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Nokia Lumia 520 Review

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Nokia Lumia 520 Review
Introduction

Nokia Lumia 520 Review
Nokia Lumia 520 Review
Nokia seems to have nailed the ultra low-end of Windows Phones with the Lumia 520 on paper. Coming in a variety of jolly colors, it hits the sweet spot of price and productivity, employing a decent display, dual-core processor and a 5MP camera, all at rock bottom pricing. These are the dry specs, though, and it will certainly feel the Android heat in that price range, so read on to find out whether the Lumia 520 delivers in the important aspects...


Design

The rectangular front and strongly tapered back of the Lumia 520 are nice to look at, but the phone feels somewhat bulky and edgy in the hand for this modest screen size. The choice of materials fits the price range, as Nokia used nothing fancier than basic plastics for the rigid-feeling, fairly slippery housing. The back cover is very easy to pry open, revealing the micro SIM and memory card slots, and is available in red, yellow, black and white to suit your style

The rectangular front and strongly tapered back of the Lumia 520 are nice to look at, but the phone feels somewhat bulky and edgy in the hand - Nokia Lumia 520 Review
The rectangular front and strongly tapered back of the Lumia 520 are nice to look at, but the phone feels somewhat bulky and edgy in the hand - Nokia Lumia 520 Review
The rectangular front and strongly tapered back of the Lumia 520 are nice to look at, but the phone feels somewhat bulky and edgy in the hand - Nokia Lumia 520 Review
The rectangular front and strongly tapered back of the Lumia 520 are nice to look at, but the phone feels somewhat bulky and edgy in the hand - Nokia Lumia 520 Review
The rectangular front and strongly tapered back of the Lumia 520 are nice to look at, but the phone feels somewhat bulky and edgy in the hand - Nokia Lumia 520 Review
The rectangular front and strongly tapered back of the Lumia 520 are nice to look at, but the phone feels somewhat bulky and edgy in the hand - Nokia Lumia 520 Review

The rectangular front and strongly tapered back of the Lumia 520 are nice to look at, but the phone feels somewhat bulky and edgy in the hand


Nokia Lumia 520
4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches
119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm
4.37 oz (124 g)

Nokia Lumia 520

HTC Windows Phone 8S
4.74 x 2.48 x 0.4 inches
120.5 x 63 x 10.28 mm
3.99 oz (113 g)

HTC Windows Phone 8S

Sony Xperia sola
4.57 x 2.32 x 0.39 inches
116 x 59 x 9.9 mm
3.77 oz (107 g)

Sony Xperia sola

Samsung Galaxy S III mini
4.78 x 2.48 x 0.39 inches
121.5 x 63 x 9.9 mm
4.23 oz (120 g)

Samsung Galaxy S III mini

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


The buttons on the right are not easily clickable and with a pretty shallow tactile feedback to boot. The most-used lock/power key is in the middle there, where you have to press it with your thumb joint instead of the finger tip, which seems reserved to press without bending the finger only the volume rocker.

There is the usual for Windows Phones camera shutter key underneath those, but spaced away enough from the edge to allow comfortable grip while capturing photos and videos with it.

The usual controls are on the right - Nokia Lumia 520 Review
The microUSB port is on the bottom - Nokia Lumia 520 Review
The 3.5mm headset jack is on the top - Nokia Lumia 520 Review

The usual controls are on the right

The microUSB port is on the bottom

The 3.5mm headset jack is on the top



Display

Nokia Lumia 520 Review
A 4” 480x800 pixels IPS-LCD screen is what you will find mounted on the Nokia Lumia 520, with pretty thick top and bottom bezels surrounding it. The 235ppi pixel density is good for the category, and the viewing angles, while shifting color and contrast a bit at the end of the tilting motion, are wide too.

When you add peak brightness that ensures decent outdoor visibility, we have no complaints about the panel that Nokia chose to ship with the Lumia 520, save for the apparent lack of oleophobic coating, making you wipe the screen pretty often.

Nokia, for that matter, has equipped the display with the Synaptics super-sensitive touch layer that debuted in its Lumia 920, and allows you to operate the handset even when you have your gloves on.


29 Comments
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posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:34 2

1. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)


Did you use Grey color background or its the screen's fault it self?

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:35 3

2. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)


Umm.. I think Nokia has'nt use Clear Black Techno Here.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:48 1

4. shadez10 (Posts: 398; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


yup... no clearblack on this model...

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:37 3

3. lumia920 (Posts: 107; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)


sub-continent is waiting for you.!!!!!!

