[Update 1/21/14 - Unfortunately, the method detailed below does not work. At least not directly. However, users are urged to head to our forums where there are more detailed instructions.]
The Lumia 1520 is arguably one of the more intriguing devices released in 2013 for Windows Phone. While the size isn’t for everyone, the specs are certainly eye catching. There is just one problem though: AT&T.
In their infinite wisdom, AT&T requested that Nokia gimp their Lumia 1520 with only 16 GB of storage and that they remove Qi wireless charging. True, you can add a backcover to get that function back, but even there, people are left high and dry. That’s because the only case that’s available that supports wireless charging is the PMA variant, the competitor to Qi. So throw out all of those Qi chargers because they are now worthless.
AT&T will be adding a 32 GB SKU for the Lumia 1520 in the future, but Qi wireless is not coming back. That is, unless you want to take matters into your own hands…
In the Windows Phone Central forums, a discussion started by Benny Vallejo has broken out over replacement shells/covers for the Lumia 1520. A seller on eBay is offering official Lumia 1520 replacement backs, but they are the ones for the international version of the phablet. That means that they have the coveted Qi coil built in. It also means you now have a choice.
Granted, removing and replacing the whole shell/case from the Lumia 1520 is probably not trivial, although there is a nice video (posted above) that walks you through the process. The cases come in all four colors, including glossy red, black, white and even yellow. In theory, you can now also swap colors, if you so choose.
The parts run for $55-$62 with shipping worldwide and the seller has a 99.6% positive feedback rating, so you can feel confident in your order.
Should you go for it? That’s a tough question, though it’s common for people to replace their cases and shattered displays (our own Seth Brodeur has done so, documented here). But let’s be very clear: this will void your warranty, if you care about such things.
Tell you what: we’ve already ordered our matte-white replacement cover, so we’re going to give this a go. Stay tuned in the coming weeks if you want to know our results (we’ll be documenting the process).
Ready to jump on board, regardless? Simply do a search on eBay for the Lumia 1520, then whittle it down to ‘Replacement Parts & Tools’. There you should see the listings from seller ‘original_parts_mobile_99’ located in Spain.