on 20 July 2013
I've been using this device for a week. amazing smartphone!
here are all the pros:
- I love windows 8 os: smooth, brilliant, no lags at all, customizable. (I own an ipad 3 so i know what i'm talking about);
- app store: all the most important apps are there and run without problems. besides, lot of very usefull free apps. yes, it's true, there are not 700k apps like iphone but i found everything I need. maybe those people who play a lot on their smartphone will be a bit disappointed though.
- call quality: very clean sound
- screen: not a gorilla glass, but very good even under direct sun light (i compared it to a nexus 4 and my lumia won hands down)
- maps: u never get lost and very quick to find your location;
camera: 5mp (no flash nor front camera). good quality pics. maybe without the wow factor but, hey, u pay just over 100 quid for this!
- micro SD: up to 32gb;
- emails: way better than the iOS one: multi-selection available; u can also attach several pics just ticking them from your album instead of adding them one by one;
- size: 4" screen is the perfect size to me: handling it is very easy and u can reach every corner of the screen with 1 thumb;
- weight: just perfect!
- overall build quality: 9/10;
- battery: this is quite bad. as soon as u talk on skype or active gps, battery percentage drops! hope it gets better after a few charging cycles;
- heat: lumia 520 tends to get hot pretty easily when really under stress, especially during a long video skype call. during normal usage no problem at all though;
summary: for £120 you can't ask for anything else. at this price range there is no android which can compete. you've got everything you need: whatsapp, viber, fb, skype.. you name it, maps, build quality, responsive screen (very sensitive to your touch), and most of all.. amazing OS!!!
Definitely recommend it!! especially if you want to spare some money for your holiday or anything else (iPhone 5 16gb: £520 Vs lumia 520 £120).
Update about the battery: the battery is getting better day by day. with a 100% recharge in the morning, with a normal usage (emails, fb, whatsapp, calls, internet surfing)I can easily get until evening. now the lumia 520 should deserve 4.5 stars!
on 3 October 2013
I wanted to hate this product. I really did.
I hate Microstoft with a passion, and hate Nokia ever since I spent £600 on an N97 in 2008.
However, my iPhone 4s screen broke for the past 2 years, and I bought this phone to last a week while my screen was being replaced.
I was expecting to tolerate this crap phone, and have to comprimise on buying a bottom of the barrel phone. Imagine my surprsie then, despite the learning curve, within a day I actually started preferring it to iphone! It just felt more....natural... Like moving from motoralla or old nokia to iphone.
This £100 phone is to Apple, what a £1000 iPhone was to Nokia in 2007.
I had iphone 4 before that, an iPad, and a Mac enjoying the benefits of facetime, I thought I was an APple convert.
Im a techhie so it was easy to setup multiple inboxes, configure my start screen, sync all my google contacts within minutes. It can take a few days to get used to (tips back moves back, even between apps. Hold down back to switch apps, hold down an app to bring up a menu, move it around pin to taskbar etc, hold down the windows button for voice recognition).
Within minutes I downloaded gmaps (google maps), Spotify, Skype, viber, amazon, ebay, trainline, whats app etc. A couple of ommissions included citymapper, but that will come in time. It also doesnt have a front camera, as I can tell. But its lighter than an iphone 4 and faster than an iphone 5.
For an early implementation, this is incredible.
-Apple were the underdog in 2007. Today, thats Nokia.
-Apple had a limited market share and platform in 2007 Today, thats Nokia.
-In 2007 APples phones cost 3x the most expensive Nokias.
2 major advantages over iOS.
1. Office document editing
2. Free global maps, every state and country in the world,
3. In my personal opinion voice and data call qauality is miles ahead of the iphone 4s or 5s, but thats subjective.
Now, in the UK this phone costs £100, compared with £570 for an iPhone. Thats almost 6 times the price.
Putting a 64gb microsd card (£25) results in 68GB, more than a £750 iPhone.
For a phone that costs 1/5th the price to beat an iphone is pretty insane. Well done Nokia!
