If you’re wearied of staring spin during a same grey slabs in everyone’s hands and wish something some-more contented in your life, Nokia’s Lumia operation competence be right adult your alley. All a models competition eye-wateringly charming bodies, along with a mottled live tiles of a Windows Phone handling system.
The Lumia 520 is a final further to a stream range, shifting in during a really bottom of a pile. Although it’s a entry-level model, a 520 is distant from basic, make-up a critical 800×480-pixel arrangement and a dual-core processor.
It’s accessible now for giveaway on a agreement from £29 per month, or on compensate as we go from O2 for £120 or £150 SIM-free from Carphone Warehouse.
Should we buy a Nokia Lumia 520?
The 520’s crisp, charming 4-inch shade is simply among a best displays during this cost operation and is in fact a same fortitude you’d find in a some-more costly Lumia 720. It boasts a dual-core processor that you’d customarily found in some-more costly mobiles — again, it’s in a 720.
You also get a same Nokia apps — including a glorious GPS satellite navigation apparatus Drive — on a 520 that we will on any of a other Lumias. It’s really formidable to suggest a 720 as so many of a facilities are common by many cheaper models. The 520, however, is undoubtedly a illusory bargain.
It’s colourful, easy to fit in a palm of your hand, and we can reinstate a behind covers when they start to demeanour worn. It doesn’t have a same camera skills as a higher-end brothers though. Its 5-megapixel camera can’t review to a 720’s snapper. If photography is critical to you, equivocate a 520.
If we wish a pocket-sized, easy to use intelligent phone and don’t wish to mangle a bank, a 520 is a glorious choice. The Lumia 620 costs £30 some-more on O2, nonetheless it has a front-facing camera for video calling, a compass to let we use a City Lens app as good as NFC capabilities for present pairing to concordant Bluetooth devices.
Alternatively, we can spin to Android — you’ll have a many wider preference of apps to select from. At £90 a Acer Liquid Z2 is even cheaper than a 520, nonetheless a shade doesn’t even come close.
Design and build quality
The splendid yellow cosmetic behind of a 520 should immediately give we a whopping idea that this is partial of Nokia’s transparent Lumia range. Like a 620 above it, a 520 is accessible with a operation of charming behind casings.
Also like a 620, these cases are removable, vouchsafing we change a colour to compare your outfit if you’re that approach inclined. It also means we can chuck out your smashed and painful case, replacing it with a sparkly uninformed one. No top-end intelligent phones make use of transmutable cases like this — blemish adult your £600 iPhone 5 and there’s not a thing we can do about it. The shade can’t be transposed though, so you’ll still need to be clever — it’s no CAT phone.
The phone is 120mm long, 64mm far-reaching and is 10mm thick. That’s longer and wider than a 620, interjection to a 4-inch arrangement — a 620 has a smaller 3.8-inch screen. Its distance means you’re not forced to insert fluctuating tips to your thumbs to make them widen opposite a screen. If we find phones such as a Samsung Galaxy S3 a tad on a far-reaching side, you’ll be good served by a 520.
The dull cosmetic behind sits really absolutely in a palm of your palm and with a weight of usually 124g, it won’t drag we down. The light weight has a knock-on effect, however, of creation it feel cheap, that isn’t helped by a groundless behind panel. It is intensely inexpensive of course, so I’m happy to pardon that. Let’s not forget a many some-more costly S3’s behind row feels horrifically plasticky — and that didn’t stop it offered by a boatload.
The behind cases are during slightest thick adequate to strengthen a some-more ethereal inner components from a infancy of wear and tear. Elsewhere, there’s zero about a 520’s construction that caused any regard — and that’s not something we can contend about all phones during this price.
Around a sides you’ll perspective a volume rocker, energy button, dedicated camera shiver button, micro-USB pier and 3.5mm headphone jack. The 520 comes with 8GB of inner storage, nonetheless you’ll find a microSD label container dark underneath a battery. It allows we to enhance a storage if we wish to save some-more song and videos locally — a useful underline we don’t find on many high-end phones, such as a Lumia 920 or iPhone 5.
The 520’s arrangement is roughly really a best arrangement I’ve seen on a phone for this price. Its 4-inch distance means there’s adequate room to scrupulously uncover off Web pages yet carrying to do too many zooming, nonetheless isn’t so large as to act as a zephyr mangle when we take it out in a breeze.
