To say that the so-called phablet segment is booming would be an understatement, with every phone brand worth its salt having at least one large-screened smartphone in its portfolio. Nokia forayed into this category with the Lumia 1520, launched just three weeks ago, adding a 6-inch member to the Lumia family. The 1520 is an overwhelming device in terms of pure specs, but considering its premium pricing, may not appeal to every pocket. We’re only figuratively speaking of course, though its large size does mean that the reference to pockets holds true literally as well.
Those looking for more affordable option can now take solace with the Nokia Lumia 1320, launched in India today for Rs 23,999. While it may be considered as a cut-down version of the Lumia 1520, the 1320 is a different beast, sharing only the 6-inch screen size with its most accomplished sibling. We got a chance to play with Nokia’s mid-range phablet at the launch event today, and here are our first impressions.
Nokia’s devices are known for their build quality, and the Lumia 1320 doesn’t disappoint. Encased in a polycarbonate chassis that comes in multiple hues, the device feels solid, and not too unwieldy despite its large size. Construction-wise, it seems like a super-sized version of the Lumia 625, the handset that boasted the largest screen size before Nokia’s foray into phablets. At first glance, the Lumia 1320 looks like it sports a unibody design, but in reality, it has a rear shell that covers the unit so seamlessly that it gives the impression of a sealed casing. The similarity with the Lumia 625 comes to the fore not only when you consider the rounded edges of the two devices and the matte feel of the rear, but also due to the way the rear shell is designed and the fact that the battery is sealed. Overall, it looks good and feels quite sturdy.
Software-wise, the Lumia 1320 runs Windows Phone 8 with the Black update, and the extra screen real estate enables a third column of tiles on the home screen – adding an extra layer of convenience since you can cram in more tiles and access installed apps easily. The 720p screen may pale in comparison to the full HD display on the 1520, but the difference is only noticeable if you see the two siblings side-by-side. Otherwise, the large expanse of the Lumia 1320’s screen looks sharp, and seems useful for everything from media viewing to web browsing. The 5-megapixel main snapper does seem like a bit of a disappointment, at least on paper, though we’ll only be able to comment on its real-life performance once we get a chance to spend some quality time with the device. In the brief time we spent with the phone though, we can safely say that the 1.7GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM keep things smooth.
Our first impressions of the device are quite favourable, and we think that the pricing is quite aggressive. As of now, we think that the device looks like good value for money, and that bodes well for the device. Watch this space for a full review.