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Budget-friendly Nokia Lumia 520 comes to AT&T

In addition to selling an inexpensive Windows Phone worldwide, Nokia's latest affordable smartphone will come to a U.S. carrier.

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Jessica Dolcourt
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Jessica Dolcourt

Editorial Director / CNET Money, How-To & Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Money, How-To, and Performance teams. A California native who grew up in Silicon Valley, she's passionate about connecting people with the highest standard of advice to help them reach their goals.

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Nokia's Lumia 520 debuted at Mobile World Congress 2013.
Watch this: Nokia's Lumia 520 is the cheapest Lumia yet in video

Nokia's budget Lumia 520 first debuted as a globally available smartphone fitted with a budget price beyond belief -- about $185 off-contract. Now, it's made its way to the US in two ways, as a prepaid AT&T Go Phone priced at about $100 off-contract, and as the Lumia 521, a T-Mobile variant that also slightly tweaks the price and sells for $120 retail.

The colorful Lumia 520 -- which comes in red, yellow, cyan, white, and black -- or just black with AT&T -- is much flatter than the round, rather bulbous Nokia Lumia 620 sold around the world, and also with AT&T's prepaid arm, Aio Wireless.

A guide to all the Nokia Lumia Windows phones (pictures)

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A pronounced rounded back helps it fit comfortably into the contours of the palm, though its sloping spines make the sharp-edged screen stand out. I could feel it poking into the sides of my hand.

Snappable covers are exchangeable in different colors if you really want to own more than one and go through the trouble of changing them.

There's the usual button placement for the volume rocker, camera shutter button, and power button, though these buttons are a little wider than they are on other, higher-end Lumia phones.

Although there 5-megapixel camera can record 720p HD video, there's no flash. Nokia also bypassed wireless charging, presumably to help keep costs down.

Nokia Lumia 520

The Nokia 520 has a 5-megapixel camera and a 4-inch display

Sarah Tew / CNET

The Lumia 520 sports a 4-inch LCD IPS screen that's got the new Lumia line's supersensitivity to nails and gloved hands.

Rounding out the details are the 1,430mAh battery, the 8GB mass storage, and support for 64GB in expandable memory. If you need more space for your photos and video clips, Microsoft offers its standard 7GB in free online SkyDrive storage.

Nokia 520 Lumia hands on (pictures)

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For a better idea of the 520's strengths and weaknesses, head over to my complete review of the Nokia Lumia 521.