Review: Nokia Lumia 520; Part 2: The hardware
In 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.
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 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 920||Lumia 520|
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.
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.