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Nokia Lumia 520 Review – Best Smartphone in 10k Range

When we talk about Windows Phone the first word that comes in our mind is Lumia or Nokia. The term Lumia has become the synonym of Windows Phone. Nokia currently have 5 devices in Indian market running on WP8. These are Nokia Lumia 520, 620, 720, 820 and 920. The 920 being the flagship WP8 device from Nokia and 520 is the most affordable Windows Phone 8 device available in the market.

Nokia Lumia 520

The Lumia 520 is available in India at a best buy price of Rs 9,800. If you want to check out the retail box contents of the Lumia 520 check out the Lumia 520 Unboxing. So does this device has what it takes to beat the other smartphones available in the market. And can it make the Windows Platform more popular? Read on to find out.

Display & design

The moment you hold the device in your hands you would be impressed by its build quality. The device is made of high quality plastic material and feels quite solid in hand. The phone is available in White, Black colors along with some vibrant colors like Yellow, Red and Cyan. We got the Yellow version and it looks stunning. The device measures 119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm and weighs just 124 grams.

At the front of the device you have a 4 inch IPS LCD capacitive touch screen display with Scratch-resistant glass. Surprisingly the phone comes with Nokia’s Super Sensitive Touch technology which allows you to use the device while wearing the gloves. The display is larger than the Lumia 620 which has a 3.8 inch display. The color levels are pretty good and it has decent viewing angles. The sunlight readability of the display is average.

Nokia Lumia 520 front

Above the display you have an earpiece located at the center and a hidden proximity sensor. The device does not have a front facing camera.

Nokia Lumia 520 above display

Below the display you have three usual Windows touch buttons – back, home and Bing search. The keys are not backlit which is bit disappointing for some users.

Nokia Lumia 520 touch buttons

You just have a lone micro USB port at the bottom of the phone.

Nokia Lumia 520 bottom

At the top you have a 3.5mm audio jack.

Nokia Lumia 520 top

On the right side of the device you have a power/lock key in the middle, volume rocker at the top and a dedicated camera key at the bottom. We personally like the dedicated key provided on the device. It is a two stage key and can be used to focus at an object and then capture the image. There is no port or button present on the left side of the phone.

Nokia Lumia 520 right side

On the back side you have a 5 megapixel camera, Nokia branding in the center and a loudspeaker. There is no LED flash with the camera. The back has a matte finish which does not attract too much of finger prints.

Nokia Lumia 520 back

The phone has a removable back panel and underneath it you would find a 1430mAh battery, micro SD and micro SIM card slot.

Nokia Lumia 520 back cover removed

Overall the build quality and design of the Lumia 520 is simply awesome, you can’t get a device with better build quality in this price range. One of the best thing is that you can change the back panels to give your device a completely new color and look.

Hardware & Performance

Nokia Lumia 520 is powered by a 1GHz dual core processor with Adreno 305 GPU and 512MB of RAM. The phone comes with 8GB internal storage which can be expanded using a microSD card of up to 32GB storage. This is quite a decent specs and since it Runs on Windows Phone 8 OS the specs would be able to run the device quite smoothly without any lag or problems.

The phone is capable of running even the high end games like Asphalt 7 Heat with ease. Here is a small gaming test we performed on the device:

The above video clearly shows that Lumia 520 is a powerful device. The only limitation is the 512MB RAM. Since some games like Temple Run 2 require at least 1GB of RAM so you won’t be able to download and enjoy few games. To test the real performance of the device we performed 10 different tasks on Lumia 520 that too in just 5 minutes 20 seconds. You can see how easy and smooth it is to operate the Lumia 520.

So for an entry level smartphone, Lumia 520 offers more than expected in terms of performance.

Software

As we already mentioned that Lumia 520 runs on Windows Phone 8 which is quite smooth and lag free OS. We have already talked about the Windows Phone 8 features in our Lumia 820 Review. So if you want to check out the WP8 features in detail do check out Lumia 820 review since we won’t be covering those features again in this post but we would just give a brief summary about the features.

WP* interface is made up of live tiles which can be arranged in 3 different sizes  – small, medium and large. The phone comes with some Nokia specific apps which is quite useful such as Here Maps, Here Drive, Here city Lens and Nokia Music. These apps enhances your WP8 experience and Lumia 520 comes with free 3 month subscription of Bigflix and Nokia music.

Camera

Nokia Lumia 520 comes with a 5 megapixel auto focus camera at the back which supports video recording of up to 720p@30fps.

Nokia Lumia 520 camera

Here are few sample images taken using the Lumia 520 camera :

WP_20130606_001 WP_20130606_003 WP_20130606_005 WP_20130607_001 WP_20130612_003 WP_20130612_004

The quality of captured images is pretty good in day light conditions. The macro shot is also quite impressive for an entry level smartphone. Due to lack of flash you won’t be able to capture good quality images in low light conditions. Various lenses available for the camera app such as cinemagraph, Burton app etc enhances the user experience while using the camera.

Battery Life

Lumia 520 comes with a 1430mAh battery which has a rated talk time of around 14 hours on 2G and 10 hours on 3G. It has a standby time of around 360 hours on 3G. With average usage the battery would easily last for a day.

During our tests we made few calls, browsed internet, watched video for around 20mins, played few games on the device and at the end of the game battery still has some charge left in it.

Conclusion

Lumia 520 is available in India for Rs 9,800 which is the best buy price. The design and build quality makes this device stand out of the crowd. It has lag free and smooth interface. Once people which people think is the lack of apps for WP devices. But Windows Store has nearly all the famous apps and games available for the users. The device has few limitations such as limited 512 MB ram but at the same time even with 512MB of RAM device performs really well and the only part where you feel this limitation is while downloading few games & apps.

The camera present on the device is quite good and can captured good quality images in day light conditions but the LED flash is missing on the phone. Overall according to us it is the best Smartphone in 10k Range and it would be fair to call it as a the Best Budget Smartphone. So if your budget is around 10,000 INR we recommend that you should opt for this device.

Pros:

  • Great build quality & design
  • Good Performance
  • Decent Camera
  • Battery Life

Cons:

  • Limited 512MB RAM
  • No LED flash

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

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