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Nokia Lumia 1320 review

 Review: March 2014  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: An affordable Windows Phone 8 phablet with an enormous 6 inch screen, but a modest price tag. The Lumia 1320 is a well-built device with a good featureset and plenty of bundled software. Only the large bulk and weight distract from its appeal.

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Design & looks

We had to wait  a long time for Nokia to embrace the large-screen trend, but now there's a steady stream of big handsets coming out of Finland! The Lumia 1320 is a very affordable phablet, bringing the joys of the big screen to a much larger audience.

The first thing that strikes you about the 1320 is that it really is big - its 6 inch screen is larger than the one on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - and it's very nearly tablet-sized. It's a typical Nokia Lumia design, all plastic, but nevertheless giving an impression of quality. It's not quite a unibody construction, but the back panel fits so snugly that it looks almost like one. This is a phone that looks and feels good, and comes in a choice of colours to suit all tastes.

It's certainly a very big phone to handle, and is very heavy too - even heavier than the flagship Lumia 1520. And unlike most phablets, it's really quite thick and bulky. You can really think of it as a tablet, as it's too big to stuff in most pockets and it needs two hands to use.

The display isn't quite up to the standard of the Lumia 1520, having a lower 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and consequently a lower pixel density of 245 ppi. It's not quite as sharp as the displays we're used to seeing on high-end phones, but remember that this isn't in the same price bracket. The display is really perfectly good enough, and it employs Nokia's ClearBlack technology on an IPS screen to give bright images with plenty of contrast and good readability even in sunlight.

Windows Phone 8

The Lumia 1320 runs Windows Phone 8 with Lumia Black, and there are distinct advantages of running this operating system on a tablet-sized phone. The live tiles look fantastic on this screen size (in 3 columns thanks to Lumia Black), and the advantages of Microsoft Office software are more obvious on such a large screen.

There's plenty of software bundled with the phone, including social media apps, photo & video apps, HERE Drive, HERE Maps, messaging and Enterprise security features.

Cost savings on hardware

Nokia has built this phone to fit into a niche - an affordable phablet. It's inevitable that the phone can't have all the latest bells and whistles, and cost savings have been made in several areas. The most obvious is that the phone runs a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, putting this firmly in the mid-range when it comes to performance. The RAM has been cut to 1GB only, which may limit the capabilities of the device when it comes to the most demanding apps.

The built-in storage is just 8GB, but there is a microSD card slot for expansion, and you also get 7GB of free cloud storage.

Audio quality via the headphones is excellent.

Camera

Nokia has been building an excellent reputation for camera phones, but this isn't one of its best efforts. It's just a 5 megapixel camera with a typical 1/4 inch sensor and an LED flash. Photography is competent but not impressive next to the latest high-end camera phones. However, a good spread of creative photo editing software is included.

The camera can record video at Full HD 1080p resolution.

A rather ordinary 640 x 480 pixel front camera is also available for video chat or selfies.

Connectivity

The Lumia 1320 brings the advantage of 4G network connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi, giving you the best possible options for high-speed data on the move. It's a feature that many tablets don't have, making the Lumia a possible replacement for a phone plus tablet combo.

Other connectivity options include a micro USB port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth 4.0. NFC has been removed however.

Battery life

The Lumia 1320 retains the enormous 3,400mAh battery of the Lumia 1520, giving this device exceptional battery life. It'll easily give you two days of heavy use between charges.

Conclusion

This is the cheapest phablet we've seen to date, and that in itself means that the Lumia 1320 should win some fans. Although it's bulkier and less powerful than rival phablets, it does give you a lot for your money and that big 6 inch screen will be a real draw for many.

Given that the phone is 4G and has such a huge screen, it could easily replace a phone and tablet with a single device, which makes it an even more cost-effective option if you don't need the very highest-spec hardware.


Nokia Lumia 1320 features include:

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Nokia Lumia 1320 user reviews

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Average rating from 2 reviews:

Reviewed by WeyBoy from UK on 18th Sep 2014
Had my 1320 about 6 months now and I love it. Took a while to take the plunge to a phone this size but I'm really pleased with it, especially running windows phone 8.1.

It does fit in most trouser pockets and can be used with 1 hand for many but not all functions. I use it as an everyday phone without size problems.

As the conclusion above states,a great phone for the money - not a high end phone but for free on a cheap contact it's a great buy and windows phone is a lovely operating system to use, smooth, consistent, easy to use and attractive.
Rating:

Reviewed by Tris from UK on 11th Jun 2014
You only buy a phablet for one reason and it isn't because your afraid of size! The 1320 is built well and is as fast as others in the budget phablet range. Everything you would expect to be here is present. Phone calls are great, screen is good, surfing is good. It does wp8 very well and is well intergrated. It bridges the gap of phone/ tablet very well if your os choice is windows. I wanted to like the 1320, i really did. Its ket down in a few key areas. No1, size. It really is bulky, even for a phablet and can tire your hands. With a case on it becomes stupid. No2, cameras and really sub standard. 5mp on the back and only vga on the front. For Nokia this is a real disappointment. They do the job and that's about it. No3, the real problem is wp8 itself. Its just not a patch on android when it comes to a phablet. The galaxy mega offers so much more. Better cameras, better eco system and touchwiz love it or hate it is optimised for a phablet. Things like split screen tasking and ootimised apps are nowhere to be seen on the lumia. Its a shame. Good hardware that's really let down by its os.
Rating:

Reply by Tris from UK on 12th Jun 2014
Traded up for a galaxy mega. Its clear that the 1320 is just a very large windows phone.... But the galaxy mega really does blur the line between phone and tablet with what it offers.

Reply by Tris from UK on 29th Dec 2014
Well I'm afraid I have to eat my words over the review of my original 1320.Not long after trading to the galaxy mega I soon hit problems.basically it fell to pieces.It struggles to run many apps.I had a strange purple tint on the camera and the battery seem to loose its charge very fast. Very luckily for me I was able to purchase another 1320 for just 150 brand new unlocked. My daily driver was a blackberry Q10 which I've now upgraded to a BB/classic but the 1320 was used for navigation,pre-loaded film, youtube and ect. Since August its been faultless. With the new Denim update its amazing. Its tough, it has a great screen, its far more usable with the denim update and games even such as GTA san Andreas run no problem. This makes a great 2nd phone and the combination I have really works for me. So much so that I will have no hesitation to upgrade to a 1330 when the time comes. A little note to s21. Maybe take a little peak at the BB passport and classic for all us business t ypes. Well done Nokia. Sorry for doubting you!


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