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
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.