Vise Review: Nokia Lumia 1320 – Bigger Screen, Similar experience


Nokia Lumia 1320 was launched with much fan fare only last month hence when TechVise was given the phone to test and review, we were happy to be one of the first to take the 6″ inch screen beauty around and have people ogle at it. So what do we think of it? Is it worth the money or the space it takes up in your pocket/purse? Lets read on…

Lumia 1320 Phone Build

The Lumia 1320 is built very much like all the other Lumia phones except for the curved rounded edges which are a very obvious feature of the Samsung Galaxy S and Note phone series. With a 6 Inch display screen the phone could easily pass as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at first glance but a phone enthusiast  would immediately notice the three dedicated touch buttons at the bottom of the screen that are the cornerstone of every Windows Phone.   The phone has kept its traditional  4 hard buttons on the right hand side dedicated to volume keys, power/lock key and a dedicated camera key (which everyone loves and other phone manufacturers could learn from) . Measuring at 6.46 x 3.38 x 0.39 inches and weighing appox 220 gm the phone is again heavier than many and larger than most. The Lumia 1320 is not built for one hand operation, however my own preference is always to use two hands even on smaller phones; I could be biased here.

Lumia 1320 Phone Build

The SIM card and Micro SD memory card slot are accessible from under the back cover which is surprisingly very easy to remove provided you read the display instruction from inside the box or remember that it is bottom left corner of the device that un-clicks  first. There is no user removable battery or QI wireless charging option available for this phone. Unfortunately there is no stylus provided with the phone either which I think is a shame.

Power & Performance

The Lumia 1320 comes with 1 GB RAM and a 1.7 GHz Dual core processor. It is blazingly fast and smooth when compared to other Lumia devices with 1GB RAM. As usual WP8 devices are faster than Android and iOS devices which unless running on the latest hardware and OS version combined are hard pressed to match the screen & app responsiveness of WP8 devices running on older hardware and processors.

Battery

The battery capacity  (3400 mAh) of the Lumia 1320 is huge and somewhat compensates for the extra weight you are forced to carry with this phone. GSMArena gives the battery endurance at 75 hrs in my own tests however, I found it to be around 50 hours i.e. just over two days.

Lumia 1320 Battery usage

Under test conditions with battery saver turned on; the device initially estimated 2 days and 5 hours of usage.  At this point I had  3 email boxes synchronising every 15 mins, spending 45 mins browsing the internet or downloading apps, 1 hr of music playback, daily games of Microsoft Solitaire & Subway Surfer for 30-40 mins (more on this later) and about 10 mins talk time daily. At the end of day 1 I had 68% of battery left, when I opened Solitaire and the phone just heated up and the battery suddenly tanked and needed a recharge (see Image 1). The next day, I played Solitaire after a day had already gone by to give the battery a fighting chance. It went all the way to 2 days and 2 hours since last charge before requiring another. However it is very clear that if an app or a game is poorly made and causes the battery/phone to get heated, it will surely destroy the remaining charge on the phone and burn your hand.

Other than the effects of poorly made games or apps (Shame Microsoft), the performance of the device and its battery consumption is impressive when compared to other smartphones.

Storage

The Lumia 1320 comes with 8 GB onboard memory of which approx  7.2 GB is available for use. There is also the addition of 7 GB space on Onedrive (previously named SkyDrive) that is used as a backup / auto upload for images and videos, text and multimedia messages & phone settings.

The default storage management on the device is fairly good and can be accessed directly from Settings > Phone Storage. It shows both Phone Storage management and details as well as details from the SD card. On phones with expandable storage, WP8 allows users to download apps offline directly to the storage medium from the Windowsphone store and then use it to install apps to the phone. The app will always install and run from the phone memory but it does give users the facility to reinstall older versions of the apps which have certain functionality (remember the YouTube app version that allowed offline videos?) that has been later removed.

Lumia 1320 Storage

The Phone storage app gives a detailed breakdown of how much space is being utilised by photos, apps + games, documents, music + videos, maps, email + messaging, system and temporary files. Users can use this to clear temporary files from the phone. A better storage management app is the Nokia Storage Check which users can use to understand how much space individual apps + games are taking so they can choose what to delete/remove from the phone wisely.

Display + Touch

The Lumia 1320 has a massive 6 inch High Definition display (720p) with  245 ppi, it sports the clear black AMOLED display with super sensitive touch protected through Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3. What does this really mean for users? As mentioned before, it means that you can operate this device with gloves, the screen won’t shatter if it falls face down on the street or ground, you will very clear photos and videos and be able to play a game or read in sunlight.

Lumia 1320 3 column screenThe other goody that this large display provides users is the 3rd column on the home display screen! This means more live tiles or app folders to make the home screen beautiful and they certainly do.

Lumia 1320 Camera & Apps

The 5 MP camera is probably better than the other 5 MP cameras out there however I was more interested in using the large screen of the device to edit my other photos taken from Lumia 920 and 1020, most particularly the ones taken from Nokia Smart Cam application. Alas, while the photo transfer of those pictures to the Lumia 1320 was successful, there was no Nokia Smart Cam option within Nokia Camera (like in Lumia 1020) or a separate app available for download (like in Lumia 920). This was extremely disappointing since Nokia Smart Cam pictures can only be edited in Lumia devices and a larger screen would have greatly helped. Nokia er..Microsoft need to take out an editing application for other devices so these can be edited off Lumia devices also. 

Productivity Apps for 6 inch display devices

As mentioned above, there was no app to edit Nokia Smart Cam photos, the StoryTeller app probably works nicely with the WP8 powered tablet devices, and the only app mentioned on the launch and part of the official data-sheet was Papyrus. Interestingly, the app is not pre-installed and has to be downloaded separately. Even then, you get a restricted version which does not let users access  full eraser functionality, shape tool, text tool and backup to other cloud sharing services such as box and dropbox. I would have expected that if this app was being given free publicity it would have been on the phone by default and without the hassle of an In-App feature purchase.

I did try Papyrus and it has some merit, however, it would have been better suited to use this with a Stylus and without any restriction on the eraser.

Microsoft went ahead the same week as I was testing the phone and released full working versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint web applications for FREE. Since Office is integrated as part of WP8, access to these applications without an Office 365 subscription is extremely nice and the large display helps greatly when doing a quick review of files and some on the spot editing. Microsoft brings its A game to the mobile versions which are thankfully still superior to all the others. A full review of Office.com will come a little later this month.

Other productivity apps that Microsoft has released which need their own review are Bing Apps. The weather app on the home screen is Bing Weather and it is again extremely good.

Lumia 1320 Conclusion

Available in Black, White, Red and Yellow, the Lumia 1320 is currently priced between PKR 36,700 (white) – PKR 36,990 (black, yellow, red) online from Home Shopping Network and should be available soon at Nokia Care Outlets. If you want a big phone with great productivity tools and not pay a large price for it then this is the phone for you. Otherwise, spend some more and get the Lumia 1520 which has a 20MP camera, and combines the size & productivity of this phone with the camera capabilities of the Lumia 1020.

What do you think?

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