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Nokia Lumia 520 review: One of the best budget phones around

Nokia's least expensive Lumia yet is tremendous value on an easy-to-use device. There are more features than you think.

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Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy, team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Samsung, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Jessica Dolcourt
Nokia Lumia 520
We get our mitts on Nokia's affordable new smartphone, which battles budget Android. Sarah Tew/CNET

When Nokia first unveiled its Nokia Lumia 520 this past February, the Windows Phone proved that Nokia could achieve new lows.

That's only when it comes to price, though, not features. As CNET UK discovered while fully reviewing the Lumia 520, Nokia has managed to create a very inexpensive handset that will sell in the U.K. for about 100 pounds at full retail price.

In U.S. currency, that translates to just under $200 without a contract. Luckily for us Yankees, a variant of this 520 is coming to T-Mobile in May, off-contract, as the Nokia Lumia 521.

Here's what you'll find on the Lumia 520: a 4-inch screen with 800x480-pixel resolution, the same you find on the higher-priced Lumia 720 and 820, as well as a 5-megapixel camera and a 1GHz dual-core processor, again just like the Lumia 720.

As with the Lumia 620, you'll be able to change the back cover to a variety of color choices.

Get all the details of the phone's strengths and weaknesses, and take a photo tour in this full Nokia Lumia 520 review.