Review: Nokia Lumia 520

| June 26, 2013 | 15 Replies


The Nokia Lumia 520 is currently Nokia’s low-end device, designed for those on a budget, or looking to get their first smartphone. Ali has already shown you a few videos (here, here andhere) of the Lumia 520 – so I won’t really cover those areas.


The Nokia Lumia 520 may not be the best Nokia device out there (that would go to the 920/925 – or if you’re like me, the 820 [since it is just so versatile] ), but it certainly doesn’t disappoint either. We have a saying in Australia: “bang for your buck” – meaning you get a fair bit for what you pay. This is the most apt description of the Lumia 520.







The Lumia 520 carries the token Lumia design language: sleek lines, colourful and great build quality. With curved sides, the Lumia 520 fits amazingly in your hand. It also partly cuts away at the buttons, meaning they seem easier to press. While on the subject of buttons, thankfully, unlike the Lumia 820 & Lumia 920, the 520’s buttons don’t seem to feel loose/flimsy. As with the Lumia’s 620 & 820, the 520 has removable back shells and battery, as well as support for a MicroSD card.


Running on Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 520 offers a no-compromise experience. Sure, some apps may not run, but thats done in order to ensure the user has the best possible experience. This goes a long way in correcting Nokia’s old image of the cheaper devices being sluggish. From my usage, the only slow down I noticed was when texting, the keyboard wouldn’t keep up (but I guess I’m a speed demon texter).

Like the rest of the Lumia range, Nokia has great software exclusives on WP that definitely make your phone more awesome. My favourites being Nokia Music and HERE Maps.

Sadly, with a crazily cheap price, you need to sacrifice somewhere, and this comes in a few small elements, that are in no way deal breakers (let’s face it – if your interested in devices at this price, you don’t expect the best phone ever made).

  • Capacative buttons (back, home, search) are not illuminated
  • No Camera flash
  • No front facing camera

While the camera may not have a flash, it is pretty impressive. Take a look at a few snaps I took around the house today. (Mixed between Auto and Macro modes – All other settings were default.)

So, wrapping it all up I’ll say this – the Lumia 520 is an extremely awesome device and at such a cheap price, it is definitely worth considering. While it may have very small downsides, they can be easily overlooked. If you’re looking to make the jump from feature phones to smartphones, or even wanting to see how Lumia is, compared to what you use, the Lumia 520 should be on your wish list.



Category: Lumia, Nokia, Reviews

About the Author ()

Hi! My name is Michael. Like the others, I'm also a Student, living here in Sydney. I have a real passion for the latest technology and I'm a real Nokia buff! My aim is to keep those of you, like myself, updated with the latest in what's going on in the Nokia World. Currently sporting N9 & Lumia 820, with other Nokia devices in my posession. Get in touch on Twitter via @MFaroTusino, Google Plus or even simply drop me an email at mike.mnb[at] or tips[at]
  • qromodynmc

    the most confusing thing about 520,Screen;
    Is that really bad? I mean a lot of review complains about screen,they are saying ıts too bad. I know Lcd is not like amoled but I dont know. Im used to lcd from my old 603 but it was Ips lcd. Not sure,Is 520 have ips lcd or,That bad samsung cheap Lcd?

    • Michael Faro-Tusino

      Its not bad – not great though. I found it to be usable

    • Bloob

      Better than many phones in at that price. Without ClearBlack it’s bound to be worse than other Lumias.

    • The 520’s screen is relatively bad, for Nokia fans like us used to CBD it’s an instant give away; but on high brightness it’s pretty decent.

    • v.s.i

      It is IPS, but its downside definitely is the lack of polarization filter. On the Lumia 620, it makes the contrast surprisingly pleasant (viewing angles are actually pretty good, too). Or should I say, once you go ClearBlack, you never go back. 😀

  • For the price, it is a very decent phone and the camera is better than I expected. How is the battery life?

    • Michael Faro-Tusino

      Battery life has been good, I get through my day (which is the same as my 820).

  • prashant

    This phone has transformed ecosystem to provide it healthy momentum.
    It’s the best phone ever available depending upon it’s price point.

  • JGrove303

    The biggest economical question: Is the Lumia 520 cheap enough to skip out on the 620? Amazon prices look to be $20 apart. Flash and CBD are at least worth that much.

  • msfanboy

    Bang for your buck is more of a US expression.

  • Interesting review Michael, same photos as the SGS4 review on UTP ? 🙂 My main criticism of the phone is the limited RAM , can’t believe a gig would make a massive difference to cost ? These were my thoughts

    • Michael Faro-Tusino

      Well I took these first, and I liked how they turned out, so figured I would try it on the S4 hahah. I actually like these better (seeing as it is 5MP and no flash).

      Great piece on the 520 mate!

  • imbesat

    Which is the better anti-virus for my newly Nokia LUMIA 520

  • nokia lumia 520 has battery and camera better than i expected. its a best phone regarding price and user friendly. got from My deals247 with better price.

  • deji

    my lumia 520 has been infected with virus. the virus keep making multipls copies of my media files especially my songs. if i delete the copies, the one left sends error message when i try to play it. my phone also hangs and takes longer time to respond. pls what do i do. thanx