Windows Phone 8.1 blazes on the Lumia 1520, has five quick-action buttons

Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8.1 to the world. We gave you numerous videos featuring the OS in action, including Cortana, the Notification center and more. However, that was on a Lumia 630 prototype, one that we weren’t supposed to have in the first place – the risks we take for you, folks!

But how does Windows Phone 8.1 roll on the 2.2 GHz quad-core Lumia 1520? We ventured to find out.

The build of 8.1 that was on this Lumia 1520 was considerably newer and slightly more polished than our previous video. One thing that popped out immediately was that the quick-action buttons under the Action center featured five instead of four configurable buttons. That’s not a huge change, but we certainly like the idea of one-more button that we can customize, especially since we're sure we'll use that feature a lot. The five button configuration appears to be tied the resolution, so only expect this on 1080P Windows Phones.

The OS itself was super fast and fluid on the Lumia 1520. The graphics appeared to be tight, the new Start background looked glorious and quite frankly, we can’t wait to load this on our personal phone.

But enough chatter, you want to see the video and 8.1 doing its thing, so click above and let us know below what you think! Head to our Windows Phone 8.1 landing page to view all our coverage thus far, or our Build 2014 page!


Reader comments

Windows Phone 8.1 blazes on the Lumia 1520, has five quick-action buttons


Will this cause lag in our dual core devices like 820? We have been seeing the videos only on quad core devices... More background processes, cortana, notification centre, start screen background .. The OS is becoming heftier like android...

Well I read somewhere that further optimizations had been added, and Microsoft always do a good job with Windows Phone in terms of making it run well. I don't think us dual core users will have a problem just yet with main operating system functions, but some apps may take more time to load

i dont think itll tax a dual core device easily, windows phone(and even ios to some extent) is pretty lightweight compared to android and dont need high hardware 

but yeah it depends on how well its optimised which given how well wp8 has been coded so far shouldnt be a problem

No it won't because action center is almost the same as toast notification , but save them in one place. As for cortana it won't take a lot of CPU usage

I'm in agreement there. Especially on larger screen devices I feel a horizontal swipe would be easier. Plus it would also be a differentiator from Android and iOS notification center.

Is the announced date for Windows 8.1, not Windows Phone 8.1. We only have rumored dates for WP8.1 at this point :/

Wait, but the 3rd row of tiles was supposedly only available for higher res screens, but now it's standard... so why wouldn't this be?

Good question, I was wondering the same. If 3 columns come to devices with 4.5" or more, this should come too.

Because the OS is not changing the scaling. The third column feature is completely different from the rest of the OS and scaling of graphics, so those two features are unrelated. It would take a tremendous amount of recoding to revamp all of the graphics for a non-1080P display.

"In 2013, we added a third column on devices for 5-inch screen or larger devices, like the Lumia 1520, to enable more stuff to show up on the screen. People really liked this so we are enabling this on all screen sizes in Windows Phone 8.1"


Link Here

620 users will have it easy to open the action center.. Because of the small screen ...1520 users better be careful one hand operation is gonna be tricky....

I regret purchasing Lumia 820.... As lower devices like 625 and 630 @9000, will get 3rd column and Lumia 820 wont.... Its not paid attention at all

u kidding me?? i have 720s and a 820 they all are excellent and nokia confirmed all devices will get it

even if not its not like they are asking u for the phone back or disabling ur phone or something

I think u shud re read my comment evry device will get 8.1 but features are limited.... And we thought 8.1 was a huge update... But it is not... No file manager... No ability to record on calls... And mch more... Still its maturing and not even come closer to google...i regret wp .... Due to such slow speed... I was a fan for a yr but this is way beyond now

I don't think you read articles or watched build. Its been repeated over and over that ALL wp8 devices that upgrade to 8.1 will get 3 column support. But probably not 5 buttons in the action center

I watchdd the entire build conference and have read all the articles... In build microsoft havbet states abt the 3rd column feature in devices less then 4.5 inch... So a 9000rs 630 will have it bt a 20000rs 820 wont have it... Just read the news again it clearly metions.....4.5 inches and above... And cortana after a yr we will get... Wow now google has time to upgrade their google now ... Wonderful

Sigh, I can't believe I actually went through the trouble of looking for this for someone who isn't going to care about it anyway. I believe theres an article on WP central that specifically states that 3rd row of tiles are coming to all wp8 devices (all sizes). But why read anything else when you can get the info at the source. Heres the link to the day 1 keynote from build 2014:


Watch at the 10:30 mark where Joe states that even his small device has a 3rd row of live tiles via an option. And if thats not enough, lets go over to the windows blog:


Heres the quote for the lazy:

"In 2013, we added a third column on devices for 5-inch screen or larger devices, like the Lumia 1520, to enable more stuff to show up on the screen. People really liked this so we are enabling this on all screen sizes in Windows Phone 8.1. Pin away!"

