The Nokia Lumia 520 is a humble phone. It isn’t flashy, it doesn’t have specs to die for, it isn’t a part of a thriving app ecosystem, it doesn’t even have FM radio!
Being an entry-level Lumia phone, it is also cheap, though it definitely doesn’t look it.
But descriptions can be deceptive.
It is all too easy to be mightily impressed by the bigger, badder phones like the Note 3, the HTC One, and the iPhone 5 (or whichever number is the latest) and feel sorry for your little unpretentious friend. Ha! Not anymore.
I’m a proud owner of a humble smartphone and I have set it up to support my lifestyle in a way that I don’t need anything more sophisticated. Good for me since I can now keep the extra cash in my pocket!
Poor me, huh?
If you own one of these devices too, you will find yourself nodding in agreement as you read this, and also learn a few new ways of making the most of it. If you are thinking of buying a Lumia 520, I say go ahead! But only after reading this.
Yep, it does. It is every bit a looker. I own a red one, which is a cheerful colour but if I ever get bored with it, changing the back case is a matter of minutes. Or seconds, depending on how fast you can do it!
The phone is sleek, lightweight, and sturdy (has survived a couple of falls already). And though Nokia doesn’t claim to be so, I suspect it is scratch-proof, too. But don’t quote me on it, just conveying my experience!
It’s customizable the way I want it
A friend, after going through my Lumia when it was just a few weeks old, remarked to me that my phone had ‘me’ written all over it.
I take that as a compliment!
Seriously, my phone is all about me. It is about my favorite playlists pinned to the home screen, my favorite yoga, meditation, and technology apps gazing at me in the form of big colorful tiles, even my to-do lists for the day in the form of sticky notes pinned right there where I can’t miss them.
Even the theme color is pink (which is my favorite color, no points for guessing!), and which I think goes swimmingly well with the overall blackness of the phone.
So if you are a tad self-obsessed and love to plaster your pictures over everything you own or leave your imprint on everything that belong to you, you are going to love this cutie!
The most wonderful thing about the Nokia Lumia 520 is not that you can customize it but that you can do it to your heart’s desire.
And I like change. I keep moving the tiles around, changing the theme color and the back cases, all of which makes me feel like I have a new phone each time I do it!
I have a thing for music phones. The Motorola phone I owned prior to this one (Moto Rockr) was also a music phone. The Nokia Music store has got a great collection of songs and soundtracks. I can find anything I want in there, and it is all available for free download. Good quality music from a trusted source at free of cost? Yep, I’ll take that.
I have had this phone for 3 months now and I already have more than 400 songs downloaded to it (I honestly cannot think of any more to download). Granted the subscription is only free for a few months, but hey you can use it to your heart’s content and download as much as you want till then.
I’m not a social media junkie but all the big names have a presence on the Windows platform. Personally, I only use Twitter of them all, which works perfectly well on my phone.
Of the apps that I have set up to support my productivity and/or lifestyle are: MyFitnessPal, OM chanting, One Note, Diary, Here Drive + Here Map, a couple of my bank-related apps, a few blog and magazine apps, a couple of news apps, yoga apps, and meditation and motivational apps.
Not exaggerating at all when I say that I have started meditating regularly, and smoking far less courtesy an e-cigarette app, ever since I downloaded the relevant apps to my phone.
Of course, I have more apps too, some of them entertainment and travel-related, but my point is that despite the relatively small app collection on the Windows platform, I have everything I need to support me on the go.
In fact, I only use about 60% of the apps installed on my phone anyway, so not sure if I even need any more!
The camera & related apps
The Nokia Lumia range is now known for excellent cameras and though 520 is its lowest offering (5 MP), the camera is still good — especially in low-light conditions.
The images come out bright and cheerful, and a lot better than those taken by Android phones with cameras of similar megapixels.
The 520 doesn’t have a front camera, true, but I had owned a Motorola touchscreen phone for six years (2007-2013, before I got my Lumia) and have perfected the art of taking selfies with rear camera so I’m not any poorer for its lack in 520.
The Nokia Insta Me and Glam Me are awesome apps if you want to touch up your photos. I mostly leave mine alone but I have tried these apps and by god they can make a world of difference to even the most ordinary of pics!
Conclusion: It’s just the right thing.
I realize that the features I’ve mentioned so far are available on all Lumia phones but where the 520 scores is that it is just the right combination of things.
It doesn’t overdo anything.
What am I going to do with weird sounding units describing the battery power or all those endless specs and gazillion features which tech geeks love to rattle off of their tongues? I couldn’t care less if it’s Android or iOS or whatever as long as my phone works silky smooth (which it totally does!)
I prefer a phone that is simple to use, good to look at, customizable, and fun!
The 520 is all of that.
I know I’d probably love the 920 too, but hey, I don’t need half the features it contains.
You either don’t use all the features you pay good money for, or you end up using them more than you need which basically amounts to you wasting your time and other resources.
This is where the 520 trumps – it serves its purpose, and rather delightfully, too, but does not waste your time. It is interesting and engaging, but stops at the right limit. So that you can get off the phone and get some work done!
Awhile ago, I wrote on my frustration about personal computers, smartphones and tablets as whole; I ditched my laptop for tablets, you can read it over because you’ll sure love it. Here’s why I ditched my laptop for tablet.