Spec showdown: Nokia Lumia 1520 vs. HTC One Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

With the Lumia 1520 just around the corner, we compare the big names in big-screen phones.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
2 min read

Want a big-screen smartphone but not sure which one? We've got you covered.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Nokia Lumia 1520 and HTC One Max. (Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

Nokia's 6-inch Lumia 1520 lands in Australia on 11 December, exclusive to Harvey Norman. It's joining the HTC One Max and the Galaxy Note 3 to name just two of the other slab-screened phones on the market.

But which is best? Well that depends on your needs, but here are the wrap-ups from our reviews of the three handsets plus a comparison table of the various specs to help you decide.

Nokia Lumia 1520

Nokia came to compete in the extra-large smartphone space, and that it does, bringing top-notch specs and attractive hardware to an increasingly crowded field. However, monster megapixel camera aside, the 1520 lacks the other phones' flashier window dressing: the Max's fingerprint scanner and the Note 3's stylus.

HTC One Max

When we first learned of HTC's plans for the One Max, we were eager to give the big phone a spin. The HTC One Max's metal chassis, however, when blown up to its huge proportions, is way too large, heavy and unwieldy. We never thought we'd sing the praises of a plastic smartphone, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 3's thinner and lighter footprint is simply more manageable to use.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Even if you're not using the S Pen features to their fullest extent, you're still getting a powerful, well-designed phone — albeit at a slightly higher price than we'd like. If you're a Note user, then getting the Note 3 is a no-brainer — it's the best of the series and well worth the upgrade. But even if you're just in the market for a big-screen Android phone, the Galaxy Note 3 is hard to walk past. This is a powerful and feature-rich smartphone that doesn't fail to impress.

Lumia 1520 vs. HTC One Max vs. Galaxy Note 3
Nokia Lumia 1520 HTC One Max Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Dimensions 162.8x85.4x8.7mm; 209g 164.5x82.5x10.29mm; 217g 151.2x79.2x8.3mm; 168g
Display 6.0 1080p HD; 367ppi 5.9 1080p HD; 373ppi 5.7 1080p HD; 386ppi
Operating system Windows Phone 8 Android 4.3 Android 4.3
Processor 2.2GHz quad-core; Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 1.7GHz quad-core; Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 2.3GHz quad-core; Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Rear camera and recording 20 megapixel; 1080p HD video 4 UltraPixel; 1080p HD video 13 megapixel; 1080p HD video
Front-facing camera 1.2 megapixel; 720p HD video 2.1 megapixel; 1080p HD video 2 megapixel; 720p HD video
Memory 32GB; 64GB microSD 32GB; 64GB microSD 32GB; 64GB microSD
Battery 3400mAh embedded 3300mAh embedded 3200mAh removable
LTE/4G Yes Yes Yes
NFC Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth 4.0 4.0 4.0
Special features Wireless charging (Qi standard). Fingerprint sensor S Pen stylus
Price AU$899 AU$816 AU$999