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on 11 February 2018
I bought this about a year ago, definitely not an original, I've had an original Nokia Lumia 520 for the last 3-4 years which i bought on a contract with TalkTalk mobile, and this phone performs nothing like the original, battery life is very poor, only lasts about a day or 2 on standby while the original would last about 5-7 days on standby, does not update date/time or updates automatically even though set up to update automatically, because of this it did not update from windows 8 to windows 8.1, and by the time i found out it was too late and it was not possible to up date manually, and because of this the WhatsApp no longer works as WhatsApp no longer support windows 8, and are requesting me to update phone to window 8.1 or higher, but its not possible to do this and now I've been advised from the windows website to buy a new phone which has windows 8.1 installed in it, so now i have to buy a new phone just so that i can use WhatsApp which i definitely need due to personal reasons and especially due to work.

Overall not happy that this phone is not like the original Nokia Lumia 520.
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on 17 May 2014
In my opinion, my Lumia 520 is better than a Moto G because of it's perfect size and shape, and better than an iPhone because of the exceptional Windows 8 operating system. It beats an HTC One because it recognises that a phone is not a piece of jewelery, it beats a Samsung Galaxy S5 because it understands that it's not cool to have a ridiculously large screen, and it beats pretty much every other budget smartphone under it's retail price by making them look extremely tacky and unreliable.

First, it looks smart enough to grace any high-flying businessman's pocket. With smartphones now taking some really crazy screen-to-body ratios, Nokia has kept a level head and simply produced the best looking smartphone. It's 4 inch screen is the perfect size, enough said. It's resolution, about 230dpi, is also just perfect (without going high-res mad). There's a very good level of detail in pictures and it's general display of text and logos, and very good is all I desire.

Second, the Windows OS is really user-friendly, feels slick, and gives good advice while using it to help conserve battery or protect privacy etc. It always tells you when it might send data to Microsoft or Nokia, so you can change the option if you wish, thus making it very transparent. In 'Settings', the options are fairly extensive but it's really simple to understand what you're doing or changing and it's not difficult to change back.

Thirdly, the app choice in the Windows Store is better in my opinion than Android and iOS. There's a super selection of apps in all categories you can think of. Don't think that the Windows Store on here is limited - it's huge - and many apps have thousands of ratings and swiping the screen lets you see the reviews for it, screenshots etc.

Fourthly, I really like the 'desktop' or Start 'menu'. Basically, you can 'pin' an app to the Start screen and then choose what size you want it as - a big rectangle, square, or small square. It's just so simple to change it's size and customise the apps' location on the screen, that's why I really love it. Also, swipe the screen to the left to access all your apps in a list. Much much better than having several pages for my front screen like on my old HTC Sensation.

Fifth, thank you Windows and Nokia for providing with my Lumia 520, a fantastic looking and functioning Sat-Nav with Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive. OK, so on here, you can download maps for ANY country in the world, for free. Then you can track your location anywhere on it with it's GPS. The Nokia Drive is essentially the 'Sat-Nav' which operates better than my TomTom and you can search for a place as your destination, then simply press 'Start Navigation' and off you go. Sat-nav is totally free for driving (3D) and walking (2D) for any route inside the UK, and no data connection needed for it at all unless you want traffic updates etc. Shows your speed, the speed limit, names of street etc. etc. Has it all.

So here we are, a smartphone that looks smart and remembers it's a phone. Thank you Nokia, you're still the best in my eyes.
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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.
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on 5 August 2015
I returned this the same day it was delivered. It would not charge up. I tried the thick paper trick under the battery but that did not work. I tried a different charger but that did not work either. The only thing I have seen on the screen is the battery charging image showing one red bar which quickly disappears and the white Nokia name appearing on a black background which also appears only briefly before disappearing. After spending 3 or 4 hours trying to get it to work I have given up and requested a refund. I have not given up on wanting a Windows phone though. I have now ordered a Nokia Lumia 735 which is being delivered tomorrow. I just hope it's a good one. I had to phone EE/Orange to get a different sim card because the 735 takes a Nano card. Unfortunately the sim card will take longer than the new phone to reach me.
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on 6 September 2016
Don't buy these, spend more to get something that works.

After one day of owning the product, the lock and on/off button stopped working. The reason? Microsoft has a nasty habit of not soldering buttons to the motherboard of their phones.
After less than a week of owning the product, the phone kept turning on and off. The reason? Microsofts operating system for this phone uses conflicting code and can shut the phone off at any time without warning.

