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Nokia Lumia 2520 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £399
inc VAT

The 2520's 4G support is fantastic if you need it, but Windows RT is still a stumbling block


10.1 in 1,920×1,080 display, 615g, 2.2GHz Qualcom Snapdragon 800, 2.00GB RAM, 32GB disk, Windows RT

The Nokia Lumia 2520 is a Windows RT tablet that’s available in a range of colours, which gives the device more personality than many tablets. At 615g it’s slightly lighter than the Microsoft Surface 2, but both tablets are 8.9mm thick.

Nokia Lumia 2520

The rounded edges of the Lumia 2520 might be comfortable to hold, but they don’t leave much room for connectivity. The power and volume controls are on the top edge, while the 3.5mm audio and proprietary power sockets are on the left-hand side. A Micro HDMI port is a welcome inclusion, as it lets you connect the tablet to a TV or monitor. The Lumia 2520 even has USB3 micro B port, but you’ll need a cable to connect flash drives and cameras.

Nokia Lumia 2520

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are standard inclusions, but near-field communication (NFC) is slightly less common on tablets. NFC means the Lumia 2520 can stream photos and videos from a Lumia smartphone with a tap, or pair instantly with Nokia’s Purity Pro wireless headset.

Nokia Lumia 2520

Perhaps the Lumia 2520’s best features are its SIM card slot and 4G LTE modem. These features are great if you need internet access on the move, but it does mean you’ll be paying extra for a feature you won’t use if you don’t plan on adding a SIM card.

The Nokia Lumia 2520 has a rear camera with a 6.7-megapixel sensor. However, the Windows RT camera app is disappointingly basic, so it’s good to see that Nokia’s added its own app with extra features such as ISO, exposure and shutter speed control. Sadly, image quality is average. Tap to focus works well in bright light, but as soon as the light begins to drop it struggles to maintain sharpness and loses detail.

Nokia Lumia 2520

The Lumia 2520 might not impress with the quality of its own photos, but the 10.1in, Full HD screen makes other images look superb. Colours are vibrant and viewing angles are exceptional, so even though the 1,920×1,080 display can’t match the iPad Air for sheer number of pixels, it still looks gorgeous for everyday tasks such as web browsing or watching videos. Nokia’s ClearBlack screen technology helps contrast significantly, and we could pick out the details in dark images even under bright light, although the screen coating attracts fingerprints like no other tablet we’ve seen.

The Lumia 2520’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, with its four 2.2GHz cores, is certainly fast and makes Windows RT feel incredibly smooth. The Surface 2’s Nvidia Tegra 4 chip might compete with the Lumia 2520 in terms of raw performance, but we found that apps loaded slightly faster on the Lumia 2520 and everything felt a little more responsive.

The Lumia 2520 only completed the SunSpider JavaScript test in 502ms, putting it behind the Surface 2, which completed the test in 365.8ms. However, it beat the Surface 2 in 3DMark’s Ice Storm benchmark, where the Lumia 2520 scored maximum marks in the Basic and Extreme tests, and scored 16251 in the Unlimited test. This means the Lumia 2520 will have no trouble running apps from the Windows Store, but there are still fewer apps than on the Apple App Store or Google Play, even though the number of apps is growing.

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorQualcom Snapdragon 800
Processor clock speed2.2GHz
Memory slots1
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory2GB
Pointing devicetouchscreen


Viewable size10.1 in
Native resolution1,920×1,080
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 330
Graphics/video portsmicro HDMI


Total storage capacity32GB
Optical drive typenone

Ports and Expansion

Wired network portsnone
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsmicro SDHC
Other portsminijack headset port, 1x USB 3.0


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows RT
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Office RT
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB