02-17-2015 11:29 PM
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  1. MrGoodSmith's Avatar
    They say if you put off buying a new phone because you are waiting for the next/better flagship you will never buy a new phone.

    The Lumia 1520 is the exception to that rule!

    This beast was such a major leap into the future it deserves to be the phone worth waiting for. Its a phone that will remain a flagship in your hands longer than any other before a better model is announced. Even the recently announced Lumia 930 doesnt fully match the specs of the Lumia 1520 (The Lumia 930 is missing MicroSD and Glance support).

    I am a person who likes to stick to his phone for few years rather than upgrading every year, so I knew the Lumia 1520 is the flagship I should be getting. I was only concerned about 2 issues:

    * Would I be ok with the size? Is it too big for me?
    * Can I get the RM-938 variant which supports AWS (Wind and Mobility in Canada, T-mobile in the US)?

    I was hoping Rogers or Telus would carry the phone, and I was personally expecting an announcement in January this year, but there was no news about it, which left many Windows Phone fans here in Canada bitterly disappointed.

    The RM-938 variant, which supposedly supports AWS bands, was no where to be seen. It seemed so magical and legendary people started calling it the Unicorn. Only until last month it finally became available and started popping up in various online stores under the name Lumia 1520.3

    This is no doubt the best variant of the 1520. Unlocked, penta-band, comes with wireless Qi charging, 32GB internal storage, and works with every sim card you throw into it, including Wind, Mobilicty, T-mobile running on the AWS 3G networks, not to mention full North American LTE/4G bands. Even if I am not currently with an AWS carrier, I like having the peace of mind knowing my phone is compatible with as many carriers around the world as possible.

    Since no Canadian carrier was getting the phone, the only way to get it was through an online order. Being in Canada, we have less choices than our neighbours in the south. Not many Canadian stores to start with, and if we order from the US we have to worry about shipping and import fees, and the hefty 13% tax of course here in Ontario.

    Luckily, an Alberta-based Canadian seller (Omegacell) which charges 5% tax only and free shipping started offering this variant last month, so after some hesitation I decided to go ahead and order one for me. At $813 CAD total this is certainly the most expensive phone I have ever owned!

    I dont mind paying that much for the best variant of a flagship that I will be using for years to come. I was only praying to receive a non-defective phone because I dont want to go through the hassle of dealing with returns. As for the size, if it turned out to be too big for my taste maybe I can try to live with it. After all, I will be getting in return many worthy features. Consuming media on that screen would certainly be amazing, easier typing was a major plus for me as well. The MicroSD card in such a flagship was also something you dont find in other high-end Lumias.

    I ordered the phone on Thursday, it was shipped on Friday, and on Wednesday (after 4 business days and agonizing wait) the phone was finally in my hands!

    The first time you hold this beast in your hands after opening the box is an awesome moment, especially if you were previously using a much smaller phone, like my Lumia 520.

    Yes I was using the cheap Lumia 520 temporarily waiting for the perfect flagship, so when I held the 1520 in my hands for the first time it felt really big. Just look at that massive black screen!

    But I assure you, by the end of that Wednesday the phone didnt look too big to me at all. I was surprised how I got used to it that quick. I just look at it laying on my table and only see a normal sized phone. Yes the screen is big, but it feels more of a comfortable/acceptable big than a bulky/too big.

    Next I had to cut my micro sim card to a nano size before starting to use the phone. I ordered a nano sim cutter from Amazon but it didnt arrive early enough, so I grabbed my kitchen scissors and had to go manual!

    With the help of a PDF template printout and an old sim card, I practised a bit and got a feeling of the process before taking my own live sim card, and with a brave heart I started cutting it carefully after double and triple checking the measurements. The plastic was softer than I expected, and at the end I managed to get my sim card in perfect nano size to fit firmly in the sim tray.

    Switching the phone on for the first time, I was greeted with a Spanish (or maybe Portuguese) welcome screen (The RM-938 variant is mainly targeted to Latin and South American carriers). I dont know that language, but I was able to proceed to the next screen where I could change it to English and restart the phone to continue with the rest of the setup process.

    Thankfully, the phone turned out to be great without any defects. I got a perfect signal and the sim card worked normally. No heating issues as well which is a very big plus for me.

    What I really like about this phone:

    * The screen is simply gorgeous to look at! The first thing which impressed me when I turned the phone on for the first time was the deep black color, compared to my older Lumia 520. Other colors and images look crisp and clear. Text is bigger and more comfortable to read, but you can still read smaller text thanks to the higher dpi. Everything you do on this 6" screen is pleasurable. Once I started working on the phone I knew I made the right choice.

