This is the battle of the powerhouses, the Nokia Lumia 1520 pitched against the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Both these phones are the flagship Phablets of their respective manufacturers and both are sporting the best specs in the market. The Note 3 from Samsung is actually the 3rd generation Phablet which has undergone massive development over the years to achieve the perfection. On the other hand the Nokia Lumia 1520 is the first ever Phablet introduced by Nokia in the market. So considering that Nokia have made a Phablet for the first time, it will be interesting to see how it fares pitched against a veteran in the field.
Design and Looks:
This is some amazing news for Samsung lovers if they were nauseated by the use of cheap plastic covers on all the Galaxy series of devices. For the first time Samsung put in fake leather back cover with a faux stitching on its border giving it a royal and glam feel. It is not also available some great new colours one of them being pink. It uses the design concept of the Galaxy S4 where the bezel on the side of the screen is pretty less, thus the screen occupying most of the area. But this could also backfire since the screen is now under a huge risk of breaking if for some reason the device happens to fall. On the other hand the Lumia 1520 uses the same polycarbonate body which is quite touch and robust, yet looks chic and is colourful. The design is similar to the 1020, but stretched to occupy the big display of the phone and the internal hardware. The 1520 is available in various colours which Nokia uses that makes the phone the most attractive ones ever.
This is where Nokia completely kills the competition. It has a 6” IPS LCD Full HD display with the resolution of 1920×1080 at 367 ppi. Not only this, but it also uses the ClearBlack technology of Nokia which gives some amazing deep blacks and not the light ones. Also the brightness of the display is optimised that you can very easily see the screen even in bright sunlight under the direct seen with an anti-glare screen and reflectants of only 6% total. Now that is cool. Note 3 on the other hand has a 5.7” Super AMOLED display with resolution of 1920×1080 Full HD at 386 ppi. This is a bigger screen then the previous Note 2, but smaller than the Lumia 1520. Also being an AMOLED display, it has got amazing display qualities, but is a complete battery guzzler, so do make a ‘Note’ of that. One advantage it has is the stylus support that it provides which increases the functionality.
Now talking about performance, both the phones sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad Core processor clocked at 2.3 GHz which is the best and the fastest processor out there. This is coupled with Adreno 330 GPU to handle the graphics and we can easily get it from this how big powerhouses both these devices are. The difference comes where the Note 3 is powered by an Exynos chip with an Octa Core processor in selected markets. So if we compare this with the Lumia, then maybe the Note 3 will inch ahead of the 1520. But again the Octa Core processor is actually a couple of quad core processors and uses the little-big architecture, meaning that only 1 quad core functions at a time. So considering that, the Lumia will surpass the Note 3 in terms of performance.
Now this is where the battle gets interesting. The Note 3 runs on Android 4.3 JellyBean which is as we all know a very heavy OS. Add to that Samsung’s own TouchWiz UI and almost half of the phone’s processing is used in functioning this itself. though Android does have advantages as having many Google services built in and also its App store is the largest in the world, but still after a certain period of time and loading up many apps and filling up memory always results on slowing down of the device. The lags are almost negligible, but still you will start noticing them after a certain period. On the other hand, the Lumia 1520 works on the buttery smooth Windows Phone 8 “Black” OS which is needless to say the smoothest OS in terms of usage. The phones with the most basic specs can handle this OS with amazing ease like the Lumia 520, and since Microsoft does not allow manufacturers to tinkle with the UI, hence you always get the same experience from the cheapest to the most expensive device. Add to that the powerhouse 1520 and your smartphone experience will be unhindered. The Windows App store though is still not that developed, but popular titles are coming here too slowly and it will only be a matter of time until the Windows App store will be as developed as Google Play.
Storage capacity and Main memory:
Both the devices come with a large quantity of inbuilt storage. The Note 3 comes in 16/32/64 GB variants while the Lumia 1520 comes in only a 32 GB variant. Both the devices contain expandable memory card slots upto 64 GB. The Note 3 contains 3 GB RAM while the Lumia 1520 contains 2 GB RAM.
When it comes to cameras, no one can beat the Nokias. As a matter of fact, the recent cameras on the flagship Lumias have even put some DSLR professional cameras to shame. Samsung is also not that far behind, but it is still behind. The Note 3 has a 13 MP camera with LED flash. It can capture some amazing photographs and also contains HDR for amazing low-light images. The Lumia 1520 on the other hand has a 20 MP PureView camera with Carl Zeiss optics and Optical Image Stabilization. The camera can perform insanely awesome in all kinds of conditions especially in low light. Both the cameras are capable of capturing 1080p Full HD videos, but here is the catch. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 can capture 1080p at 60 fps while the 1520 can capture at 30 fps. Also the Note 3 is capable of capturing 2160p Ultra HD videos at 30 fps. Wish the Lumia could do this. So in terms of videography, I guess Samsung does it if not the still images.
Both the phones are pretty feature packed the features are actually dependant. Starting with the Note 3, it has got stylus support which gives the device added functionality. The phone has the same features as the Galaxy S4 like Air view, Smart Scroll, etc. but other than that, the device also has a feature of Multi-Window in which you can divide the screen into 2 and run multiple apps at the same time. Also you can run an app in an app. Like say you are watching a movie, and you have to do some calculations, then you need not close the app, just draw a box on the screen and you will get options which apps can be opened and then you can select the calculator and done. Though for all these functionalities you do need a stylus. The Lumia 1520 on the other hand comes with a new GDR3 update to Windows Phone 8. In this there are some added features like a new Drive option where you can block calls and messages so as to not be disturbed. Also now it has support for an extra column of live tiles on the screen which means more tiles are available now. Nokia have scrapped all the previous camera apps and have combined them all in a new camera app called Nokia Camera. In this app you can access everything related to camera and videos as well as the various lenses. You can even change the settings manually as well as there are many pre-set options.
Both the phones need lots of power to run since they have the firepower and the huge screen to support. Hence, the Note 3 has a 3200 mAh battery that lasts for approximately 21 hours on 3G networks which is amazing. The Lumia 1520 on the other hand has a 3400 mAh battery which lasts upto 25 hours on 3G networks. Also with the AMOLED display on the Note 3 which is a big battery guzzler, the actual usage time of the Note 3 will be much lesser than that compared to the Lumia 1520 with an IPS LCD display; hence overall the Lumia 1520 has a better battery than the Note 3.
So, we pitched the Nokia Lumia 1520 against the best Phablet in the market (as many have termed it) the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the results have been pretty surprising. Apart from the stylus support and the Android OS running on the Note 3, the Lumia 1520 literally surpasses the Note 3 in all other aspects. It is truly an amazing device and if you are looking for a device which is amazing in everything and are fine with some apps limitations, then the Nokia Lumia 1520 is the one for you.