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,
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 …
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.
>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.
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.
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.
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.
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?!
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.
"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 . . .
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!
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...
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...
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
Speak for yourself... personally I was hoping (against hope) for some adult-level discussion, as opposed to what is pretty much the same comment as has been made for the last two years being trotted out yet again.
(If you don't believe me, check out his profile and start with the oldest comments - it reads something like the subtitles of those "Hitler" vids that were doing the rounds a while back.)
"WINDOWS PHONE 5-YEARS BEHIND LOCKED DOWN FUGLY FAIL"
So you're saying that Windows Phone has failed at being 5 years behind, locked down and fugly? That's surely a good thing.
I recommend aquainting yourself with the actual meaning of the word 'fail' before you try using it in sentences.
Oh, and just in case your confused, yes, 'fail' can be written in lower case.
I assume you didn't read the comments Eadon. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who thinks you're not welcome anymore...
But, since you're obviously a troll, you probably don't care. Haven't fed the troll for a while, but I couldn't resist the urge (it's Friday after all). My apologies to other commentards.
@eadon: I won't say FOAD (I'm not that bad), I will however say FO and STFU if you have nothing substantial to say. And you don't.
Surely, this is the Windows Phone you've been waiting for? One that's cheap enough to warrant buying one on a regular basis to offer up as a blood-sacrifice to the great god of Ad Peddling Data Grabbers, the Google Monster.
Oh, and you don't need to shout - it makes you sound like the shouty bloke in the Cillit Bang! ads...
My sentiments exactly.
I was burned by the WinPho7 Lumia 800 not being upgradable to WinPho8. So I sold it (£250), went back to an HTC Wildfire (£40) and installed Ice Cream Sandwich on it.
That's quite an upgrade path for a £40 phone. I don't think I'll get that with a WinPhone, though, so I'm staying away from that platform - despite the low cost of this Nokia. Once bitten, twice shy.
Fuck you MSFT. You hear me? FUCK YOU.
No Dave, HTC did not give me the upgrade to ICS.
They DID give me the ability to unlock the bootloader.
An hour reading XDA-Developers and I had ICS running smooth as silk with the CPU overclocked to 700MHz.
As to the other gonad on here questioning my sales price. You might be correct. I can't remember whether it was 250 or 180 but I do know it was >£100. So my original point remains.
I was burned by the WinPho7 Lumia 800 not being upgradable to WinPho8. So I sold it (£250)
Really? You sold your second hand Lumia for £250? That's more than they cost new six months ago when WP8 was released, so you must be quite the salesman.
Even before WP8 non-compatibility was confirmed the 800 was going for less than that in any colour you like on eBay (I know 'cause I was looking).
"Shame about the OS"
If this phone was running either Android or IOS it would be pants. If it was running Android the battery life would be awful & if running IOS6+ its performance would probably be crap (like it is when running on some of the earlier iPhones). Hate to say it but WP8 like WP7.8 does appear to be slicker and and better suited to less powerful phones than either of the two other choices. So why the hate? It's a phone, get over it.
Not sure which recent Nokia's you've used, but just going ont he 920...
By all 'quality' review opinions and test, best in class, especially in darker shots, and class leading video image stabilisation too.
So I'd call that a 'decent camera'.
And ease of use? I presume you've not used WP8 much? Again, by any reasonable review, it's THE easiest to get into, and just 'use'.
To avoid flame war: Android and IOS each has their advantages, but on the two things singled out here, I really think the Nokia has it won against a Sony Android.
Who said anything about instagram? If I want to make all my pictures brown I will rub a used teabag on them, seriously, I think you missed the point, I was talking about the N8, 12 megapixel camera, Carl Zeiss optics with an Xenon flash, great at taking shots in all light conditions, this came out in 2010, compare that to any other Nokia apart from the 808 and you will not find a better camera, it’s hard to find any type of phone at anything less than £25 a month that’s equal or better to the N8.
This was a camera phone for people who liked photography, you can’t carry an SLR with you at all times, and I stopped using my digital camera because the phone was better.
