Nokia Lumia 521 Review – Smartphone On A Budget

Nokia Lumia 521 Review – Smartphone On A Budget

By Michael Horton Leave a Comment

For the last few weeks I’ve been enjoying the world of smartphones. Finally. Their usability along with great portability becomes a part of core daily carry automatically. I feel like I’m finally ready to do a review on my Nokia Lumia 521 Windows Phone. Just like all of reviews I’ll break down the pros and cons into a list and then summarize the key issues. So let’s get into it!

Nokia Lumia 521 Review

The Nokia Lumia 521 profile.

  • Size
  • Build quality
  • Design
  • Power to Price Ratio
  • Price
  • Buttons
  • Removable Back Cover
  • Expandable Storage (mircoSD)
  • Micro USB
  • Camera (5MP)
  • Touchscreen
  • 4G and antenna placement
  • Wifi Calling
  • Windows OS
  • Nokia
  • Screen Resolution
  • No LED Flash
  • On board storage (8GB)

Nokia Lumia 521 Review

The Nokia Lumia in hand.

The Good:

First things first. This phone is considered a budget phone and we have to acknowledge that of course it’s not going to compare to other high end phones, Windows, Android or Apple. It’s more comparable to devices like cheaper Androids and maybe the iPhone 4 and 4s. So you may be wondering what makes this phone a winner over its rivals. Easy! It’s cheaper but functions a whole lot better than any other “budget” phone I have ever used. For $80 dollars on you can get a full-fledged Windows smartphone running the latest operating system for use through T-Mobile and I believe since it isn’t under contract (its your phone) thus can either be unlocked for free or is already unlocked. The phone itself is super sturdy and even without a case feels great in the hand. Don’t know if it can handle drops on pavement without cracking (and don’t plan to find out) but with a case or just falling on carpet this phone passes just fine. Call quality is very good on this phone, the person is very clear on my side and those I have called say I sound just as clear on the other end. Since it’s a smaller phone and isn’t packing a lot of power programs out of the box its battery life is great even though it has a smaller 1430 MAmP (milliamp) Li-Ion battery. Charge times are quick though. The speaker is the most surprising piece of hardware on this device even though its smaller than almost all of its competitors it actually can pump out as much or more volume than its rivals and I’m talking compared to my iPad mini and my friends iPhone 4 all without huge distortion besides being a little tinny. Honestly though, I’m a beats guy so all phone or small speakers sound tinny to me. Nokia is a great phone designer and builds a great Windows Phone for Microsoft. They are also the only company who specially tailors each Windows phone to not only run the same operating system but also run smoothly with or without more power. So even though my phone is the most powerful, Nokia specially designed it to run at its peak range without sacrificing power or creating choppiness or crashing. It hasn’t crashed on me yet and I would say I have pushed it. The 4G connectivity is cool and a little faster than 3G but not by much. This helps conserve battery and the phone operates great on that speed anyway. It  does not seem slow to me at all.

Nokia Lumia 521 Review

The back with camera, speaker, and all buttons on one side.

The Bad:

Being a so called budget phone it is missing some things that other phones might have such as a front facing camera or LED flash. The latter is pretty useless on about 88% of smartphones, the lack of a front facing camera is a bummer but then again not sure I want to take a lot of selfies. Probably the biggest annoyance is the storage only being 8GB which I’ve taken care of by using my microSD card, but it’s a process to take that card out. Bottom line there are some things I wish I had with this phone but more options and power cost more money which is why this phone was such a deal in the first place. The screen is also on the low end and isn’t very sharp at all but for the size works ok.

The Bottom Line:

This phone works and I can download all of the popular apps that I use regularly. The phone has a 4 inch screen, it isn’t the best but works well even in the sunlight because of some special coloring method by Nokia (don’t ask how or what or why, all I know is I can still see it no matter what light). All in all this phone is a good solid phone that isn’t slow or running on an old OS (cough android). I like my Windows Phone and just the fact that I have one! It’s performance doesn’t totally wow me or disappoint. The Nokia Lumia 521 just does what I want it too like all of my Windows devices.