Nokia Lumia 520 review

The 520 has new software, and it's even cheaper

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Motorola Moto G

Any phone, regardless of operating system, entering the budget market has to be willing to go up against Motorola's excellent handset.

It arrives toting the latest Android 4.4 KitKat incarnation of Google's OS and a 1280x720p display with a 329ppi. And all for an 8GB price tag of £135.

Moto G

Unfortunately, the Lumia 520 really struggles to compete here. The Moto G boasts more apps, a nicer screen and, if I'm honest, a better build quality. The Lumia 520 can't fall back on its colourful cases because the Moto G sports a nicely rubberised rear plate in a variety of different colours. It's water resistant as well.

Of course, if you don't want to move to Android, then the Lumia 520 is still your best value-for-money Windows Phone 8 offering.

You'll get Microsoft's social network integration and Xbox apps as well as Nokia's exclusive apps like MixRadio and HERE Drive – although that's not to say there aren't decent alternatives on the Google Play store.

While I like the Lumia 520, and the Lumia Black update adds some nice touches, I still don't think it has the ability to unseat the Moto G as the reigning phone of the budget market.

Nokia Lumia 625

Rather than going up against the Motorola Moto G, a much closer comparison can be made against Nokia's mid-market handset.

It has also dropped in price by quite a lot, and can be had for as little as £80.98, making it only slightly more expensive than the Lumia 520. It's certainly worth the additional outlay considering there are a couple of extra features that have been passed over for the Lumia 520.

Lumia 625

The Lumia 625 has 4G support as standard. That might not be much of a selling point at the moment, but it becomes more important as 4G increases its uptake.

However, you might be surprised to learn that although the 625 boasts a larger 4.7-inch screen, it still only supports the same 800 x 480 resolution as the Lumia 520. This means that while it's better for tapping out texts and emails, it's not necessarily crisper when it comes to watching media.

The design remains colourfully Lumia, but Nokia has curved the corners on the 625. The slightly larger chassis hasn't led Nokia to increase the storage and it boasts the same 8GB native option as the Lumia 520.

It comes down to value, and whether you plan on using 4G, when deciding between these two. But for my money, the Lumia 520 nudges it. The Lumia 520 has all the core features of the 625 (they have the same RAM also) but remains more wallet-friendly.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashNo
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.09 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyLumia
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameNokia
Battery Talk Time14.80 Hour
Product Model520
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution800 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)124 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityChina RoHS, EU RoHS, REACH, WEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density235 ppi
Height119.9 mm
Width64 mm
Depth9.9 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time360 Hour
Product NameLumia 520 Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon S4
Product LineLumia
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Orientation Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberA00010451
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationPowered by Windows Phone 8, the Nokia Lumia 520 comes with exclusive digital lenses, a 1GHz dual core processor, and a touchscreen that even works with long finger nails or gloves.

Add magic to your photos.
The Nokia Lumia 520 comes with digital lenses built in - exclusive to Nokia and guaranteed to wow your friends. Add motion to your images with Cinemagraph. Take multiple photos with a single click using Smart Shoot, and edit effortlessly to make the perfect shot.

Super senstive screen - keep your gloves on.
The 4-inch touchscreen on the Nokia Lumia 520 is so sensitive that you can even use it when wearing gloves or with your fingernails. So typing, chatting and surfing are easier and more convenient than ever.

Nokia mix radio.
Nokia Mix Radio fills your day with free music. Choose from over 150 mixes or generate your own playlists. Take your favourite mixes offline and listen when you're not connected. Share them with friends through your social networks, email or via SMS. (Data transfer charges may apply. Check with your provider)

Free HERE Maps. Destinations uncovered.
Type in a destination and HERE Maps will get you there quickly. If you're driving, HERE Drive gives you turn-by-turn directions. And if you need to get across town on public transport, HERE Transit plots the quickest route, including departure times and walking distances. (HERE Drive on the Lumia 520 offers free drive navigation for a single country or region. Additional service upgrade to be introduced later.)

Windows Phone 8. See your world at a glance.
Stay on top of things with Live Tiles which update in real time on your start screen. Get 7GB of storage on Microsoft SkyDrive, so you can sync your phone and computer. And pre-installed Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint mean you can work on the go, hassle-free.
Package Contents
  • Lumia 520 Smartphone
  • High Efficiency Charger
  • Battery
  • Charging and Data Cable
  • Stereo Headset
  • Quick Guide
Limited Warranty2 Year