Nokia Lumia 521 (T-Mobile)

Product Features Entry 4G Windows 8 Smartphone 4? WVGA LCD display 5MP Camera – Snap creative photos with built-in digital lenses Dual Core (1GHz) Processor Listen to your favorite songs with Nokia Music Dimensions Size (LWH): 2.5 inches, 0.4 inches, 4.9 inches Weight: 4.48 ounces Product Features Network Compatibility: GSM

$ 63.99


  1. Amazon Customer says:
    782 of 813 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Phone – AMAZING price!, June 2, 2013

    This review is from: Nokia Lumia 521 (T-Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)

    Let me first start of by saying, this is an amazing phone! I bought it as a cheap entry into Windows Phone 8, and I’m completely blown away. I wasn’t expecting this. This phone was going to be something I use as a backup, but I’m currently using this as my daily driver, and I love it!

    Let me also say, that I’m not new to the world of smart phones. I consider myself a techie enthusiast that buys and tries new phones / tech every few months or so. I’ve been on every phone carrier, and tried every platform except for WP8 (until now). I’ve also picked up every iPhone released (1st gen to iPhone 5), and I’m HEAVILY invested in Google services. I’ve had the last 3 generations of Galaxy S devices, tried many of the Verizon Droid line devices (X, Droid, Droid2). My most recent love has been the pureness of the LG Nexus 4. The fact that I’m impressed with this budget device is no small thing.

    -Fantastic Battery Life – (Appears to hold its charge while on stand by like an iPhone. Unlike Android phones that continue to drain heavily even without use. The phone also charges fairly quickly since the battery only rated at 1430mAH).

    -Great Nokia Construction – (Nokia does an amazing job with plastics. Remember the days of the old Nokia 3300’s? You could drop those things over and over again without worry. I have nearly the same confidence in this phone. Something you definitely don’t see in other phones these days. The phone even has a good weight to it. Not the light, cheapy feeling you get from some Samsung devices).

    -Removable Rear Cover – (Most WP8 phones that I see – even other Nokia ones – don’t have a removable back. I was very pleased to see one on the 521. Scratch or crack a back? No problem! Replace it. Hopefully there will be some 3rd party support here making other colors and designs. I haven’t had the need for it yet, but I can’t tell you how many battery pulls I’ve had to do with some of my Android phones. I like knowing that if I ever have to reset my phone, I’m just a pop of the cover away. Even the buttons come off with the cover! This means if you ever have wear on the buttons, it’ll be replaced with the new cover you put on there as well).

    -Dedicated Camera Key – (From what I’ve read online, this is a feature implemented by WP8. I was glad to see that this transferred even down to their entry level 521. I like having quick access to my camera, and this is a feature that is rarely seen on Android devices, and has NEVER been on an iOS device. It’s also a 2-stage button. 1st click focus, 2nd click snap).

    -Acceptable Camera – (Now, you might be wondering why this is a Pro, since the camera is only a 5mp sensor. However, considering the 5mp limitation, I was very impressed with its quality. Even in low lighting, images are very acceptable. I rate this camera higher than my iPad3 & iPod5, and probably the best 5mp phone shooter that I’ve seen so far).

    -Great Speaker – (This was something that I didn’t even care about right away. Then I tried using this to play some music from Pandora, and wow. It really caught me off guard. It can get really loud without distorting).

    -Snappy Processor – (I can’t find any lag on this thing. I can’t say whether this is hardware or software since I’m new to WP8, but it certainly makes it easy for me to switch back from an iPhone 5, Nexus 4, & S3 without really noticing a difference.

    -Generous Storage – (8 Gigs internal, with expandable storage options. There are phones that cost 3x this that don’t even give you the expandable storage option. Other phones in this price segment don’t give you anything close to 8 gigs internal space).

    There are other great things about this phone, but these are just the things that stand out.


    -Screen Technology – (I’m sure Nokia cut some cost here to keep the phone at a great price, so this is in NO WAY a deal breaker, but it picks up a ton of finger prints. You can’t touch this screen without leaving smudges. It’s just impossible. Higher end phones use a glass that’s gone through anti-smudge treatment to prevent this. Wipe your screen more often, or put an anti-smudge screen protector and you’re problems are solved. No biggie).

