Nokia Lumia 1520 preview: Second encounter

Second encounter

GSMArena team, 15 November 2013.

Lumia exclusive app

Speaking of cool camera apps, Nokia has also pre-installed StoryTeller on the Lumia 1520, which organizes your photos and videos into collections based on the location and time they were shot (note: the app is still in Beta). Duplicates are automatically hidden, but not deleted if you want to go back and pick a better shot of the scene. If you zoom out of a photo, you'll see where it was taken and what's nearby.

Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview
Nokia StoryTeller automatically organizes your photos and videos

Being a high-end Lumia smartphone, the 1520 gets the Drive+ navigation suite for free out of box. Unlike Drive available on lower-end Lumias, Drive+ has global coverage. And since it's available offline you don't have to worry about roaming data charges, either.

HERE Drive+ offers free, life-time voice-guided navigation anywhere in the world. All you have to do is download a voice in your language of choice and you're good to go. Of course, to make use of the key selling point of Drive - offline navigation - you have to download a map for a country of your choice, too.

Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview
HERE Drive+ does voice-guided navigation

With Drive+ you can easily plan routes (all offline, unlike the early iterations of this app) and you can tweak various settings for each route - fastest/shortest/economical route can be selected and you can choose whether the app will use or avoid motorways, toll roads, ferries, tunnels, unpaved roads and motor trains. There are icons to remind you of the selected settings.

Drive+ uses big, clear instructions on its screen in addition to the voice prompts, which is ideal for in-car use. You can switch between 2D and 3D mode and chose the color scheme (day, night, auto). There are speed alerts and real-time traffic information.

Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview
Tweaking the route-planning algorithm • day and night color schemes

We do miss a few options however - like setting a starting point other than your current location and downloading maps for an entire continent. Still, Nokia offer quality maps and offline voice-guided navigation out of the box, which puts them ahead of other Windows Phone makers and even other platforms (the stock mapping apps on Android and iOS require a data connection to plan the route).

Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview
HERE Drive+ will work in most of the world

The most recent update to the HERE suite adds an overview of traffic conditions in your area, including your drive to and from work with the My Commute app. My Commute shows an at-a-glance look of your journey with a special Live Tile on your homescreen. You can setup up multiple commutes as well.

Nokia Lumia 1020Nokia Lumia 1020
Commute alerts show up on your homescreen as a Live Tile

Nokia Music is the company's custom app, which combines a music store and a streaming service called Mix Radio. Lumia owners get the streaming service for free (works right out of the box) and it boasts an extensive library of tracks. While it is mostly streaming oriented, you can make tracks available offline in Mix Radio to reduce data usage (they remain on the device only temporarily though). Note that the paid Music+ service offers higher-quality audio.

Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview
Nokia's Mix Radio app • making a track available offline

But Mix Radio is competing with services like Pandora too - you can give it a list of artists you like and it will automatically build a playlist to your taste. Nokia takes pride in real people creating the mixes (including celebrity-made mixes) instead of computer algorithms.

Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview
Creating a custom mix

Unlike competing services, you can also browse a specific artist and even buy songs to keep if you like. There are plenty of charts (e.g. Top sellers, Best of 2013, Songs for Fall) if you're looking for something new too.

Nokia's app has a few other advantages - it has several equalizer presets (including a custom one) and Dolby Headphones enhancements. Also, if you like an artist, the app will help you look for gigs close to you.

Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview
The equalizer and Dolby Headphones settings

Then there's Zinio, which isn't made by Nokia but is exclusive to Lumia devices on Windows Phone. Zinio creates a reading list based on your interests and you can set it to download them for offline reading (only over Wi-Fi). Zinio is also a shop for digital magazines - you can buy single issues or subscribe for 12 issues.

Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview Nokia Lumia 1520 Preview
Zinio reader

Reader comments

  • udbhav_garg

I have been using Lumia phones from the very starting the very original Lumia 800 to Lumia 1520, and in between. I have also,used android phones like note 3. I personally feel that interms of performance Lumia are way ahead of Android phones and the...

  • yow

Why dont they change their OS? Its actually the os keeping them down from the competition. Windows 8.1 is so boring/annoying especially in the app drawer when scrolling down and up to look for the app. Windowsstore still lagging behind. Doesnt have a...

  • mewwww

Pls,in ur next update,try to make it double or triple SIM..And ensure that u put, in place,all other things that need to be improved on...Nokia is always the best