**NOTE** The phone uses a "Micro Sim" so if you have a standard sim you can get it cut down or exchanged for a newer one
I bought one of these for my girlfriend as a present, but spent a few days using the phone because I actually like it quite a lot.
Windows 8 works far better for touch devices like this than desktop/laptops, so don't let that put you off at all
I picked up the yellow back one on at a shop and the salesman tried to convince me not to buy a Windows 8 phone, and that I was better off with Android. It didn't matter a lot to me Android and Windows both have good and bad points.
Bottom line for me...I wanted a reasonable cost phone with no contract and which offered her the ability to do multiple tasks on the phone (ie facebook, check email, do some browsing, connect to the home wifi internet etc)
I did try the Sony Xperia E handset in the shop (around the same price) but the phone felt quite slow and laggy, and the screen was nowhere near the Lumia 520's quality, smaller and lower resolution.
This phone has surprised and surpassed my expectations for what you get, quite a lot at a very decent/modest price.
I'll list my good and bad points now.
+ Stunning value. I couldn't find anything else on the market at this price from a "respectable maker" that compete with the Lumia 520 overall
+ Build is good, I have no complaints on this front
+ I find the screen very decent for a budget 4" smartphone, resolution isn't as good as some top end phones (obviously) but very clear and clean around 233 pixels per inch , good contrast and sharp. A sensor adjusts for low/bright light too
+ Call quality is excellent, and the built in speaker is surprisingly loud no problems with using the phone as a speakerphone or listening to music
+ Windows 8 actually works really well for a touch phone, the tiles can be customised in size and location, it is intuitive and responsive
+ Dual processors feel quite speedy and fast with no issues on video playback (smooth with no dropped frames)
+ Apps: There are not as many "apps" for Win 8 on the phone, but there are a lot more than they used to have. I would say most people will find what they want here all the usual ones covered (facebook, quite a lot of games, weather, email, Netflix, Skype etc) This has improved quite a lot over the months. Not up to ISO or Android, but probably enough for most..and getting better
+ Screen is responsive, and the touch works well (even with gloves as advertised! yes it works not just hype!)
+ Built in maps/Here Drive app from Nokia, and you can download areas if you wish, excellent for offline navigation and GPS tracking
+ It has a shutter button, which is useful for quick access to the camera (surprisingly many don't have this)
+ 3.5mm headphone jack as standard, good audio quality (through my pair of Yamaha HPH-200's)
- Hard to comment on the battery as you use a new phone a lot, so far I think it's par for the course you are looking at 2-3 days at most with moderate use. I do know smart phone users who charge every day with heavy use. It seems acceptable and ok for a phone like this. Just don't expect 2 weeks as you get with the cheap, but huge battery life Samsung's (I have one myself) Battery life takes quite a hit with video playback (take note)
- The camera is "ok" but nothing special, certainly not up to the higher end phones it's a 5mp camera, but details are only ok and you might need to adjust some settings. Don't expect big print quality from this, but you'll pull a few smaller prints ok with the camera, or as I suspect many will use it for facebook or web postings. Video is 720p @30fps again not bad at all, but quite a bit of processing here I think acceptable for the price. Lens speed isn't that fast so for low light even at ISO 800 isn't enough and no flash built in either.
- No front facing camera, a shame as you can install Skype (even a basic one would be useful)
Out of the 8Gb on-board you will have around 5Gb left after installing a few apps and updates. There is a micro SD slot which takes up to 64Gb, I would say a 16Gb should be enough for most if you put some music on the phone and videos.
Everyone in the house was keen to play with the phone, we all liked it very much, it was responsive and fast, and fun to use.
I installed some games and my Son was busy playing away on the phone, I tried a few and the Nokia coped well with driving and action games. Much better than I expected. Streaming Netflix was smooth and enjoyable, the wifi had no problems connecting in the house.
I was sceptical at first, a phone this cheap surely has some corners cut. The only reservations I have are users who demand a better quality camera in that case you might want to look at a higher end model (it's perfectly ok for general use though) Or the lack of front facing camera for skype (a shame but at this price I can live without it)
For the modest outlay I'm impressed and quite stunned, a fantastic scree a responsive and intuitive interface and design.
