Though there aren't all that many Windows Phone 8 handsets available yet there are already several, such as the Nokia Lumia 620 and the Huawei Ascend W1, that manage to combine solid specs and performance with an entry level price tag.
The Nokia Lumia 520 can be said to join their esteemed company, as while it's even more pared back- lacking a front facing camera, NFC, a camera flash or a compass, the things that it does do it mostly does well.
The incredibly low price is a huge selling point for the Nokia Lumia 520. It also looks like a more expensive handset than it is, with a decent sized 4 inch screen and a stylish body which could almost lead someone to confuse it for the much more expensive Nokia Lumia 920.
It has also got a respectable amount of power hidden away inside, with a 1 GHz dual-core processor ensuring that performance is generally pretty smooth. The 5 megapixel camera is good for the price and while it doesn't have much built in storage it has a micro SD card slot to make up for it.
It also gets decent phone signal and as with all Windows Phone 8 handsets the way contacts are integrated with social networks is excellent.
The lack of a front facing camera or for that matter a flash on the rear camera is a shame, somewhat muting its otherwise respectable photographic performance.
The screen tends to attract fingerprints and smudges more than most phones, which can leave it looking blurred and dirty after only a small amount of use.
We also found the battery life to be pretty average (though still slightly better than the Nokia Lumia 620) and the web browser was a little slow, particularly when browsing over 3G.
The Nokia Lumia 520, much like its big brother the Nokia Lumia 620, is a jack of all trades and a master of none - although manages to make a good fist of nearly all it tries, for the price.
It looks good, it's got a decent screen both in terms of size and resolution, it rarely stutters or slows down, it's great for calls and messaging, reasonable for media and okay for photos.
To achieve a lower price point than the Lumia 620 it has had to strip away a few things - there's no NFC, compass, camera flash or front facing camera here.
But on the other hand it's also got a bigger screen, a larger battery, a sleeker, slimmer, lighter build and the same processor and RAM as the Nokia Lumia 620, so in many ways it's actually better.
Combine that with a lower price tag and we reckon that this just might be the best entry level Windows Phone 8 handset that you can buy and certainly the best value.
Budding photographers might find the lack of a flash prohibitive and if you're a power user you might want to consider the Huawei Ascend W1 for its superior battery life, but for everyone else the Nokia Lumia 520 comes heartily recommended.