Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bucket Tech: Nokia 1520

Evolution, it's inevitable in life as it happens all around us, we as humans evolve and the things we use on a daily basis evolve. Cars, houses, appliances and of course, the cellular telephone, in fact over the past few years it has been the one piece of technology that has evolved the most. When the first cellphones came out, they were big bulky and were called "bricks" because they practically were. They were big, heavy and did pretty much nothing but make phone calls but as the years went by, the more the manufacturers improved the devices, making them smaller, adding more applications and eventually introducing other technologies to it like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, not too long later we had phones with camera's but then the smart phone came along and things started change.

Phones, although becoming smarter, they also started to increase in size again, hold on? Doesn't newer mean better and smaller? Well yes but in the smart phone's case, no. You see, the people who genuinely use these devices need it to do more than just make phone calls, they use it for instant messaging, social media, emails, view documents, edit documents, schedule meetings, basically the need their computer on their phone. For all this to be possible they going to need a nice big high resolution screen to work on, hence the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note and Sony Xperia T. Both quality devices but blody huge to carry around but it would be unfair to put them in the term "brick" as they may be bigger in size but do a hell of a lot more than the first phones plus they're way thinner, so they much rather be called small TV's or a term I created, since its an inbetweener of a phone and a tablet, I call them "Phablets".

All that rambling was for a purpose, it brings me down to the reason for the blog post. Just little over a month ago Nokia sent me there newest product that just hit the market, the Lumia 1520. Not knowing what to expect from the phone before it arrived and not doing any research on it, I expected it to be more like the Lumia 925 . I got a surprise to open the box and find a 6" monster lurking inside! To say it's huge is an understatement because at the time, the only other competitor on the market was the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which comes with a 5.5" screen. It may sound like a fraction of the size but when put next to each other the difference is quite clear. 

From using a "normal size" cellphone with a standard issue 4.2" screen, it was quite an adjustment to move on to something so big and cumbersome but from the first day, you tend to get used to it. Maybe it was the human way of evolving to the phone? Yes in most cases one cannot use the phone with one hand, simply because it is impossible but you appreciate the size when you see exactly what it can do compared to your older phone. Carrying it around wasn't a big schelp either, it fitted in most of my pants pockets and apart from the odd bulge, I couldn't tell the difference to that or my regular phone. 

The Lumia 1520 comes with Windows 8 black operating system which in my opinion is one of the better OS's on smart phones today. Besides being easy to use and fast, it integrates and syncs so well with your desktop PC which makes moving from your work station to your phone feel like you're still at your desk. The phone gives you 7 gigs storage space to sky drive so retrieving documents is as easy as pie, the phones internal memory is 16 gigs and it comes with a MicroSD slot capable of housing a 64gig card, so you know storage space isn't going to be a problem. The phone is equipped with a 20 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics auto-focus lens, because of the screen size the lens is wide angled so you can take some brilliant horizontal snaps at 4992 x 3744 pixels, as demonstrated in the pic below of Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. It also records videos in full High Definiation with quality sound recording. The front face camera is a 1.2 megapixel camera which quality is more than sufficient for that selfie. 

Some of the key specifications of the phone is the Quad core 3.3 GHz Krait 400 processor with the chipset more than capible of making this device function to its optimal level. Speed on the OS is no problem, speed with regards to its telecommunications level is super fast as well with the phone being 4G/ LTE ready and its Wi-Fi speeds more than adequate to send or receive data in a flash. The stand out thing for me was the battery life, claimed stand by time is 768 hours but from using it, the phone gave me a solid 3 days use, that's with all the connections active, that is network, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. 

The big talking point for the phone as with many devices is the applications available for it, Windows App store gets populated on a daily basis so there are tons of apps available for the phone, being a social media geek, I went for all the popular ones as soon as I got the device, so Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Foursquare and LinkedIn were in the queue for download, granted some of the apps are still in beta testing form, they still work well. It also comes with Nokia story teller, which uses GPS co-ordinates to track your pictures when snapped, almost like leaving breadcrumbs to the places you've been so you can scroll over to Here Maps and search your steps by pictures taken at the various places you have visited.

The build quality of the phone is pretty remarkable, the screen being so big comes with trusty Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection so its safe from scratches and falls... I know, I dropped the test unit a few times and its pretty strong. Just don't drop it on your foot, it hurts. Another cool thing about the phone is the wireless charging, it comes with a unit which plugs into your wall socket but to charge the phone, one simply has to place it on the charger for it to charge. This may seem unnecessary but you try to charge your phone then receive a phone call or try to reply to a message with it still being plugged it!

Overall I think this is yet another quality product from Nokia, although aimed at the businessman it still is pretty useful to everyday people like you and me, if you prefer the bigger screen its a massive plus and streaming videos on it is almost as good as watching it on TV. The phone does what it says it can do and so much more, over time and with new apps coming out for it, the phone can only get better.

Some pics taken with the phone:

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