Pros + Interface design beautiful
+ Touch screen is very sensitive and fast
+ Built in speaker has plenty of volume
+ Visual voicemail (free, but have to enable your account)
Cons - No LED flash
- Camera is OK but not great
- Phone case is a bit plasticy
Summary I have been using Android phones and an Apple iPod touch for a few years now and have enjoyed both very much. Lately I have been reading some good press on the Nokia Windows phones and wanted to give it a try. What also got me very interested was that Nokia phones have traditionally had good hardware. I had been using a Samsung Galaxy S Blaze for about a year now and it's been solid but a bit slow. I chose it over faster cell phones because I like a phone that can go a day or two on a full charge. My wife's Samsung Galaxy 2 has a great screen but you better have a charger and a current supply around because extended use will drain it quickly. My Samsung Galaxy also an annoying problem when trying to connect to my built in Bluetooth speaker system in my car. I would have to turn the Samsung Bluetooth on and off to get it connected. This problem never occurred using my older Motorola phone.Edit:
Anyway, ordered the Lumia 521 and figured I could sell it on eBay if it was a dog. I got it july 26 and have been using it a lot.
This phone is really great: it's very fast and the ability to create a custom display with what you really use makes it super easy and frustration free. No more endless side swiping to get to the app you currently need because the Windows animated tiles show what you want in the way you want. Many of the tiles function as small video screens that display information status related to the app. After using it a while I realized how limited the swiping system is in both iOS and Android.
I cannot emphasis how useful and functional this is it real life when you need to get things done efficiently. Microsoft doesn't communicate this effectively and perhaps people are so conditioned to swipe, swipe, swipe to get what they want that no other way seems possible. But it really offers an extremely effective way to monitor the many information streams that mobile phones can provide. You can design a kind of information cockpit with important streams where you want them and less important info streams in a view able but less conspicuous location. And this increased efficiency translates in a better user experience.
I found the interface design beautiful in terms of legible fonts and colors. A pleasure to use. Touch screen is very sensitive and fast, fast, fast. And linking up to my car's hands off Bluetooth system is quick. By the time I turn on the car engine and back out my driveway, it is always connected. No more Bluetooth tag to get a working connection.
For another viewpoint, Google "Wozniak praises windows phone".
Battery easily lasts a day.
Built in speaker has plenty of volume. The 521 camera is OK, not great and there is no built in flash. For a better camera, look to the Nokia Lumia 925 with Carl Zeiss lens. For now I really don't care to spend the $$ as the pictures are good enough.
This weekend I'll put my Samsung Galaxy S Blaze up for sale. Works great but I am keeping the Windows phone.
PS: before you buy this Lumia 521, get more profit and check for best deal at: Smartphonesindy.blogspot.com/p/nokia-lumia-521.html
Thank for reading, I hope it helps.
Updated on Dec 24, 2013
I suggest to check for best deal at: mobilephonesuper.wordpress.com/nokia-lumia-521/
Pros Great experience for a small price
Cons No super camera.
Summary Its time reviewers now how to put value for money in perspective. Give almost 5 stars for a Phone of 700 euros. This Phone is less then 200 and has almost the same experience that should be rewarded. I cant see it in the stars of CNET.
Pros Ease of use.
Tremendous value...around $120 without a contract
Windows Phone 8 OS is a pleasure to use in comparison to Android and IOS...Free Pandora without advertisements until at least the end of the year on Windows Phone 8 is great as well.
Cons If it would have been possible, I would have been willing to pay $10-25 dollars more to really improve the display. The display still works very well overall but it could be better in sunlight.
Summary Excellent phone. Of all the phones out there, Android/iPhones/Windows Phone 8, I feel as though this phone by far is the best value. And I've owned an iPhone in the past and Android phones as well.
The phone is phenomenal for the price paid and as such its a disgrace to give it only 3 stars. Frankly phones should be rated according to their price category to make it fair. Honda Accords aren't judged like high end Mercedes Benz. Price factors in.
It can be had right now for $124 at Walmart without a contract or a little bit less then that at Amazon so you can then take it to T-mobiles affordable and very good prepaid network. Nokia should make a modestly upgraded version of this exact phone for $50 more. Perhaps that would be enough to put in a moderately better display, LTE chip and moderately better camera.
But for $124, I would never have expected a phone to be this good this soon. It blows away my previous Android phone that was over $200 and I like it more then the iPhone 4s. Yes, the iPhone 4s has a better display but this phone has a better operating system. Live tiles work great.
And in comparison to a new iPHone 4s off contract, you save $325 and have a faster phone on the T-mobile network.
Pros WP 8 is such a smooth interface and plugs-in to all my other device interfaces (Work PC, HTPC...). Love it. Much nicer than crash-heavy Android, IMHO. Like it even better than iOS. Hardware is plenty powerful. Phone feels solid in the hand.
Cons No LTE, front facing camera, slippery back cover. But really, for the price, glad they choose to invest that money elsewhere.
Summary Surprised by CNET's low rating. Excellent phone. Prefer it over my wife's Galaxy S2 and iphone 4. That kind of says it all.
Pros Great user interface, quick navigation, not to bad in the sunlight, loud speaker(for a phone), decent camera, and great starter apps.
Cons No front camera, Windows store still lacks but seems to be gaining ground quickly, the back cover seems rather cheap but does the job.
Summary In short with the few glaring cons, which are basically dust off your shoulder because they spent the money where it should have gone and that being into the OS and the internal workings of the phone, which I don't mind. I don't really care about LTE (right now anyways) but my 4G works just fine. It is definitely the phone to get, worth the time and money.