    -No LED flash – (Again another way Nokia cut cost, and again NOT a deal breaker. I only use LED flash on my other phones as a flash light. Everyone knows that those tiny lights don’t do crap to help dark photos anyways. If I really have to pop some night shots, I’ll be busting out a DSLR or a Point & shoot).

    Conclusion: – If you’re on the fence about this device, let me help you. Stop reading my review here, and go buy this thing! You won’t find a better value anywhere else. Prior to purchasing this phone, I stood by the Nexus 4 as being one of the best value’s on the market, but Nokia is really putting a different spin on things. Any Android phone that…

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  2. 411 of 436 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Don’t Let Inexpensive Fool You – This Phone is Packed With Features Including WiFi Calling & Tethering, May 28, 2013
    Carrie (Midwest) –
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Nokia Lumia 521 (T-Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)

    I thought about waiting on the Lumia 925, but after reading how much the Lumina 521 has to offer, I decided that since I tend to change phones about every 2 years, it made more sense to go with the phone that was lighter on my wallet. After finding that my local WalMart had one phone left, I snagged it and haven’t regretted my purchase one bit.

    What I love about the phone:
    1. WiFi calling (set up instructions below) – calls are clear, but calls don’t hand off to cellular network if you step outside of your WiFi range
    2. Tethering Capable (must add to your plan as a separate service, but no charge)
    3. MicroSD slot (up to 64GB)
    4. Camera is touch adjustable
    5. Adjustable font size
    6. Ability to have a high contrast screen (for those with poor eyesight or someone who wants a cool looking screen)
    7. Transfer My Data App makes switching phones super easy – even transfers text messages
    8. All of the Nokia app collection for free (drive, music, photobeamer, yousendit, etc).
    9. Touchscreen is very responsive – sensitivity is adjustable
    10. Visual voicemail (free, but have to enable your account)

    The few negatives:
    1. Camera isn’t fancy, but is 5mp. Use fingers/touchscreen to zoom. There is not a flash, so indoor pics can be blurry.
    2. Phone supposedly won’t be able to access the LTE network if available in your area. I haven’t confirmed this claim. The phone speed is fast enough for my needs, but I am not a gamer.
    3. Plastic back. Does it matter? Most people use a cover anyway.

    The OKs:
    1. Screen is nice and easy to see indoors. Sunlight causes difficulties. I have not tried a non-glare screen protector.
    2. Phone does not come with a headset
    3. Phone does not come with a car charger
    4. The ear sound can get tinny. I use to up the volume to hear on other phones. In this phone, I turn down the volume to get rid of the tinny sound. This is not noticeable when on speakerphone.

    I really like this phone – it has all of the features I want at a fantastic price point. If you are buying a Windows phone (and you should), this phone is a no-brainer.

    WiFi calling set-up: get wifi calling enabled on your t-mobile account (free set up), and make sure that you have a wifi enabled sim card (free at TMobile store). Then do a hard reset on the phone (not just a simple update). Reset is found at Settings – About – reset your phone. Once you do these steps, a WiFi calling button will appear on your home screen. Press it and choose your option (Wi-Fi Preferred, Cellular Preferred, Wi-Fi Only).

    EMail/Social Media set-up: was a Breeze. I set up Hotmail, outlook, Gmail, roadrunner and a business email. Facebook and other social media is also very easy to set-up.

    Font size & High contrast screen is at Settings – Ease of Access.

    Tethering is at Settings – Internet sharing.

    (This review is not intended to endorse a third party seller.)

    SOFTWARE UPDATE (news release 8/16/13):
    The Windows Phone Amber update–available for Nokia’s Lumia 920, 820, 720, 620, 520, 928, 822, 521 and 810–includes Smart Camera, which promises users the tools to create higher-quality photos by taking a series of rapid-fire shots then editing the best elements of each image together, further bolstered by filters and effects.

    Windows Phone Amber also touts Nokia Glance Screen, which adds a clock to the screen when the phone is inactive, alongside indicators that depict the battery level when the device is running on a low battery, charging or set to silent mode. “You can activate the Nokia Glance screen in the ‘display and touch’ section in Settings by swiping left to ‘glance,'” said Nokia Conversations blog editor Ian Delaney. “Nokia Glance screen will be available for all WP8 Lumia devices except the Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 625, which have a smaller display memory.”

