Entry level

by Volker Weber

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I have heard so much about the entry level Lumia 520 that it is finally time to dogfood it. I have had a lot of fun with the cute Lumia 620, but the 520 is even cheaper. I am going to set it up tonight and use it for a few days before switching back to the 925 next week.

Update: I only needed a few hours to come to a conclusion. The 520 is really good. But I could not live with it, as I could with a Lumia 620.

The good news is, that I did not run into any issues. All of my apps just ran fine, and they did so without speed issues. This smartphone is less powerful than the 925 I am used to, but I never felt the performance was subpar.

The bad news is that I don't like the phone. While the 620 is cute and I love to hold it, the 520 feels alien to me. The top is completely flat and there is a harsh edge where the tapered sides meet the front. The tapered sides also mean that it's not as easy to press the buttons, since the phone tries to move towards you as you hit the button. The 620 on the other hand is round and quite comfortable to hold.

Not having a front camera is very limiting as well. You can't do a selfie, you won't be able to Skype video call somebody. The main camera works OK-ish but it does not have a flash for low light environments and not enough power to work with available light. No problem in bright daylight, but not so good indoors.

I also did not like the LCD screen. I understand that Nokia needs to cut a lot of cost to make a device this inexpensive, but it's just not good enough for me to like it.

My verdict would be that this is the best smartphone you can get for 129€. But you should spend a little bit more. The 620 is a much better choice for me. It has a clear black display. The camera is also quite simple, but it does have a flash. You get Here Drive+ with world wide navigation instead of the more limited Drive. The front facing camera is only 640x480 pixels, which isn't really good enough for selfies, but will let you do video calls. There is only one downside: no FM radio. Spend an extra 60€ and get the 620. And if you have 300€, by all means buy a 920.

Comments

Thanks, Volker, curious about your findings :)

Hubert Stettner, 2013-08-30

Ich habe Deine bisherigen Erfahrungen aus früheren Artikeln über die WP8 Telefone von Nokia auch schon sehr aufmerksam gelesen. Letztlich waren sie ausschlaggebend dafür, dass ich meiner besseren Hälfte nach einer einjährigen Android-Katastrophe das L620 bestellt habe.
Für Ihren Anwendungsfall (WhatsApp/SMS/E-Mail, Schnappschüsse des Lütten, Telefonieren, wie wird das Wetter?) ist das Gerät nahezu perfekt.

Ich bin von dem Gerät auch sehr begeistert, der Preis war mit knapp 175€ sehr fair und WP8 fühlt sich klar, frisch und "snapy" an.

Danke Volker für die regelmäßigen Schilderungen Deiner Alltagserfahrungen mit diversen Gadgets, die sich sehr positiv vom übligen "rendert-Java-1-Sekunde-schneller-und-hat-10dpi-mehr"-Testbericht dieser Tage abheben.

Much appreciated :-)
Sascha

Sascha Westphal, 2013-09-04

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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