TechSpot: Nokia Lumia 525 review: A small update to Windows Phone's most popular handset

Nokia has been especially successful with their entry-level range of Windows Phones, particularly the Lumia 520, which on the back of its dirt-cheap price, quickly propelled itself to be the best-selling Windows Phone. A successor was always on the cards, but what Nokia has provided – the Lumia 525 – is a little unusual.

In nearly every way, the Lumia 525 is the same as the Lumia 520: same Snapdragon S4 SoC, same five megapixel rear camera, same 4.0-inch WVGA display, same storage options and the same design. Nokia has bumped up the RAM from 512 MB to 1 GB, allowing you to run more apps in the background, as well as the latest games. The software included is also the latest and greatest, for what it’s worth.

However, since the Lumia 520 launched at the start of 2013 the entry-level smartphone market has changed; new hardware has been unveiled specifically for budget devices, and older parts have become cheaper. The competition is also ferocious, specifically Motorola's aggressively-priced Moto G comes to mind. How does the Lumia 525 fit into the equation in 2014?

Read: Nokia Lumia 525 review

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17 Comments

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Don't really understand the hype around the 520.

For not much more money you can pick up a 620 which dumps on the 520 from a great height from a specs point of view. The screen alone is worth it over the poor quality (fingerprint magnet) one on the 520.

Walrush said,
Don't really understand the hype around the 520.

For not much more money you can pick up a 620 which dumps on the 520 from a great height from a specs point of view. The screen alone is worth it over the poor quality (fingerprint magnet) one on the 520.

I really don't see the big differences between both.
http://www.gsmarena.com/compar...one1=5147&idPhone2=5869

620 has TFT capacitice, 625 has LCD IPS capacitive, that's the big deal?

Just purchased a 520 on T-Mobile pay as you go as a 'back-up' to my work Sprint phone which has spotty coverage where I live.........and it's fantastic for its price. The performance and WP8 plus all the apps are more than I need. My wife has a Galaxy 3 and she was amazed at the 520. Nice job, Nokia and Microsoft.

So a month ago the screen died on my moderately aged Android flagship. I'd been really interested in checking out WP8 & my carrier is T-Mobile, so I skated off to Target & picked up a Lumia 521 (no cards; paid cash)!

Result: I'm pleased with the WP8 experience, I'm kinda jazzed about the 8.1 update & am more than comfortably covered until the next round of MS/Nokia phones are introduced (looking your way 1020).

So, for a modest price I secured a phone on which to test drive WP8 & have a solid back-up after I move up the hardware ladder. What is there to criticize & what's not to love?

The fact that that the Lumia 525 is Windows Phone's most popular handset doesn't say much that the phone occupies (just guessing....) 90% of WP's 3% marketshare?

VictorWho said,
The fact that that the Lumia 525 is Windows Phone's most popular handset doesn't say much that the phone occupies (just guessing....) 90% of WP's 3% marketshare?

The 520 has about 1/3 of the WP8 market, not 90%.

I was actually considering selling my LG Optimus 4x (a lot higher specs comparing..) to try Lumia, but the 512 of ram are kind of a "little" ... maybe I'll wait a while longer and go for a slight superior model.

Still, for 122$ incl. shipment from AliExpress, for a refurbished phone, for the Original Nokia Lumia 520, I just can't find a better deal.
most cost/value effective phone, and it even a good phone great speaker&mic

Agree. However, I believe this phone is targeted at poor countries. I'm sure a Windows Phone Professional will correct me if I'm wrong. Personally, I'd pay a little more and buy a different brand phone off of eBay or Craigslist.

This phone is unmatched for price-perf/specs in the market. I would say it is pretty good.

JHBrown said,
Agree. However, I believe this phone is targeted at poor countries. I'm sure a Windows Phone Professional will correct me if I'm wrong. Personally, I'd pay a little more and buy a different brand phone off of eBay or Craigslist.

Whaa? For "poor countries", this is still not cheap at $160. The 520 also sold well in the US on AT&T and T-Mobile.

Except for an extra 512 MB of RAM, it is identical to the 520 in every way, including the awful camera and processor from 2012. Price wise, it's a much better deal to just go for the 520.