Review: Lumia 1520 Flip Cases

With devices as large as the Nokia Lumia 1520, a flip case, flap and all, makes a lot of sense, providing protection, comfort and, hopefully, a desk stand as well, for viewing media. You’ll remember that I reviewed the Nokia CP-623 a while back, concluding that it was ultimately too flimsy - well, in search of higher grade alternatives, I got two more Lumia 1520 flip cases in for review. One of which turned out to be the cheapest and most cheerful - but the best of the lot in real world use.

Just to set context, from the CP-623 review:

Nokia CP-623 Protective Cover, £25

Ah, let me count the ways this official (and expensive) solution sucks. Royally.

At first glance the CP-623 looks like the real deal - an iPad like segmented cover that can fold over to act as a desk stand, and a high quality moulded back that the 1520 nestles in. What's not to love? Actually, everything.

Lumia 1520 case review round-up

It's tough to know where to start, but the three webbed segments that make up the case's front must be a candidate. They're far too thin, far too flimsy, and there's no magnet functionality as on an iPad, so you have to fold out the flap and then deal with the usual screen-on and unlocking. A bit of a missed opportunity, considering what other manufacturers are building into their official cases.

A side effect of the flimsiness is that folding the case flap, iPad-style, creates a somewhat wobbly and uncertain prism for the phone to rest on. The slightest tap or knock and the 1520 has toppled over. The materials in the flap are just all.... wrong. Nokia/Microsoft, go buy an official Apple iPad cover and then copy it - really.

Lumia 1520 case review round-up

Then on the case's back, the all important 1520 loudspeaker is covered up by the plastic of the back shell. There's a half hearted section sculpted out of the plastic near the bottom to try and let some of the sound out, but it's not a patch on having the speaker outputting directly and there's an inevitable tinniness to the resulting sound, whether music or podcast or sat-nav instructions or speakerphone.

Finally, there's the price, which is way over the top for something of this quality.

Protection: 8 Usability: 8 Looks: 7 Value: 3, Total: 26/40

On with the two new contenders then.

Krusell Malmo FlipCover, £25

Starting with the Krusell Malmo FlipCover, whose premium materials and design looks perfect at first glance - the 1520 slides into the fabric sheath smoothly and all seems hunky dory. 

Lumia 1520 case

Lumia 1520 case

Alas, the usual criticisms of Krusell cases arise here - I simply don’t believe the designers at the company actually use their cases in real life/ Starting with the sides - the use of material rather than solid mouldings means that, inevitably, the material bows out a little. Making reaching the phone’s control buttons harder and less comfortable than it should be - you’re always ‘reaching’ in to some degree and it never feels natural.

Lumia 1520 case

Secondly, the extravagant hinge promises desk stand functionality, as shown here. Unfortunately, there’s no ‘lip’ on the front/left edge of the flip, meaning that the sheathed 1520 keeps slipping and sliding off the flip - how difficult would it have been to include a subtle ridge to help here?

Lumia 1520 case

Protection: 9 Usability: 4 Looks: 9 Value: 6, Total: 28/40

Capdase Sider Baco Folder, £20

The cheap-looking transparent plastic back shell and faux leather, not to mention the two suction caps, don't create a premium first impression, but here it's important to try the case anyway... and discover that it's well designed and very useable.

Lumia 1520 case

Lumia 1520 case

Lumia 1520 case

There's actually good attention to detail here, not least the exact size of the suction cups, which serve the purpose of keeping the flip closed onto the phone screen, without:

  • being too bulky
  • damaging the display
  • making the opening too hard
  • being so loose that the flip falls open

Moreover, the little suction cups provide the perfect 'stop' for the case in landscape mode, when using the Lumia 1520 to view media. 

Lumia 1520 case

The 1520's buttons are perfectly useable when the phone's in situ and the only possible annoyance in real world use is that when the flip is folded back round through 180 degrees, the suction cups are then sticking out a little into your finger grips. I do worry that the suction cups might start to lose effectiveness when they get dirty or dusty, but I'd expect a 10 second wipe over with a wet wipe to fix things.

One remaining oddity is the metal-ringed circular cutout on the left hand spine, which shows one of the 1520's tray pin holes completely pointlessly.

Protection: 8 Usability: 8 Looks: 8 Value: 8, Total: 32/40


As you'll see from the scores, a resounding 'all-rounder' win for the last of the three designs, from Capdase. If you only go for one flip case, start with this one. 

Thanks to Mobile Fun for the review samples, please see their complete selection of Lumia 1520 cases.

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