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back to article Review: Nokia Lumia 520

A few years ago the late music magazine The Word coined the phrase "landfill indie" to describe the thousands of generic groups it encountered. Today the shops are full of "landfill Android": utterly generic, non-too-inspiring handsets. It’s into this Valley of Death that Nokia tosses its new Lumia 520. In the UK, the average …

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I'll check it out.

It sounds like the perfect phone for the requirements of SWMBO. I'll give it a thorough once over. Very useful review,

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Re: I'll check it out.

Beware folks. Now you get downvoted for finding a review useful. Don't let me see it happening again ! :D

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WTF?

Re: Very useful review,

Is it?

I'm glad you found it useful ... but that's not the same thing as the review being "a useful review" per se.

If a review is to be useful I'd expect it to at least contain the full spec. of the device in question -- preferably in a table, so one doesn't have to sift through all the text to find every detail -- as well some comment as to how the device in question actually performs. Such a review would be considerably longer than the four screenfuls or so that this one takes.

It might also help if the reviewer eschewed the opportunity to ride his own hobby-horse by slagging off other devices before he got started.

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Facepalm

Re: Very useful review,

Dude, the guy said he thought it was useful. Take a chill-pill !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Very useful review,

>expect it to at least contain the full spec. of the device in question -- preferably in a table, so one doesn't have to sift through all the text to find every detail

There is a site that lets you view the specs of any two phones side by side... sorry, I can't remember its name but it can't be more than a few clicks away.

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FAIL

Re: I'll check it out.

Really...

He talked about how "cute" the phone is, and the dual-tone paint job err, what?

Then he said "People friendly" Windphone 8...

What's people friendly about Windphone? I can't even arrange things the way I like....

Ohhh he must mean that all your semi-random facebook contacts automatically get merged with your actual address book?

And his coining of the "Landfill Android" phrase shows bias if not outright shilling for M$...

So, if you prefer fogging, propaganda and spin over plain facts, then this was definitely a nice review.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: I'll check it out.

Normal people do not buy a phone based a on a list of statistics. It would be like buying a car purely for it's bhp and 0-60 rather than things like ride comfort, styling. etc.

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Re: I'll check it out.

Well, I DID check it out, and it works really well. Whether you like the tiles or not is a personal matter of course, but her indoors found it handy as opposed to them little icons elsewhere.

What did however kill it dead was the absence of an FM radio receiver, which IS apparently in the hardware, but not enabled in Win8 (or so I was told). This is supposed to get enabled in future update of Win8. At which point SWMBO muttered something along the lines of 'idiots Nokia Microsoft etc'. and stomped out of the store, angry at me for taking time out of her busy schedule to waste time looking at a useless phone.

Nokia and Microsoft, you made me looke like an idiot, and I will not be forgetting this in a hurry.

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Anonymous Coward

OK, I'm confused... if there's no compass, how does navigation work?

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compass not required

Compass tells you which direction you are facing, this isn't required for navigation which only requires GPS or some other sort of satellite location service which this phone has.

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Go

I guess its got GPS (no mention in the article and too lazy to look for it)

The software simply calculates from where you were a moment ago to know which direction you are heading.

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By GPS aggregation... when you are moving, it's easy enough for it to work out which way you are heading...

By watching which way you are heading...

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same way as all other GPS devices without compass work... i guess they plot the delta from now and the last GPS coordinate and work out direction of travel from there. Of course this won't give you a direction when you're stationary, but that's not exactly an issue.

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The 520 appears to have a GPS chip but no compass so it can tell you where you are but not which direction you are looking in. From a practical standpoint this would stop virtual reality apps such as City Lens from working fully but Nokia Drive should be fine.

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I'd guess it uses GPS to just trace out a route of where you are to where you are going and as you move it'll update the map every now and then to show where you are compared to where you're going. Of course, if you're totally lost on a really long road with no points of reference you may end up going the wrong way, in which case you use the hour hand and the 12 o'clock position on your watch to deduce North and, err, that may not work if you have a digital watch... so find a tree and look for some moss, the moss only grows on one side of the tree and that side is north, or south, maybe east, could even be west... umm.... how did people cope with normal maps before GPS?!

