DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

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When Samsung launched the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note at IFA 2011, the phablet, as devices with screens larger than 5 inches are now commonly called, was born. Initially there was doubt as to whether these oversized smartphones would catch on with consumers but in 2014 it's fair to say that phablets are here to stay.

With the 5.5-inch Note 3 Samsung is marketing the third generation of its Galaxy phablet. Sony is competing with the 6.4-inch Sony Xperia Z Ultra and HTC has thrown the 5.9-inch One Max into the mix. With all those devices using the Android operating system the users of other platforms have so far been excluded from the phablet movement. 

However, now Nokia has responded with the 6-inch Lumia 1520 which uses the Windows Phone operating system. The 1520 does not only come with a large 1080p screen but offers high-end specs all-around. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor and ships with2GB of RAM but it's the camera specs that should make the 1520 an appealing option for mobile photographers.

The PureView branded camera combines a 1/2.5-inch 20MP BSI CMOS sensor with a F2.4 lens and optical image stabilization. Following the same concept as the Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020 the new model saves downsampled 5MP images but also lets you access the full 20MP files. In addition you can set the Lumia 1520 to capture DNG Raw-files which is great news for all those users who like to optimize their image in post-production.

There's news on the software front as well. Nokia Camera combines the manual-control-focused Pro Camera and the feature-packed Smart Camera app. Nokia Storyteller is a new photo management tool that sorts and presents photos either by time captured or location. The Refocus lens mimics the effect (although not the method) of a light field camera in that it allows the user to choose a focal point post-capture. 

With the promising camera specification and interesting new software features we were curious to find out how the Nokia Lumia 1520 performed as a mobile photographer's daily companion. Read our review and find out how we got on with the new Nokia phablet.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 20MP 1/2.5-inch BSI CMOS sensor 
  • f/2.4 lens with 6 elements
  • 26mm equivalent focal length
  • ISO 100-4000
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 2x "lossless zoom"
  • dual LED flash 
  • Front-facing, 1.2MP "wide angle" camera

Other Specifications

  • 6-inch, 1080p IPS screen (368 ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2 GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB internal memory
  • 3,400 mAh battery
  • Up to 64GB microSD support
  • NFC
  • built-in wireless charging

Our 11-page review

We've considered every aspect of the Nokia Lumia 1520, with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes. Click any of the links below for more information of specific functions and continue to our conclusion for a final summary of our findings.