Nokia Lumia 2520 Review: Big And Bold: User Interface

By 06:17 Sat, 14 Aug 2021 Comments


Windows 8.1 RT at your service

Windows RT is a relatively recent Operating System (OS) - it's only been around for an year now and it is different from both the regular Windows and the Windows Phone Operating System (OS) you may have seen elsewhere. RT (short for Runtime) is made to run on ARM processors (like the ones in today's smartphones and tablets) instead on the regular Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) processors that we utilize in our computers.

Windows RT relies only on the Windows Store for apps and you can't install any legacy software. None of your Windows Vista/7/8 apps are directly available on Windows RT, unless their developers release a compatible version and Microsoft claims that making one is pretty easy.

Another vital incompatibility is that Windows RT is only available pre-installed on devices and it's not available directly to discontinue users - only OEMs have access to it. After the initial enthusiasm, the OEMs in question have started moving away from the platform.

Right before the Lumia 2520 was announced, there were even rumors that Microsoft will be scrapping the project altogether. So far (November 2013), there is no official announcement on the matter.

The exact version which the Nokia Lumia 2520 boots is Windows 8.1 RT. The latest version of the ARM-based Operating System (OS) is not a major update, though it still brings some welcome changes to the table.

You can see the Lumia 2520 with Windows 8.1 RT in action below.

The Start menu is comprised of live tiles just like on Windows Phone. The incompatibility is that the live tile grid is scrollable horizontally rather than vertically, which makes sense given the default orientation of the screen.





Windows 8.1 RT UI

A pinch gesture on the classy screen shrinks the grid of tiles, which is particularly handy if you've got a lot of tiles and you are starting to acquire lost.

A swipe from the top or bottom of the main classy screen reveals the context menu. This gesture is enabled in every app, as well as on the Start screen. When in the latter, it reveals the "Customize" menu.



The context menu has been simplified

To select a tile you need to do a vertical swipe on it - mass selection for unpinning and uninstalling is also available. This works on all sorts of files in Start - pictures, documents, etc.

Live tiles can be resized just like in Windows Phone - there are four sizes available now as opposed to three in Windows 8 RT. An option to turn live tiles off is also available. Some tiles are nothing more than static icons even after you create them bigger but others (like Calendar) assist bring more information correct on your homescreen.





Some of the customization options

Swiping up from the Start menu reveals the full list of installed apps. A pinch gesture reveals an alphabetical grid which lets you quickly search the list of apps.





The full list of available apps

Switching between apps is done by swiping from the left edge of the classy screen towards the center. There's an alternate way of doing this - a short swipe from the left edge of the classy screen and then quickly back displays a vertical thumbnail grid of the recent apps. If you're using a conventional keyboard with your Windows 8.1 RT, a simple Alt+Tab gets the job done just like it has for ages now.



Switching between apps

Split classy screen mode has been greatly revamped in Windows 8.1 RT. It now allows users to view apps side by side in equally-sized windows, as opposed to a large and a small one in the previous version.




Viewing windows side by side has been greatly improved

Charms menu

The Charms menu is available across the OS. It's accessible via a swipe from the correct edge of the classy screen and gives access to search, share, Start, devices and settings.

Devices detects every device in your network's Home/Workgroup - if you're logged on to one that is. You can sdiscontinue content to these devices through this menu. Share does the same, but using different apps to share depending on the type of content.



The Charms menu

The settings menu gives you quick options for Wireless, sound, screen, notifications, power and keyboard.




A see at the settings

There are sliders to adjust the brightness and volume of the device.




Screen brightness and volume

You can also select which keyboard to utilize and choose to restart, shut down or sleep using the quick toggles.




Keyboard and power options

There's also a shortslit to the detailed settings menu here. From there you can personalize the see of Windows 8.1 RT. You can choose lockclassy screen wallpaper, select apps that can run in the background and show notifications or detailed statuses on the lockclassy screen - for instance the Calendar will display your upcoming events.

The next option is the Start screen. You can choose a color scheme and background. There are many options in every color you can think of but you can't utilize your own picture as wallpaper - you have to select one of the preinstalled ones.





Personalize settings

There's an option to change your account photo as well. It is done by tapping on the top correct corner where the user account information is located.

You can add multiple users on Windows 8.1 RT, just like you can in Windows 8. Users can have their own tile grid, apps, preferences, etc. If you have more than one Windows 8 or RT device you can enable settings sync between them.

Notifications can be disabled on the lockclassy screen altogether and you can switch off the sounds. You can also configure which apps can push notifications to your lockscreen. However you cannot control the way notifications are presented, only switch them on and off.





User and notification settings

Users can choose which apps to utilize while searching. There's the handy option to delete the search hitale too. Sharing settings are very limited. Currently you can only share via Mail, People and SkyDrive.

The general settings handle time, spelling, classy screen automatic brightness, language options, reinstall Windows, etc. The Devices section handles the PCs and devices in a Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) Home/Workgroup. You can add recent and connect with existing ones.

Windows 8.1 RT lets you choose which settings you wish to sync with SkyDrive or disable the feature. Your personalization, passwords, app, browser settings and more can be synced between your PCs.

Modern UI is really fluid and responsive. All UI transitions and animations are buttery-smooth and we didn't notice any lag. This is hardly a surprise, as the Snapdragon 800 SoC is one of the speedier around.


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