Microsoft has an offer that anybody hunting for a budget-conscious smartphone must consider. Between February 3rd and 17th, residents of the US and Puerto Rico can pick up a Lumia 520 (on AT&T) or 521 (on T-Mobile) phone, bundled with a 12-month Xbox Music Pass for $99. As both items cost $99 separately, shaving half off their combined price means you have a fantastic deal on your hands.
At $99, the Lumia 520/521 is one of the best, if not the single best choice for a smartphone on a budget. We tend to abstain from strict opinions, but we know our stuff, and we're certain - no matter what wizardry you try, you won't get Android to run as smoothly on $99 hardware as Windows Phone 8 does. Besides, with its dual-core CPU, 512MB RAM (adequate for WP8), 4-inch IPS display, and a sturdy Nokia build, this little gem can get you pretty far.
When we reviewed the 520 last year, we agreed that it offers good value for the money, even though it costed about a hundred dollars more at launch. Now, at a sub-$100 price, and bundled with a 30-million-songs music service, this phone's a steal. It's no wonder that the Lumia 520 is the second most-used Windows Phone handset in the states, and very popular in emerging markets.