance and what games that would work perfectly on this tablet, then here you go, my personal review of Nokia Lumia 1520.

Introduction

Compared to the Nokia Lumia 2520, this 6-inch tablet is actually still ‘on the same page’ with that 10-inch tablet – given its powerful hardware specs.

So when it comes to gaming performance, there should be no significant difference between these 2 tablets.

So if Nokia Lumia 2520 already proved could handle the latest games like Asphalt 8: Airborne and GTA San Andreas in buttery smooth performance and in full graphics setting, then you definitely can expect the same thing on Nokia Lumia 1520.

But we’ll get more on that later.

On the hardware standpoint, Nokia Lumia 1520 definitely still stacks up against other 6-inch or 7-inch rivals on the market to date.


As a matter of fact, thanks to its Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 330 GPU, 20MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics, 4G LTE and 3400mAh battery, Nokia Lumia 1520 is actually one of the best tablets that you can find on the market to date.

Unfortunately, this tablet comes with Windows Phone 8 out of the box, which is still lacking in app catalog compared to iOS and Android.

So there will be many of your favorite apps that are still not available on this platform, forcing you to find the alternatives for them.

However, with all of these high-class hardware specs and goodies, does Nokia Lumia 1520 have what it takes to be a great gaming tablet?

does this tablet deserve to be positioned alongside other 7-inch rivals on today’s tablet market?

Is it worth it to buy this device, especially since the platform of this device (Windows Phone 8) really lacks in app catalog?

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  • 4G
  • Nano-SIM
  • Released 2013, November
  • 209 g (Weight)
  • 6.0 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • 1080 x 1920 pixels (~367 ppi pixel density)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 2
  • ClearBlack display
  • Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 Chipset
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Microsoft Windows Phone 8, upgradeable to v8.1
  • microSD Memory card slot for up to 64 GB
  • 16 GB/32 GB Internal storage
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • HSDPA 42.2 Mbps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • microUSB v2.0
  • 20 MP rear-facing camera (4992x3744 pixels)
  • Carl Zeiss optics, OIS, autofocus, dual-LED flash
  • 1080p @30fps Video recording
  • 1.2 MP front-facing camera with 720p @30fps Video recording
  • Accelerometer, gyro, proximity and compass Sensors
  • HTML5 Browser
  • FM radio Radio
  • GPS
  • No Java
  • Yellow, white, black, red Colors
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3400 mAh battery (BV-4BW)
When it comes to overall specs, Nokia Lumia 1520 actually still stacks up against many of its 6 to 7-inch rivals out there on the high-end market.

First of all, it features 1080p resolution on its 6-inch display.

This type of display may not win the battle against the rivals like LG G3 or Oppo Find 7, which both sport QHD display (2560x1440 pixels).

However, having 1080p resolution on 6-inch display still gives an insanely sharp and crisp results to this tablet – there’s no doubt about that.

Meanwhile, on the performance department, this tablet is handled by Qualcomm’s beast Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, coupled with Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM, which provides a powerful performance to this tablet, especially in the graphical environment.

The superiority of this device also continues on the camera sector, having a staggering 20MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics (which is able to deliver sharp looking shots), not to mention the 1.2MP camera on the front to enable selfies and 720p video recording.

And there are many other things to be liked on this tablet – from its 4G LTE, its FM radio, its GPS, NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth and many more, with the exception of Java emulator.

Screen

Thanks to its flagship title, Nokia Lumia 1520 is also sporting the same 1080p resolution just like its flagship sibling - Nokia Lumia 2520.

However, given that this tablet only comes with 6-inch display – as opposed to the 10.1-inch display on Nokia Lumia 2520 -, then in terms of sharpness, this 6-inch model definitely will be superior on that sector than Nokia Lumia 2520.

The good thing is, Nokia Lumia 1520 is already equipped also with the same superior hardware package – from a quad-core Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 -, which is more than adequate to handle this type of display.

User Interface

Unlike its flagship sibling, this 6-inch tablet interestingly only comes with Windows Phone 8 OS – as opposed to the Windows RT on Nokia Lumia 2520.

