The Nokia Lumia 1320 is a masterpiece insofar as design goes. The matte finish makes it ideally a palm-friendly device to hold. The slightly rounded back minimises strain and the polycarbonate is for the most part hardy enough without unnecessary creaks when grasped.
However, with dimensions of 164.2 X 85.9 X9.8 mm the flagship phablet is literally a handful to carry. And at 220 grammes, the weight alone will let you know whether you're leaving the house without your phone if you pocket it.
A user's woes around the physical build of the Lumia 1320 don't end with the sheer size and weight of the phone that runs on Windows 8 platform. It has a total of three buttons on the right edge: the volume rocker at the top, the power and lock button in the middle, and the dedicated camera button at the bottom.
Owing to the size of the phone there is a tendency to activate the camera while handling it. Occasionally, a user will accidentally lock the screen in the middle of reading a text message, chat or any other on screen activity. The volume rocker has minimal interference with on-screen activity should it be accidentally activated save for a volume bar that appears at the top of the screen. All this is especially if a user has a small hand. These are however problems that are easily resolved by using both hands. It is evident that
At the top and the bottom of the phone are a 3.5 mm headset jack and a micro-USB port for connecting to a computer as well as for charging. At the back is a five mega pixels camera with a led flash light above it. The bottom of the back has the loud speaker. There is also a dedicated microphone for active noise cancellation so that a conversation in a loud place will not have to be shouted.
Popping the back cover of the Lumia 1320 is a peculiar affair as it does not hold a battery in place. The phone has a non-removable Li-Ion 3400 mAh battery. The capacity of the hidden battery ensures that several functions can be run over a period and the phone would still have enough charge to get a user home.
The back cover however hides away the micro-SIM card and micro-SD card slots which would have been better served by smaller coverable slots on the sides. The phone is available in yellow, white, black and red colours.
The front of the phone has the earpiece, and two mega pixels VGA secondary camera on the bezel of the six-inch screen. The bottom has three capacitive touch buttons: the back button, the home button and a dedicated search button that will activate Bing search services when activated. The microphone subtly sits along the bottom edge.
With the earpiece, the size of the phone is again its undoing as a call can sound muffled. A user has to get the position of the rather small earpiece for such a big phone right. The microphone though small and slightly to the bottom left corner of the front doesn't suffer the same limitations as it picks sounds well.
The screen itself that is protected by Corning Gorilla glass is not a full High Definition, but displays images at 720 progressive HD with a resolution of 245 pixels per inch (ppi). The big screen is essentially let down by the five mega pixel camera which has a limited range under different lighting such that in extremes, images are either too highlighted and overexposed, or in low lighting, too grainy and lacking in sharpness.
The Microsoft Windows Phone 8 Black operating system runs fast enough not to annoy a user with slow execution of functions. A Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset, Adreno 305 GPU and Dual-core 1.7 GHz CPU all help the OS run well accessing content in the 8GB internal storage that is expandable to 64GB.
The phone also comes with software packages that include the Microsoft Office suite, Xbox games and several others including the more common social media apps such as
A unit retails at Sh30,000, and for that much a user would not be at fault to expect a better camera. However the faults of the camera can be overlooked when other perks of the phone such as long battery life, a steady, secure operation system and display optimisation are factored in when considering a purchase.
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