Features cont.

Gallery and Image Editor

The 1520 features the same Photos gallery app as the 1020, which is a decent way to browse through your images. You get 24 thumbnails on a page. Unfortunately in this view all images are square, which makes it impossible to quickly identify a panorama image. In the individual image view you can flick through photos by swiping left and right. You can also get to a scrollable bar that allows you to see three or four frames at a time by zooming out.

Photos supports albums, favorites and can group tagged images of people together. You can share photos via mail, messaging, Nokia’s Tap+Send feature or supported third-party apps from within the gallery (or within the capture apps themselves).

The Photos app randomly selects one of your images as its background.
Thanks to to the 1520's high resolution screen you get 24 thumbnails on a page, but only in square format. 

For editing the Lumia 1520 comes preinstalled with Nokia Creative Studio. Creative Studio is a filter and editing app with a few nice touches although the UI can require some getting used to if you are switching form another platform. You start off by deciding whether to use one of eight color-cast filters (Silver, Ivory, Seashell, Quartz, Jade, Aquamarine, Amber, or Opal) or sticking with the original as-shot image. Check out a few options below:

The first step after opening an image in Nokia Creative Studio...
...is deciding whether to apply one of the filters or stick with the original image.

With that out of the way, the app offers some basic edits and enhancements. Under the Fix menu, you’ll find cropping and red-eye removal tools. The Adjust menu lets you tweak color balance and brightness, as well as clarity (affecting contrast and sharpness) and vibrance (more or less a saturation slider).

Setting Clarity to zero produces a soft-focus look with little local contrast.
With the slider set to the maximum the image looks much more crispy and defined.

The Blur menu provides a “Radial+Tilt Shift” option that lets you create blur, either around circular area you pick, or with a tilt-shift, miniature look.

The Radial Blur function allows you to blur the image radially from a specific point. You can control the strength and fade of the blur effect by swiping on the screen.
The tilt-shift tool simulates a tilt-shift lens for a miniature look, but is restricted to a horizontal sharp zone.

The Focus Object feature provides more elaborate blur control, letting you mask areas that you want sharp or blurry. You can zoom in for more precision with the mask, and the software does a decent job of finding edges to guess what you’re trying to accomplish. You can find more detail about this feature in our Lumia 1020 review.

Under the Play menu, there’s “color pop,” a selective color tool, and “collage,” which lets you group a few images into, well, a collage. It could be fun for creating digital postcards. 

Color Pop allows you to select areas of color in an otherwise monotone image. Here we've selected the colored panel on the building on the left and the person's hat on the right.
Collage let's you group image and select the exact crop you want to display.

Overall Nokia Creative Studio is a reasonably powerful solution that can cover many of your mobile image editing needs once you've got your head around it. In many ways I'd prefer it to the available third part solutions such as Fantasia Painter or Fhotoroom but it's mostly down to personal preference which one you pock as your favorite.

App Eco sysem

Microsoft was late to the App Store game and with the Windows store has been lagging behind its major rivals Apple and Google in terms of app support since day one. Windows Phone seems to be gaining traction, but its competitors are still a long way ahead.

Good imaging apps are still more difficult to find in the Windows Store than on Google Play or the  Apple App Store. The popular Instagram app was recently launched for Windows Phone but is still officially in beta status and does not offer all the features of the other versions. Instagram rival EyeEm had a Windows Phone version in the past but has stopped supporting it. It's still usable on the 1520 but nowhere near the Apple and Android versions in terms of features and user interface.

In terms of pure editing apps the choice isn't quite as on other platforms either. A version of Aviary’s photo editor is in the Microsoft app store and apps like Fantasia Painter, Fhotoroom and Fotor are the editing apps of choice for many Windows Phone photographers. However, you simply don't have the same choice as on other platforms. So if you are relying on a specific app or feature in your mobile imaging workflow make sure it's available for Windows Phone before committing to the platform.