I assume you'll be onto the next thing to complain about. If you don't like it, move on. Perseveration won't fix anything. BTW, there are still a lot of small features that haven't been announced yet, but I know that won't make any difference to you. Things take time, google now has been around a lot longer and google has a much bigger presence internationally than bing, which is why google now is more widespread (still unavailable in many countries though). Regardless, if you really want to try out cortana, someone internally stated that you could change your region to the US and it will work. Feel free to move on and stop raining on our parade. We're pretty excited about this update and no one is stopping you from changing phones. To each his own; if android works better for you, so be it. This is why we have choices.


First of all I am complaining coz I had alot of hopes from wp 8.1.... 2nd android is laghu shit which I dont like at all..... 3rd.. Ios is complete Unacceptable.... If u check my previous records on wpcentral posts I have been always positive and defending for wp 8... Its beautiful, fast, secure and awesome... But they are really slow... Now its 12 months+ from the release of wp 8... And they have just disappointed... WP 8.1 is great...m no matter but it shud have been a complete update...set...... Let it release then I will comment further.... My hype... Is the speed... 8.1 doesnt have file manager, access between apps.... Smart dialler..... And many more... Any features of wp8.1... And I do care abt every small feature.... I do lot research for wp news..... From the day it has released..... Atleast 2 hrs+ more I just read news and articles for wp... So u cant just judge anyone on that.... And abt 3rd column,.. Its still not clear.... Evrywhere it has been stated that it wud be 4.5 and above... So do a search on that.... My next comment wud be when I get developer preview on my cell

What on earth are you talking about? Why are you getting so defensive? And why do you keep using "..."? Calm down and read what I said. I simply said that you were wrong about the live tile thing and I proved it. I don't care what you read where, my quote in that post is from the official windows blog stating that all WP8 devices that upgrade to 8.1 will get the 3rd row of live tiles; this is NO LONGER a screen size dependant feature. I got official video and official text and you're asking me to do research?

I don't know why you keep bringing up things I didn't mention and I certainly don't care. Again, calm down and read what I said. If you want to reply to me, reply to me about what I said; don't go on a rant. And again, if you aren't satisfied with something, you have the freedom to move around. I'm sticking to WP because I still believe it is the best in the industry. More than likely this update will not have everything you want, tough. I was simply attempting to relieve one of your concerns because it seemed you had incorrect info, but you're gonna attack the messager regardless so why should anyone bother to inform you with good news?

If I get it then great... Otherwise I am unhappy that was my first statement nothing else... I will be disappointed if the feature was demoed in the leaks but didnt make through.... If I get that was mentioned I am happy. I do not want all the features right in this update ofcourse. Anyways let me check the link and thnxxx

Yes I have rights to complain if I feel... That wp 8 is still weak in some areas.... And abt cortana it shud have been released to English speaking countries... Coz I use English us voice for tell me...and jarvis... I dont like that indian voice.... Chnging region and getting one shudnt be the case thats just bullshit.... I admire only 3 companies... Microsoft, Nokia and Intel... And I hope best from them eveytime....

If it's possible to put this build on a 520 or 620, that would be more interesting and important, just so we can see the lowest end performance.

Thats the point. Stupid vendors always swagger with the high-end devices on these events, however in WP8 arena the low-end is the majority of the devices. I can even imagine that the performance will not that super after all the added missing parts are there (yes, remember the features we will get in 8.1 are over due 1,5 years when WP8 was out with those features missing). File manager is still not implemented, go to hell MS for this, simply all product managers leading the line with this faggy-emo-joe can go to hell and rot there.

That's not interesting because it's old news.

Microsoft said 18 months ago that devices would continue to get updates. Microsoft yesterday reiterated that all devices will get 8.1 and Nokia took to the stage, twice, to say that all Lumias, including the 520 and 620, will get 8.1

Yeah I know, and have known for all the time you've mentioned Daniel, that every WP8 device will be getting WP8.1. That's not what I'd like to see, if possible.

