With the launch of the NOKIA LUMIA 520, Nokia has, at last placed itself and the Windows Phone platform up for grabs under the 10k section, which is already flooded with a plethora of android budget devices. With a price tag of approximately 9.7k, it makes an amazing buy for people looking for their first smartphone, for a change from the android platform or for students on a tight budget. But is this another faceless budget device amongst countless others or is it worthy of the hype? Let’s find out.
A 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM and the Adreno 305 GPU power the Lumia 520. The thing worth noticing is that the same specs are true of the Lumia 620 and 720. Only 512 MB of RAM sounds a tad disappointing when compared to the competition in same price bracket, but the optimized Windows Phone OS makes sure that the user interface is extremely smooth. There is no lag whatsoever while navigating the built in windows features and menus, just the launch of third party apps cause a few seconds of wait before starting. But gamers beware- most of the games on the Windows Phone store have a minimum requirement of 1 GB RAM, so the possibility of serious gaming on the Lumia 520 is ruled out. But then also games like Temple Run and Asphalt 7 are playable on the device.
A 5 Megapixel camera handles the photography prowess of this phone. The phone lacks an LED flash and a front facing camera. No flash rules out the possibility of low light imaging. It does have a dedicated camera button. In daylight and properly lit conditions, the camera manages to pull out decent shots. The camera button on the device often causes it to shake while clicking pics, so we suggest to use the –touch to shoot feature. The camera focuses on the point which you touch. The extra offering of the device is that the camera can use different lenses like Cinemagraph and Smartshoot which offer show-off imaging. It also offers 720p video recording at 25 fps.
The Lumia 520 ships with 8 GB of internal memory and a micro-SD card slot which supports cards up to 64 GB.
Out of the box, the Lumia 520 runs on the Windows Phone 8 platform which is the Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system. It is also lined up for the Amber Update in August, which will add Bluetooth 4.0, F.M. Radio and other functionality to the phone. Currently though, like most of the windows phones, the Lumia 520 has Office and One Note pre-installed. Considering the fact that the Lumia 520 comes for such a low price, this is one of its coolest features. The phone also promises online 7 GB, Skydrive storage. Famous apps like Whatsapp, Facebook etc. can be downloaded from the Windows Phone store. It seems that Nokia and Microsoft have done a beautiful job of tweaking the OS for the hardware.
One thing most disappointing in a budget phone is the compromise in their build quality. Lumia 520 smarts the competition in this area with its chick design and amazing build quality. The phone has various color options for the back panels (Red, Black, White, Yellow and Cyan) but the front remains black. The back cover of the device is designed to give it a unibody design and feel. It has sharp edges like the Lumia 720. It fits in the palm rather snuggly and there are no problems in one hand usage. The display on the phone is a 4in (800×480, 235ppi) IPS touchscreen which offers decent color reproduction and viewing angles, but lacks Nokia’s Clear-Black technology. At 64×9.9×119.9mm dimensions and a weight of 124g the phone is fairly slim and light. The power button, volume rocker and the camera button are on the right side of the phone and offer adequate feedback when pressed. The USB charging slot sits on the bottom and a 3.5mm audio jack on top of the phone.
That the Lumia 520 is a budget device shows by its 800×480 resolution, lack of LED flash and the presence of a meager amount of RAM. That it is fairly capable is shown by a decent display, excellent imaging in lit conditions when compared to the competition and buttery smooth UI. The Windows Phone operating system seems quite optimized to offer more or less the same user experience on each WP device. This Lumia seems a perfect device for users looking for a change from the Android OS and are on a budget.
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