Nokia Lumia 520- My Thoughts

MWC Launch

 Retail Box
Retail Box
My new yellow Peril :)
My new yellow Peril :)

520 out of the box

Front
Front
Back
Back
Opened up
Opened up
Little & Large, 520 & 920 side by side
Little & Large, 520 & 920 side by side
Lumias side by side
Lumias side by side
Yellow Stack
Yellow Stack

So as an analogy to this piece, and for anyone who didn't know/realise , I sell cars for a living and in life you get what you pay for. I have worked for many car manufacturers and all ranges start at the bottom and work up, as you pay more money you get more toys and equipment, this is exactly the same in the case of mobile phones. As an example in the Ford range, the basic car is in the Edge trim and the top of the range is the Titanium, you start with a three door car, with a small engine, no alloy wheels, only three doors and low end stereo system, but it costs £000's less than the Titanium, the Nokia Lumia 520 is the "Edge" version of the Lumia range at present and overall, it does a pretty good job and frankly punches above its weight in the mobile world at least in my opinion, which may be slightly prejudice, but after
all, that is all it is, my opinion !! LOL
As anyone who has had a look at my stuff before will know I don't really 'do' reviews, I tend to simply ramble on until I run out of stuff to say, so here we go with ramblings and photographs.I know Windows Phone, at least from a Nokia perspective, I was at the Launch of the Lumia 800 at Nokia World 2011, I used almost every Lumia model since and was lucky enough to get the flagship Lumia 920 as part of a Pilot scheme via Nokia Support Discussions, which I still use as my 'Daily Driver'(god I am like a transatlantic superstar !! LMAO) I was also lucky enough to blag my way into MWC in Barcelona this year and privileged to attend the Launch of the new Lumia 720 (which I really hope to trial in the next few weeks God & Nokia Connects willing) and the Lumia 520 and also was fortunate to attend some breakfast meetings along with other bloggers and guests of Nokia about various products and services, including the new Lumias.


Lumia 520 full specifications from GSM Arena

Lumia Design Team Meeting Barcelona

Breakfast meeting with Nokia Lumia Team
Breakfast meeting with Nokia Lumia Team
Lumia 720 & 520 side by side at Barcelona
Lumia 720 & 520 side by side at Barcelona
520 Demo at MWC
520 Demo at MWC

Bad

So, the 520, it has contained my sim card for just over a week and over all it has been a very pleasant, if familiar experience, I had read criticism of the Lumia 520 from a few people, but from the analogy I began with, I think a lot of the criticism is a little unfair and unfounded, some I can agree with due to my personal experience, but frankly, you cannot expect a £100 phone to perform like a £450 phone, it is a fact of life and economics, I have tried a few budget Android handsets and believe you me , they ain't anything like an SGS4 !!
What I will do is go for the bad first, well at least the criticism I would make personally, and there really isn't that much considering the price point of the phone. During the meeting I attended with the Lumia team in Barcelona one of the guys asked why the 520 only had 512meg of RAM and the response was that during testing, users said there was no noticeable difference in performance, well sorry Nokia, but your testers weren't 'using ' the phone, I have absolutely no idea the cost difference between 512 meg and 1 gig of RAM, but whatever it is, it wasn't worth it (I am available for real life testing of prototype handsets whenever required, by the way). Although the performance of the 520 is generally fine, I have had several crashes on Twitter and Facebook on it, something I never experienced with other Lumias and also , despite the games I use working fine, Plants V Zombies and Angry Birds, I have read many keen gamers are limited in choice due to the restriction in Random Access Memory on the phone and it seems a bit of a shame , it is not exactly disastrous ie it isn't a Nokia N97 situation, but it is a bit of a shame. The only other criticism I can throw at the phone is that the screen , although very responsive and very bright and pleasant indoors, is pretty poor in bright sunlight, and the camera lacking a flash and the Carl Zeiss lenses doesn't give the flexibility of the more expensive Lumias, also the positioning of the tiny rear loud speaker means it is easily covered and muted. However some lower specs have to be accepted at the price point of the handset.

Good

Now the good stuff, which is frankly just about everything !! The actual handset itself looks GREAT, I really love the design and it looks much more expensive than it is, it feels great in the hand with its curved back and due to the smaller size is very easy to use with one hand.Despite the occasional crash the main apps I use Twabbit & Mehdoh for Twitter and Facebook Beta work fine, scrolling and performance whilst in the apps works great and is very smooth and maps and music are frankly as good on the 520 as they are on my 920 (at least if you use headphones in the case of music). The other thing I have been impressed with on the 520 whilst using it n a daily basis is that the battery has lasted me a full day every day !! As a 'telephone' calls and text have been faultless, and but for the fact my old eyes suite bigger screens better, the email experience and web browser have also been absolutely excellent, and in these respects I honestly haven't missed my 920 at all or felt that I was missing out.In fact having a removable battery and memory card expansion can be considered an advantage over the 920 !!

