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on December 28, 2013
I really like this phone. And I'm very much liking the Windows Phone OS. I've used Android for years, but this is just so clean and solid. Lots of the apps I was using on Android are available on WinPhone OS now, and the Nokia apps like maps and Driving aid are excellent (like you can download maps by state or country to have offline -- makes the data streaming much lighter). Also some new apps just showed up (like Microsoft solitaire) that completed stuff I was looking for. Nokia also has upgraded their suit of apps, and the new camera beta is really powerful. Hard to believe you get all this for such a good price. Did I mention the replaceable battery, or the microSD card slot for storing pictures, videos, and music? Even has an FM radio built in -- not an Internet one (which it can do too), but a real radio, which is just cool. Also saves on data streaming if there's a radio nearby you like to listen to. (BTW, I got an unlocked one because I don't use ATT and I travel to Asia a lot. It was just as advertised. I believe it came from Malaysia as the system languages out-of-the-box were English, Chinese, and Malay. But it is easy to add other system languages to this WinPhone. I did it.
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on August 30, 2013
No Contract, no payments, just a great phone with the underrated Windows 8 phone OS. Camera is the greatest but this is a phone right? Should not have put Angry birds on it because now the kids are always trying to steal it so they can play. I like how Windows organizes People into Groups.

This is an excellent budget smartphone for cheapskates that want a modern Smart phone.
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on June 5, 2014
I purchased this smartphone as a backup when I recently ordered an Unlocked Motorola Razr MAXX HD as my primary phone but received a Razr HD instead. I needed an inexpensive backup phone during my wait for my MAXX HD to arrive in the mail, but was impressed at how nice a phone this Unlocked Quad-Band Nokia 520 really is. I use Simple Mobile cell service and needed a phone that used their frequencies 1700/2100. Note: Simple Mobile uses the T-Mobile network at discount prices. Some information for this phone states that it's only a 3G phone, but I'm getting 4G service with no problem. Web pages load quickly; call quality is excellent; battery life is much better than my Motorola. I like that this phone has Windows 8.0 OS installed on it - Android updates can be a pain sometimes. Overall, this entry level phone has exceeded my expectations and I like the size since it fits nicely in my front pocket. The only problem that I must report on is more of a design flaw - the power button, that's also used to wake up the phone, is located on the right side of the phone and easily pressed by accident. The power button should be on top instead. Would definitely recommend this smartphone for anyone looking for an inexpensive entry level phone that thinks it's a higher end model.
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on May 30, 2014
Why did you choose this rating?

For the price is the BEST smartphone you can get.

When you have it in your hands you do not believe it has been so cheap.

What did you like or dislike?

PROS:
Windows Phone 8 is very cute and run smoothly most of the time.
Camera and Nokia apps make a great job with good light.
Here Drive app is the best GPS app in any platform I tried.

PS: If you want 3G 850/1900 you may choose model RM-915 (AT&T, Venezuelan Movistar, Movilnet) or RM-917. If you want 3G 900/2100 you may choose model RM-914.

CONS:
No led flash.
Lacks of apps in marketplace.

Who would you recommend this to?

Yes, I recommend this phone for those who need to stay connected and don't want to spend much money.
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on November 6, 2013
[Updated Dec 2014 after 1 year]

I got an unlocked Nokia 520 (4-band GSM, int'l) for $150 from Hasslefree Cell via Amazon. It arrived quickly and in perfect condition. I installed a TMobile prepaid SIM card. I've bought a few apps from the MS App Store and have learned some things that may help others now, so I'll discuss them briefly.

I wanted a basic phone with media player capabilities, at low cost. I have all "connectedness" turned off and so can't comment on the Facebook etc apps, nor on the maps and GPS. I have WiFi 'on' only when I'm downloading apps. I put in a 32GB SD card because I wasn't sure how well it all would work; in retrospect 64GB would be justified. The phone came with Windows Phone 8 which subsequently upgraded easily to WP 8.1,

I originally bought YXPlayer to watch videos, but it had issues and stopped working completely with WP 8.1. So I switched to Moliplayer Pro which seems fine. The 520's bundled music player will play MP3s directly, but still without a dragbar, and space on the phone is limited. If you use that app you'll want to properly tag the files (Artist, Album, Track Name) so the player can sort them out.

I bought Fiction Book Reader which handles .MOBI and .EPUB books just fine. To use it, first put the book files on the root (not in a subfolder) of the SD card. Then use the down-arrow button within FBR to import the file into FBR's workspace in the phone's memory.

I was worried that the 4" screen might be too small for films or even books, but it's just big enough. A 4.3" phone would be better, but this is pretty cool: personal theater in the palm of your hand. Perfect for travel, especially with the ability to use a local SIM card in almost any country.

Most reviews of the 520 oddly omit the MS Office (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint) tools that come with the phone! With these you can view existing documents and make text and spreadsheet cell value changes. I find this amazing on such a tiny device. Windows Phone 8.1 seems to have added the ability to read and write these docs to the SD card, which is great, plus they can be retrieved from SkyDrive.

