Hands-on: Nokia Lumia 1320 review

Nokia has shown off its Lumia 1320 smartphone, the budget brother to the Lumia 1520. It's also a 6-inch handset and the new Windows Phone operating system. But is it more budget than brilliant?

Design

At 6 inches this is a fully fledged phablet, a rarity to find on a budget. Despite the size it feels good in the hand, as all those curved edges on Lumias generally do. But it also makes you realise just how good the Lumia screens are and how you've always longed for more screen real estate - even if you didn't realise it when using the Lumia 1020, for example.

That solid Lumia build quality is present in the 1320, as it sits comfortably in the hand without being too heavy, considering the size of this handset.

Screen

This 6-inch screen looks pretty good for a 720p display. Nice and bright with plenty of colour range, great stuff for a budget handset.

Let's hope this larger screen doesn't affect battery life too drastically.

Power

By going for this budget phablet you won't be getting the quad-core power of the 1520 but must settle for a dual-core. In all honesty, using it here we can't tell the difference. It's not deep use, but for all the basics this chip seems to do the job fine - plus it will probably offer a healthy battery life as a result.

Camera

You'll be getting a 5-megapixel snapper, which sounds pretty poor in this day and age, and  the pictures it takes look good too. And you get all the Nokia smart camera apps.

The Nokia Camera app combines Smart, Pro and Video modes which are all easily accessible at a tap from the main camera screen. Sports mode and night mode are also available at a touch now. The Pro camera UI from the Lumia 1020 is included so you can adjust all the settings directly using the slider controls - brilliantly easy to use and shows new users how changing settings affects the shot live. As with the Pro camera, you can zoom in while shooting and then zoom out after you've taken the photo.

Nokia's HERE Maps and PureView teams have joined to create Nokia Storyteller so you can search a map to find your pictures and videos. The ability to tap into location-based folders is also useful. From pictures you can pinch zoom out into the HERE map to search elsewhere for more snaps - could be useful while on holiday or shooting pics on a run. And you can now share it to Vine and Instagram, at last.

OS

The new Windows Phone OS is all about helping Lumia catch up with the rest of the mobile market. The six tiles across the Start screen make it possible to have every app you could want easily accessible at a glance.

The new Driving Mode is useful for safety on the road as it stops any incoming messages or calls from distracting you while you're behind the wheel.

Multi-tasking is better than ever. We love the way you're now able to close individual apps, or the lot at once if the urge takes you. This is great for extending battery life where previously you were limited to hitting the back button to close everything one item at a time. We can see this being useful for shutting search windows while leaving open the resulting app - like a map your now using after searching for a spot in Internet Explorer before.

Smarter internet sharing lets you use the 1320 as a Wi-Fi hotspot without having to turn it on and off each time you use it. Pair a Windows 8.1 device with it once and every time you wish to use it in future it will automatically turn on and be ready to use.

Verdict

For a well-priced phablet that has all the latest Lumia apps, the 1320 is ideal. If you don't mind the weaker camera, dual-core CPU and 720p screen but you want the 6-inch display this is a great option for those not wishing to shell out on the Lumia 1520.