Review: Nokia Lumia 520; Part 2: The hardware


19, 2013

Author Lucas // in News

Lumia 520In the first part of this review I wrote about my first impressions about the Lumia 520, which were quite good. Now I want to take up the hardware and its capabilities.

Since the Lumia 520 is a low-end device you shouldn’t expect too much from the hardware, although it’s pretty good for this price range. The device spots a 1 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Dual Core processor, 512Mb RAM, a 480×800 pixels IPS screen with Supersensitive touch, a 5MPX camera, 8gb internal storage (expandable with microSD)  and a 1430 mAh battery. All this is packed into a slim housing with a thickness of 9.9mm and a weight of light 124 grams.

The screen

Like already mentioned in the previous part, the screen is OK for a €200 device. It’s sharp and colors are natural, but the screen is dark and very reflecting, therefore using it in bright conditions (like outside) is a pain. Inside it’s ok, but the very gray-ish black looks very ugly, so you should set the theme to white, then it’s ok. However, the only slightly more expensive Lumia 620 (which I have here at home) has a much better screen: A nice, deep black, shining colors, a bright panel and it’s not reflective, so using the device outside is no problem. But a complete comparison of both devices will follow later.


The camera

The Lumia 520 spots a 5MPX camera without Carl Zeiss optics or a LED flash. Colors are natural but the images are very soft and there are not very detailed. As always, it’s a €200 device, for this price range it’s OK, but at least a LED flash should be built in. Nonetheless the device does a nice job in low light conditions. Sure, it’s far away from the Lumia 92X, but it beats some other smartphones.

See examples below.

Lumia 920Lumia 520

The performance

In case of processor and RAM the Lumia 520 has a collection of respectable hardware built in, thanks to Microsoft’s minimum criteria. 512mb RAM and a 1Ghz Dual Core processor do a very nice job letting Windows Phone run smoothly and fast. There are no lags in the whole OS and apps open nicely fast. In a direct comparison there is a noticeable difference between my 920 and the 520, but it’s not too big and in normal usage this difference doesn’t really exist. So far I had not a single error or crash in my whole testing time. Even Asphalt 7 ran great with nice textures and a smooth gameplay.

Special features

One of the special features the Lumia 520 offers is supersensitive touch. The feature which is known from Lumia 920 and 820 works great on the low-end device and is a feature which really make the Lumia 520 a great device for its price.

However, there is also a feature missing: NFC. It’s a real pity the Lumia 520 doesn’t have NFC because once you can use it, you will use it almost daily. It’s a really nice and easy to use feature. The 520’s housing is (probably not made of polycarbonate but) very tough. I would not be afraid dropping it. The deice feels well build, solid and nice in the hand, which is one of Nokia’s skills.

So, the Lumia 520 packs a bunch of nice hardware in a sleek design, with the only issues being the camera and screen, for only €200.

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