I would encourage users to put aside any of their Windows 8 reservations (it works very well on this device) Nokia might be seen as a has been player, but they've outdone themselves on the Lumia 520.
But here both Microsoft and Nokia have managed to pull it off, a very good phone, slick OS, and amazing value for money.
A smart-phone is more than just a phone, you have a pocket computer that can make calls too. This is basically unbeatable at this price point, with only some budget Android lower grade makers competing in this segment. I looked at those offerings and took a chance on this, it's paid off as she's very happy with the phone.
The problem is now my Son wants one, and well I have to admit I'm actually so impressed I'll probably buy one myself, and everyone who's used the phone loves it. It's no iphone but it does 95% of what most people want at a fraction of the price (it's far from shabby with a good screen, processor and fast). I personally would not tie myself into a contract or pay the super high price premium for an Apple phone (used a few they are excellent but just too expensive- not to mention scary if you break one!)
A real hit for Nokia, the bang per buck you've just found the smart phone you've been looking for at the right price.
Update Feb 2014:
Been using the phone (on and off it's a gift!) for a few months now and have to say I'm still very pleased with the purchase. Nokia are updating their software fairly frequently, the apps store is growing too. Battery life, is as expected greatly dependend on use (ie playing games or connecting to wifi/streaming) on average it's getting a charge every other day. This seems about in line with other smart phones I've used, heavy users might need a daily charge. There might be some room for a higher capacity battery with future models. Even so she's very pleased with the phone, and I'm happy to recommend it at this price point.
on 24 October 2013
I won't go into the iOS versus Android versus Windows Phone debate here, but just focus on the Lumia 520 device itself. I think it's quite brilliant value for money! I bought a Lumia 610 about 18 months ago and thought that was pretty good, but the 520 is definitely a better device, and significantly cheaper too. Sure, it's made of plastic (or "polycarbonate" as Nokia's marketing people prefer to call it), but it's well made. And, despite it's troubles as a company, Nokia is still a premium brand that builds quality phones.
on 27 April 2015
I have had a Nokia 520 for over a year. I liked it to begin with and it seemed like good value for money. But after a while some problems became obvious:
* The buttons failed and needed replacing.
* Apps don't like running in the background. Downloading audible files in the background is barely usable and constantly crashes.
* The browser has weird issues with the back button. It will decide to return to the start screen instead of going back to the previous page.
* The clock needs resetting when the battery falls out. Because the clock is wrong it will give you lots of alerts for text messages you have already received.
* Alarm apps often do not work properly. The OS just decides to close the app and you never get woken up.
* Common radio apps I have tried have been much more reliable on Android ad OS.
* Star menu is responsive.
* Nokia maps is brilliant, and much better than Google maps.
* The speaker is nice and loud.
* You cannot download a commonly used browser (such as Chrome). Certain sites like good support for the packaged browser.
* Updates to the OS require lots of reauthentification with weird
on 28 January 2014
This is an excellent value smartphone for those of us on a budget.
It has many great (and a few NOT-so great) features which I will tell you all about now.
It comes with 8gb's of internal phone storage.
This is used predominantly for the Windows Phone 8 Operating System, which, unfortunately.. DOES eat up a good 5gb's of the internal storage..
The remaining 2+ gb's of phone storage is ONLY used for storing apps from the App Store, too.
Though, there is a MicroSD card slot accessible from behind the phone's back cover.
And next to this is the MicroSim card slot.
Therefore, storage for movies, pictures and music files can be increased up to 64gb's maximum.
You cannot store/save apps and games on the expandable MicroSD card.
The phone comes with many great apps preinstalled.
Such as Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive, for when you are out and about, and need offline directions.
These apps allow you to download the entire map of your country, and give you spoken audio directions to and from destinations.
The phone only has one 5mp camera on the back, with no LED flash.
There is no front-facing camera.
