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8.3 out of 10

Nokia Lumia 521

Great Deal: $1.99

Reviews and Problems with Nokia Lumia 521

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Overall 6

Nokia Lumia 521 Review

27 June 2013
  • Conclusion: The Nokia Lumia 521 is the kind of budget phone that really feels like one. It has some nice aspects – speedy performance, decent design, good call quality – but they’re overshadowed by the mediocre display and slow mobile data speeds. Plus, Windows Phone has it’s own overall problems including too few really great apps. For those customers who really want to stick with T-Mobile, this is your only Windows Phone choice. And at $30 down it’s not a truly terrible one.
  • Pros: Comfortable, compact design, Speedy performance, Good call quality
  • Cons: Narrow viewing angles on display, Screen collects smudges and dirt easily, Mediocre battery life, Slower 4G speeds than most phones
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Overall 5

Expert Review

4 June 2013
  • Excerpt: Of the Windows smartphones available on the U.S. market, Nokia's Lumia 521 is the least impressive. That doesn't stop it from being a beautiful phone – after all, the entire Lumia series boasts graceful curves and a sturdy build quality. As an entry-level device, the 521 will wow anyone who's used to feature phones. Compare it against other Windows phones , though, and the 521 is found wanting.
  • Pros: It's extremely affordable even off-contract, making it great if you want to avoid locking yourself into a carrier for two years.
  • Cons: Its screen is grainy, its camera is mediocre, and its battery and processor are far below par next to other smartphones. Most critically, it can't connect to 4G LTE networks.
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Overall 6

Nokia Lumia 521 (T-Mobile)

LAPTOP Magazine
30 May 2013
  • Summary: The Lumia 521 is an entry-level Windows Phone that offers a lot for much less than other devices. For just $129 (without a contract), shoppers get an attractive and compact design, a capable camera and a user-friendly interface that will please smartphone newbies. Nokia did sacrifice some features -- such as LTE support, a high-res screen and a front-facing camera -- to achieve such an aggressive price. The battery life could also be better.
  • Pros: Quality camera for price, Compact and solid design, Intuitive and customizable interface, Loud audio
  • Cons: Low-resolution display, No 4G LTE support, Below-average battery life, Lacks front camera
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Overall 6

Nokia Lumia 521: One of the best bargains around

25 May 2013
  • Summary: Nokia's Lumia 521 is one of the best bargain smartphones on any platform, but skip it if LTE is of paramount concern.
  • Pros: Nokia's Lumia 521 packs in a better camera and more software features than you might expect for its $150 off-contract price tag.
  • Cons: No LTE, poor screen quality, and no camera flash remind you that the 521 wasn't built to be a premium smartphone.
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