Better yet, it has an 800×480-pixel resolution, that is indeed a same series of pixels you’ll find in a Lumia 720 and 820, that come in during £300 and £350, respectively, on compensate as we go. If you’re forking out that kind of cash, you’d be right to be miffed that you’re removing a same pixels as a phone a third of a price. Looking during it a other approach round, however, means a 520 is good value.
It has a pixel firmness of 235 pixels per in. (ppi), violence a 217ppi we get with a some-more costly 720. Small calm was ideally transparent and edges around Windows Phone‘s ostentatious tiles were pointy and clear. By comparison, a Acer Liquid Z2 packs usually a 480×320-pixel resolution, that finished calm demeanour feeble defined.
It’s not usually sharp, nonetheless black levels are deep, contrariety is considerable and colours are satisfyingly rich. It’s simply among a best screens we can get on a phone of this price, if not the best.
Windows Phone 8 software
It’s regulating on Windows Phone 8, a latest mobile handling complement from Microsoft. It’s a really opposite savage to both Android and iOS — if we wish something that doesn’t demeanour like all your mates’ Android phones and iPhones, it’s a fun choice to consider.
Its homescreen is finished adult of a prolonged grid of charming tiles, any displaying live information. You can pierce them around and resize them to your heart’s content. It has an even easier cultured than iOS, nonetheless allows for some of a customisation tweaks you’ll find in Android. Any apps we don’t wish to put honour of place on your homescreen can be found in a list when we appropriate to a left.
The People and Me hubs are a definite gems of Windows Phone. Connect your amicable network accounts and you’ll be means to see updates from all your friends in one place. You can simply find strike sum and summary them regulating any of a methods you’ve combined — amicable channels, email, calm and so on. You’re means to organisation your favourite friends together for discerning entrance to their updates.
In a Me hub, we can post updates and photos to all your related amicable accounts from a one mark — saving we carrying to burst in and out of apart apps. It’ll uncover all your notifications too. If you’re a amicable butterfly, you’ll find it really easy to see what’s going on and tell everybody about your food and pets yet lots of additional shade taps.
Windows Phone is still let down by a app preference though. Although it’s solemnly increasing, adding pivotal equipment like Netflix, Skype and Spotify, it’s woefully understocked compared to Android and iOS. Those of we who adore chatting about a latest select diversion to strike a iPhone won’t be confident with a selection, or a prolonged wait you’ll have to continue to get games that everybody else has already gotten wearied with.
Nokia has bundled a horde of a possess program with a 520, that helps block some of a holes left by a understocked app store. They’re mostly map-based apps, so gamers shouldn’t get too vehement — there’s no classical Nokia Snake — nonetheless they’re accessible additions.
Nokia maps — now called HERE maps — uncover we a mass of internal business information, arrangement circuitously restaurants, bars, shops, hotels. You’ll also see strike information, user reviews and veteran attention reviews, if available. If we find yourself in a new city and don’t know where to get a punch to eat, Nokia isn’t going to let we go hungry.
One thing a 520’s blank is City Lens, that shows a same info in an protracted existence view. You’ll have to flare out additional income for a 620 (or above) if we wish it, as a 520’s hardware doesn’t support it. we doubt you’ll skip it.
HERE Drive — formerly called Nokia Drive — provides turn-by-turn GPS satellite navigation, vouchsafing we slap your phone on your dashboard and follow a directions opposite a country. You can download a maps to your phone too, saving your 3G information stipend and interlude we removing mislaid if your vigilance cuts out.
You can usually use Drive in a UK and Ireland on a 520 — tellurian navigation is indifferent for a 620 and above — nonetheless Nokia is anticipating to concede we to buy additional maps, nation by country. If we don’t expostulate outward of a UK though, you’re good catered for. Considering a TomTom sat-nav app for a iPhone costs £27, Nokia’s app is certainly a good giveaway addition.
If we can’t be worried to drive, don’t have a looseness or simply imagination popping in for a honeyed sherry on a approach to your destination, you’d be correct to take open ride and Nokia has we lonesome here too. The Transit app lists all internal bus, Tube and sight stops around you, together with live depart information. Pop in your start and finish points and it’ll tell we accurately how to get there and when a subsequent use is leaving.
