Nokia's Lumia 1520 phablet arrives in France, Italy from €699; UK coming soon

Nokia's first phablet arrives in Europe next week, but there's only hints of availability for the UK.

Nokia's large-screen Lumia 1520 has begun its journey to Europe, with Italy and France the first to get the phablet on the continent.

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Nokia's first device over five inches, the Lumia 1520 , is available in black or red and will go on sale in France through operator SFR, the country's second biggest mobile carrier, from €729.99 SIM-free and €529.99 on a €20 a month plan.

In Italy, the phablet is selling at Nokia retailer partner from €699.90 and comes with a €20 apps voucher.

Meanwhile, in the US, Nokia will begin shifting the device through AT&T on Friday , where it will be available from $199 on a two year plan.

Nokia hasn't announced availability for other markets in Europe yet, though sales will also begin in Hong Kong and Russia from next week.

Nokia is expected to reveal when UK buyers can get their hands on the phablet next week, and has previously said it expects the 1520 to be released in the UK in the fourth quarter of this year.

Carphone Warehouse has already put the 1520 up for preorder, with no upfront cost on a £38 per month contract.

The device was announced last month alongside its lower-specced six-inch sibling, the Lumia 1320. The Lumia 1520 has full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution at 368ppi, 3400mAh battery, and 2.2Ghz quad-core processor. It also offers 20-megapixel PureView Camera, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage expandable up to 64GB, as well as 7GB cloud storage.

The Lumia 1520 is Nokia's first bid to take a slice of the market Samsung has carved out with its slightly smaller 5.7-inch Galaxy Note series. Nokia's device has similar display and processor specs, and at 200g, weighs about 30g more than Samsung's 5.7 inch display Note 3 , which retails in the UK for £594 (€711). 

Nokia's Lumia devices have been gaining momentum in Europe's big five mobile markets, where it took around nine percent of smartphone sales in the three months to the end of September. Italy in particular has been a sweet spot for Nokia , where it accounts for a larger share of sales than iOS devices.

According to Kantar figures for the period, Windows Phone accounted for 13.7 percent of sales compared to 10.2 percent for iOS, while Android still dominated at 71.6 percent.

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