1. HyperMatrix's Avatar
    So I've had my phone for a little over 2 weeks now. Played with a lot of settings. Downloaded a lot of apps. And in general tried to see how the phone compares to other devices. For the record I have 4 years experience working as the data prime for a telecommunications company in Canada and have a lot of hands-on time with various handsets. I'm not going to post a "wish list" of features I'd like but rather point out things that I would not have expected to be an issue to begin with. To be clear these are things that affect each and every Lumia 1520, and are not caused by defects or malfunctions that should be warrantied. There is already a sticky thread on that. Here goes:

    1) WiFi Connectivity. The Lumia 1520 is equipped with 802.11ac spec WiFi. While ac spec doesn't increase the transmission range compared to wireless N, it allows higher speeds more evenly throughout the range. So I was quite excited for this. My iPad Air and Nvidia Shield are both 802.11N, but use MIMO to double the transfer rate. Maximum throughput between the 2 appears to be identical. When downloading from the web, I was able to achieve roughly 120mbps. It's important to note that this test was not about maximum in-network data transfer and I should technically get higher speeds if transferring a file from a device connected to my router. The point is to show that download speeds are sufficient, when there is coverage. However, for some reason the superior WiFi on the Lumia 1520 is limited in range compared to the lower spec WiFi found on other devices. So in areas where I have 3 or 4 bars with other devices on Wireless N, I will only have 1 or 2 bars with the Lumia 1520. So in comparison to my iOS and Android devices, I find the WiFi to be more finicky when it comes to range/reception, but in areas with good reception the performance is top notch.

    2) Video Playback. This one is a bit ridiculous. The native in-browser video player is primitive beyond belief. It has trouble playing some ( or all?) mp4 video files. And when it can play videos, you don't have a slider to seek around the video. You are only given a "jump forward/jump backward" option which allows you to go forward by 30 seconds per tap. This was quite shocking to see. And the overall load time for videos is quite poor. I'm assuming no work has been done in this area because ie11 will be running with the Windows Phone 8.1 update that is expected in April. I am probably more excited about ie11 on this phone than about a notification center.

    3) Camera (stills and video). Overall the camera is great. But there are some very amateurish mistakes made, such as a very red tint to the picture at times when flash is used. The optical image stabilization is one of the best I've seen. Definitely better than my mini-dslr which cost more than the phone. Video quality on the phone is somewhat subpar. Other than falling short of what you would expect from a 20mp camera that takes some pretty amazing shots, it has other issues. Auto-exposure/brightness control while recording. It frequently changes the brightness even while panning and goes from one extreme (too dark) to the other (too bright). It needs to be tightened up more or an option needs to be set that allows control over how aggressive the auto-brightness is. 4k video would be a plus, even if only so we could then downsample that video to 1080p to get sharper and cleaner video. But the existing problems at 1080p definitely need to be resolved. However I do need to note that the 3x non-digital (sort of) zoom while video recording is remarkable and allows for some very good cinematic shooting. Though I hope down the line they allow the volume up/down buttons to zoom in/out while the camera app is open.

    4) Phone rebooting. My phone has rebooted on its own roughly 20-30 times now. I've been trying to troubleshoot what it is. And it appears to be a few things. The phone does have a tendency to crash and reboot while internet explorer is running. That's happened twice in the last 24 hours. Fortunately it is a very fast phone and the reboot takes no time at all. The problem with the reboot is that it sets the volume back from 30/30 to 13/30 every time. This may become an issue if the phone reboots while you're asleep. Another factor in reboots is unstable OS software. I highly discourage anyone from installing the developer preview updates from Microsoft. I was getting 5-6 random reboots a day (while gaming, while browsing, while I'm sleeping, while it's charging). Since flashing the firmware back to a global variant 2, and not installing the developer preview updates, I've only crashed twice. And both while using internet explorer. No rebooting on its own when nothing else is going on. So I installed the developer preview update an hour ago, and the random reboots started again. So I believe that it is a software issue, rather than a hardware issue.