The WP8.1 upgrade added the "Cortana" voice-recognition app. This relies on the internet for almost everything, and is generally useless to me personally since I don't maintain connectivity. Because my phone was evidently redirected from the Malaysian market I had to change a few settings for Cortana to appear in the apps list. Key among these were to have the region set to US; to have US (not UK) English at the top of the language list; and have US keyboard at the top of its list.

I wanted Cortana enabled because it includes "Quiet Time" which at last lets me specify the only phone numbers that I want to get calls from. To do this, create each of your special numbers as a Contact; then select them individually to create an "Inner Circle" group. I set Quiet Hours to "On" with schedule "Everyday" and active from 10AM - 10AM i.e. 24/7. I enabled the options to let my Inner Circle break through, along with anyone who calls twice in three minutes. Finally... spam phone calls are stopped. They would still go to voice mail but I turned that off too, pending a fatal virus that affects only telemarketers.

Why a simple whitelist isn't native to Windows Phone 8 is beyond me, but at least I have it now.

WP8.1 also added the ability (or I missed it earlier) of installing or moving apps from the internal storage to the microSD card. With a 64GB chip your pocket device can have hundreds of TV shows, audiobooks, ebooks, apps, pictures etc.

Overall the Nokia 520 represents amazing value; probably unbeatable if your needs are like mine. Especially since the price has now (Dec 2014) dropped to $80! I love it.
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on September 2, 2013
Average review not for the device itself, which is actually a fine smartphone.

I was upgrading from the HTC HD7, I wanted to get a WP8 device, and the Lumia 520 was specced appropriately for my use. The price here seemed reasonable for a last-gen phone, and although I assumed I wouldn't be getting a retail-packaged device, I did kinda expect a brand new OEM-packaged US unit. What I actually got was a Canadian-branded (Koodoo) pay-as-you-go package that had quite clearly been returned (the blister pack had been re-taped where it was sliced and the inner plastic was crumpled and dirty). The phone itself was clean enough and everything works fine. I've hooked it up to StraightTalk and it's actually a great phone - much faster than my HD7 and some great new features in WP8.

I just thought folks should be aware that you may not get a brand new device, even though I didn't see anything on the product page to indicate it was used.
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on October 28, 2014
I bought the phone for use in Africa. It was easy to connect and works great. Easy to make phone calls, surf the web, use email , etc. It was really worth the money. It was a smart idea that I bought three batteries with it, because with any phone, the more you use it, the fast the battery runs out. I am extremely happy with this purchase.
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on June 6, 2014
I got the phone, had it shipped all the way across the world, and guess what! It won't come on! I have tried everything. It won't come on!
Returning it is not an option. I would spend the cost of the phone having It shipped back. Just as a warning to others in my condition. DO NOT BUY! You'll be out $100 and with no phone!

An update to this review.
I spent the weekend googling my Nokia Lumia will not start, and then googled, my Nokia Lumia is stuck on the start-up page and I got excellent help. It seems you need to follow the following steps;

Step 1
Make sure the power is OFF
Press and hold the volume down and connect the charger, if succeed an exclamation mark (!) is down on the screen.
Step 2
Then input keys in the following order
Volume Up
Volume Down
Power
Volume down

The screen will then go black.
Give the phone about 10 minutes without touching it. Then a set of rotating screws showed on the screen, and then the phone came on.

It was a bit of a scare and I am told I must never let the phone's battery die down, because I really do not want to go through that again. But so far, so good for the phone.
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on January 10, 2014
PROS: +unlocked smartphone for less than $150, +AGPS+maps, +office suite, +OneNote app, +email clients, +data usage limit monitor/cutoff background app, +many 2G/3G/4G bands +3.5 mm audio jack. CONS: -single volume setting for ringtone and music (WP8.0 GDR2). * * This phone is small size so it fits pants pocket easily together with wallet or even keys. Downside of course that screen is 4 inch with 480x800 resolution which is not that fantastic for productivity. The phone case is some sort of mix between rubber and plastic. This phone might .. maybe .. perhaps .. survive some smaller drops without a extra protective case which is rare in the smartphone category. I appreciated the easy plugin of 3.5 mm computer stereo headphones. Sound recording in OneNote using phone own microphone and playback through headset worked. Having top notch maps and navigation download for free with the phone price is definitely added value. Lumia 520 does not have front facing camera. Skype video is possible but other party will see backside camera view. Having 2 mirrors would substitute for missing front cam, but doubt anybody would bother :-) JAN-31-2014: WP8 OS update GDR3 available, matching firmware: Lumia Black. ** UPDATE: 9/2012: battery level became always LOW after 6 months of use, first accidental drop from 3 feet height = survived the impact!
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on June 7, 2014
I read others reviews that said their Nokia 520 came locked. Don't be an optimist like I was and hope yours comes unlocked like so many others have. Mine came LOCKED. My local cell phone provider attempted to install their SIM so I could use their pay as you go no contract plan but told me it was LOCKED. I personally would not trust this dealer to provide what they claim. They seem very hit or miss on being able to provide unlocked 520's. As usual, Amazon is very good about returns.
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