The Nokia Lumia 620’s crown as the baby Lumia has now been handed to an even more modest and affordable device. The diminutive dual-core Nokia Lumia 520 offers Nokia’s premium smartphone experience in their most cost effective package to date.

In addition to running Windows Phone 8, Nokia bolster their handsets with a wealth of additional features, functions and services which aim to offer up the richest overall Windows Phone option on the shelf.

Tip 1: App highlights

Being an entry level device, the Nokia Lumia 520 lends itself well to serving as the point of entry for mobile consumers new to the Windows Phone ecosystem or new to smartphones in general. Naturally the focus of any smartphone is app, but knowing which ones to pick from the thousands out there, particularly when you’re just getting started can be a daunting prospect.

Luckily Nokia have preloaded the Lumia 520 with App Highlights - a Nokia curated application grouping compatible apps by popularity or as part of a number of themed collections such as ‘Nokia exclusives’, ‘ski time’ and ‘starter kit’.

Tip 2: Removable storage

A welcome addition to the first wave of Windows Phone 8 handsets is the option of removable storage. Although not all of the current WP8 flock have this feature, the Nokia Lumia 520 is one which does and that’s particularly handy considering the restrictive 8GB of internal storage plumbed into the handset permanently.

The Lumia 520 can accommodate microSD cards up to 64GB (such as the SanDisk card featured above) in capacity which can be used to store photos, videos and music so there should always be room to keep you entertained on the go.

To insert some removable storage, pop the back off, pull out the battery and slide the microSD card in above the microSIM slot. Switching the 520 back on will prompt a brief screen for the setup of the SD card and voila!

Tip 3: Media controls

Music is a big part of the Windows Phone experience and no matter what service or application you’re pulling your favourite tunes from, the OS allows for control of your music from any area of the operating system, whether you’re on the lockscreen, the homescreen or within an application.

Once you’ve got your music playing, a tap on the Nokia Lumia 520’s volume rocker will drop down the conventional menu for volume from the top of the screen, however, you’ll now be offered skip back, play/pause and skip forward controls as well as the artist and track name. Pressing and holding on the skip buttons will result in rewind or fast forward functionality and tapping the song will take you to the app responsible for the music. From the 520’s lockscreen, these controls appear by default with no need to tap the hardware volume rocker.

Tip 4: Lenses

Whether you open the camera with the Nokia Lumia 520’s hardware shutter button or the application icon, one of its party pieces is the addition of lenses. Lenses modify the capabilities of the camera, with Nokia specific options coming in the form on Cinemagraph and City Lens.

From within the camera’s UI the twin arrow icon will open up the lenses menu, as well as being able to switch between any installed lenses, hitting the ‘find more lenses’ option will also bring up a wealth of new and interesting lenses to download and add to the 520’s camera repertoire.

Tip 5: Nokia Music/offline mixes

We’ve already touched on the fact that Windows Phone devices hold the music playback experience in high regard, but with Nokia Lumia handsets, the company have taken things one step further, offering up an interesting alternative to Xbox Music with their own Nokia Music application.

The highlight of the app, as well as offering up a library of over 15 million tracks is its ability to stream or even download unique mixes for offline playback, absolutely free. From within the Nokia Music app, it’s just a matter of press and holding on the desired mix and hitting the ‘make available offline’ option.

It’s recommended that you download Nokia Music mixes over WiFi as they take a fair amount of time and could result in a costly data bill over the 520’s 3G mobile data connection.