Just avoid Microsoft when it comes to phones (and computers, since they take all their users data). I've had those two above issues on EVERY single Microsoft phone I've ever owned. Those problems aren't on Android's OS so spend a bit more and get one.
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on 8 June 2017
hi I purchased this phone last October but I sorry to say its a disaster, I tried repeatly to charge it but no luck it just wont charge I also tried renewing the battery also the charger but still no luck. I say it will not charge but it will some times, sorry not good enough ,now it wont switch on ,same as before some times it does not good enough. I have tried to contact amazon for a return but it appears it outwith there return policy but surely its got a years guarantee from the supplier I cant contact him either.I am Ats my wits end what can do now any suggestions any one? I had 3 nokia phones previously no probs really liked them I have now bought a new microsoft phone which I req for my business which I am ( dare I say )I am happy with help
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on 16 February 2014
I have been using this phone for the past few days. The setup using my Giffgaff SIM card was easy and didn't give any error. If you're using the Windows 8 platform, then the interface is straightforward. Those who are used to the traditional phone interface may find the interface differently, but the navigation is intuitive and the basic instruction leaflet which accompanies the phone is sufficient to start. The build quality is very good as you expect from Nokia. You can change the battery which is a plus on the long-term.

This is a basic smart phone with four inch screen which I found is sufficient for normal use as a phone as well as checking email and other basic needs. The clarity of the screen is amazing. The letters are crystal clear on a black background and you can change the colour of the letters to appear in different using the 'theme' in settings. You can also set up different email accounts ie., gmail, outlook, outlook at your work etc. You can also set up wifi access at home and work so it doesn't use the access through the sim provider. All in all these functions work very smoothly.

The updates of Windows are done through wifi and this has gone smoothly, but the Nokia updates of their software don't go well. I haven't been able to update it so far. I'm not sure whether a Nokia account is essential for this or not. Again, these nokia updates are not critical for the performance of the phone.

The battery life appears to be good; I was skeptical about it reading all the reviews on poor battery life. With normal usage, which I mean checking two sets of email, a few phone calls and text messages a day and few websites, the battery consumption is only 20% or so. After 48 hrs I still have more than 50% of battery remaining. I haven't started using it to listen music which I guess would drain the battery. I have added a 16GB Kingston micro SDHC Card for this purpose.

So, for £100 this a good smartphone with all basic functions, especially you are with a provider with no ties like Giffgaff (by-the-way, I highly recommend them as a community-based mobile service provider) and don't want to spend a fortune on a phone.
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on 23 April 2018
This is okay, but does have a fault, works with everything but when I phone someone I have to wait and till they sign off otherwise I can't end the call myself as it doesn't let me use the 'end call button'. This phone is made in a different country to my original one, so not sure if the 'quality' control in this factory isn't up to the Nokia standard? It's now been assigned to the draw as I can't find anyone to fix the issue, which doing some research is a problem with the 'proximinity' sensor. Ended up going to the shop and buying another model of phone instead.
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on 29 September 2014
Remember how much this phone cost. Don’t compare it to a SGS5 or iPhone6 as its about a sixth of the price. That said, this phone is a SUPERB little number. Its fast, fluid and very intuitive. Running Windows Phone, which, IMO, is the best designed mobile user interface of all – better than both iOS and Android. Once you get used to the live tiles and people oriented nature of the OS you’ll probably come to find Android and iOS much, much less elegant in comparison.
Out of the box this comes with Windows Phone 8, but you’ll soon get a prompt to install Windows Phone 8.1 which brings a number of new features including Cortana (think Siri crossed with Google Now). The camera on this phone is pretty decent (again, don’t expect Lumia 1020 standards here) but will more than suffice the odd family snap or casual photo.
One nice feature which is becoming a rarity is the removable back panel which means you can remove the battery. The presence of an SD Card slot makes expansion an absolute doddle (and crazily cheap!) and the screen is superb for a phone of this size. Colours are vibrant, text is crystal clear and you can tap the screen either with gloves on or using your fingernail (trust me, you’ll REALLY appreciate this come winter!).

I’ve bought several of these now for relatives and the live tiles make ‘dumbing it down’ a piece of cake. My tip is to remove ALL the tiles from the phone start screen so you have a blank start screen, then pin individual large tiles of relatives / friends / important contacts. This essentially makes the start screen a 4” speed dial that is simple to use and with huge touch points – perfect for elderly or less technically astute phone users!

For a fully unlocked phone at less than ninety-quid, this is an absolute gem of a phone. Coupled with Windows Phone which is a superb operating system and I really do think this is a fantastic buy.
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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.

Pros
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
Global languages
Good touch screen, very sensitive (you can use it wearing gloves)
NFC technology, easy to share information

Cons
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.
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