It’s been over a year since the Nokia Lumia 520 appeared. This is the best-selling Windows Phone device, and if you’re wondering why this is so, stay with us until the end of this review. First of all, Nokia seems to specialize in producing very good middle and lower-class models. The Lumia 520 is just one of those. Offering more cheerful and vibrant colors, the Lumia 520 also brings a decent screen, dual-core processor, and 5MP camera. But is it enough to conclude based on this that the Lumia 520 is a highly desirable phone? Probably not, so let’s take a look together at what this ultra-affordable phone has to offer.
Nokia Lumia 520 design
The classic rectangular shape with sharp edges and a rounded part towards the back is a traditional recipe that Lumia has in her genes. Whatever color you order the phone, it will be likable and attractive. Although it does not contain elements of sophistication, the Nokia Lumia 520 has a childlike appeal that captivates millions of satisfied users around the world. When you make sure that the phone has a nice appearance, you will notice that it does not lie in your hands so easily. Not to be confused, the Nokia Lumia 520 is not too big and too heavy a phone, but a bit chunky with almost 1cm at the waist. It is a standard that has long been surpassed in the world of premium phones, but the budget-oriented Lumia 520 does not take this into account.
The phone is made of plastic, which does not look bad, but can be a little slippery. The background opens easily, and inside there are micro-SIM and microSD slots. Otherwise, the Nokia Lumia 520 is available in red, yellow, black, and white.
The outer keys are positioned on the right side but are not too accommodating when you need to use them. Far from being rigid and difficult to use, you just have to get used to them. There is the main button, one for volume control and one for the camera, which is quite nicely positioned, and due to the slightly larger width of the phone, it is easy to hold it in a horizontal position when you want to take a photo. There’s also a classic USB port on the bottom and a 3.5mm audio input on the top.
Nokia Lumia 520 screen
That the Nokia Lumia 520 is not too big a phone can be seen by the 4-inch screen it has. It is an IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 480 × 800 pixels. That yields an average of 235 pixels per inch. If you compare that with the models from 2014, you will see that it is smaller, but the Nokia Lumia 520 manages to offer a quite good picture. Otherwise, the screen is surrounded by larger areas of plastic, which is common for this class of phones.
The screen itself has pains like the others in this price range. Visibility in daylight is decent, but in stronger sunlight, you can count on heavier readability of the content on it. Viewing angles are relatively small, so you will need to hold the phone at a 90-degree angle to you most of the time. The screen is a real lure for prints, so you “don’t lose” often deleting it. So that we don’t just criticize the screen, here is information that it can work even when you wear gloves.
Nokia Lumia 520 specification and performance
The dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus combined with 512MB of RAM is quite enough to make this Windows Phone work properly. This is, after all, a minimum that is enough for all your applications to work well. The phone has 8GB of internal storage, but due to the aforementioned microSD port, the memory can be expanded up to a maximum of 64GB.
When it comes to the battery, it is of medium size, but having in mind that the phone does not have too demanding components, it is clear that the battery will not be a problem, but a solution to the problem. Official data says that the Nokia Lumia 520 can spend over 9 hours talking in a 3G network, and if you switch to 2G, the duration is extended to almost 15 hours. With combined use, the phone easily spends one whole day, and often the energy remains for the morning after.
The phone runs on Windows Phone 8, which guarantees quite a decent operation. There are of course some very useful Nokia options, such as Here Maps, Nokia Music, Angry Birds, etc.
Nokia Lumia 520 camera
A 5MP camera would not be bad at all for this category of the phone if it was equipped with an LED flash when it is simply not here. On the other hand, the camera is not bad and is activated easily via the capture key, even when the phone is locked. The camera interface is quite poor and offers only a few shooting options, such as macro, panorama, etc. You can further adjust the camera, but nothing special.
After good daylight, it is best to leave the camera in automatic mode. Then the phone takes very good photos with accurately displayed colors and quite enough detail. Even the light sources are nicely “processed”, so there is nothing to complain about the camera from that side. It is similar with the videos, which come in 720p resolution, but which are pleasantly fluid and with nicely displayed colors. However, when it gets dark things change and without a flash you won’t have much choice for good photography, leading us to conclude that the Nokia Lumia 520 is a phone for daily photography.
Nokia Lumia 520 Conclusion
The main advantage of this phone is the price and everything revolves around it. With the exception of the camera without a flash (which is pretty good during the day), slightly worse sound quality, the Nokia Lumia 520 is a pretty solid phone. A fast processor, a screen that works even when wearing gloves and Nokia maps are pretty good reasons to buy just this phone. There are a lot of competitors and it would be hard to count them here, but it seems to me that none of them is as harmonious as the Nokia Lumia 520. If you want to get rid of Android and enter the world of smartphones at a more than affordable price, I think that the Nokia Lumia 520 is one of the best solutions, and you can see what this phone looks like here in our video.
You can read more details and news related to this model on our blog: Lumia 520 is the best-selling WP phone.