What I'd like to see is *how well* WP8.1 works on the two most popular WP8 devices, which are the 520 and 620.

All over this site, I keep seeing people griping about the file manager not being implemented, or wont be there, or attaching documents wont work right, AND LITERALLY NOONE COMMENTS ON IT, THEY ALL JUST GLAZE OVER IT LIKE IT WAS NEVER MENTIONED!!!! I need to know, is WP8.1 still going to have it, and it just isn't in the prerelease testing builds that reporters are using, or has it gone the way of the Hindenberg. This is a serious question for me!!!

I haven't seen any indication of that option yet, but I'm pretty sure I've only seen the action center options list on phones without a SIM inserted...so I really hope that's the case.

Duh. The post you replied to implied that I saw there was no SIM inserted. Did you stop reading at the first comma lol?

Nope, just data connection. I only have 600Mb of data - so I leave my data connection off unless I'm out and away from WiFi, and absolutely need to connect to the internet for something. So I toggle it on/off pretty regularly.

Either way, I'm just hoping the option isn't being shown in these demos only because the phones don't have SIM inserted to start with.

Flight mode disables Wi-Fi too, so that would be useless. The whole point of disabling the mobile data usage is to ensure that the phone uses Wi-Fi data and only Wi-Fi data, without chipping into your 3G/4G data allowance without you knowing.

Did you notice if the phantom clicks have been fixed. Thought they were going to be fixed with the last update a week or two ago, but they are still there. :(

When will we start hearing announcements about US carriers getting new phones? Do we have to wait until this summer?

I want to know this too. I was excited when I saw the 930 until Elop said for the US, Nokia will still focus on the Icon and the 1520. The icon being an exclusive for Verizon, I don't have any options if I want a high-end phone with a smaller screen than the 1520. My 920 have served me extremely well, but I was expecting to have a look at its potential replacement for when my contract is due later this year and I can upgrade. I wonder if Nokia & Microsoft are waiting until the merge is complete to announce a new high-end phone. The boxy design of the Icon/930 (which I personally happen to like a lot) reminds me a bit of some renders for a Surface Phone I saw a while ago, so I wonder if something like that would come for the US after the merger is done. Anyways, I hope Nokia / Microsoft are planning something for the high-end market in the US for later this year.

Ya this what I am wondering with my 1520 and having ATT! This summer!! Really!! Really! Ugh that's a huge let down! I don't want to go the developer route! I was hoping maybe May?? But this summer crap...guess we will wait and see!

Dan,Is file picker present ??Didn`t see you guys say anything about it in the article or the video

Are you really so naive as to think that Microsoft was going to give everything to you in one fell sweep? If they give you everything now, what are they gonna leave for the GDR's that follow?

I guess the 5 button support has to do with the screen size rather than with resolution as lumia 930 has only 4 of them being a 1080p device

Dan are there any other features which are there in windows phone 8.1 which were not shown during the demo,like the apps being installed on the SD card,file manager,new youtube player,etc.if yes when can see them 

This is really a question that I would like to have an answer for. Especially the file manager part... is it there or not?

They showed apps on SD card in an earlier WP8.1 video yesterday. There are a lot of different options for items to go on phone or SD now. I think it was the first video posted yesterday but I am not certain.

It's going to be the longest 7 days of waiting... I just hope it will not be posponed to later date. :)

Daniel,where are other bits and pieces like smart search,file picker,multitasking,share etc. Can't wait.

I'm wondering if the quick settings for the data connection doesn't require a SIM inserted? Because so far we always see the list in phones without a SIM.

Seem kinda stupid to just leave that setting out...

Good observation.. never thought of that being the reason we keep not seeing that as an option.

I truly hope that's the case...

Are there still WP8.1 features that still not unveiled yet? Like scale down on multitasking, usb storage, usb tethering and all the massive list of wp8.1 feature. Where are them?

"When god gives you lemons...you find a new god."

Find a new god?  What if everything you needed came in a rocket-can? 

tempted by the 1520 but no Qi on it

I love my 920... i want an upgraded version of it, but with a memory card slot AND Qi! is that too much to ask? :(

You literally just described the 930. You'll have to buy the international version, or wait patiently until July for a US carrier announcement.

EDIT: Sorry, I was mistaken. One of the spec sheets listed the 930 as having microSD, but Nokias official one says no. bummer

Just get the international version, either the RM-937 or RM-938.  Both have Qi Wireless and SD Card support. If you're the in the US the RM-938 is the best to get LTE on T-Mobile - that's the one that I just bought.  It's also 32GB of internal storage!  You can find it on Newegg.