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No compass

The compass is extremely useful in pedestrian navigation.

Calculating the walking direction only from the position information, usually doesn't work so well, due to the precision of the GPS signal. Especialy in urban environments.

It's quite nasty to walk a hundred meters or so, just to realize you are walking in the opposite direction.

For me, the lack of a compass is a no go, but who only uses car navigation, will most likely be fine.

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Windows

Landfill Android

An ironic term used to describe any Microsoft device with a Tiled Display. See also TIFKAM.

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JDX
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No Gorilla glass

Surely everyone puts a screen protector on their pricey smartphone anyway so the smeariness issue is moot?

I'm very tempted to upgrade from my 610 but I guess I'll wait a bit. At this end of the market, it does sound a very good deal - for a basic smartphone apps are less of an issue I would imagine too since that's not what we want a budget phone for.

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Re: No Gorilla glass

"Surely everyone puts a screen protector on their pricey smartphone anyway"

I never have - are they any good?

They seen to me to either be so cheap that if they were any use the manufacturer would be applying them in the factory or so expensive that you want some kind of protector for them . . .

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Re: No Gorilla glass

hmmm ?

Why would the manufacturer not fit something that would prevent you having to buy a new phone the first time you put it in the same pocket as your keys?

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Stop

Where's Eadon....

AND HIS CAPS LOCK?

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Trollface

Re: Where's Eadon....

maybe he has

KEYBOARD FAIL

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Thumb Up

Re: Where's Eadon....

EADON APPEARANCE FAIL!!!

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FAIL

Re: Where's Eadon....

In his absence I'll oblige....

[Insert generic and predictable anti-MS bo**ocks here...]

WINPHONE FAIL

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where's Eadon....

He usually doesn't turn up if he's pre-empted, not always, but we can at least hope that we can have a non-trolly discussion about a phone.

Why do they invoke so much fanboyism, they're just phones.

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Re: Where's Eadon....

EPIC LANDFILL FAIL

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Alert

Re: Where's Eadon....

Who cares about Eadon, where's amanfrommars these days???

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"Pseudo-Ethical"

"Why do they invoke so much fanboyism, they're just phones."

Not for Eadon they're not. No, for Eadon they're part of a whole fucking pseudo-ethical bourgeois ideology.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where's Eadon....

I'm Eadon

...... and so's my wife

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Pint

"and be glad of the larger screen, which makes typing more comfortable"

I believe what you are trying to say is "makes texting (or sexting) more comfortable".

My God, am I that old that I suddenly remember my old IBM keyboard? The clicking sound reminiscent of a writer desperately trying to get thoughts on paper; That was comfortable. This, as well as typing on my s3 or big-ass screen fondle-slab, is not. Beer O'Clock!

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Go

Hmmmm

Tempting IT dinosaur parent phone at that price.

Good to see Nokia back on form in at least one market segment!

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Anonymous Coward

Sony Xperia E

Beats this in every way imaginable. Wherever there is a Windows Phone, there is a better Jellybean Android device.. Sorry....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony Xperia E

Competition is good though? No?

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Re: Sony Xperia E

Screen resolution?

Sony 320 x 480, Nokia 480 x 800

Internal storage?

Sony 4GB (plus 32GB microSD), Nokia 8GB (plus 64GB microSD)

Offline SatNav?

Sony ?, Nokia yes

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony Xperia E

Not inferior products, no.

I would never buy an inferior products (cough Xbox360 cough) just because some random internet mantra told me that Sony had a dominant position and competition is good for gamers...

It doesn't take an idiot to work out where this all originates from... The underdog with deep marketing pockets..

Microsoft need to make a product that people want, not spending their money on trying to tell them what to buy...

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Trollface

Re: Sony Xperia E

Why not? It has worked before. :)

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Go

Re: Sony Xperia E

Scope for a side-by-side comparison article here, eh el Reg? I'd be interested to see it (and too lazy/skint to do it myself!)

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Sony Xperia E

"Next year's landfill"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony Xperia E

Ironic given that all the millions of CURRENT unsold Lumias are being buried in the frozen wasteland outside Salo....

