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.
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