Nokia unveils first Windows RT tablet, Lumia 2520, along with mid-range Lumia 1320 smartphone

In addition to the 6-inch Lumia 1520 flagship, Nokia unveiled a couple more devices (well, quite a few more if you count its Asha line-up) in Abu Dhabi earlier today.

The Lumia 1320 shares the same 6-inch real estate as its sibling, but halves the resolution to 1280×720 pixels. Its more rounded design takes cues from the Lumia 820 (which never came to Canada), but is still a very large device and should compete quite well against similarly-sized Androids.

The device also modestly steps down the performance quotient, coming equipped with a dual-core 1.7Ghz Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (plus a microSD slot), a 5MP rear camera and a thickness of 9.8mm. While it is LTE-enabled, it is limited to 100Mbps theoretical downlink, compared to the Lumia 1520’s 150Mbps, which has an upgraded baseband inside the Snapdragon 800 SoC.

Still, the Lumia 1320 promises to be a big upgrade for any Windows Phone user, both in terms of speed and quality. The 3400mAh battery should ensure all-day battery life, and it comes with the same software improvements, via Windows Phone 8 GDR3, as the Lumia 1520.


Perhaps more interesting, but also perplexing, is the announcement of Nokia’s first Windows RT tablet, the Lumia 2520. It shares nearly-identical specs to Microsoft’s newly-announced Surface 2, with a 10.1-inch 1920×1080 pixel display, a Snapdragon 800 SoC and 2GB of RAM, Windows RT 8.1, and even a snap-in Power Cover that doubles as a keyboard, and provides 5 hours or extra battery life on top of the tablet’s 11-hour, 8000mAh cell.

Where Nokia differentiates the tablet is with its looks — this is very much a Lumia product, from the design to the polycarbonate finish — and its software additions, like Storyteller and the Nokia Camera app, which should help set it apart.

Of course, with Windows RT comes the reliance on a relatively small and closed store; there are no legacy Windows downloads happening here. The Lumia 2520 does run the newly-released Windows 8.1 out of the box, which contains massive improvements to usability and performance, but there is no question the iPad, which is priced similarly at $499, has the ecosystem edge.

But the Lumia 2520 has a major advantage up its sleeve: LTE support, and the backing of carriers to push it. While there have been so explicit announcements on Canadian carriers, we have heard rumblings that the Lumia 2520 will launch at some point in the future, and be sold subsidized with a data plan. It could also be bundled with a Lumia 1020 or 1520 smartphone, similar to the way Samsung is pushing its Galaxy Gear watch alongside the Note 3.

It’s strange to see Nokia so forcefully competing against its suitor, Microsoft, with the Lumia 2520, but the tablet was likely in development long before the acquisition talks were finalized. It will be interesting to see how the device plays out in the market, as other manufacturers have been shying away from Windows RT in favour of launching a full version of Windows 8 on low-power Intel Bay Trail x86 processors.