So, although Skype, Tango, and other video app functions ARE possible, you will have to rely solely on the back camera.
This means you will not be able to see who you are talking to. (So.. kinda pointless having Videochat apps, really)
This Windows phone supports Social Networks, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and a few others.
Music files can be played through either of the two apps pre-installed. (Nokia Mix Radio, and XBox Music+Videos)
Nokia Mix Radio also allows you to download 'Offline Mixes' (Collections) of bands/songs from different genres/decades..etc for free!
Many different formats can be played.
Though I usually stick with Avi, WMV, and MP3.
The phone doesn't come with audio settings/ an Equalizer, unfortunately.
But sound quality is very clear and good.
There are many free entertainment apps for Windows Phone.
On My Lumia 520, I have LastFM, 4OD, Tv Catchup, YouTube, and many more.
Tiles on the home screen can be customized by size and colour.
Changing the colour of the tiles to any of the 20 bright, pastel colours can easily be done through the phones settings.
Rearranging the size of the tiles is done by pressing and holding your finger or thumb down on a tile, until the small, pinboard pin icon appears in the corner of each tile.
By pressing the pin each time, the tile will change from very small, to medium, to a large tile.
Whilst the tile is still faded out and customizable, you can move it to a different area on the home screen, by dragging/sliding it on the screen.
Once the size and location are chosen, tap the tile to save it.
There are free versions of Microsoft Office's Excel, Word and PowerPoint with this particular handset.
All work very well, and are simple enough to use.
Setting up your Live/Hotmail email account is simple enough through the phone's settings.
THOUGH.. make sure you register an email address you're not likely to change too often or soon.
Reason I say this, is because you WILL HAVE TO reset your phone to remove your old Microsoft email account for the new one.
If you don't, you CAN simply add your new Microsoft email account to the phone, but you'll be stuck with the phone telling you that there's a problem with your old account.
Gaming performance is very good with this phone.
Though I haven't really tested it as yet, with really graphic-hungry games.
But you can get all the good classics, like.. Plants VS Zombies, Fruit Ninja, Cut The Rope, etc..
The App Market doesn't have as many games as iOS or Android at the moment.
But the games and apps are still high quality, useful, and fun.
(Unlike BlackBerry, which is just plain boring! having owned a Torch 9800)
Video Recording is pretty good for HD 720p.
Not at all grainy or low quality.
The sound recorded is sharp and clear.
Only gripe with taking photos and recording videos is that the colour seems a little 'diluted' and/or weak.
But in the phone's settings, you CAN adjust the colour scheme.
Auto-focus can be changed to 'on' - 'off' - and 'auto' for the camera, and video recorder.
The video recorder records a standard 30FPS.
The Nokia Lumia 520 supports 3G networks, but NOT 4G.
It has Bluetooth 4.0 + LE.
The screen size is a generous 4 inches, and the resolution is 480 x 800 pixels.
It is a Capacitive Touchscreen, and the sensitivity can be changed from normal to a high level of sensitivity.
And yes, folks.. the rumours ARE true about this phone being usable with gloves and/or long nails.
The phone supports: EDGE Class B - GPRS Class B - HSDPA Cat14 21 Mbps - HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps - WCDMA - WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
The charging port is a micro USB 2.0 at the bottom of the phone.
This can also be used to transfer media between the phone and a PC, using the supplied short, MicroUSB-USB 2.0 data cable.
In the box, you get the Nokia Lumia 520, the battery, some cheap 'in-ear headphones with a built-in Microphone, an user booklet, and the charging adapter.
on 26 April 2014
It is the fifth cellphone I have used as my own, I have used Nokia N73, Nokia 5800i, an iPhone 4 and now a 5s, and Moto and samsung phones of my family for a short time. I bought this Lumia 520 as my backup phone (and I finally find that it is far better than I expect), so I think I understand what I am talking about.