    5) PWM Backlight, Brightness, and Screen Flickering. If you've ever used your phone in absolute darkness, for example when you're in bed at night, you'll notice the phone does an excellent job of reducing the brightness to make it easy on your eyes. Of course, you'll only notice this if you use the Automatic brightness setting as the phones Low/Medium/High brightness options don't give you many options, and the "Low" setting is actually several times brighter than what Automatic brightness can dim the screen to. Why they didn't use a brightness slider like every other phone in existence...I don't know. But that goes back to another "wish list" feature. The main issue with the PWM and Automatic Brightness setting, is that it was done poorly. Keep in mind that what I'm about to state does not mean there is a hardware issue or defect or oversight in engineering, and that a software fix is absolutely possible for it. As you may know, your household lightbulb works by flickering on/off. It does it at a fast rate that is undetectable to the human eye and ends up looking constant. However if you watch a slow-motion capture with the right camera, you can see this flicker in action. What does this have to do with our LED Backlight in the Lumia 1520? Well, the LED uses a similar method. But what it does, is that it changes the on/off rate per cycle. Increasing it for max brightness, and reducing it for minimum brightness. At a certain dimming point, the on/off flicker rate on the backlight drops so low, that our eye starts to pick up on it. And this is where one problem with the Lumia 1520 lies. The manual "Low" setting is not low enough. And the Automatic setting drops it too low. So low that most people will be able to see the flicker of the backlight. So there's no happy medium for night time viewing. Many people thought their phone was broken when witnessing this, when in fact it's just how the technology works when you allow the flicker rate to drop down too much. If flicker rate was increased at the low end, even by a bit, it would help remove the visible flickering. Though at the same time that means that it would also increase the brightness at the lowest level. But this needs to be done.

    I hope this has been informative. To summarize my findings so far: Poor WiFi compared to other devices. Poor/Limited Video Playback (in-browser). Poor quality video/brightness adjustment, and lower resolution capture than other devices with the same hardware. Phone instability with both App and OS crashes/reboots. Flickering backlight with limited brightness control options.

    I still love the heck out of this phone. And hoping Microsoft gets it into gear and finishes refining this OS. Nokia built an amazing device. Now it just needs MS to catch up.
    unease likes this.
    12-31-2013 05:29 PM
  2. Cheewii Poon's Avatar
    2) Video Playback. This one is a bit ridiculous. The native in-browser video player is primitive beyond belief. It has trouble playing some ( or all?) mp4 video files. And when it can play videos, you don't have a slider to seek around the video. You are only given a "jump forward/jump backward" option which allows you to go forward by 30 seconds per tap. This was quite shocking to see. And the overall load time for videos is quite poor. I'm assuming no work has been done in this area because ie11 will be running with the Windows Phone 8.1 update that is expected in April. I am probably more excited about ie11 on this phone than about a notification center.

    4) Phone rebooting. My phone has rebooted on its own roughly 20-30 times now. I've been trying to troubleshoot what it is. And it appears to be a few things. The phone does have a tendency to crash and reboot while internet explorer is running. That's happened twice in the last 24 hours. Fortunately it is a very fast phone and the reboot takes no time at all. The problem with the reboot is that it sets the volume back from 30/30 to 13/30 every time. This may become an issue if the phone reboots while you're asleep. Another factor in reboots is unstable OS software. I highly discourage anyone from installing the developer preview updates from Microsoft. I was getting 5-6 random reboots a day (while gaming, while browsing, while I'm sleeping, while it's charging). Since flashing the firmware back to a global variant 2, and not installing the developer preview updates, I've only crashed twice. And both while using internet explorer. No rebooting on its own when nothing else is going on. So I installed the developer preview update an hour ago, and the random reboots started again. So I believe that it is a software issue, rather than a hardware issue.
    I don't use my phone to surf the web much, but I think you can seek video more accurately by holding down the forward and back buttons in the video player, like when playing music.

    These random bugs are expected when using the developer preview, and only some people get some random bugs, I've been lucky and haven't had this problem. Not sure if this problem is related to the Kid's Corner though, because I do know that if you switch to the Kid's Corner and back your volume will be down to 13/30, because that's the limit for Kid's Corner.

    Also, may I ask why you installed the Developer Preview? Doesn't the 1520 come with GDR3 Lumia Black out of the box anyway? I think it was probably wiser to stick with Lumia Black since it is better.
    01-01-2014 08:06 AM
  3. zipro's Avatar
    The reboots might seem like a software issue but they probably aren't. I've had about six or seven 920s and half of them had the reboot problem, the rest didn't (as in ZERO reboots ever). The same goes for the 1520. My first one had the reboot problem among other issues. The second and the third one didn't / don't. I've never had a reboot on my current one. Been using it for weeks now.

    I don't like the 1520's camera that much because the low light performance isn't great. It's worse than my N5's and my wife's iPhone 5S's. In good light, it's an excellent camera, albeit prone to lens flares.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    01-01-2014 02:32 PM
  4. marcelohc's Avatar
    Hi all. I'm having troubles with random reboots... 10-20 times per hour... Device is unusable!
    Configuration settings says me that the phone is updated, but... there is a way to "flash" or install the last official OS version via PC? some PC desktop tool? (for example KIES for samsung android devices).

