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Lumia 520 – How did Nokia do it?

I have been itching for a Windows Phone 8 device since last November, but with a barely seven month old Nokia 900, I was not ready to shell the dollars for an out of contract upgrade. When the Lumia 520 became available for $199 Unlocked, I was ready to test the WP8 waters.

I always like to keep a backup phone around for one of those unexpected open toilet incidents. My HTC Surround has been standing guard since April 2011, reminding my L900 what would happen if it chose to falter. (Maybe that’s why I have never had to return a phone, or have one repaired. Some deep alternate dimension stuff there. Just sayin). It was easy to justify making the L520 my new backup phone. The Surround isn’t getting any younger, and it’s stuck at WP7.5. The L520 is running WP8 and I expect to replace my L900 this fall with a shiny new Nokia WP8 device.



Over the past few days playing with this little phone, I have been surprised at how good it feels in the hand and how well it performs despite what some would call, minimal specs. And all this for $199, unlocked and contract free. I realize as time marches on, things get better, generally smaller, and hopefully cheaper. So I decided to do a comparison with HTC Surround, released a mere 31 months ago, to see what you get today for less than half the price. I didn’t bother with specs like dimensions and weight, focusing more on features which are different on the two devices. Items in red are the category winners.

Not bad for $199, or $129 from Walmart / HSN, but locked to T-Mobile, with some restrictions. Some though may claim the Surround is not a fair comparison with its slide out speaker, and superior build. So I decided to do the same comparison with a similarly constructed Samsung Focus, a best seller in it’s day, being the same 0.39in. thick and 0.3oz, lighter.

Again, for 40% of the cost, a superior device by comparison. That’s impressive. Sure, the L520 is missing a camera flash, but not really much else. Ideal for tweens and teens, anyone on a month to month plan, or for those who may be missing their beloved Focus. While it’s always nice to salivate over the biggest and best phone out there, let’s not forget the other end of the spectrum, where the majority of smartphone owners dwell. Apparently Nokia hasn’t. Well done. Or Hyvin tehty if your reading this in Finland.