Lumia 520 is an amazing smartphone. Even though it is cheap and not 4G ready, it has the same battery of Nokia 5800, but it is very good device and the battery is enough if you are not a really heavy user who spend most free time online. It continues the style of Nokia S60 phones with vibration notice when you touch some main keys. It always reminds me of my old Nokia phones. And it is incredible device for me.
It runs Windows Phone 8 very smoothly, and soon it will get WP 8.1. Windows Phone 8 is a good system, looks like Windows 8, and it is technically the same thing with Windows NT core. It gives you very smooth connection between your Win 8 device and Outlook service if you are familiar with them. The function of WP8 is very good, and according to those who have test the new WP8.1, it will get very brilliant update.
The problem that you do not get official version of every popular apps in iTunes store. You will get many useful apps in the app store, they cover most apps you want, and they are very good to use. But, as Google and Apple do not make official apps like Gmail and Google Map for windows (as a strategy of protecting its own benefits), if you are worried about security problem like me, you need to wait for WP to get more market share and attract those program makers.
Back to Lumia 520 it self. It is a cheap but functional phone. It runs smoothly with only 512Mb RAM for daily usage, no interruption at all, with reasonable photo quality under good light. The phone is made in very good plastic like Nokia did in every phone. (You can compare it with Moto G, it is a water proof phone with low price and with similar good quality, both are far more reliable than Samsung)
The Nokia apps are very useful (much better than the age of S60) and the best thing is, you can download maps before travelling, so you can save the roaming fees when you go abroad. It has a very sensitive screen, though it only has 800 x 480 pixel, the display is acceptable and better than most phones with same and even higher price. (But because I use a iPhone 5s, I am not very happy at the display, but for those who do not care about retina or 2K, or who need large character display, Lumia 520 is very good for them. ) The thing is, I do not think it is weaker than iPhone 4 or 4s, if I do not compare their display quality and 520 is much cheaper. And when I try to learn how to use this phone, it only takes me a half hour.
Windows Phone 8 (safe and runs smoothly like iOS device, safer and take less CUP and RAM than Androids) with every popular apps, upgrade to 8.1 in June which is much better
Support MicroSD card, microSim
With good connection with Outlook, Exchange Server, OneDrive, XBOX etc., free Office 2013 and support other Microsoft service
Synchronous with Windows 8 and Outlook, with find your phone function, lose no data if stolen
Free global offline maps with HERE
500M main camera with very strong Nokia professional photo apps (you can control ISO shutter, aperture, and filter etc. and refocus Nokia's new app)
GPS and other location services
Good touch screen, very sensitive (you can use it wearing gloves)
NFC technology, easy to share information
Windows Phone 8 is not perfect now, you need to wait for 8.1 upgrade in June, which system include more functions, better design and is much better according to the people who use the beta version
Many complains about failure of Date and time auto setting
no flash no front camera (actually only Moto G has them at this budget level, but Nokia's main camera's photo quality is better even without flash)
low level resolution screen (like Nokia 5800)
not water proof (compare with Moto G)
battery cannot support heavy usage (like most smart phone, but the battery is changeable, and as it use the same battery as 5800, you can buy another one for a cheap price, the problem is, once you change the battery, you lose the time and date and you need to set them by yourself)
not support wireless charing (compared with more expensive Lumia phones)
Typeface is small for some description under each title of options (the typeface of options and in apps are big enough), and part of the typeface cannot be changed via settings, so not very good for those wearing glasses, like most smartphones even with huge screen.
I think choosing a smart phone is not to compare the details about CPUs and RAMs, you should touch it and feel it because it will be a helper not just a tool. Years ago, you care more about the hardware it self, and now you just want to pick one and use. And now, it should be the same for phones. What you have to decide is, Windows, iOS or Androids. Smart phone means that with same operating system, you get similar experience. Both Windows and iOS are more reliable than Androids, they have better security protection in app store and in system itself while Androids users mainly rely on themselves to get rid of fake apps. But you do get more chance to change your phone into a more YOURS one with Androids. After decide witch system, you just need to confirm which level of phone you can afford and get the newest one from main companies, and do you want a phone specialise in photograph or other things. That's simple.
on 6 February 2014
The Nokia Lumia 520 is a basic smartphone operating on the Windows platform making it a windows phone. It has a 5MP camera which is great beating the similarly priced Xperia E (Android). Neither of these come with a flash although the Nokia Lumia has smart focus.
