The Lumia 1520 and the One Max, from Nokia and HTC, respectively go to show the shift that the smartphone world has gone about; from 3.5 inch screens to 6 inch ones in a very short span of time. Both companies, known to offer a solid build on their devices, have had to bow down to the rising demand of large screen smartphones (read: phablet), and the Lumia 1520 and the One Max coincidentally are their first attempts at that.

1520 v max

Weight and Dimensions

Nokia Lumia 1520 dimensions: 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 mm, weight: 209g
HTC One Max dimensions: 164.5 x 82.5 x 10.3 mm, weight: 217g

The devices, as you can see, are very close in terms of dimensions as well as weight, which doesn’t come as a surprise since both devices come with large screens. Both should be equally easy (or tough) to put in pockets and use with one hand.

Display and Processor

Both these phablets come with 5.5 inch plus panels, with an identical display of 1920×1080, i.e., full HD. While the Lumia comes with a 6 inch panel, the HTC One Max comes with a slightly smaller 5.9 inch one. The Lumia 1520 is Nokia’s first device to feature a resolution as high as this, while HTC have previously gone full HD with the HTC One. We feel that a full HD resolution on a 6 inch screen is what is wise. You will be able to fully enjoy and experience the goodness of a full HD resolution, this is when your GPU’s power comes to good use unlike on 5 and sub 5 inch phones with the same resolution.

Nokia’s Lumia 1520 takes the lead when it comes to processing power. The Lumia 1520 comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800, while the HTC One Max packs the older-gen Snapdragon 600. Both chipsets are of quad core type. While the Lumia’s CPU operates at 2.2GHz, the One Max’s cores function at 1.7GHz.

The Lumia 1520 will invariably be the better phone out of the two. The phone is expected to be faster at loading apps, running graphic-intensive games, etc. Plus, the WP8 has a deeper level of optimization, so the difference you feel will only make you like the Lumia 1520 more.

Camera and Memory

Both manufacturers have been known to take imaging pretty seriously in the past months. While HTC did it with their One which featured a 4MP ‘Ultrapixel’ sensor (the One Max has the same camera), Nokia did it with their PureView series. As mentioned, the HTC One Max comes with the same 4MP Ultrapixel camera, previously seen in the HTC One. On the other hand, the Lumia 1520 packs a 20MP sensor, promising great image quality.

The 4MP Ultrapixel sensor has been known as an average to good daylight performer, with critics and users lauding the low-light performance, which is found to be better than other devices in its category. On the other hand, Nokia’s USP probably lies in its flexibility, so the decision is yours; the One Max will be exceptional in low-light conditions with its F/2.0 lens, while the Lumia 1520 will be a little more balanced with an all round performance.

The HTC One Max comes in 16GB and 32GB variants, while Nokia offers the Lumia 1520 with 32GB of storage. Both devices, however, feature microSD card slots which will accept cards up to 64GB in capacity.

Battery and Features

Both manufacturers are known for exceptional battery life on their devices. While the HTC One Max packs a 3300mAh unit, the Lumia 1520 does slightly better with a 3400mAh battery. With a little more capacity and the added optimizations of the WP8 operating system, you can expect the Lumia 1520 to last a few hours more than the HTC One Max on a single charge. Oh and yes, both devices come with non-removable batteries.

The HTC One Max comes with the latest flavour of Android, in v4.3 while the Lumia comes with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 Black. Other features of the HTC One Max include TV out via MHL and fingerprint sensor, which the Lumia lacks.

Key Specs

Model HTC One Max Nokia Lumia 1520
Display 5.9 inches, full HD 6 inches, full HD
Processor 1.7GHz quad core 2.2GHz quad core
RAM 2GB 2GB
Internal Storage 16GB/32GB, expandable by up to 64GB 32GB, expandable by up to 64GB
OS Android v4.3 WP8
Cameras 4MP rear, 2.1MP front 20MP rear, 1.2MP front
Battery 3300mAh 3400mAh
Price To be announced To be announced ($750 at launch)

Conclusion

While there’s no doubt that the Android OS is the current favourite in the masses, it has to be noted that Windows Phone 8 based devices are fast catching up. Hardware wise, the Lumia 1520 is richer with it’s powerful processor and larger battery. On the other hand, the HTC One Max offers a range of features lacking in the Lumia 1520, like MHL, fingerprint sensor, etc. The Lumia 1520 costs $750, with pricing for India yet to be revealed. If the device costs as much as or just a little more than the HTC One Max, we would recommend you to go for the Lumia 1520 since we don’t see features like MHL and fingerprint sensor as worthy enough to give up the extra power of the Snapdragon 800.