Nokia Lumia 520 Review

The newly launched Lumia 520 has the potential to really shake things up in the entry-level smartphone segment, not just for Nokia but Windows Phone in general.


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The thing about the Windows Phone platform is that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. This is good since you get the true feel of the OS no matter which phone you pick. However, this can also be viewed as a negative, since the platform lacks variety across the price range and OEMs can’t really customise the user experience the way they can with Android. This leaves you with a couple of exclusive apps from each brand, but that’s pretty much it. The newly launched Lumia 520 has the potential to really shake things up in the entry-level smartphone segment, not just for Nokia but Windows Phone in general.

Design and build
Available in a variety of colours, the Lumia 520 looks modern and fresh thanks to a soft, matte finish for the entire chassis. The glossy front attracts fingerprints, but it’s not as bad as some of the other phones in this range. Compared to the Lumia 620, which is a few thousand rupees more, the handset is slimmer and lighter, and oddly, feels a lot more premium. The curved back fits snugly in your hand and all the buttons line up with your fingers. The back cover is interchangeable and is a lot simpler to snap on and off as compared to the Lumia 820 or 620. There won’t be any option for a wireless charging cover, but at this price, we don’t think that matters much.

 Nokia Lumia 520 Review

Excellent design and build


The microSIM and microSD card slots are placed beside each other and are hot-swappable. You get a dedicated camera shutter button along with the usual set of buttons. In order to keep the price low, Nokia has had to do away with the LED flash, the front camera and the compass.

Overall, the Lumia 520 is easily one of the best-looking and well-built devices in Nokia’s entire WP8 range, let alone in that particular price bracket. Another good thing about the design is that the headphone jack is not attached to the cover, like the 620, and you’ll be able to buy third party covers as well, which should be a lot cheaper.

Nokia Lumia 520

We prefer a matte finish back any day of the week


The Lumia 520 sports a larger 4-inch IPS display compared to its slightly more expensive cousin. It doesn't use the ClearBlack technology but uses Super-sensitive touch instead, which allows you to operate it even with gloves on. The display is bright and viewing angles are good, but the colours aren’t very vivid or punchy. This is very noticeable when you place the 520 and 620 side-by-side – the Lumia 620’s display has a much better colour reproduction. Still, for the price it’s really hard to complain. The Lumia 520 is powered by the same Qualcomm MSM8227 SoC used in the 620. This consists of two dual-core Krait CPUs running at 1GHz along with the newer Adreno 305 GPU.

Nokia Lumia 520

The IPS display is pretty good under various lighting conditions


The Lumia 520 lacks the Dolby headphone enhancement featured in the 620 and above, but despite this, the audio quality through headphones is good. Even at half volume, audio is clear and crisp with a good amount of bass kicking in. We tested this with the Cowon EM1 and not the stock earphones. The volume level through the speaker is pretty good too. With the phone lying flat on its back, alerts can easily be heard. Audio codecs are a bit limited, but that’s something you’ll have to live with. There’s a lock screen widget as well for convenience.

Most of your movies will have to be converted if they aren’t in MP4 as the video codec support is a bit limited as well. The good news is that 1080p MP4 files play just fine without any stutter, which is mighty impressive for an entry-level smartphone.

Nokia Lumia 520

Full HD playback was a pleasant surprise


Nokia is also throwing in some exclusive offers with the Lumia 520, such as the ability to stream unlimited movies from BIGFlix for the first three months for free. Reliance customers will get 1GB of free 3G for two months. Along with that, WhatsApp and Facebook have been whitelisted during that period, which means all data sent and received from these two apps won’t be counted in your 1GB quota.

Nokia has included most connectivity options we’d expect from any standard mobile handset these days, minus a couple of features. The Lumia 520 comes with 3G capabilities, Wi-Fi (dual band), EDGE and GPS with GLONASS for Nokia Drive. The 520 also happens to be the first phone in this price range to offer GLONASS and dual-band Wi-Fi, which is a big bonus. NFC is absent, but we don’t think that’s a deal breaker in any sort of way.

Nokia Lumia 520

An able navigator


The 5MP auto-focus camera is easily the best in its class for outdoor, daytime shots. The clarity of the images and the details captured really blew us away. The 520 is also very good when it comes to macro shots, giving you ample depth of field. You also get to use the special lens for the camera that enable panorama mode, the ability to erase objects from the image and lots more. Video recording is not too bad either and the phone manages a steady frame rate at 720p resolution.