The camera is enhanced by various apps including Nokia Cinemagraph (animating photos), Nokia Panorama (Making panoramic photos), Nokia Smart Camera, Nokia Creative Studio (allowing cropping, colour highlights and blurring and focus). Another useful app by Microsoft is Blink which takes a number of photos with one click of the button allowing you to select options for best photo.
Aside from the photo app there are other great apps to download from the Windows App Store. Granted there are only a snippet compared to Google Play but the number is growing as more people purchase and use windows phones.
There are the basics, Angry Birds (small fee), Temple Run (Free), Banking Apps and music apps such as Spotify (Premium only) and Music + (Free and allows you to cache music files from its store for free to listen to offline).
Nokia Maps and Drive allows you to do the same as Google Maps and is just as fast an fluid if not more so.
This phone is mainly for use with a 3G or WIFI connection as many of the apps do not operate offline.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all available from the App Store.
This phone takes a MICRO SIM. The battery is replaceable which is great. The charger is stiff to remove from the socket as it is very smooth and has smooth sides with no leverage but is nice and stylish. The Nokia Lumia 520 is exceptionally thin and very very light in the hand though seams very robust.
It has 8GB internal Storage about 4.5GB user available. And expandable up to 32GB with a micro SD card.
Overall great basic windows phone packed with useful photographic apps and features, few apps but the main ones are there. Easily move music from your Windows PC using Windows Media Player (even copies the thumbnail of the album cover unlike some Android phones which require a specific interface).
on 24 April 2014
DO NOT BE A SHEEP!!! i-phones are made for them, and this isn't. i have mates who all own i-phones and all pay over £50 a month on a contract for the privilege! and quite frankly it's an utter piss take. this phone is now less than a ton and does pretty much everything an i-phone can do, but better. why go and shell out £600 on an overrated piece of junk? seriously all i hear is complaints from i-phone users and blackberry users, this nokia is unreal for the price point and touch wood never let me down! and it cost me £10 a MONTH!!! to run on o2 a huge difference compared to i-phone and you still save around a £500 if you buy one out right! i have to say i love the o.s on this phone the live tiles was a genius idea. everything is simple and laid out perfectly, nokia have always been good at that. i found android a pain in the arse to use, never really got on with the o.s so i swapped to this and i am glad i did. i used to own nokias back in the days of the 3310 (classic) and then went on to using other brands, but i find myself back using nokia as i have always loved the simplicity of them! if i could say 1 negative thing it's that it doesn't have a front facing camera, but tbh that encourages selfies and well...... yeah need i say anything? a list of positives would be
3. good camera
4. live tiles
5. easy to use
7. very responsive touchscreen
8. well built
10. it's a nokia
on 24 February 2014
I purchased this phone about 6 months ago, after having the budget blackberry, which i hated! It was so slow and hard to use, sometimes the only way to make it work was by hitting it! I was so fed up of a sticky button, bad and small screen and a just general slow phone, so i decided to go for this Nokia lumia 520. As i knew this was nokias budget model i was slightly worried it would be like my blackberry ! (i was wrong) it is fantastic and especially for a budget phone! I love this phone so much! It is still just as fast and good as it always has been! It has been dropped all the way down wooden stairs several times and is still fully functional with no cracks/marks! It has a good brightness, the battery life isn't incredible but i charge it every night and it is always fine for a normal days use!
Out of most/all budget phones i would say this is one of/is the best! Most people don't think my phone is a budget phone at all! And lots of them really want it! The app store isn't the best but even if their isn't a certain app, another company are almost guarenteed to make an equivalent! However, the app store is growing and growing very quickly! And has gained lots of my favourite apps since i purchased my Nokia!
Overall this is a fantastic phone for the price (£100) and i highly recommend it! :)