The Nokia Lumia 520, if you have seen charts of the worlds most popular WindowsPhone it is this little guy. The Lumia 520 and the Lumia Icon are the only 2 Nokia Lumia devices we do not have reviews for, and we currently have both. The 520 review is now and the Lumia Icon review is coming soon. We know of the 520s very compelling price tag of $55, but does the lack of horse power make this phone cheap quality wise, there is only one way to find out. A full review, so lets get started.
For a $55 device this thing has a pretty good feel to it. If you did not know the price tag then you would think the 520 would cost a pretty penny. The back has a matte soft touch finish to it similar to 1520, but thicker. The 520’s depth measures in at 9.9 mm where the 1520 measures in at 8.7. That extra thickness does not take away from the great feeling in the hand. The second I took this little guy out of the box I thought of it as a baby windows phone. That is not a bad thing. All the hardware buttons were perfectly responsive, not to mention that there is expandable memory and removable battery. In the hardware department this little guy is flawless packing some features that even the flagship devices do not have. (520 next to Nokia Lumia Icon below)
There is a 5MP camera on the back of the 520, but it can do the job and records in 720p. The one downside to the camera is there is no flash, which is rough for any smartphone user. The little guy is also missing a front facing camera, which unless you enjoy taking a lot of selfies should not be a huge hit. Also with the new Lumia Black update the 520 gets all the camera applications that the 1520 or the Icon would have. To sum up the camera on the 520 you get what you pay for, the extra nokia apps help the overall experience. Sample picture I took with the 520 below, taken with Nokia Camera app with all settings on auto.
The Lumia 520 has a 4” 480×800 pixels IPS-LCD screen, again you are getting what you pay for in this aspect of the device. The screen is very reflective, I am not a fan of that, but thats just me. The viewing angles are average, but nothing that would impair the use of the device. Overall pretty good I thought.
Everyone would usually think that the lack of impressive specs would make the 520 have a lot of hiccups and be laggy, but they could not be more wrong. The 520 runs Windows Phone 8 silky smooth. It does it a little while longer to open the heavier apps like ESPN hub and the weather channel app, but everyday tasks on the 520 ran flawlessly. When it comes to the way the Lumia 520 runs you are definitely getting way more than what you paid for.
There are different classes of games in every app store, the graphic heavy games like Asphalt 8, a step right below that with games like Minion Rush, and the simplest games like flappy bird. I played all three of these games on the 520 to test how it would perform. I started with flappy bird and just as I thought flawless, not the slightest bump in the road. Next to Minion Run, overall a pretty solid job, I did run into one minor hiccup on game play, but nothing major. Finally Asphalt 8, ran flawlessly, I was honestly very surprised after the minor hiccup I had from minion rush. Overall this thing games like a champ.
I know I had my negative comments above, but I love this phone. It is probably my second favorite Windows Phone behind the Icon. There is nothing not to like about this phone, besides the no flash on the camera. If I had to go buy another Nokia as a back up to my Icon it would be the 520 in a heartbeat. That is if they both worked on Verizon. If you are on a budget and you want a windows phone this is the one to get. The compact size, good hardware, gaming, and the smoothness of WP8 make the Lumia 520 nothing short of a champion for its $55 dollar price tag.