Nokia will go head-to-head with the bevy of cheap Android phones on offer this month when sales begin for the Lumia 520 in Australia.

The handset will be available as an outright purchase for $229 unlocked through electronics retailers Dick Smith, JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman, and mobile phone reseller Allphones. Telstra will also range the 520 with a pre-paid SIM for $179, network locked.

A lot of phone for little money

The handset offers a good portion of what you get from the more expensive Lumias, but in a smaller package. It has a 4-inch touchscreen, dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 512MB RAM, 8GB storage and runs on Windows Phone 8.

In the same price range, the Android-powered LG L7 has a 4.3-inch screen, a single-core 1GHz processor and 4GB storage.

Nokia's Windows Phone handsets come with a great range of software pre-installed, including Nokia Maps, plus Microsoft's Office suite and 7GB of SkyDrive cloud storage.

The Lumia 520 is the first pre-paid Nokia Windows Phone 8 handset in Australia, but is the fifth in the range overall. The Lumia 920 has been on sale for nearly six months now and is one of the phones largely responsible for Windows Phone doubling its meger market share in Australia in the last 12 months.