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Anonymous Coward

Now, this is more like it...

Fist things first, lets get any thoughts of bias out of the way. I own a iPhone 4. Haven't seen anything to Make me want to upgrade from Apple, Samsung, HTC or any of the other Android crowd.

I don't mind a walled garden as I want my phone to listen to a little music on, check mail on and use to actually call people.

With the kinds of deals available using sim free or cheap contract this and the 620 are really tempting me,

As someone said the other day OS isn't really that important and I've long since reached the view that needing to use a phone to watch video is too much of a compromise - buy a cheap tablet rather than an oversized phone.

So this is a tipping point. Previously I'd not have even considered win phone 8, because the cost of entry was no different to IOS or decent android. Other family members have cheap android and frankly it's grim, so I didn't want to go there, nor did I want to pay IOS/Decent Droid price.

So now I have an option that really suits me. Good radio performance, decent battery and low price.

I'm very tempted...

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Re: Now, this is more like it...

I've gone the other way. Cheap Nokia Lumia 710 (on WP7) to iPhone 5. This is for the work phone, and I bought the Nokia myself because the Android on the contract was too annoying. I like the OS, but the lag was pissing me off. I definitely think that the really cheap 'Droids are to be avoided. If you need a cheaper one, buy last year's (or 2 years ago) top of the range. Although if Android security starts to be a real problem, you could end up a bit sad and lonely with less likelihood of security patches. Lots of the mid-price 'Droids look pretty good, but I've not seen a £100 that I liked.

The biggest downside of Win Pho is the apps. Unless that's massively improved in the last 6 months. There weren't very many, and lots of them were poor quality. That also helps with the modest hardware. The OS seems to be pretty light on that, whereas I've seen lag just navigating round the home screen on cheap 'Droids. But if you care less about apps then you'll be less worried about low processor/RAM as you won't be doing much multi-tasking.

In my opinion the built-in email and contacts management are better on Win Pho than iOS or Android. Though with Android you can just install better ones. If you mostly use your phone for email and calls, then a cheaper one is a good plan and for that Nokia looks pretty good to me.

One big note of caution though. The lack of Gorilla Glass. I'd wonder about going up to the 720, if it's not too expensive, just for that. Although a decent case also solves that problem.

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Apps

While win phone is certainly still behind android and IOS they really are picking up the pace on official apps over the last couple of months and there are some very talented 3rd party devs creating good alternatives for others. I would love to see what some users here would consider as must haves in terms of apps to do a comparison because there is not much I feel I am missing on wp8 right now.

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Android Android Android

I think you managed to mention Android more times than the phone you were reviewing!

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Re: Android Android Android

Well Android is the rival at this price point. And dominates the market. So it's what this phone's got to be measured against. If you're going to do a review, then the big question is 'do I buy this phone'. And to decide that - you have to refer to the alternatives.

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Re: Android Android Android

The odd thing is the true competitor for a WP8 that price point is S40/Asha made by, er, Nokia.

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Anonymous Coward

The Nokia 520 ISN'T an Android phone???

That's not a joke either. I don't know anything about smartphones and I read the entire article under the impression that this Nokia 520 was an Android phone; it was only the last few sentences that made me think it might be a Windows 8 phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android Android Android

That's because you can't talk about a Nokia phone without some blinkered fanboy posting that Nokia should do an Android phone.

So people are actually trying to quantify why Nokia are doing Windows phone, quite simply because they care about their reputation and the OS scales better. A cheaper WP8 phone provides a better experience than an Android phone at the lower level. Much of the Android phone market is mid range phones with the exception being the Galaxy phones.

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Unhappy

here lies a/the problem

> For many tech-savvy Reg readers the Lumia 520 has too many compromises,

there you go ,

> but I’ll bet you know somebody, a friend or a relative, who would welcome a basic-but-functional smartphone too.

Yep and than i am the one who needs to solve their/the (un)solvable problems with the wp8 and they will ask ME, why, i advised a phone that does not do like an iPhone or an Android.

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Trollface

Re: Windows 8 TO INFINITE FAIL AND BEYOND

Oh, thank goodness! We were worried about you.

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