Well, it’s upgrade season. So, I opted for the new Nokia Lumia 1520. This is one of the new “phablets”. That is, a phone that is almost tablet-sized. This has a 6” screen and runs the Windows Phone 8 (update 3) OS. I know what you are saying: “That sounds dumb.” But wait, hear me out! There is really only one downside, and several upsides!
The Form Factor:
I was expecting this to be the size of a regular Kindle, because that too has a 6” (diagonal) screen. However, as you can see, it’s a little different. The Nokia is much more long and narrow, compared to a 6” Kindle (with a DVD for scale):
So, this is definitely fine for putting in your pocket. In the car, it’s a little too wide for a cup-holder, but if you have a tray or something, that would work. It is a tad big to put up to your face to talk. For me though, I rarely ever talk that way, and rarely use my cell phone for talking. If you mostly use Bluetooth, then that’s not an issue.
To me, that is pretty much the single downside to this phone – holding it up to your face to talk. If you don’t do that though, this is an amazing device!
In my hand, I can almost reach anywhere on the screen with one hand, but obviously some things are easier with two hands. When you turn it sideways to type, it’s a pretty perfect size:
I couldn’t find the link, but I also saw reviews where people were saying that this 6” form factor is fantastic for using as a GPS. If you are not familiar, the built-in Nokia GPS app is really great. To have that on a 6” screen mounted in your car should be pretty cool too! My old mount barely fits this phone, so I ordered a new larger one. However, if I squeeze it in, here’s what it looks like:
If interested by the way, if you have anything smaller than this, the actual holder is an Arkon Slim Grip Ultra. It is a universal mount that will hold any device up to exactly 6” and this phone is a tad longer. Anyhow, I have that for a mount, but I actually have that connected to one of these Arkon power sticks. It plugs into the cigarette lighter, has a place to plug in a charger, and it has a ball-end, which this mount can attach-to. So, the cigarette lighter acts as a mount and power for a GPS (or in this case, a phone). All of the Arkon products have a ball-and-cup mount that is interchangeable – so you can use whichever mount with whichever device mount.
So, I ordered the next size up – which means I can use this as GPS, a Bluetooth music source, and have it charging while I’m in the truck!
Crossing over from phone to tablet:
This is a pretty nice size. This is big enough where you could comfortably watch a Netflix movie on it, or play games with plenty of extra room – but it’s not to big, to be too obnoxious. I just got this in today, so we’ll see if I still feel that way in a month!
So far, it’s just noticeably nicer to just look naturally at the phone without having to bring it closer to my face to read, or to squint my eyes. Everything is just so much bigger.
If you haven’t picked up a Lumia in your hand, they are very impressive. They feel extremely well-built and indestructible. There is nothing “cheap” feeling on it. It has a sealed case with little “doors” to get at the SIM and MicroSD card. And with the Gorilla Glass, it’s pretty much unscratchable.
This has a 20MP camera (it’s the Lumia 1020, with the smaller screen which has the crazy 40MP camera) and… well, you can see all the specs here. It’s definitely a well-equipped device.
One complaint is this only has 16GB of storage. They are rumored to come out with a 32GB version at some point too. However, this device supports a MicroSD card, which will support up to 64GB. Why is this significant to me?
Well, back in 2011, Past Robert predicted this technology and it has finally arrived! For me, this means that a device like this can hold my entire music collection, be a phone, be a full-featured GPS, and be a mini-tablet. When I drive in the truck, I have all of my music with me, without the need for a second device – and I need my music when I drive!
I’ve very impressed with the quality. The size is much more manageable than I was expecting, the screen is gorgeous, clear, and very bright – and I think this will be a way I can consolidate my music too. This is the most-mature this technology has gotten. It’s really very cool that I have one device that does so many things: phone, tablet, GPS, music, etc.
As an end-user, I continue to really like the Windows Phone platform, and for me, I really like the idea of this bigger phone. Again, the only downside at all that I see, is it’s a bit silly-looking and oversized to make a call by holding it to your face. For every other way you’d use a modern smart phone though, this seems like the next logical step.