Can the Nokia Lumia 520 stand its ground?
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Nokia, once the dominant phone manufacturer, has lost ground over the past two years. After being upstaged by Android smartphones, Nokia decided to use Windows Phone for all its smartphones in 2011. Two years on, the move is beginning to bear fruit. The firm now has a Windows Phone 8 device in every price bracket above Rs 10,000 and the Nokia Lumia 520 is priced at Rs 10,500.
The Lumia 520 shows that Nokia is still a pro at manufacturing phones. Apart from the glass touchscreen, it's made almost entirely of plastic, but the soft matte finish of the back panel, makes sure the phone doesn't look cheap. It has a good build and is easy to customise. Should you grow tired of its colour, you can buy a different back panel and snap it on. Costlier Lumia phones support its wireless charging accessories, but sadly, the Lumia 520 does not. At 124 grams, the phone is quite light and has a camera button on the right.
The four-inch display incorporates Nokia's super-sensitive touch technology. The touchscreen is very responsive and so are the three standard touch buttons (back, home, and search) at the bottom. Every firm has to cut a few corners to keep a phone's price low and it seems that Nokia sacrificed a bit on the display. The colours seem faded, washed out and less crisp than the 520's costlier cousins. It isn't easy to read in bright outdoor environments. The screen is reflective, so make sure that the light source is not behind you.
In our review of Windows Phone 8, we had mentioned that the WP8 marketplace doesn't have enough good apps. Almost four months on, the situation has improved considerably. Several new apps are now available on Windows Phone and existing apps have improved quite a bit. WhatsApp still has bugs on this platform, but the developer will soon release version 3.0 to resolve them. Other than that, WP8 runs smoothly on the Lumia 520. Most Android phones in this range start freezing if you install more than a few apps, but that's not the case with Windows Phone devices. Since this phone has 512 MB RAM, some games will not run on it, but that shouldn't be a deal-breaker if you're hunting for a phone in this price range. The phone comes with excellent Nokia apps such as Here, Drive+, Music and Cinemagraph. Lumia 520 buyers can also get Microsoft Office pre-installed on the device and can watch free movies for three months on the BigFlix app.
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