After months of speculation, Nokia has officially unveiled its Lumia 1520 Windows Phone phablet. The handset, which will cost $749 off-contract when it becomes available in Q4 2013, is the first Windows Phone to sport a huge 6-inch 1080p LCD display. This is also the first device with Microsoft’s OS powered by a 2.2-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. Just be prepared for some serious heft.
In addition to its big-screen display and powerful processor, the Lumia 1520 features a 20-megapixel PureView rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics and optical image stabilization. Curiously, Nokia didn’t equip this handset with the 41-megapixel sensor found on the company’ Lumia 1020, but you’ll still enjoy the same oversampling and zooming technologies.
Measuring 6.4 x 3.4 x 0.34 inches and weighing 7.4 ounces, the 1520 is one beefy handset. In fact, this Lumia is up there with the 7.6-ounce HTC One Max and 7-ounce Samsung Galaxy Mega as one of the largest and heaviest smartphones on the planet. At least there’s also room for a sizable 3,400 mAh battery (with built-in wireless charging). The 1520 will come in yellow, white, black and glossy red.
Storage for the 1520 is set at 32GB of onboard space with a 64GB microSD card slot and 7GB of Skydrive cloud storage.
So what’s the point of a 6-inch Windows Phone? For one, Nokia says the Lumia 1520 can support a third column on the Start screen, which will make it easier to fit more Live Tiles above the fold and cut down on scrolling. This phablet will also support note-taking apps like Papyrus and InNote, though there’s no integrated stylus like the Galaxy Note 3.
From a software standpoint, the Lumia 1520 will run the latest version of the Windows Phone 8 operating system. In addition to adding support for larger displays and Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon chip, users should be able to close apps in multi-taking mode and enjoy a new customizable Driving Mode.
You’ll also find a handful of slick new apps. The Nokia Camera app brings new Pro, Smart and video modes into one photo-taking experience. Video calling gets some enhancements, thanks to the phone’s Rich Recording feature and four built-in microphones.
The 1520’s Nokia Storyteller function can automatically integrate your photos with Nokia’s HERE location info to collate your images in chronological order on a map.
Nokia is keeping mum on U.S. carrier partners, but we expect to hear more in the coming days.