Nokia’s song use is on house too. It lets we emanate pointless playlists formed on adult to 3 selected artists and even download adult to 14 hours of song to your phone for offline use. It’s giveaway and best of all isn’t ad-supported. You can’t collect and select specific marks — you’ll need a Spotify subscription for that — nonetheless it’s a outstanding further for a infrequent song fan who wants to listen to new artists.
It’s powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM. That’s a same processor you’ll find inside a Lumia 720 so, as with a shade resolution, you’re removing many improved value for income during a reduce finish of a operation than during a top. It’s a many obtuse engine than a quad-core beasts you’ll find in phones like a Galaxy S3, nonetheless a fact stays that there’s reduction to taxation your phone on Windows Phone, so there’s reduction need for such tender power.
Indeed, we found a 520 to be ideally swift, providing well-spoken navigation with nothing of a irritating loiter and juddery shade transitions that disease many phones during a bill finish of a market. we was means to play a 3D racer Asphalt 7 with no difficulty — graphics looked good and a support rate was sufficient to yield well-spoken gameplay.
It’s got some-more than adequate energy to hoop all a essential amicable networking tasks, with adequate left over to gnaw by print modifying and gaming when you’re finished tweeting about your behind bus.
Stuck in a center of that charming cosmetic behind you’ll find a 5-megapixel camera. It doesn’t bear a PureView branding of a Nokia 808 or 920, nor does it use a high-quality Carl Zeiss lens. Nokia has a decent lane record with a cameras though, so it wouldn’t be out of a doubt to see good formula even on this bill blower.
Checking out some uninformed furnish in London’s staggeringly costly Borough Market, a 520 did an excusable pursuit of capturing a fruit — tomatoes are fruit, incidentally. The picture wasn’t utterly pointy and in ubiquitous it seemed darker than a Lumia 720’s attempt. For a income though, I’ve seen worse cameras.
Away from a splendid object inside a CNET UK office, a 520 didn’t cope utterly as well. It unsuccessful to arrangement for a window in a background, ensuing in light bleed. It suffered from picture sound in a darker areas and lacked a clarity of a 720.
The 520 competence share many specs with a bigger brother, nonetheless it can’t compare a camera. It’ll give excusable formula for shots of your friends in a park, nonetheless if photography is critical to you, it’s value looking during a aloft finish of a range. There’s also no front-facing camera, so we won’t be means to video discuss regulating Skype. If we wish that feature, you’ll need to hack adult for a Lumia 620.
Nokia chucks in a garland of camera program for a Lumias too, all of that you’ll find on a 520. There’s a scenery function, built-in modifying tools, a Cinemagraph app for creation peculiar small GIF images and a best-shot apparatus that combines mixed shots of your friends into one, vouchsafing we collect a best faces from any image.
The 520 gets a extract from a 1,430mAh battery, that isn’t accurately a many sweeping of cells. Windows Phone likes to exaggerate of a ability during eking a final dump of life out of a energy packs, so it should hopefully be means to put adult with some punishment.
Nokia reckons you’ll get around 9 hours of 3G talktime out of it, that we reckon isn’t too distant from a truth. After a full charge, we found a battery had forsaken to 56 per cent after an hour of YouTube streaming, a integrate of rounds on Asphalt 7 and a 45-minute streamed programme on Netflix.
That’s not accurately impressive, nonetheless it was flattering heated use — keep things singular and we shouldn’t onslaught to get a full day out of it. Avoid streaming media and keep Bluetooth and GPS incited off and you’ll suffer many improved battery life.
If we wish a advantages of indeed carrying a intelligent phone though, regulating things like pull email, we should substantially keep a USB horse on your person. The battery is removable though, so we can theoretically lift a gangling if we can’t mount a suspicion of regulating out of juice. It achieved roughly as good as a 620, that has a likewise sized battery and about a same quotes of longevity from Nokia.
With a processor, shade fortitude and combined Nokia apps relating those you’ll find on a many some-more costly Lumia 720, a 520 really packs an considerable punch for a money. Its confidant arrangement is one of a best I’ve seen in a low-end marketplace and Nokia’s program additions — utterly a Drive app — are excellent.
If we utterly wish a some-more considerable camera, demeanour towards a aloft finish of a Lumia range. The 520 packs many of a same specs as a bigger brothers though, creation it glorious value and a illusory intelligent phone to cruise on a budget.