Found Numerous Usability Issues In First Week of Use
These are just my opinions based on my limited usage of one Lumia 520 running Windows Phone 8.0
I really did want to like this phone. But, within the first week of use I had a full typewritten page listing issues, actual problems, and personal work-arounds. Really difficult PC tethering (compared to my Android phone), very limited/non-existent file management (supposed to be fixed by adding a built-in Windows Explorer-like app in Windows Phone 8.1), display misformats while panning under zoom (parts of "page" just disappear or are inaccessible...can be seen only when NOT zoomed or double-tapped), poor calendar and alarm flexibility/options and no consistency between the two applications. Uses REALLY tiny fonts (about 1mm high even when specify "Huge" fonts setting), weekly REQUIREMENT to "turn phone off, wait 10 seconds, then back on" (or suffer constant "reminder" messages to do so. Note: that one might be a service provider thing). and so on. Also, to use even BASIC things like the most basic GPS, you MUST apparently agree to giving up your privacy to 3rd parties. Unbelievably, you also can't do "offline" local searches for things stored in the calendar appointments and photos which ARE stored on the phone itself (but can do offline/local search for contacts and call "history"). Everything else takes you to a "Bing" search page which REQUIRES a data plan and apparently more agreement to give up privacy, so if one has a data plan and one has reached the "cap" one either can't do some local device searches (or any GPS) or they will be slowed down by the service provider. Even my ~5 year-old non-SmartPhone could do reasonably accurate GPS without a data connection/plan..
User control over important settings is mostly primitive and minimal granularity. Voice command/dialing was unreliable compared to all other phones I've used. I consider myself lucky if it works even after multiple attempts.
Cell tower voice connection was not very consistent, even when 3 bars were showing. My other phones in the same physical location and using the same service provider, as far as I know I'd never previously had a connection dropped mid-call due to loss of signal when at my desk. This issue persisted while holding the phone by hand away from the antennas as depicted in the manual, and also with the phone clamped in a plastic holder (no nearby metal or flesh to interfere with signal).
Fortunately, for this case, I just needed an inexpensive phone for playing the occasional song, sending/receiving texts, and making/receiving calls that I wouldn't mind too much if it was accidentally destroyed or failed for some reason. I also thought I'd give Windows Phone OS a try.
And of course, there's the apparently non-standard 4-contact headset socket which wasn't mentioned in any product literature. Can't use any of my old phone wired headsets. Have to buy new (proprietary?) headset and audio connector cables (if one doesn't use Bluetooth).
On the plus side, Bluetooth connectivity and range is much better than any of my previous phones. It's actually close to the ~30ft spec. The camera and DVR mode both work quite well in good lighting.
I would recommend an Android 4+ phone every time over a Windows 8 phone if one expects to do anything sophisticated.