Nokia is expanding its Windows Phone 8 line-up with the announcement at Mobile World Congress of the Nokia Lumia 720 and Nokia Lumia 520, sitting either side of the Nokia Lumia 620, which we’ve just reviewed. With a European price of €139 (around £120), it’s the cheapest Lumia offering to date from Nokia, matching the Huawei Ascend W1.
Targetting first-time smartphone uses – especially those upgrading from a Nokia feature phone or moving to Windows Phone from other operating systems, the phone is set to hit the shops in Q2 this year, but we grabbed some hands-on time with it in Barcelona.
The Nokia Lumia 520 comes in five colours, the cyan, magenta and blue synonymous with Lumia phones, along with white and black, which really makes it stand out from the crowd. It feels very solid and the curved edges ensure it’s comfortable to hold. The back is interchangeable, so you can swap colours and even use one with an NFC chip for contactless payments.
One trend we noticed at Mobile World Congress is bigger, bettter-quality screens on cheaper phones. The Lumia 520 includes a 4-inch LCD screen with IPS technology and a respectable pixel denstity of 235ppi for sharp text and 800×480 resolution – the same as the Nokia Lumia 820. The touchscreen supports super-sensitive touch, which means it works with gloves.
On the back there’s a 5-megapixel camera. Although it doesn’t offer a flash or low-light beating PureView goodness of the Nokia Lumia 920, you do get Nokia-unique lenses, Smart Shoot and Cinemagraph, along with 720p HD movie capture.
Connections include Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.9 and GPS, but 4G. Internal storage is 8GB (we’re not sure yet how much of that is usable) and there’s a microSD card slot too. Inside there’s a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor which from our time with the device ensured moving around the Windows Phone 8 interface felt quick.
The Nokia Lumia 520 is a really exciting phone. Not only does it offer a great build and come in a selection of funky colours, but it’s spec sheet easily matches pricier phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini (without the AMOLED screen technology). WIth the user-friendly Windows Phone 8 on board too, It looks to be a great choice for first-time smartphone users. We’ll bring you a full review as soon as possible.