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printed September 2, 2014
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Review: Nokia Lumia 1520 for AT&T

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Screen

Among the Lumia 1520's list of "firsts" is the display. It’s the first Windows Phone to feature a 6-inch screen, and the first to have full 1080p HD resolution. Like Nokia's other smartphone screens, it is an LCD with Nokia Clear Black and Gorilla Glass. It looks great. Everything on the screen is bright, clean, and colorful. The colors are all accurate, and viewing angles are excellent. It's a very good display.

Signal

AT&T is the exclusive seller of the Lumia 1520 in the U.S. We tested the device around northern New Jersey and found it to perform well on AT&T's network. Calls all connected on the first attempt and the 1520 didn't miss any nor drop any during our review period. Data performance was strong on both HSPA and LTE. Even when signal conditions weren't their best, the 1520 still managed to fire off emails, update Twitter, and even upload images. I'd rate the 1520 above par as far as AT&T devices go.

Sound

All of those phone calls connected seamlessly, but they didn't sound that great. Our 1520 produced a loud and distracting hiss in the earpiece. I made a number of calls from different cell sites to make sure it wasn't a local issue. The 1520 hissed at me every time I made a call. Aside from the hiss, voices were clear in the earpiece. Set all the way up, the volume was OK, but far from good. I was able to hear calls in my home or car, but not in a noisy restaurant. You may need to find a quiet retreat when making important calls. Those with whom I spoke through the 1520 said I sounded very good. The speakerphone also produces the hiss, but it is somewhat less noticeable. Calls sent to the speakerphone sounded better than the earpiece. I wish the speakerphone could get a little bit louder, but it should suffice for most people. Ringers and alert tones were good, and the vibrate alert was strong.

Battery

In a word, great. The 1520 has a 3,400mAh battery and Nokia claims it offers up to 25 hours of talk time. What I can tell you is that I got well more than a day out of a single charge. Frugal users might see close to two days of battery life, and even power users can be confident they'll get through at least one full day. The 1520 offers very good battery life, especially considering the size and feature set.

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