    Following customer requests, Windows Phone Amber additionally resurrects features from older Nokia handsets. Users may now flip the phone over to mute incoming calls and double tap the screen as an alternative to the unlock key.

    “The rollout starts now first for the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 in selected countries as well as the Lumia 521, Lumia 810 and Lumia 928 in the U.S.,” Delaney said. “Exact delivery timings will vary by region, phone and operator, but we expect the update to reach your Lumia 520, Lumia 620, Lumia 720, Lumia 820 or Lumia 920 by the end of September.”

    UPDATE (12/6/13
    T Mobile changed their international features outin Oct 2013, allowing free data & texting in areas they serve (phone calls .10 unless wifi calling (wifi calling is free). I took & used my phone to Peru & it worked quite well, both roaming on the Moviestar network (free) & hooking up to wifi. I tethered to my tablet as well.


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  3. J. Martinez says:
    311 of 345 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    It has no equal in the value catagory, June 28, 2013
    J. Martinez (California USA) –

    This review is from: Nokia Lumia 521 (T-Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
    In terms of price/performance this one is off the charts. It completes nicely with phones costing 3x as much. If you are looking for a high quality low price phone this is it. If this phone has weaknesses, I had to search hard to find them. I will get to the cons in a minute but this is a well thought out well constructed phone.

    First off, I will say that I use an iPhone 4S as a business phone. I am an IT professional and have used blackberry and droid phones and have touched many different devices so I have quite a bit of experience with what is out there. While I like the iPhone ok, I wanted something different then everyone else and heard great things about the new Windows 8 phones and decided to give them a try. I don’t want to spend a bunch on a phone because I swap my phone out every year and have T-mobile’s no contract family plan. My old phone gets passed down to my kids. My personal phone was a Sammy. I like the flexibility of the Android phones vs the iPhone but I don’t like the Android apps that much. I used the Mango platform WP 7.5 and decided to try WP 8 and see if the hype is warranted. Ok on to the pros and cons.

    Pros: 1) The Windows tiles look great compared to the very plain looking iPhone square icons. 2)The installed phone apps are much more useful to me then the pre-installed iPhone apps. 2) The offline feature of the Nokia maps are very cool. 3) Most of the time I am near a WiFi connection so the Nokia phone makes it very easy to connect to WiFi and use only Wifi unless that is unavailable. You can also use WiFi calling on the phone. This can really help on keeping your bill down. 3)The device is small and easy to hold yet large enough to be useful. I love the size of it. The iPhone is a bit too wide for my taste. 4) Navigation on the phone is super easy. WP8 is far superior to IOS here. It is a very easy phone to pick up and use out of the box. 5) When I connected the device to my Windows 7 computer, it recognized it right away and suggested the phone app to download and Windows got my phone hooked up to my computer very painlessly. Going with all Windows certainly has an advantage here. 6) Price. This is simply the best value out there. There is no way you can get something even close to this capable phone for even twice the price. 7) easily connected to my Blue Tooth headset something my iPhone refused to do. It easily connected to Wifi. It is just very simple to set up. 8) hooks up easily to the cloud to store files and backup your phone. Skydrive is a big plus. There phone backup utility is fantastic. 8) I like the music app much better than the one on the iPhone. 7) very snappy performance

    Cons: 1) Screen resolution isn’t bad but could be better. 2) Speaker sound is better on the iPhone but again not bad. 3) Phone case is a bit plasticy. 4) Camera has no flash but not a big deal for me.

    Looks like Nokia and Microsoft have knocked it out of the park with this phone. Sure there are better phones out there but at this price there is nothing. It is hard to believe that Apple charges $600 for a phone that just isn’t significantly better then this one. No doubt to me that the hardware on the iPhone is superior but I can buy 4 of these of that same cost. In terms of ease of use the iPhone has nothing over this one. The iPhone has the best app collection out there but it has been around awhile. I like being different in a world crowded with Sammy and Apple phones. I would have given it a 5 star except that you can see how Nokia tried to shave costs to get the price down but in terms of value I would give this 6 stars.


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