Nokia Lumia 520 review – Affordable dual core windows phone

The Nokia Lumia 520 is an affordable smartphone powered by dual core processor running on Windows Phone 8 with a price tag of under Rs. 10,000. There are some features missing but overall it’s a good handset.

Box pack
The Lumia 520 box contains the handset, user manual, travel charger, earphone, battery of 1430 mAh capacity and data cable.

Design and Display
Being a Nokia product the built quality and finishing no doubt is very good. The handset is 9.9mm thick and light weight at 123 grams. It is comfortable to hold, good option for those looking for a smaller handset (< 4.5 inches).

The volume rockers are on the right side along with power / lock button and an extra button that works with the camera app. A 3.5mm audio jack is on the top side and micro USB port on the bottom side.

The rear cover is matte finish and available in White, Red, Yellow, Black and Cyan color options. These colored back cover can be bought separately. The handset has got a nice professional look and looks better than the Nokia Lumia 620 the one with curvy edges.

Nokia lumia 520 box pack

The IPS display screen is 4 inches with 800×480 pixels resolution (WVGA) with 16M colors.  There is nothing mentioned about the display screen so probably you might want to get a screen guard for the same. The viewing angle, color reproduction and touch sensitivity is very good. There are light, G-sensor and proximity sensors.

Memory and OS
This handset comes with 512MB RAM and 8GB internal storage. Of the 512MB RAM, 395 MB is the total memory available and from the 8GB storage space about 4.66 GB is available. There is a micro SD card slot that can house external card of up to 64GB. The handset runs on the Windows Phone 8 OS.

Nokia lumia 520 review

Inside the hood
its dual core QUALCOMM snapdragon MSM8227 chipset clocked at 1GHz with Adreno 305 GPU. The performance is very good with no lags. The windows phone 8 itself uses fewer resources with minimal graphic and more of colors and text. This handset supports multitasking.

Benchmark scores

  • Antutu for Windows = 6969.
  • WP – Bench = 6234.
  • GPU = avg 51 fps.
  • Multi Touch = 5 point.

Camera and Entertainment
There is only one camera of 5 megapixel resolution placed on the rear side. There is no LED flash and no front camera. It is an auto focus camera and quality is good. The 5MP camera can record videos in 720p resolution at 30 fps. You can check the sample images and videos at the end of this article.

5MP AF camera on Nokia 520

I tried playing a 1080p MP4 video and it worked pretty smooth. It’s a windows phone and certain file formats will not work, like FLV, you can however download other video players from the store or convert the video into the required format. The sound is very loud and clear.

Others
It’s a single SIM phone (Micro SIM slot – you will need a micro SIM card). 3G (21.1Mbps), Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS worked well. The GPS is with GLONASS and A-GPS support, I got a lock in less than 3 seconds and the best part is that the GPS works indoors too.

Internet sharing : There is internet sharing option that makes use of Wi-Fi. You can share the net with up to 8 devices. That is the only option available; you cannot share the net using USB.

The in call speaker is loud and clear. I could connect the handset to my windows 8 PC with ease and without a need to download or install additional software. You can setup your Gmail account and can also SYNC the Gmail contacts. If you have used android OS before it will take few minutes/hours to get used to the WP8 environment.

There are some interesting features like find my phone (track the phone in case its lost / misplaced), Hindi keyboard option, Kid’s corner (give access to certain apps and kids can have their own screen) and smart shoot.

Gaming
I tried the Temple run and Line Birds game that worked well. There are many games that can be downloaded from the Windows store.

Battery
The battery is of 1430 mAh capacity with talktime of up to 9 hours on 3G and 14 hours on 2G. On a full charge you can expect a usage time of over a day. After charging the battery to 100% with battery saver mode it dropped to 43% after 24 hours of low to moderate usage.

Nokia 520 1430 mAh battery

Nokia Lumia 520 review
The features are good, the price is tempting and it’s from a well known brand. However the OS is Windows based, there is no front camera and a missing LED flash. If you are a hardcore android user, it’s better to avoid it but if the OS doesn’t make any different and not much into gaming then this is a better option for the price. You can also check out the genuine leather case for this handset available on Amazon.

Image Gallery

Sample Images

Nokia Lumia 520 unboxing and review video

Sample 720p video shot using the Lumia 520 handset

{ 133 Responses }

  1. Chandrakant says

    Hi Gogi:

    I have problem with phone update in my lumia 520. as it shows connect to wifi, is it possible to update my phone with 3G data usage..

    pls suggest..!!

  2. Aditya says

    Hii Sir,
    Your review is good.I have have a doubt that is lumia 520 strick when then use is increased.

  3. siva says

    gogi: i had noticed in the nokia lumia 520, when seen deep, the inner corners of the LCD and its margins [upper part or some others], shows, not a clean uniform carved ones [resemblems that of the sharp spikey like view of book pages], this is observed when viewing the angles.

    Not only that same kind is observed in micromax mobiles, samsung mobiles, but not seen in some high end mobiles

    Can you please comment on this

    Thanks
    Siva

    • Gogi RanaGogi Rana says

      Siva, Nokia 520 is low cost device, they have used LCD screen that still looks good and as with most LCD screen you will see some light, uneven margins when you place it at specific angle. You see there are several components and there are small gaps in between. On high end phones almost all of them use OGS (one glass solution) the touchscreen is one package, light and slim, you will not see any gaps there.

      • siva says

        Thanks Mr.Gogi, for the reply, and indeed it really helped in understanding the smartphone build & its quality. Thanks once again

  4. siva says

    gogi: is this “Firmware ver: 3056.40000.1349.2001″, post update, means the lumia 520 is running on lumia black update?, and earlier requested on the touch quality [which is good in 520, though not has great as 720 or higher versions]

    kindly comment on the Firmware ver: 3056.40000.1349.2001?

    Thanks
    Siva

  5. siva says

    Greetings Gogi: [this is my latest query]
    my friend purchased nokia lumia 520 , and updated it. Post update , checked the Firmware ver: 3056.40000.1349.2001, this means the 520 is running on lumia black update,?!.
    kindly comment on this, also comment on the feats applicable for lumia 520 [post udate of lumia black]

    Also comment on the touch sensitivity, because in 520 its good, but not that great like nokia lumia 720 [had a 720 already]

    Thanks
    siva

    • Gogi RanaGogi Rana says

      Hi I have not checked 720 but I guess the touch sensitivity will be almost same. Since you have used 720 you know better, I can tell you that 520 and 525 are same stuff with minor changes. Touch sensitivity is same on both. But if you get access to 520 or 525 try checking the touch sensitivity option, play around with it and see if it can match that of 720.


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