Thanks Daniel. Totally awesome and I can't wait to load this baby up. On a side note, is there a way you guys can show us the "project my screen" feature in action? Really looking forward to that.

Can't wait to see 8.1 on my Lumia Icon. I can only hope that VZW doesn't hold up the update because of their usual nonsense!

no file manager that i see in the emulator. storage sense has some greater control over deleting files and "managing" some, (pictures, music, etc...) but no filesystem access that i see.

Hope they improved the back and home transition animations speed. It annoys me having to wait 1.2 seconds for each back/home key press.

I have already found that this feature has 5 options on FHD screens, but Microsoft for sake, we NEED also mobile data switch !! Why the hell is this missing ?

Verizon users , you can expect to have Windows 8.1 on your device by Christmas! 2015, Right around the time they announe Windows Phone 9 dev preview.


Seems like the font got smaller, in the settings page I saw one or a couple more items in one screen.

For the Love of Kittens. Will someone who has played with 8.1 finally answer this question?  IS THERE SMART DIAL ( I assume that's what you meant? ) ? Please ANSWER US.



One thing that really needs to stop is some of you are talking about things that were never even supposed to be in 8.1. Go check out the list that WPC put up to see what's there and not so you avoid bashing MS for not doing something they were never going to do anyway.



Why can't I have the 5 items on my 720p phone? I mean it has a higher ppi than the iphone and it is only half an inch smaller than the 1080p beasts. This feels artificial. Even if maybe it is not as optimal, MSFT, you have to start empowering your users to make choices instead of making them for them. didn't we learn this lesson in windows 8? power to the people.

He knows how to tap that.

"Take care bye!" All so fast. XD

Definitely getting this for my 1520, I can wait for release to the public.

The only thing I want to see new other than a faster processor is the mms settings!! I hate that I have to hurry and turn on my internet so I can receive the pictures and that's if they do download. I wish there was a retry button like there was on my Samsung infuse!! Other than that I love what they're doing with WP!!

Are you aware of any Lumia 1520 owner who doesn't have this problem? Has Nokia acknowledged this problem? If there is a Lumia 1520 owner who doesn't have Developer Preview enabled, what is your current OS version after the latest Lumia Black Update?

NO. Many have complained about it but some live with it. Even Dan Rubino acknowledged it. Recently the 1520 had a huge update from Nokia. I thought they solved the problem initially with this new update but in fact it did moderately. I use appygeek, geekbyte, and wpc app. I still get taps rather than scrolling.

everyone on here seems to think nokia is microsoft, like reading the comments, its mostly "nokia" this, nokia that, if you are talking about the os please say microsoft not nokia, didn't know if the ativ s and htc 8x would get the 3rd row tile till i asked a moderator on here. 

Technically Nokia will be Microsoft once the deal goes through. That's why most people now write nokia/Microsoft

what about the accent colours? is it possible to choose any color you want form the colour menu?


(yes i know i could probably just use any colour because i can choose any picture i want so i could make just a jpg with solid colour... but thats really not convenient)

Not sure why I can't scroll left/right to show more settings.  I should be able to fit 10 icons if I scroll. Resolution shouldn't be an issue.

Will the 5 quick settings option be available for my Samsung ATIV S? Because of the 4.8 inch? Big screen matters, doesn't it? Sorry for my english, I'm from the Netherlands and 14 years old.

Didn't think I'd be excited about such a silly feature. But the wall paper tiles is pretty slick and the parallax movement is a nice touch.  Reminds me of some of the scrolling with Win8 on start page.  Nice.

I have recently purchased a LG tv which has the following.
1 Wifi Direct.
2 Widi
3 Miracast.
I have a Nokia Lumia 1520. Will the upcoming Windows phone 8.1 update enable these features in my phone?
Thank you!:)

Why we are limited with 4 options? Why not 2 banks with 8 options? There are many empty spaces in the buttons. Why don't they make only the symbol and include more button?

Does it take full advantage of the big screen with the WP8.1 updates? Instead of enlarging the fonts on the 6" screen, are more contents being displayed with the updates? Thanks.

Battery life on wp 8.1 is horrendous, went from about 14+ hours of usage on my 1520 down to 5 hours with everything thts battery hungry turned off... I did a soft reset. hard reset, turned off all background apps, the voice assistance and still no luck!