Nokia Lumia 520 review



Have you ever heard of the movie “The good, the bad and the ugly”? Nope? It’s a cool movie if you are a fan of the wild wild west. Let’s cast the Nokia Lumia 520 in it, if we may :-).

The good

A wise man once said, there is beauty in simplicity. And it seems the Nokia team had this in mind as they went about the design for the Lumia 520. From the contrast of the buttons with the color of the phone to the Operating System that comes with it. This seems a feature of the Lumia family but we won’t dwell on that for today.

I love the way they put the button on the side, not that it’s something unique, but unlike most phones with the same this just has the IT factor. The 520 is neither light nor heavy. It has this balance to it and the size is quite cool. It comes with a 4 inch screen which for a phone of it’s price range is not so bad. Plus the scratch resistant glass comes in handy.

I love how Nokia places some thought and insight into the little things, some of which you won’t notice on a conscious level e.g having the url bar on the bottom of the screen rather than at the top like most browsers. Cool, right? That’s not all.

The windows phone allows you to customize and personalize the start screen in a way that “other” phones can’t. Except for other windows phones of course. You can add tiles to the start screen for your favorite apps and people. Also the apps menu is just a slide away with the list given in alphabetical order (just so you know) and it groups them if they are many under a certain letter.

As I stress on the fact that the 520 is quite affordable, it comes with quite a sizable storage space, read 8GB, for a phone on its price range. It’s also not slow, maybe not as fast as the other members of the family. It comes with 512 MB of RAM which is not so bad.

I can keep going on and on but I bet by now you already see it’s an awesome phone (if you read my testimony at the start). There a few more cool features such as the Here Maps, the Smart Camera and Office 365, just to name a few.

The bad

Like all good things, read women and beer, the 520 doesn’t fail to come with a bit of “baggage”. The first to be highlighted by most critics will be the fewer apps as compared to it’s android counterparts. This is not really a major issue, depending on what you use the phone for, but gives it a bit of a disadvantage.

For those with the old SIM cards like me, you will have to have it cut for you so as to use it on the phone because the phone uses a MicroSIM.

There’s some issue connecting to the internet for some applications which is not really a fault on Nokia’s side but the service provider. This can be easily sorted by some change on the settings but it’s not really “common” knowledge to most people.

The lack of a flash and front end camera is also a draw back but considering its price range we might cut it some slack. It comes with a 5mp camera which takes some really cool photos but doesn’t do so well in low light scenarios.

Another thing that is not so cool is the lack of a radio. If you’re selling a phone on the African market, or let’s say Kenyan, you need to put a radio feature in there. Either way, there is enough space for loads of music and the earphones aren’t so bad though I wish Nokia would give us some plug-ins instead.

The battery doesn’t last so long if you use the phone a lot which can be sort of a bummer.

The ugly

There’s nothing ugly about the phone. It may have a few hardware drawbacks but if you’re looking for an affordable smartphone there are few better than it in the market.

The Nokia Lumia 520 is available for Kshs. 15,999 at Safaricom shops and Nokia branded shops (prices may vary).

Select specifications

Screen: 4.0 inches (480 x 800 pixels) touchscreen
Memory: 8 GB (Upgradable to 64 GB via microSD)
Back camera: 5 Megapixel (2592Ñ…1936 pixels)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Phone 8
CPU: Dual-core 1 GHz
Battery: Li-Ion 1430 mAh battery with a talk time of 14 hours on 2G and 9 hours on 3G.

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