A while back, when the word about Lumia 620 came out, it stirred up things a bit. People were eagerly waiting for the device to come out and it was an instant hit. Then came out the Lumia 520 according to some was an even better deal than the 620. The 520 is still selling in good numbers all around the world. This new device Lumia 521 is essentially the same device but a different version to be sold with T-Mobile with some additional extra apps. We take a closer look on comparison and see how it stacks up against the Lumia 620.
The Lumia 521 has got the design similar to the 520 and it looks great. It has quite a small footprint and a device with 4 inch display just feels perfect. It might feel like small to some but I personally feel that it is just the right size for a mobile phone. The phone is very light and is easy to handle. You can always operate the device with a single hand. It has got a simple black face with three capacitive keys below the display. The back cover or shell is made out of polycarbonate material and you can switch the shell to change the colour of the device. It has been built well and feels like it can live happily with a careless owner.
The Lumia 620 looked good until the 520 and 521 came out. The 620 is a bit smaller due to the 0.3 inch smaller display. Its edges are round instead of the sharp edges on 521. The front, as on most Lumia devices, is simple black with a coloured shell like the 521.
Both the devices feel well built despite of the low cost and look quite good. The displays on both the devices tend to attract a lot of fingerprints. Though the Lumia 521, with those sharp edges looks a bit more attractive as compared to the rounded Lumia 620.
The display on the Lumia 521 is a 4 inch LCD. It has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels which gives you a decent pixel density of 233 pixels per inch. For a device priced this low, that is a pretty good number. The display isn’t exactly great though. The contrast ratios are not very impressive but you get decent colours and brightness. Also the viewing angles are just gross. You won’t be able to share screen content with other people.
The Lumia 620 has got a bit smaller, 3.8 inch display. It is also a TFT screen with a resolution of 480 x 800. As the display is a bit smaller, you get slightly better pixel density of 246 pixels per inch. It has something called the ClearBlack display which might just sound like a marketing term to you but the display is actually better than the one on 521. You get better contrast ratios and viewing angles on this device as compared to the 520. We have absolutely no complaints against the display of this device and it is clearly the better one here.
Both the devices run a similar hardware. They have got Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core processor running at a clock speed of 1 GHz. Both run the same Adreno 305 GPU and have got 512 MB of RAM. This is not exactly high end hardware but the hardware copes up really well with the windows phone OS these phones run. There aren’t any performance issues to talk about. You get the usual connectivity options like Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, micro USB 2.0 and few others. Both phones have got a 5 megapixel rear camera.
There are a few differences though. The Lumia 620 comes with NFC (Near Field Communication) but there aren’t many people that would notice. Another difference is the presence of a magnetometer on the Lumia 620 which isn’t present on the Lumia 521. The most prominent difference however is the front camera. The Lumia 521 misses out on a front camera whereas the Lumia 620 has got a VGA front camera to handle your video calling jobs. Also the Lumia 521 hasn’t got any flash to accompany the rear camera which means your camera would be worthless in the dark.
The battery on Lumia 620 is a BL-4J having a capacity of 1300 mAh while the Lumia 521 has got a BL-5J rated at 1430 mAh. Despite the size difference, both the phones claim of almost the same standby time and talktime.
Both phone run the neat looking tiled interface of the windows phone OS and both have got the same version of the OS. The Lumia 521 has got some apps added by the carrier T-Mobile but there isn’t anything that you would adore. You get some Nokia apps on both the devices which include apps like Nokia Music, Here Maps, Here Drive and Here Transit.
Both have got the coloured interface packed with live tiles which is nice to look at and easy to use. It might take a while getting used to if you are coming from android or iOS. The navigation on this device just doesn’t go as smooth as on other operating systems and this might trouble people who use the phones at crazy speeds.
There is a small difference however. The Lumia 620 has got a magnetometer and thus gets the cool Nokia City Lens feature. This makes use of your position and camera to give you a great view of the world around you.
Both devices are really good deal for the price and have got pretty good hardware. They both look decent and run a really cool and simple operating system. We would recommend the Lumia 620 though as it has got a better display, a LED flash, front camera and Nokia City Lense. That is really worth the extra price you pay over the 521.