Panorama from the Lumia 520

Now I know I mentioned the camera in my criticism of the phone, but in all fairness, Nokia don't make bad cameras and with the exception of quite bad light, I have got some really nice snaps from the 520's 5 megapixel camera and to be quite frank, I was actually amazed at the quality of a panorama I took with one of the Lenses that are available for Windows Phone. Also the fact you can use a micro SD card in the little Lumia means there is no restriction in how many photos , videos or tunes you can have on the device, well only the restriction as to what size card you can afford and all photos you take save to the memory card without an issue. People have said that the Lumia 620 is a better phone and better value than the 520, well I would agree, but everyone has a budget and not everyone needs or wants all the bells and whistles. The Nokia Lumia 520 represents great value in my opinion, it certainly feels and looks premium and I know many non geeks who would be over the moon with the phone, as I say, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I think the phone is aimed at maybe younger and less tech savvy users than me and the likes of the big tech sites, it is the starting step on the journey from feature phone to smartphone, it is also pretty damn funky !! , but I would have enjoyed it that bit more with a little bit more RAM.

Photographs from the Lumia 520

Macro of 920
Macro of 920
Close up Dandelion
Close up Dandelion
Landscape near Harrogate
Landscape near Harrogate
Close up pink flowers
Close up pink flowers
Landscape near Bolton Abbey
Landscape near Bolton Abbey
Close up 808 Screen
Close up 808 Screen
Close up 808 back
Close up 808 back
Camera hump
Camera hump

Couple of outdoor shots of the 520 in the sun

Thanks

To conclude, I would just like to say that the Nokia Lumia Range is doing a great job at the moment covering all the various price points and user cases, I would also like to give a huge thanks to Nokia Connects for lending me the 520 and a special thanks to Katie Bunting for arranging the logistics of the loan and to you for reading this .


Stephen Quin

04/06/2013

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Comments 8 comments

Steve Barker 3 years ago

Very thorough and fair review, Mr Quin!

Blown away by those 520 photos; I know they are generally in good light but considering the price if the 520 I'd say they were more than up to scratch.

Of course, there's the camera and then there's the photographer and as you have considerable skill and experience in smartphone photography it could be argued that you know how to get the most out of such a device.

Perhaps you need to put on your high heels, drink a bottle of Lambrusco and go down the nightclub to see what the more typical 520 owner might ask of the camera.

Or maybe not...

Seriously, most owners of budget devices like these will just point & shoot and will rarely consider lighting, holding the device steady, etc.

As a 620 owner I know that the flash absent on the 520 is of limited use. Yes, I can use it to taken survey photos in dark loft voids but capturing a scene with people moving around in darker conditions frequently results in a blurred mess.

Nothing short of your 808 (possibly an N8) will capture such shots and I think we're a long way from seeing a Xenon flash on a budget device.

Its interesting to see the compromises creeping in as price goes down. The screen on the 620 is quite impressive for such a device, yet you report your reserved disappointment for the 520's (admittedly bigger) offering.

I guess it comes down to what the user wants: a smaller, higher quality screen that is great in the sunlight or a bigger screen that's fine indoors and probably easier to read, browse or watch media on.

At least we have choice on a budget!

I agree about the 512 Mob RAM issue, but like you concede that compromises have to be made in the name of economy. Most users will probably never encounter the 'Heavy User' issues (ahem!) we encounter. I have only had a couple of crashes on my 620 and I do push it quite hard, poor thing.

Above all else, I think devices like the 520 & 620 give far more users access to a modern, easy-to-use device with good features & services built in.

Nokia Drive, Maps & Music are major reasons to buy this device and many people coming up from dumb & feature phones will be able to share pictures and sample social media on the go with consummate ease for very little money.

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and look forward to your review of the Nokia EOS shortly :-)


carman58 profile image

carman58 3 years ago from Leeds, Uk Author

Wow, thanks for your extensive reply Steve, almost an article in itself ;) and yes I think one of strong points with Lumia is the spread of price points. Cheers


Dani 3 years ago

Great review.


carman58 profile image

carman58 3 years ago from Leeds, Uk Author

Thank you Dani and thanks for reading :-)


Jose333 3 years ago

Love it man thinking of getting one myself on contract (7.50 a month) lives up to its price and I would say above! Fantastic review, fantastic phone. :)))


carman58 profile image

carman58 3 years ago from Leeds, Uk Author

Thanks for reading and Fantastic response


Andy Hagon profile image

Andy Hagon 3 years ago from New York

Great piece, SQ. Honest and frank as always. Useful info :^)


carman58 profile image

carman58 3 years ago from Leeds, Uk Author

LOL, did it a while ago Andy, just bumped it as Richard asked for a link :)

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