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:52 1

5. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Great! A friend of mine has been waiting for this. Gonna recommend this to him.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 07:56

6. boosook (Posts: 932; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Who uses offline navigation anymore? Since this is a smartphone, you probably have a data plan, so being online it's not a problem. What's more, if you're offline you don't get realtime info like traffic or road works, and you cannot integrate search and navigation (e.g. search for a street, restaurant, shop etc in google maps and ask the phone to drive you there).
Offline navigation was popular in the 20th century, now we moved forward. Of course, there are some situations where offline navigation is still useful (e.g. if you travel in a country where you might have no GSM coverage or you can't activate a data plan), but in these cases I'd rather get a real navigator, and anyway I consider the offline navigator a weak selling point.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 08:05 10

8. windroid (unregistered)


"and you cannot integrate search and navigation (e.g. search for a street, restaurant, shop etc in google maps and ask the phone to drive you there)"

Nokia offline navigation has all that built in, no need for data plan. If you go to other country (common in Europe) you won't want to have a data plan with roaming that will cost you a fortune, so, very nice to have offline navigation.
The missing apps aren't all that much, the WP is catching up quickly, and all major apps are already integrated. For about $200 I think it's a good choice.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 09:12

11. ahhxd717 (Posts: 317; Member since: 08 Dec 2011)


Lol, ok then.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 10:37 1

12. jsdechavez (Posts: 701; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


Who uses a 'real navigator anyway?'

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 20:19

27. ibap (Posts: 690; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


I hate to break this to you, but unless you never leave a major city, there are places where the cell signal is too unreliable for navigation. On Android I use CoPilot, for just that reason. If I have good cell signal, I can use Google maps when necessary for search and traffic.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 07:56 5

7. reyyys (Posts: 7; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


great phone!

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 08:44 3

10. Henrik (Posts: 141; Member since: 18 Feb 2012)


And it looks good too :-) Even better than the 620, in my opinion.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 22:26

24. Timothypadang (Posts: 4; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


yes, I think so...... like a lumia 920

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 08:26 3

9. Shubham412302 (Posts: 298; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


well at least don't talk of xperia sola and one v
they cannot play 1080 videos natively and cost more and will not be upgraded to jb.
its frustuating when your phone doesn't gets updated
while this phone will surely receive updates for atleast 18 months.
only nexus are promised on android to get updated for 18 months.
plz don't come and say to root and update to custom ROM like cm10.
at least in HTC and Sony you void your warranty as soon as you give your imei no. for boot loader unlock code.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 14:32 3

13. NokiaFTW (limited) (Posts: 1900; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


Nokia nailed it. My next phone :)

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 17:57

14. Landmarkcm (Posts: 419; Member since: 11 Aug 2009)


The lack of a camera flash right off the bat is a fail for me. Why would they leave that off. This is useless if you like to take low light shots esp indoors or out with your friends in low light etc.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 22:07 1

15. Bappy (Posts: 25; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


That's why you have Lumia 620 or more expensive models.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 03:37

17. Landmarkcm (Posts: 419; Member since: 11 Aug 2009)


Ya tmo should have got the 620 instead of this. Price point isn't that much higher.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 01:32

16. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


1080p video playback?? that's not a typo is it??? O_O

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 00:26

18. keerthi777 (Posts: 4; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)


Buy lumia 520 at the lowest price on EBAY check it here bc.vc/tWJkUO

posted on 19 Apr 2013, 03:44

19. Web4pc (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Apr 2013)


Can any one tell me that lumia 520 can play 720p and 1080p videos like android 4.0 phones plays......???????

posted on 21 Apr 2013, 11:40

20. Ruisleipä (Posts: 31; Member since: 06 Apr 2013)


Yes, yes it can play 1080p videos.

posted on 22 Apr 2013, 12:40

21. Web4pc (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Apr 2013)


Hello my email is Asif.af01@gmail.com i am going to buy lumia 520 i contact the microsoft windowsphone site chat with them he says lumia 520 can record but can not play 720p so please tell me as friend the truth that lumia 520 videos player can play 720p videos or not please please.....?????

posted on 23 Apr 2013, 01:03

22. devilfisch (Posts: 35; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


I have a Lumia 620 and it plays 1080p MP4 videos well and without a hitch. The Lumia 520 is pretty similar to the 620 in terms of specs so I won't find it surprising if it can also do the same.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 09:24

28. DEBASIS (Posts: 5; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


YES.. ITS PLAY ALL THESE RESOLUTIONS VIDEO..

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 07:44

23. Timothypadang (Posts: 4; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


I Think, This is the most PERFECT entry level phone :)

posted on 21 May 2013, 15:28

25. ashank87 (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 May 2013)


Hey guys, i have a genuine problem. I got the mobile from an online retailer.. i noticed there is a small red light blinking on top of screen just near the speaker (where u hear the voice while calling) This happens while making/receiving call, a small red light blinks near speaker not all time.. can anyone please confirm if this is ok or i got a defective product...

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 06:37

26. Lumialower (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)


Perfect budget phone but i still dont get it, why to release that crappy phone named nokia asha 501? Does nokia aim this phone for 6 year old kids? Or 100$ without contract phone?

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 09:32

29. DEBASIS (Posts: 5; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


WHAT SHOULD I BUY IN THESE THREE DEVISES 1. - NOKIA LUMIA 520, 2. - SAMSUNG GALAXY S DUOS S7562 3. - LG OPTIMUS L5 II E450 ??
PLEASE HELP ME...

I LIKE MUSIC, VIDEOS, GAMES ,INTERNET ETC......

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Nokia Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 520

OS: Windows Phone 8.1 8
view full specs
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (235 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8227, Dual core, 1000 MHz, Krait processor
512 MB RAM
Size4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches
(119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm)
4.37 oz  (124 g)
Battery1430 mAh, 14.8 hours talk time

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