Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review : Nokia Lumia 520 – eXperience the freshness through Windows!

The Nokia Lumia 520 has been launched in India at a price of Rs. 10,000 in April 2013. It sports a 4-inch IPS Capacitive Touchscreen,  1 GHz Qualcomm Krait Dual Core Processor, 512 MB RAM,  Adreno 305 GPU,  5 MP Primary Camera, 8 GB internal memory, Expandable Storage Capacity of 64 GB and  Windows Phone 8 OS.

Looks like I am getting a bit lucky these days; lots of my close friends are buying new phones and letting me to use their devices because of  which only these blog posts are actually possible. I would like to thank them all before typing any further.

We often open ‘Windows’ to let fresh air into our homes when the inside air gets stale.  The experience is even more refreshing when the outside breeze is pleasant & cold.

One can experience this kind of freshness with mobile phones also. I did as I experienced the Nokia Lumia 520 powered by Windows 8 mobile operating system. This was for the first time I used a Windows OS mobile phone and it has definitely left me impressed. As I mentioned in my earlier review of Nokia Asha 306, the Finnish giant is concentrating real hard to mark its presence in the already crowded smartphone segment without having the most popular mobile OS i.e. Android on board.

Screen & Build Quality

Nokia Lumia 520 is a step forward in this regard. Having launched a Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 in the high-med segment, Nokia Lumia 520 is an attempt to target a segment which derives maximum sales for a cell phone manufacturer. This budget Windows OS phone comes with a 4-inch IPS LCD with a 480x800 pixel resolution at 233ppi which is pretty decent for a budget Nokia smartphone. It doesn’t come with a gorilla glass protection but Nokia claims the screen to be scratch resistant. It is still advised to get a screen protection cover as soon as the purchase is made. The screen quality is fine for a 10k smartphone. The colors/saturation/contrast levels are good which makes the text/pictures to look crisp and sharp. Under the sun legibility is just OK. Touch response is good. One issue which I noticed is that the screen is finger print magnet and does get a little muggy at the end of the day but once you get a screen cover, maintaining screen will be very easy. The screen is surrounded by black glossy edges which enhances the phone’s look.

Design & Buttons

Nokia Lumia 520 is quite a looker and definitely attracts with its lovely colourful back cover which are also available as spares in different colours to match with say for example colour of your T-shirt or even your mood. The build quality is surprisingly good. The phone weighs around 124 gram and 9.9 thick. The back cover is nicely integrated which gives it a unibody feel. On removing the cover you will find a removable battery and SIM card/SD card slot. Please note that this is a single sim phone.  On the front you will find three capacitive buttons for back, start and search operation. The earpiece is placed just above Nokia logo; microphone is nicely tucked on the lower edge of screen.  There is no front camera and neither had I expected it to be at first place because of the phone’s price.

Camera & Sound

Flip down the phone and you will see a 5 MP camera capturing images at 2592х1936 pixels with features like autofocus, 1/4'' sensor size, geo-tagging and 720p video recording @30fps. It does not comes with a flashlight which should not be a deal breaker in any case as I personally found flashlights doing more harm than any good to the photographs. I clicked few pictures with Lumia 520 and observed the autofocus is bit slow but overall picture quality is fine for outdoor shoots. Low light clicking was not much impressive. Below the camera lens there is a Nokia logo nicely embedded to the back cover in glossy black fonts. There is also a SAR certification sticker placed near the speaker. On the right side of the phone you will find a volume rocker, a power button and I was surprised to find a dedicated camera button just below it; thumbs up to Nokia for this. There are no buttons on the left side of the phone. On the top there is 3.5mm audio jack and at the bottom you will find a charging/data transfer port.

Operating System

When was the last time you used a mobile phone with a start button? Press the power button and you will find a crisp looking lock screen. The Windows 8 mobile OS is very different from the already used to Android OS. Tap the start button and you will get a fresh looking interface with varying sized live tiles. If you have used Windows 8 on a personal computer then you will feel right at home. Limited apps availability on windows store can bother people switching from Android platform. Windows apps interface is very different from those available in Android or even in iOS. Basic apps like facebook, whatsapp are available but you will be surprised to find some games/apps like angry birds/fruit ninja chargeable which are free on Android platform. Windows OS sports Internet Explorer which is claimed to be the fastest mobile browser available.



The live tiles are resizable. Performance is respectable for a budget smartphone. Navigating through the user interface was snappier with hardly any lag in between. I haven’t played any games on the device so can’t confirm the same for gaming. If you are switching from Android platform, you may feel little uncomfortable with the overall user interface. It’s not that it is not user friendly but just totally different with Android OS hugely popular among masses. Windows 8 mobile OS comes loaded with Nokia proprietary apps like Here Maps, Here Drive and Nokia music. You will get a mobile version of Microsoft Office, skype and email app. Windows Store is still desiring for lots of apps and I am sure developers are working on it considering the increasing popularity of Windows phones. All other basic apps like weather, calendar etc is pre-installed.


Call Quality 

Call quality is excellent; speakerphone output is good. The phone hardware supports FM radio but sadly Windows OS does not. So that’s up to Microsoft now to implement Radio functionality in the operating system. The phone comes with a standard Nokia charger, couple of booklets including warranty/user manual and an earphone which is reported to be of average quality and nothing to write home about. The removable battery rated @ 1430mAh will last a day easily with average usage. I am not sure how Windows OS or its applications will affect battery unlike Android applications but it is definitely not a power hungry device.



If you are in smartphone market today with a budget of Rupees ten thousand and want to try something different, Nokia Lumia 520 is the right phone for you. For once you may feel little uncomfortable using a Windows smartphone but upon getting used to there's no looking back.

Thanks folks for reading

Disclaimer: The review and its content are my own views & user experience and may differ from others. I am not an expert reviewer and the review can have possible shortcomings. Please bear with that. Comments and suggestions much appreciated.


Cool AK said...

Good overall description.Quite helful but you forgot to mention meny plus points of this device like camera quality and the available lenses for the camera in the app store which enhances this device's camera experience even more wonderful.Cheers..........

Anmol Sharma said...

Thanks Ankit for your valuable feedback.

suman said...

nice blog

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