You'll recall the Lumia 1320 from our own launch story?
A few choice quotes from GSMArena's extensive (annoyingly 11-page) review:
The Nokia Lumia 1320 is toned down version of the Lumia 1520 and is tailored to fit both the needs and budget of its potential customers. We are more than used to seeing Lumia smartphones do well enough on far from stellar hardware, and Nokia's choice of the trusty Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset and a 5MP camera, seems to make sense on a device like the Lumia 1320.
Indeed. For 99% of users, there's precisely zero difference in UI experience between the flagship and budget Windows Phones, a continuing testament to the platform.
You won't mistake the Nokia Lumia 1320 for any other make of phone on the market - the design of the Lumia line-up, which has been pretty much set in stone, is instantly recognizable. In fact, the Lumia 1320 is actually very similar to the Lumia 625. Almost too similar.
Not that we're complaining - the Lumia 625 is a good looking phone, albeit a little too simple and understated. Both have replaceable back panels in a variety of bright paint jobs, which don't just cover the back, but wrap around the sides as well. This works as a subtle accent, forming a slim frame around the screen.
Sadly, the only benefit of a removable back panel is missing - the 3400mAh battery is non-user-replaceable.
Ah, my pet hate. I can understand completely sealed designs - strength and integrity, etc. A design choice. But to have (as on the 625, too) a back cover which comes off - and then doesn't give access to the battery is nothing short of criminal.
The Nokia Lumia 1320 has a 6" IPS LCD screen of 720p resolution for a pixel density of 245ppi. The LCD incorporates Nokia's ClearBlack tech - a set of polarizing filters, which minimize glare. Plus, there's Gorilla Glass 3 on top - the strange thing is the Lumia 1520 has only the second gen screen protection and not this one.
The capacitive display has the super sensitive touch technology allowing it to detect user input even through gloves. Just make sure you enable it in the settings menu if you need it, as it's disabled by default to conserve battery power.
Given the absence of CBD on most of the other budget Lumias, it's great to see it here - it really does make a big difference when outdoors. 720p at 6" is lowish, but still fine for 'normal' (i.e. not super-picky) users.
From GSM Arena's conclusions:
Nokia is obviously hoping the Lumia 1320 will hit the ground running and that hope isn't unfounded, considering the loud bang the 1520 produced and the solid record of the Lumia 520 and Lumia 620. Providing all the necessities at a reasonable price is a Nokia staple in the Windows Phone midrange. It's been a winning formula for the Finns in smartphones, so no obvious reason why it won't work in phablets as well.
Or, maybe there're some after all? The 1320 is very late to the phablet scene to begin with, which means Androids have had plenty of time to feel right at home. The devices in question aren't just powerful in hardware, but some have hot glass bodies and even tricks such as a swiveling camera (the OPPO N1).
Windows Phone 8 is proven to behave on less than premium hardware, but it's not the platform of choice for most game makers out there. As a result, the Lumia 1320 squanders some of the potential of that large screen.
If not for gaming though, the Lumia 1320 has a knack for some serious work. With Windows Phone 8 you get probably the best document editing software on a phone and it will play nicely on the 6" screen. Then, there's the excellent SkyDrive integration to keep the files in sync and safe from harm's way.
Not least, the free offline voice-guided navigation is certainly a nice perk too.
The Nokia Lumia 1320 will certainly find its place under the phablet sun but it seems at this point a number of droids can offer more for less. What we shouldn't underestimate is the outstanding Lumia 1520, which may as well be able to pull its sibling along. Plus, the success of the Lumia 520 probably means there's a core of happy Windows Phone users who may be ready for something bigger, but not too pricey.
What's fascinating about the increasing saturation of the smartphone market is that every model, every design seems to have "its place" without necessarily applying to a wide cross section. Apple's iPhone is a good example of a design that bucks the trend becase the company makes so few models, while Nokia and Samsung are firmly behind the idea of making every size and every price point so that there's something for everyone.
Watch this space for our own hands-on thoughts on the Lumia 1320 in due course.