Even though these both OSes use simple UI based on Metro Live Tile UI, there will be many features on Nokia Lumia 2520 that just cannot be found on Nokia Lumia 1520, especially on the customizations like wallpaper, etc.

But even so, it’s still great to have Windows Phone 8 OS on this tablet.

It runs really fast and smooth with no lag whatsoever, and thanks to this simple light-weight UI, the battery life of Nokia Lumia 1520 will also be great and long lasting even in heavy use.

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There’s no single doubt that Nokia Lumia 1520 will scream (and very loud. lol) when it comes to performance.

And that is not surprising given that this 6-inch tablet is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 chipset, coupled with Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM – which has become the hardware package of many flagship devices on the market to date.

Moreover, this tablet only comes pre-installed with a light weight Microsoft’s operating system – Windows Phone 8 -, which deploys really simple UI and features that won’t squeeze a lot of power from its processor.

Even with that full HD 1080p display, this tablet can deliver a fast and smooth performance with no lag whatsoever.

So with that being said, then this tablet is more than capable to execute any basic tasks that your throw on this tablet – like watching HD movies, browsing the web, reading contents like books or magazines, operating the UI, editing documents or just simple checking phones – all in buttery smooth performance.

Meanwhile, as for gaming, this tablet will also be great for that matter.

I’ve actually already seen the actual gaming performance of this device through video reviews on YouTube and Nokia Lumia 1520 is capable to play some of the latest games – even the most graphically demanding titles like Modern Combat 4, NOVA 3, Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas, Mass Effect, Dead Space, FIFA 2014 and many other high-performing games – in buttery smooth performance and the most importantly, in full highest graphics.

But it’s worth noting that, on GTA San Andreas, even though this games can be played smoothly in full highest graphics (with all the visual effects like reflection or shadow), there are still some noticeable lags in the gameplay, especially when the character approaches the area filled with many objects and people.

This is probably due to the full HD 1080p resolution display on this tablet, which squeezes a lot of power from its processor, especially on its GPU.

But even so, this game is still playable and the lags are not that significant in the gameplay.

The other thing that should also be noted on the gaming performance of this tablet is, given that Nokia Lumia 1520 comes pre-installed with Windows Phone 8 OS – which is not as popular as iOS and Android OS – then there are many popular apps on Android and iOS that cannot be found on this platform, thus forcing you to find the alternatives for those missing apps.

It goes the same with games. On Windows Phone 8 OS – as well as the Windows RT OS -, there are many games like Dead Trigger, ShadowGun, Horn and many older titles that are still not available on this OS.

So if you decide to buy this tablet, then you must also accept the fact that many of your favorite apps and games (that you’ve already come to love on Android or iOS) are not available on this tablet.

But despite all that, Nokia Lumia 1520 is still a decent gaming tablet – given its powerful hardware and great gaming performance.

As a matter of fact, this tablet is currently one of the best 6-inch tablets on the market to date, competing alongside Samsung GALAXY Note 3, LG G2 and many other phablet-sized devices out there.

It handles many heavy 3D games in buttery smooth performance and in full highest graphics, and it also has great battery life, thanks to its light-weight UI and OS.

So long story short, if you’re looking for a great gaming tablet, then Nokia Lumia 1520 is still a good choice for you.



Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Nokia Lumia 1520, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

Besides gaming performance that is already great, the other strongest point of Nokia Lumia 1520 is definitely its battery life.

This tablet is powered by 3400mAH power battery inside, which is pretty huge for a 6-inch device.

According to GSMarena, Nokia Lumia 1520 is believed could survive in around 768 hours in stand by, 25 hours in talk time and a staggering 124 hours in music play, which is really insane for a media-consumption device.

Not only is this device able to deliver you an all-day-long battery life, but Nokia Lumia 1520 is also more than capable to last more than 1 day even in heavy use.

I think this is not a ground breaking for me given that this tablet only comes with such a light-weight Windows Phone 8 OS, which is not as heavy as Android OS – especially the ones with aggressive customizations like TouchWiz UI on Samsung or Sony with its TimeScape UI.

