Nokia Lumia 520 Windows Phone (preview)

The Nokia Lumia 520 is the company's cheapest Windows Phone device to date

The Nokia Lumia 520 is the company's cheapest Windows Phone to date. Set to retail for less than US$200 when it hits the market sometime in Q2, it represents excellent value for money.

The Lumia 520 is immediately identifiable as a Lumia phone. It follows a similar design trend set by previous Nokia Windows phones, particularly the slightly more expensive Lumia 620. Like that model, the Lumia 520 is compact and lightweight and comes in five bright colour options — white, red, yellow, cyan and black.

If you're the type of user who quickly gets sick of a particular colour, Nokia will sell optional snap-on covers for the Lumia 520. The company used the same feature on the low-cost Lumia 620, so it seems to be a common trend with entry level devices.

The Nokia Lumia 520 comes in five bright colours and users can purchase optional snap-on covers.
The Nokia Lumia 520 comes in five bright colours and users can purchase optional snap-on covers.

Nokia has equipped the Lumia 520 with a very reasonably sized 4in IPS display with a resolution of 480x800. It can't quite match the full HD displays that are being used on most flagship models this year but in this low price range it is likely to be one of the best screens available.

Nokia says the Lumia 520's screen can be touched even if you're wearing gloves and will also respond to input from your fingernails. It's a feature that's used in the company's flagship Lumia 920 device, so it's great to see it on an entry level smartphone.

Nokia says the Lumia 520's screen will respond to touches even while wearing gloves.
Nokia says the Lumia 520's screen will respond to touches even while wearing gloves.

The Nokia Lumia 520 has very reasonable specifications considering its price. It's powered by a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, has 512MB RAM and comes with 8GB of internal memory. There's a microSD card slot to expand the memory and a 1430mAh battery that lists 360 hours of standby time and up to nine and a half hours of talk time.

The Nokia Lumia 520 has a 5-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a 720p video recorder, but lacks a front-facing camera. The rear camera works with Nokia's existing digital camera lens apps, including the Cinemagraph, Smart Shoot, and Panorama lens modes that first debuted on the flagship Lumia 920.

The Lumia 520 includes Nokia's Here Maps software which includes free turn-by-turn navigation.
The Lumia 520 includes Nokia's Here Maps software which includes free turn-by-turn navigation.

The Lumia 520 also comes preloaded with Drive, Transit, Maps and Music apps. Interestingly, the apps have been rebranded from 'Nokia' to 'Here', so they're now called Here Maps, Here Drive and Here Transit, though Nokia Maps retains its existing name.

There's been no word of an Australian launch time or local pricing details, but the Lumia 520 is expected to sell in China from March and parts of Europe and Asia from Q2 2013.

A promotional video of the Nokia Lumia 520 can be seen below.

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Nokia Lumia 820 review
Microsoft banking on Windows 8 to boost Windows Phone
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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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