The sleek Nokia Lumia 1520 smart phone features a gorgeous 6-inch display with a tiny bezel, a great 20-megapixel camera with cool features, and a practically immortal battery. But this Windows phone is huge, so big that nobody but an NBA star will be able to manage it with one hand.
The phone measures a seam-shredding 6.40 x 3.36 x 0.33 inches, approaching the size of a small tablet. You'll probably need two hands to operate it, and you're likely to draw stares when you hold this slab up to your head to make or take a call.
Still, depending on what you need, it might be worth the effort. Our initial tests of a press sample found the 6-inch display ultra sharp even in bright sunlight, and its camera produced excellent-quality images. The mega-capacity 3400mAh battery delivered more than 24 hours of talk time on a single charge.
Smart phones with large, sharp displays are ideal for watching videos, browsing Web pages, and reading e-books. And the Lumia 1520's ample 6-inch HD display is easily among the best we've seen for those tasks.
This Nokia comes with the latest version of Windows 8 (Update 3), which not only adds support for such large displays, but also leverages their generous viewing area to show you three columns of Windows Live Tiles instead of the typical two. Another Update 3 benefit: support for quad-core processors, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, which helps make the display more responsive and allows videos to play with fewer jitters. Indeed, videos played on the Lumia 1520 look fantastic.
A real whopper
Eye-popping display aside, the Lumia 1520 tests the limits of what passes for a smart phone. It's all but impossible to perform most operations with one hand, and this phone is even hard to grip with two—especially when you try to use it as a camera. Its thin, rounded edges are rather slippery, and reaching for on-screen camera menus when both hands are gripping the phone takes some effort.
Thankfully, the side-mounted shutter release is close enough to your fingers to make snapping pictures or starting video recording less of a stretch. The phone also weighs more than 7 ounces, which means you'll be looking for a lap or stand to rest it on after a few minutes of use.