But of course, for doing heavy intense tasks like watching HD/full HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row – without resting the screen at all non stop -, then its battery will drop drastically to just around 6 to 8 hours, which is still considered as great for a media-consumption device.

However, if its battery life could only survive less than 5 hours, i believe its full HD 1080p display should be the one to blame because this type of display requires a lot of power from its processor, thus draining the battery much faster.

The good news is – as i mentioned above -, Nokia Lumia 1520 only comes with a light-weight Windows Phone 8. So i believe this thing can really help improve a lot the longevity of its battery life.

My Personal Opinions

Similar just like my impression with Nokia Lumia 2520 – the 10.1-inch tablet -, i think Nokia Lumia 1520 is a decent quality tablet – or giant cell phone, if you would.

It has a fast powerful processor (the best on the market, or one of the best),
  • a full HD 1080p display (which looks really sharp on this small 6-inch device),
  • an amazing 20MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics (which absolutely could take amazing looking photos, given Nokia’s years of experience on this sector),
  • great battery life, great gaming performance,
  • 4G LTE connectivity,
  • a huge 2GB of RAM
  • and pretty much everything on this tablet is just perfect.
However, this will also come down to your choice of platform.

If you already love being in Android ecosystem and its UI, then you will feel downgraded when using this tablet because Windows Phone 8 OS only deploys a really simple Live Tile looking UI, which could be pretty boring in the long run.

But on the other hand, if you don’t mind using this simple looking UI, then Nokia Lumia 1520 is definitely a great choice for you.

But there is something that could hold back this tablet from being a great gaming tablet.

And that is its app catalog.

As you might know, Windows Phone 8 OS is still playing catch up with Android and iOS – in terms of market share and app collections.

And there are still many popular Android and iOS apps that are not available on this platform.

So if you decide to buy this tablet, then you’ll probably be left disappointed by the lack of app ecosystem that Microsoft has provided on this OS.

I notice that there are many games that cannot be found on this Windows Phone 8 OS, like Dead Trigger, ShadowGun, Horn and many more that are made by new developers – even though these developers are already known as great game developers on Android and iOS.

And this can be annoying especially if you have a lot of your favorite apps on your previous Android and iOS devices unavailable on this Windows Phone 8 OS.

There may be many alternatives that can be the replacements for your favorite apps, but i don’t think their quality will be as great as the originals.

That’s why, if you decide to get this tablet anytime soon, then you must accept that fact that you’re not gonna find many of your favorite apps and games on this tablet.

But despite all that, i still think that Nokia Lumia 1520 is a great media-consumption and even gaming tablet – given its high-class hardware specs.

Put its lack of app catalog aside, this device is still great for many other things – like for watching HD or full HD movies, browsing the web, reading contents, listening to music (given its 124 hours of music play’s battery life), amazing sharp 20MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics and pretty much everything on this device is just perfect for a flagship device.

Anyway, to end this review, i’ll try to answer some of my questions i’ve already asked previously above:
  • Does Nokia Lumia 1520 have what it takes to be a good gaming tablet? Yes, definitely – thanks to its powerful hardware specs like Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2Gb of RAM, Nokia Lumia 1520 is a decent gaming tablet. It handles many heavy 3D games perfectly and they all run in full highest graphics. But of course, given that Windows Phone 8 OS is not as rich as Android and iOS when it comes app and game catalog, then there is a lot of games (especially the older ones) that are still not available on this tablet.
  • Is this tablet still relevant to be positioned alongside other devices on today’s tablet market? Yes – given its high-grade specs (the best on the market to date), Nokia Lumia 1520 definitely stacks up against other 6 to 7-inch rivals on today’s tablet market. However, when it comes to app ecosystem and app collection, it’s really obvious that this tablet doesn’t stack up against its rivals.
  • Is it worth it to buy this tablet? Yes - Nokia Lumia 1520 is absolutely a worth buying tablet. It has a sharp and vibrant 1080p display, a powerful quad-core processor, a huge 2GB of RAM, an insanely sharp 20MP rear-facing camera, a great battery life, great gaming performance, 4G LTE connectivity and every thing about this tablet is simply great – there’s no single doubt about that.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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