My Windows Phone Experiment Begins: Nokia Lumia 520 – Initial Impressions

Amazon had a Daily Deal last week on the Nokia Lumia 520 tied to AT&T’s pre-paid GoPhone service.  I confirmed I could forego activating the 520 as a phone and simply use it as iPod Touch-like device over WiFi, so I picked it up for $39.99.  I didn’t expect much for 40 bucks, and I haven’t yet been really impressed, but neither have I been disappointed.

The Lumia 520 seems small, which is strange considering it has the same 4” screen as my iPhone 5S.  It definitely feels like an inexpensive phone, being made more of plastic than anything else.  But I keep reminding myself – this isn’t a phone that cost me $200 with a 2 year commitment, or $600 without one – this is a phone that cost me $40.  And for $40, it isn’t bad.

I reviewed a Windows Phone last year, the Nokia Lumia 920.  So I’m somewhat familiar with Windows Phone, and I’d say, especially having spent the last year adjusting to Windows 8 at work, I have to say it appeals to me on the phone just like it does on a tablet at the office.  While I am not a fan of the multiple tile sizes, especially on a screen this small, I find the tile paradigm itself appealing.

One thing that impressed me about this low cost device is that I was able to upgrade it to the latest version of Windows Phone, 8.1, immediately.  I wonder if I could buy a decently-equipped Android phone to use over WiFi for just $40 that would also run the latest and greatest version of Android?

I’ve played with Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri, for just a short while so far.  While I am impressed with its ability to recognize my voice, its ability to respond to my queries seems fairly limited.  I’ll have more to say on that in another week or so, I would imagine.

I’ll keep repeating this – for $40 I like this little device just fine.  Can’t say I’d want to carry it or use it as my real phone, but as a tool to use to learn more about Windows Phone, why not?


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