    * It runs really fast! Applications which I thought were not well-optimized on my Lumia 520 were launching blazing fast on the Lumia 1520 and running smoothly without hiccups. Transition from one screen to another is butter smooth. Nothing seems to slow down this beast!

    * Typing on that big screen is much more comfortable now. I am doing more typing and less correcting on the Lumia 1520. Sometimes I just lay the phone on the table and type on it as if I am typing on a keyboard. Much faster and more productive.

    * Talking about productivity, I will certainly use this phone more often as a Remote Dekstop Connection client. I certainly need the biggest screen I can get when I log into those servers and work on them remotely. And now with VPN support coming in WP8.1 this is certainly the best business Windows phone to work with.

    * The battery! What shall I say about the battery! Its another awesome feature in this flagship. I am using the phone extensively these days and the battery doesnt deplete that fast. After receiving a half full battery out of the box (which is normal in new phones), in 5-6 days of moderate to heavy use I only charged it twice, and these are only the first runs. I am fully depleting the battery before every charge. This will get the battery in good shape and it should last even longer in the coming days. The phone has the best talk and standby time (28 hours talk time and 32 days standby time), and according to GSMArena battery testing, the Lumia 1520 got the highest rating among all other smartphones, so yeah, this is something to brag about!

    * MicroSD support of 128 GB! Just the fact that this flagship takes microSD adds to its value. All other high-end Lumia models lack this feature. Be proud of your Lumia 1520. No extra storage is too much. For a phone to be used for years, I need space for many apps (maybe big games) and the photos/videos I am going to take.

    * 2 GB of RAM. Same with storage, no RAM is too much. Even if Windows Phone is efficient enough to work only on 512 MB, having 2 GB of memory is future-proof to handle all future apps and possibly newer WP upgrades that might not be available or may not work as smooth on systems with less RAM. If Microsoft implements true multitasking in WP one day, having more RAM certainly is a major advantage.

    I havent got the chance to fully test the camera yet, although I am sure it takes excellent images and videos that will be more than enough for my daily use or even any youtube video I decide to make. I am not a gamer as well, but I do enjoy some games and can spend long hours on them. Just like everything else, games will look amazing on this phone and will be a pleasure to play.

    Can I handle this phone with one hand only?

    I probably have an average-sized hand, and if I want to use my cellphone with one hand only I got used to holding it with my left hand. I certainly can't reach the top-right or bottom-right icons on the screen. I am able to type a text message using one hand but I would have to hold the phone in a certain way which may risk dropping it, so for any typing tasks I always use both hands, but for casual operation like calling someone or browsing something, I can hold the phone firmly and do all of this easily in one hand only. I placed the icons in my start screen so that the features I use the most are closer to my fingers.

    As for how I am planning to carry this phone, I certainly have no intention to squeeze it into my jeans pocket. Currently I am carrying it in my jacket which has big pockets, but now that winter is almost gone I have ordered this case:

    Amazon.com: MPERO FLEX FLIP Wallet Case for Nokia Lumia 1520 - Black: Electronics

    I dont think carrying the phone around will be much trouble to me any more.

    In short, I am LOVING the phone and have no regrets with it. Its also feeling less awkward using it in public or holding it to my ear. It just feels normal now. Its a great device that will make you proud to own.

    Some final notes:

    The model which Omegacell is selling has the product code 059V6W7 VAR LTA 7R CV BLACK. I searched a bit to learn about the other product codes of this variant, and I found this page for all fans of the Lumia 1520 : )

    Product Codes of Nokia Lumia 1520 Seidea

    After more searching, I was surprised to find out that the SWAP variants of RM-938 come with firmware files which have the word canada in them and signed early in January this year. Either there were early plans to bring the Lumia 1520 officially to Canada but those plans were cancelled, or the Lumia 1520 will still come officially to Canada at some point in the future.

    Out of curiosity I wanted to know how these Canadian SWAP variants differ from what I already got, so with another brave heart and previous experience with flashing Lumia phones, I went ahead and flashed mine with one of those SWAP firmwares. Not just the new firmware revision number was lower, but my phone was no longer able to detect 4G carriers. I certainly didnt want to live with such a crippled phone, so I flashed it back to my original product code firmware and restored back all functionality. I heard hard resetting the phone may fix some bugs, so with my little flashing adventure I believe I got my phone to a fresh clean start.