Nokia Lumia 520

Excellent macros under ideal lighting conditions



Nokia Lumia 520

Captures good details


Battery life
The 1430 mAh battery may seem small, but rest assured, the battery life is actually good. The 520 chugged through 8 hours of non-stop usage, which included 2 hours of calls, 2 hours of video playback, 2 hours of audio and 2 hours of YouTube streaming over Wi-Fi. After all this exercise, we still had about 11 percent of battery remaining.

Nokia Lumia 520

Will last you an entire day


Verdict and Price in India
The Nokia Lumia 520 is priced at Rs 10,500 and this makes it incredible value for money and easily the best handset under Rs 10,000, provided you’re ok with the limited number of popular apps available. It has a very good display, good multimedia capabilities, very good camera for daytime photography and good battery life. Add to that the presence of expandable memory, GLONASS, dual-band Wi-Fi and scratch-resistant glass and you have an offer that’s very hard to refuse. Once again, if you aren’t a big fan of apps or mobile gaming, then the Lumia 520 is the phone to buy under Rs 10,000.

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Nokia Lumia 520 Specifications

Fun Features: Powered by Windows Phone 8, Nokia Lumia 520 comes with exclusive digital lenses, a 1GHz dual core processor, and a touchscreen that even works with long nails or gloves. Great value: A fun and affordable smartphone with free music and navigation. Get more with Nokia Lumia 520. Life’s amazing with the superfast 1GHz dual-core processor: Nokia comes up with a more fun and affordable fully loaded smartphone powered by Windows Phone 8. The super-fast 1GHz dual core processor now allows you to switch from play to music, chat, post, share and even book your movie tickets. Its just so much fun and so fast. Lens that captures beautiful shots: The Nokia Lumia 520 comes with lenses built in – exclusive which adds magic to your pictures. Now from capturing multiple photos on a single click with Smart Shoot to adding motion to your images with Cinemagraph, you can do more with the Nokia lens. Super-sensitive screen. Now even with long fingernails!: Touch, swipe, tap or just pinch. The 4-inch new super sensitive touch display is so sensitive that you can even slide the screen with your long fingernails, pen nib or even your key chain. So get the amazing touch screen experience. Accessorize your Lumia: Personalise your phone with colourful shells, Play your music with the wireless Bluetooth stereo clip-on device and keep your mobile secure with the CR-123 Universal Car Holder. This is not just. Get more to it. This is Lumia 520. Windows Phone 8. Life update!: A delightful innovation that puts the information you want on Start. With the live tiles you automatically get updated on what’s new and what’s now. The Windows Phone Start screen makes sure you’re always caught up and plugged in – to your best friend\'s texts, the time of your next meeting, the latest Groupon deals and whatever else you decide to pin there. Everything happens so fast and with fun.


Form FactorBar
Screen TypeIPS LCD Capacitive Touchscreen
Screen Size4.0 inches
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Number of Colours16M


ProcessorDual Core
Speed1 GHz


Internal Memory8 GB, 512 MB RAM
Extendable MemorymicroSD, up to 64 GB

Camera Features

Sensor Resolution5MP, 2592 x 1936
Digital Zoom4x
Video resolution / frame rate720p / 30fps
Video RecordingYes

General Features

OSMicrosoft Windows Phone 8
Bluetooth FeaturesYes, v3.0 with A2DP
MessagingSMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
GPSYes, with A-GPS support
USB ConnectorYes
Available ColoursYellow, Red, Cyan, White/black

Carrier Networks

2GGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3GHSDPA 900 / 2100


WiFi802.11 a/b/g/n


Dimensions119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm


Media PlayerMusic formats: MP3, WAV, eAAC+, WMA|#|Video formats: H.264, H.263, WMV
Audio connector3.5 mm


Talk Time with Standard BatteryUp to 14 h 40 min (2G) / Up to 9 h 40 min (3G)
Standby Time with Standard BatteryUp to 360 h (3G)

Miscellaneous Features

Built in ApplicationsHotmail|#|Yahoo! Mail|#|Outlook Mobile|#|Gmail|#|Office 365|#|Nokia MailWindows Live / Hotmail /|#|MS Exchange Active Sync|#|Twitter|#|Facebook chat|#|LinkedIn|#|Skype IM

After Sales Service

Warranty Period1 Year


Warranty Period1 Year

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