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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Nokia Lumia 521, the cheapest Lumia yet

What you get

Black and white

Gaining perspective

Now from the side

More about that camera

Bottom's up

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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).

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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