    Hope this review was of any help to anyone interested in this amazing phone. Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by MrGoodSmith; 04-07-2014 at 02:16 AM.
    04-07-2014 01:32 AM
  2. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Nice review! I always like reading reviews from regular users, not just tech bloggers.
    04-07-2014 01:42 AM
  3. Booston's Avatar
    Great review!
    04-07-2014 09:06 AM
  4. pvcleave's Avatar
    Great review. I am thinking about getting one and it was nice hearing someones thoughts on the issues I have been curious about.

    What do you think about the case you ordered?
    04-07-2014 09:43 AM
  5. BaritoneGuy's Avatar
    "Even if I am not currently with an AWS carrier, I like having the peace of mind knowing my phone is compatible with as many carriers around the world as possible."

    Which carrier are you using it on?

    Thanks
    04-07-2014 10:38 AM
  6. MrGoodSmith's Avatar
    "Even if I am not currently with an AWS carrier, I like having the peace of mind knowing my phone is compatible with as many carriers around the world as possible."

    Which carrier are you using it on?

    Thanks
    Currently I'm with Chatr. I may switch to Wind in the future if they offer a good deal, so I wanted to have a compatible phone, just in case.
    04-07-2014 02:03 PM
  7. MrGoodSmith's Avatar
    What do you think about the case you ordered?
    I haven't got it yet. Hopefully this week. I may be concerned about the magnetic strap and how it may effect the compass in the phone. I will see what I can do about that.
    04-07-2014 02:05 PM
  8. Terminatorbob's Avatar
    Great review! I really hope tmobile here in the US gets a 1520 variant. I really like the Windows Phone OS. But coming from a Galaxy Note 3 I don't want to have to downsize. The 1520 would be perfect.

    I know I could just buy one outright but I had much rather use my JUMP plan since I'm paying for it and all.

    Sent from my SM-N900T using Tapatalk
    04-07-2014 06:05 PM
  9. o4komodo's Avatar
    Holy balls... that's expensive.
    Thanks for the review!
    A cheaper alternative would be to order from new egg and see if they can ship to the border as they have the lowest price I've yet to see.
    04-11-2014 05:09 AM
  10. daniel187's Avatar
    Im in canada with rogers and just ordered one from omegacell, im just wondering can you still setup the phone to get datasence, the rogers section in the app store and stuff like that?
    04-12-2014 04:24 PM
  11. MrGoodSmith's Avatar
    Im in canada with rogers and just ordered one from omegacell, im just wondering can you still setup the phone to get datasence, the rogers section in the app store and stuff like that?
    I'm not with Rogers so I don't know. I guess you will be the one who will tell us the answer!
    04-13-2014 01:39 PM
  12. o4komodo's Avatar
    Im in canada with rogers and just ordered one from omegacell, im just wondering can you still setup the phone to get datasence, the rogers section in the app store and stuff like that?
    I got mine from Negri, it's arriving Monday or Tuesday. I'm with Fido, i'll let you know though!
    04-13-2014 10:29 PM
  13. MrGoodSmith's Avatar
    I got mine from Negri, it's arriving Monday or Tuesday. I'm with Fido, i'll let you know though!
    How much were you charged in CAD? You will have to pay taxes and import fees as well upon delivery. Let us now what the total will come up to.
    04-14-2014 02:29 AM
  14. daniel187's Avatar
    How much were you charged in CAD? You will have to pay taxes and import fees as well upon delivery. Let us now what the total will come up to.
    Omegacell cancelled my order, said theyre on backorder right now. Ordered from negri which is also on backorder now -_- sucks. I'm assuming imports gonna hit close to $100, so total cost is more or so the same as from omega. Can use the estimator here http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/mobile/est-cal-eng.html
    04-14-2014 04:17 PM
  15. o4komodo's Avatar
    How much were you charged in CAD? You will have to pay taxes and import fees as well upon delivery. Let us now what the total will come up to.
    I paid $720ish CAD for the phone+shipping after using a coupon. I took a shot in the dark actually with the COD, since I ordered from electronics before for my international L920 (and didn't get charged COD). This time I did... and COD was a lot ($80). In the end I paid closed to the amount that Omegacell charges (since you will be taxed). It may have been cheaper if it was delivered by USPS->Canada Post though... as Negri uses FedEx. I could have had it shipped to the border and pick it up for $15 but I wanted the phone in my possession ASAP.

    I checked Omegacell and they appear to be only selling the black version. Negri has white/yellow/red I think so I'm pretty happy with my decision.


