Lumia 1320 Review: Windows Phone 8.1 Turns The 1320 Into a Sleeper Hit

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Lumia 1320
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Announced by Nokia in October 2013 and launched in Kenya in January 2014, the Lumia 1320 heralded Nokia’s foray in Phablets. Together with its more powerful brethren, the Lumia 1520, the Lumia 1320 was designed to take advantage of the growing super-sized smartphone segment.

Lumia 1320

I was very hesitant about using such a large phone as my daily smartphone, but at the end of my time with this large behemoth, I was converted. Read on to discover why:

The Lumia 1320 6” inch display is an IPS Clear Black 720×1280 touch screen that’s covered with Gorilla Glass 3. The clear black technology enables high degrees of legibility in direct sunlight. Though the PPI (pixels per inch) is 245, the screen is really a joy to use as it is vibrant, clear and sharp from all angles. Once I started reading emails, web browsing and especially viewing multimedia on this screen, I immediately realized it would be hard to go back to the 4.5 screen on my Lumia 920.

Powered by a Dual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.7GHZ and sporting 1GB RAM the 1320 did not have any problems running applications or 3D Games. In fact, gaming on this devices is another joy with the large screen making gameplay immersive.

The 1320 has 8GB or internal storage and is expandable via SD card up to an additional 64GB. As a power user / app junkie, 8GB was a problem when I tested the device. WindowsPhone 8.0 only allowed Multimedia (pictures, music, and videos) to be stored on the SD Card. Thus I quickly ran out of room. However with the release the Windows Phone 8.1 with Cyan firmware update (available now for local Lumia 1320’s by going to Settings then Phone Updates then Check For Updates), users can now install both multimedia AND apps to the SD card.

The rounded edges of the Lumia 1320 and well balanced weight, not only makes it feel like a premium device but makes it a pleasure to hold while typing. Unless you possess King Kong like hands, the large size of the 1320 requires that you use both hands when typing. Once you get used to this change, your typing speed actually increases due to the well-spaced out keyboard that takes advantage of the increased screen real estate. With interchangeable backs available in black, white, red and yellow, the Lumia 1320 can easily be changed up to match your taste.

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The Lumia 1320 and Lumia 1520 introduced the 3 column layout to the Windows Phone Start screen (NOTE: This layout will be extended to all other WindowsPhone devices with the WP8.1 update). The improved layout enables the user to “pin” much more content on their start screen and reduce the amount of scrolling needed. I was able to pin all the apps that I use on the start screen, and with the Windows Phone Live Tiles, my productivity was greatly increased.4 HomeScreens

 

The 6 inch screen also makes reading and replying to emails a pleasure. This also extended to the Office experience. You can open, view and edit Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint files easily. I actually found that I used the 1320 in lieu of my Surface Pro tablet when I needed to browse the web.

Now to the stand out feature of the Lumia 1320: The 3000mAH battery. This phone just does not die. I don’t use power saving modes on my phones as I want my device to be at maximum performance whenever I pick it up. Not only did the 1320 keep up with my demanding usage (my 920 will barely make it past 7 hours), I was able to go make it past 24 hours and not have to charge the phone overnight. I even stopped carrying my USB power bank. Thus for the regular user, the 1320 will easily last two days without charging.

5-Battery Screen

The one feature of the 1320 that disappointed me was the 5MP rear facing camera and 0.3MP front facing camera. As my daily driver is a Nokia Lumia 920, the images captured with the 1320 were disappointing. To be pragmatic, Nokia had used great specifications everywhere else to keep the device MSRP from spiraling out of control. The Lumia 1320 does just fine when capturing casual photography, but it cannot hold up to the images captured with the 720, 920, or 925 models.

Conclusion 

So how do you know if the Lumia 1320 right for you? If you need a great productivity device that lasts 2 days, love multimedia at the expense of a slight compromise on imaging, and you don’t wear skinny jeans, the 1320 is the device for you. The 1320 proves that once you go big, it’s hard go back to smaller devices.

The Lumia 1320 is now available online at the Midcom Store for KES 32,999.

Skinny jeans will be a problem for the Lumia 1320.
Skinny jeans will be a problem for the Lumia 1320.
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