Nokia Lumia 520 review - hands-on
Posted on 25 Feb 2013 at 09:49, by Chris Finnamore
There was some excited whispers at Mobile World Congress when Nokia unveiled a Lumia smartphone for just €139, so we were keen to find out straight away if any compromises had been made to bring it out at the low price point.
First impressions are good. The phone's dual-core 1GHz processor means that Windows Phone 8 ran as smoothly and slicky as usual, with apps opening in a snap.
The screen is also a reasonable 800x480 pixels, so text and icons are sharp. The quality isn't up there with phones higher up Nokia's range, though; in particular we noticed significantly worse contrast, with blacks appearing grey. It's fine for a budget screen, but we've seen better displays on Android mobiles at this price, such as the Sony Xperia U.
You can also operate the screen with your fingernails or while wearing gloves; it took a while for the phone to recognise our touch, but it seemed to calibrate itself after around 30 seconds of poking around, and after that the phone responded fine to our thick wooly fingers.
It's a good-looking phone, with a pleasing curved back, and is available in a number of funky colours. You can also swap the rear casing out if you want to change the phone's look; black for business, banana yellow for weekends.
One thing we did notice was that the phone didn't appear as rock-solid as more expensive Lumias, or even the relatively inexpensive Lumia 620. The rear in particular felt made of cheaper plastic that wasn't as pleasant to touch – the only thing that betrays the Lumia 520's budget price.
First impressions of the Lumia 520 are good, and Nokia's bundled apps add a significant amount of value. It will be interesting to see if it's available on any good-value contracts, too; this could be the phone to challenge Android for the budget end of the smartphone market.
Find a review
- iOS 8 release date, screenshots, features, news and rumours for new iPhone 6 and iPhone 5 operating system
- Shocking! Nokia stops European sales of Lumia 2520 tablet
- BBC iPlayer and Sky Go not working on iPhone and iPad
- iOS 8 could get Shazam integration for Siri song recognition
- Leaked iPhone 6 battery images potentially confirm bigger screen rumours
- Chrome Remote Desktop now available for Android
- HTC releases Dual Lens camera SDK for HTC One (M8) developers
- LG G3 to arrive in gold, according to leaked retail box
- Amazon and Samsung partner up for custom Kindle store on Galaxy smartphones and tablets
- Google Camera Android app launches with Lens Blur effect