If all I was doing was instagraming baby pics, do you think I would give a crap what the camera was like? I want a phone I can ring people, text, and has a decent camera on it, Just because you’re an app whore who needs to be online all the time to distract you from life and feel wanted doesn’t mean everyone else is.
With a recent arch linux, the 800 shows just an empty pseudo-filesystem. I admit I didn't try moving music there, as before (wp 7.5?) it had an intentionally broken MTP implementation, and by the time I upgraded it to 7.8 and found out it now shows up in Linux I had already given up on using it for more than a feature phone, so I had no incentive to test it more.
I just plugged my Lumia 820 into a laptop running Red Hat and it appeared as two filesystem devices, one for the card and one for the built in storage. It did throw up a few errors, such as can't connect to camera, but I could load images off it. I didn't try to write to it as I'm not at home and hadn't taken a backup, but I can't imagine that you'll not be able to write if you can read.
The comparison with cheap Androids is not really relevant, I suspect. This phone maybe a calculated risk for those already on the Windows Phone train to kit out their kids but at what cost? Won't people just start looking at the Nokia range and going for the cheapest? And if they think that a phone is somehow light on features then they'll go Android. Personally, I think leaving off the flash on a cameraphone will deter punters. Point, click and "share" being one of the main reasons for buying a phone nowadays.
for the past week as a backup to my Galaxy Note 2 (Had a heart attack 3 months ago so want a backup phone on a different network just in case)
My experience of it is that as a basic smartphone its very nice and once you get used to windows phone 8 it turns out to be a nice OS to use for the basics like phone, SMS, browser etc.
This has taken me to the point where I would seriously consider going for a top end windows phone, most likely the Nokia 920 or similar next time.
OK theres not that many apps, and you can't set the OS UI like you can with android, but then again its a phone and I have my tablets (Nexus 7 & Galaxy Note 10.1) for that....
Got a family member like your mum etc who is not yet trained on phone OS like Android ? Well I would go for this instead of a very expensive iPhone any day.
thought you might like to know that if an emergency crops up and you need an ambulance dialling 112 off your mobile will ALWAYS get you connected no matter what network you're on. some really useful info in this youtube vid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPZv_8dABfU&feature=player_detailpage
@James Hughes 1: "I have no idea why your post got any downvotes at all" - really? After nearly a year since joining, I'm surprised you haven't spotted that some children automatically downvote anyone who doesn't agree with them...
"Purely your experience and sensible commentary" is wasted on these people - they're too busy keeping their eyes closed, their fingers in their ears and screaming "I AM RIGHT, YOU ARE WRONG!"...
I'd feel sorry for them, if I thought they were worth the effort.
as my 'walking about' phone (main phone is a Galaxy Note). Phone is well made and call quality excellent. WP8 runs very smoothly and is a pleasure to use, I'd give it a try before writing it off. Only downside for me is no notification LED (and no NoLED app equivalent), notifications appear on the lock screen instead.
The line "the Android user experience – without the supercharged hardware and large batteries of high end Android devices – is pretty lousy" that just shows how out of the touch the author is with other OSs and the handsets running them.
The wife's Android Acer CloudMobile is hardly "high end" but it works a treat - fast, stable, good battery life (and removable), decent 4,3inch 720p screen and it only cost her £180 unlocked.
I'm starting to think the author of this review owes Nokia a favour.
"The wife's Android Acer CloudMobile is hardly "high end" but it works a treat - fast, stable, good battery life (and removable), decent 4,3inch 720p screen and it only cost her £180 unlocked"
So your wife's phone cost £80 more than this one' costs. I'm beginning to think the OP owes Android a favour
Would love to see you do some kind of updated comparison of the app stores for WP, android and IOS. The windows phone store I am certain is still behind the other 2 however is improving with official apps being released it feels like weekly right now. I think the biggest knock users on the other 2 platforms have always had for WP is the available apps and it would be cool to see some updated side by sides to perhaps put away some of the misinformation from 6 months ago...
My Japanese Blackberry devoted wife arrived in the country a week ago so we went shopping for a phone. Having bought the Lumia 800 myself in late 2011 and loving the Win Phone interface I guided her to the same OS. She ended up picking the Lumia 520 for its size and style over the other offerings from Nokia and HTC.
