Nokia has mixed it up with the best of the high-end market with the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 is competing in the mid-range. Now, Nokia is setting its sights on the budget friendly market, so how does the Lumia 520 compare to its competitors in the low-end marketplace?
The Lumia 520 shares many of its design characteristics with other models in the Lumia range, though it is significantly smaller and more pocket friendly than the Lumia 920. It’s also much lighter than its high-end counterpart, though not quite as weightless as the Galaxy S IV for example. It comes in a variety of bright and vibrant colours; we played around with the Lumia 520 in a striking yellow. The phone is slightly curved at the back making it easy to grip and fits nicely in the palm of your hand. The covers can be changed if you want to change the colour to suit your mood.
A 4-inch capacitive touchscreen graces the front of the device with three navigational buttons situated underneath. The display packs in 233 PPI, so it isn’t quite as sharp as other Lumia displays, but text and video is still pretty crisp. The scratch resistant glass aids peace of mind, but unfortunately it’s a fingerprint magnet. If you’re overly worried about this, the sensitive screen works with gloves.
Internally, the Lumia 520 features a 1GHz dual core Qualcomm processor and 512MB RAM. It’s zippy enough, though it does mean that users won’t be able to play the newly available Temple Run. It packs a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of recording 720p video. Unfortunately, the Lumia 520 doesn’t have a front-facing camera, so it’s back to guessing that you’re in shot when trying to take self-portraits. Like other Lumia models, the 520 has a dedicated camera button, which acts as the shutter and a quick way of getting into the camera, even when the phone is locked.
Nokia emphasises pictures once again with pre-installed apps such as Creative Studio, which adds a number of filters to any given photo, and Smart Shoot, which takes a number of photos and allows users to select the one where everyone looks at their best. A variety of other apps come pre-loaded from Nokia’s own Maps and Music to the Office suite for those who need to be productive on the go. The Windows store is coming along nicely, but despite the presence of Angry Birds Roost, a hub for Rovio titles, trials and free versions of these games are unavailable.
It’s not quite as powerful as some of its Lumia counterparts, but it’s more streamlined, pocket- and budget-friendly as a result. It does pick up scuffs and fingerprints, but these are easily cleared. However, the Lumia 520 lives up to Nokia’s reputation for build quality, it looks good and comes with a number of features that have become hallmarks of the Lumia range.