The Nokia Lumia 520 was the last year’s top selling Windows Phone. It single handedly made a huge impact in budget phone market dominated by cheap Android phones. The new Lumia 525 is build on success of 520. For many, Lumia 525 is same as 520 but its memory (RAM) has been bumped to 1 GB – something that was exclusive to high end Lumias. Does that make a difference? Definitely. Is it worth spending $20 more? In short, yes.
Design and Hardware
The design of the Nokia Lumia 525 is minimalistic, but grabs attention with its bright glossy back covers, which are user replaceable. 520 has matte cover and looks much more reserved. Interestingly, you can use 520’s back cover on 525 if you prefer former’s understated look.
Under the cover, you will find its micro SD card slot. Unlike high end Lumias, the battery is user replaceable. There is micro USB port at the bottom.
On the right, you will find Volume rocker, Lock button, and shutter key. On the left side, there is not a single button or port.
Full size 3.5 mm audio jack sites on the top.
The Nokia Lumia 525 has a 4 inch IPS display. It packs WVGA resolution (800×480) and looks sharp with decent contrast levels. To keep prices low, Nokia did not give it Clear Black technology, so the blacks are not as deep as 620 or 720. Touch screen sensitivity is top notch and has good viewing angles.
Lumia 525 Performance
The phone runs on Snapdragon S4 processor that hums at 1 GHz clock speed and Aderno 305 GPU. As mentioned earlier, the main bump is in RAM department, which while does not increases performance (compared to 520), but does lets you play games and run apps that were earlier supported only on high end Windows Phones with 1GB RAM.
Since Windows Phone is a very well coded OS and does not takes lot of resources, the 525 runs the OS butter smooth. With 1GB RAM, there is more space for background apps to breath. For instance, you can finally use apps like Nokia Beamer on it – something that was not earlier possible on 512MB devices.
Lumia 525 comes with GDR3 update, a k a Nokia Black pre installed. This brings bunch of useful features like folder support; rotation lock; ability to close apps; driving mode and so on.
You get the usual Lumia perks like HERE Drive+, Maps and Nokia Camera app. Nokia Music app with 6 months of free subscription is also included.
There is a 5 megapixel rear camera that lacks flash. Nokia Camera app gives you excellent control over shutter speed, exposure, white balance, and ISO. It takes decent pictures, just not as great at the high end Lumias. If you are into video calling, avoid it as there is no front megapixel camera.
Nokia Lumia 525 Review and Verdict
Lumia 525 is an excellent phone to be used under pay-as-you-go plans. It retails for under USD 200 / INR 10,000, and for that price, it is the best phone in the segment. No other phone offers such smooth user experience, camera UI, and off line maps. However, if you are not a gamer or just want a second solid phone, save $20 / INR 2000 and get the Lumia 520. Find high resolution pictures at flickr.