    Thanks for your help!
    01-01-2014 05:00 PM
  5. Old_Cus's Avatar
    It's interesting hearing about the reboot issue. I've had my 1520 for over a month now and I've had 0 reboots.
    01-01-2014 05:16 PM
  6. HyperMatrix's Avatar
    I don't use my phone to surf the web much, but I think you can seek video more accurately by holding down the forward and back buttons in the video player, like when playing music.

    These random bugs are expected when using the developer preview, and only some people get some random bugs, I've been lucky and haven't had this problem. Not sure if this problem is related to the Kid's Corner though, because I do know that if you switch to the Kid's Corner and back your volume will be down to 13/30, because that's the limit for Kid's Corner.

    Also, may I ask why you installed the Developer Preview? Doesn't the 1520 come with GDR3 Lumia Black out of the box anyway? I think it was probably wiser to stick with Lumia Black since it is better.
    Unfortunately for web video it's either a single tap for 30 seconds, or nothing. I tried out the developer preview as I've generally not had an issue with preview software from Microsoft in the past. I'm definitely not using kid's corner. And I've since reflashed the phone back to stock GDR3 firmware with no issues, minus 2 crash/reboots while using internet explorer. Still unsure if I should be concerned about this or not. But as it's the only time it's happened in the last 3 days on the new firmware, I think I should be safe. Will be picking up SquareTrade warranty for it so I'm covered.

    The reboots might seem like a software issue but they probably aren't. I've had about six or seven 920s and half of them had the reboot problem, the rest didn't (as in ZERO reboots ever). The same goes for the 1520. My first one had the reboot problem among other issues. The second and the third one didn't / don't. I've never had a reboot on my current one. Been using it for weeks now.

    I don't like the 1520's camera that much because the low light performance isn't great. It's worse than my N5's and my wife's iPhone 5S's. In good light, it's an excellent camera, albeit prone to lens flares.
    I'm still debating this. Last 3 days I've had 2 reboots, and only while using internet explorer. Whereas before it would reboot at random. And that hasn't happened. So I know the software contributed to the crashes. However, I'm not sure if hardware issues are also a contributing factor. Having a hard time deciding if I should send the phone back for a replacement at this point.

    Hi all. I'm having troubles with random reboots... 10-20 times per hour... Device is unusable!
    Configuration settings says me that the phone is updated, but... there is a way to "flash" or install the last official OS version via PC? some PC desktop tool? (for example KIES for samsung android devices).

    Thanks for your help!
    You can flash the latest stable global firmware using Nokia Suite software. That's what I did. You need to follow these guides, and I hope it's allowed to link to xdadevelopers.

    Tutorial on how to flash your Lumia using Nokia Care Suite: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2515453
    Page with codes for different Lumia 1520 Firmwares: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2531148

    I definitely recommend trying to set up the phone as a brand new phone without restoring from a previous backup, if possible. And don't install any apps at first. See if the system is stable to begin with. Then start adding apps and see if/when crashes happen.

    It's interesting hearing about the reboot issue. I've had my 1520 for over a month now and I've had 0 reboots.
    Have you done much browsing or gaming with your phone? As I said earlier in the post, I'm still trying to decide whether I should send the phone back for an exchange or not.
    01-02-2014 12:51 AM
  7. Dude Virus's Avatar
    I agree with the wireless issues as i am facing a slow speed using wifi on the lumia 1520. For sure there is something wrong with the wireless card or the drivers.

    1. The internet speed while connected to wireless that i get on the 1520 is half or even more less than what i get on my desktop (connected wirelessly) or on my other phones (both being android). I get a 25Mbps download & upload both on the computer as well as on both the android phones. But on the Lumia it will hardly even cross 10Mbps for download and 16 Mbps for upload.

    The issue with the speed is really strange because if i connect the phone to a 2.4 Ghz network i get upto 10 Mbps download and 16 Mbps upload speed.But if i connect the phone to a 5 Ghz N network then the download speed i get is 0.67 Mbps and upload 14 Mbps. Whereas both my androids have a download and upload speed of 25 Mbps no matter whether connected to a 2.4 Ghz or 5 Ghz network.

    i have changed different channels on the router and have almost everything including resetting the router as well as resetting the phone but no luck. The phone is OOB lumia black OS.

    Any ideas anyone.
    01-13-2014 08:06 PM

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