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Meet the ultrabudget Nokia Lumia 521 (pictures)

Nokia's ridiculously affordable $150 smartphone may not be the pinnacle of craftsmanship, but it's a sturdier, more capable phone than you may think.

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Jessica Dolcourt

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1 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Nokia Lumia 521, the cheapest Lumia yet

Nokia is pushing the threshold for affordable Windows phones around the world, but with T-Mobile's Lumia 521, Nokia has hit upon a great combo of low price ($150 off-contract) and features.

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2 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

What you get

Running Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 521 has a 4-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera with 720 HD video capture, and a host of extra Nokia apps for turn-by-turn directions and streaming radio.

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3 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Black and white

The Lumia 521's matte white finish looks a little dull in real life, but contrasts strikingly with the black face and side buttons.

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4 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Gaining perspective

It's harder to tell from a photo, but the Lumia 521's screen is far duller and more reflective than the Verizon Lumia 928's (left).

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5 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Now from the side

The white polycarbonate Lumia 521 (top) is curvier, thicker, and less premium-looking than Verizon's high-end Lumia 928.

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6 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

More about that camera

There's no flash or front-facing camera on the 521, but this Lumia takes better low-light images than you might imagine, and can capture 720p HD video that stays sharp thanks to autofocus software.

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7 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Bottom's up

The phone's top edge holds the headset jack, but it's the bottom that houses the Micro-USB charging port.

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