I have been using it a fair amount myself and think it is superb for the money. She is still getting used to it (missing her favourite hard-key keyboard still) but is continually impressed by what it can do and how quickly too. The fingerprints on the screen really were a surprise (so many!) I have not had a low end mobile without the anti-oil film coating stuff before. We got a cover to put over it and is much better.
Great little phone, well done Nokia!
I think the "landfill" idea is a year out of date. For similar money to the 520 and 620 on PAYG you can now get the Sony Xperia J with a bigger battery, Gorilla Glass screen, webcam and camera flash or the Huawei G510 with a 4.5 inch IPS screen, dual core 1.2GHz chip and a web cam. Both currently run Jelly Bean.
I'm not saying either is necessarily better than than Lumia 520/620 but sub-£150 Android devices are no longer the under powered no-name junk they were at the start of 2012.
PAYG phones are also subsidised. Neither of the models you cite are "sub-£150" if you try to buy them SIM-free. Experia is £170, Huawei £160 if you buy them not locked to a network. Close to the Nokia, but still more expensive.
I think the landfill comment is a fair shorthand for Android's ever-rising minimum requirements and the platform's poor update management. It doesn't help that many of these performance-sapping updates are applied by stealth. When new, a cheap Android is fine, especially if manufacturer has trimmed some of the heavier features from the stock software suite, but give it a year, and it will have been rendered nearly unusable by a procession of ever more demanding system updates that seem to enable the kitchen sink by default.
After a year, the Windows Phone will have kept the same performance it had when new. Battery life is the problem for Windows Phone, though (and Android, but Android phones seem to come with bigger batteries). Lumia 800's battery life was as bad as any Android. This series seems to be better, but still not good enough.
Extortion (because that's what it is, when you falsely claim that someone owes you money) isn't to be relied on as a revenue stream, though. If the manufacturers got together they could all refuse to pay the bogus patent royalties, and Microsoft wouldn't be able to do a thing about it.
I have had a Windows phone since last November and have been more than happy with it, I like the tile interface for a phone (though not on my desktop) and currently prefer it over whatever android or apple has to offer.
In the end its a phone, I use it for calls, text, email, facebook, browsing, music & podcasts, reading books and the occasional game of angry birds, I'm pretty sure that all smartphones can mange that I just prefer the winphone for now. Sorry
Last year I used a Lumia 710 as my “roaming” phone (I travel a lot and have local SIMs), but when MS left WP7 users high and dry I wondered if I could really trust the platform.
Then two triggers changed my mind: first at the iP5 launch when Jony Ive banged on about beautiful hardware. Apple should have lost me there and then, I was thinking hell I don’t want a piece of jewellery even if I can blow over 500 quid, I want a functional communications device. Yet because of my poor experience with WP7 I played safe and believed the lad.
The second trigger was Office 365 Home Premium. Now, I live in Office all day, and it wasn’t until I subscribed to 365 that I started to appreciate Skydrive, OneNote etc. Yes I know these are all available for iOS but the prospect of consistency led me to reconsider WP8.
The iPhone's lightness set the benchmark for my WP8 search. Non-Nokia handsets were out of the question since I’d already found their baked in apps are best of breed, especially navigation. A top end Lumia 920 would be over 50% heavier than my iP5 which drew me to the model that had least heft.
I was about to press Buy on a Lumia 520 when I read that it doesn’t support map downloads outside its home SIM area, ie you cannot presently upgrade to Here+. Deal breaker – I need those maps wherever I travel, and can’t stomach resetting the device each time with a new locale to match my SIM. So Lumia 620 it was, and though it’s not perfect it echoes all the reasons I used to buy Nokias way back before cell phones became art – simplicity, quality and value. And the gaps in the app store are filling up, there's no more I need but a few I miss. Some apps are really elegant - Londoners could check out Next Bus UK Live for a masterclass in clean design and function.
Android? It all seems a bit chaotic, and the features arms race between Samsung and Apple leaves me cold and makes the elegant simplicity of WP even more compelling. WP8 makes sense at present, and at 150 quid these handsets make me feel like I've been screwed all these years.
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