    And Data Sense comes preinstalled on the 1520 just like it did on the L920. I haven't checked to see if there are Rogers specific apps on the store yet but it functions perfectly on Fido. Except in the area I'm in it keeps hopping between frequencies... and I live in a basement so it keeps hopping between 3G and H+. Otherwise my initial test for LTE on Fido in the middle of STC with 1 bar was 18mb/s down. My L920 capped at 13-14mb/s down on full H+ (for comparison).
    04-14-2014 07:52 PM
  16. o4komodo's Avatar
    Omegacell cancelled my order, said theyre on backorder right now. Ordered from negri which is also on backorder now -_- sucks. I'm assuming imports gonna hit close to $100, so total cost is more or so the same as from omega. Can use the estimator here Duty and Taxes Estimator
    That's correct... but again when I checked Omegacell they only had black [unless that's what you wanted]. Negri has other colours.
    If you can ship it to the border it will save you some cash. I was hoping I wouldn't get charged since I ordered elsewhere before [NewEgg for my N8 and welectronics for my L920] and was never charged COD on either phone.
    04-14-2014 07:55 PM
  17. hasasimo's Avatar
    Nice review. Are you experiencing any of the screen sensitivity issues the majority here have complained about?
    04-15-2014 01:34 AM
  18. MrGoodSmith's Avatar
    Nice review. Are you experiencing any of the screen sensitivity issues the majority here have complained about?
    Using the phone for 2 weeks on high sensitivity mode, I did notice the unintentional taps few times, but they are far less frequent to irritate me.
    Last edited by MrGoodSmith; 04-17-2014 at 12:09 AM.
    hasasimo likes this.
    04-15-2014 03:20 AM
  19. o4komodo's Avatar
    Using the phone for 2 weeks on high sensitivity mode, I did notice the unintentional taps few times, but they are far less frequent to iterate me.
    I get this every so often as well.


    Also I checked the store from the phone app itself, the only Rogers app that is available is the one for security that they advertise about. There's no one call or whatever it was from Rogers.
    04-15-2014 04:12 PM
  20. daniel187's Avatar
    That's correct... but again when I checked Omegacell they only had black [unless that's what you wanted]. Negri has other colours.
    If you can ship it to the border it will save you some cash. I was hoping I wouldn't get charged since I ordered elsewhere before [NewEgg for my N8 and welectronics for my L920] and was never charged COD on either phone.
    Ya want yellow. Negri got back to me today and said its a 1-2 week wait for it to get back in stock or that if I want black they could ship one out today. Said I'll wait for the yellow, gonna be o long week -_- lol
    04-16-2014 08:39 PM
  21. ATATKDDad's Avatar
    Very Nice review. I have the ATT 1520 running on T-Mobile because I couldn't wait for the 1520.3(RM-938) to come out. I did buy the New egg 1520.3 and should be here tomorrow. So my ATT will be going on sale this weekend. Based on the above review it will be worth it.
    04-17-2014 07:17 AM
  22. o4komodo's Avatar
    Got full LTE signal, did a test... 82ms ping, 46.52Mbps down and 11.96Mbps up on Fido.
    04-18-2014 02:05 AM
  23. Michael M Maslowski's Avatar
    Thanks for an excellent and quite exhaustive review.

    You would not happen to know how the unit performs with other carriers, like Telus (my carrier of preference), would you?

    In addition, do you foresee any issues with getting the 8.1 update installed?

    Thanks and greetings from the Maritimes!
    04-23-2014 03:50 PM
  24. MrGoodSmith's Avatar
    Thanks for an excellent and quite exhaustive review.

    You would not happen to know how the unit performs with other carriers, like Telus (my carrier of preference), would you?

    In addition, do you foresee any issues with getting the 8.1 update installed?

    Thanks and greetings from the Maritimes!
    I don't think the phone would have a problem running a sim card from telus, as long as they have the nano size, or you can resize it yourself like what I did.

    As for the 8.1 update, I already installed it and it's running fine without any issues.
    04-24-2014 12:03 AM
  25. Michael M Maslowski's Avatar
    I don't think the phone would have a problem running a sim card from telus, as long as they have the nano size, or you can resize it yourself like what I did.

    As for the 8.1 update, I already installed it and it's running fine without any issues.
    Thank you for that. I already have the nano SIM with my current device, so not a biggie.

    I contacted the retailer that you had acquired the device from and I should be able to finalize shortly.

    Thanks!
    04-24-2014 09:36 AM
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