The Nokia Lumia 520 is the most affordable Windows Phone 8 smartphone on the market. It’s nearest rival is perhaps the Huawei Ascend W1, with which it shares a 4-inch screen size. Here we check out the best UK price and why we think the Lumia 520 has the clear advantage.
For this comparison we’ve opted to go with the pricing on O2, as they are currently carrying both the Nokia Lumia 520 and Huawei Ascend W1.
The Huawei Ascend W1 is on sale here in the UK for the low price of £129 (inc. VAT) on PAYG. That’s great until you realise you can get the similarly sized Nokia Lumia 520 for just £119.99 (inc. VAT) on the same PAYG deal, making it the most affordable and cost effective Windows Phone 8 smartphone around.
Take a look around and you’ll find it even more affordable, Carphone Warehouse is offering the Nokia Lumia 520 for £99.99 (inc. VAT) for example.
A casual glance at the Huawei Ascend W1 will have you thinking it looks a lot like the previous generation of Nokia Lumia smartphones. However, look a little closer and what we’ve noticed is, the colours aren’t quite as rich, deep or as exciting as the Cyan, Yellow or Red you’ll find on the Nokia Lumia 520, that’s without opting for the more traditional colours, such as the White and Black editions.
Then there is the fact that the Nokia Lumia 520 is not only lighter in the hand, it’s also slimmer too, making for a more comfortable user experience.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Huawei Ascend W1: Display
When it comes to screen size, the Huawei Ascend W1 and Nokia Lumia 520 have the same 4-inch screen with the standard 480 x 800-pixel resolution. However, the Nokia Lumia 520 comes with Nokia ClearBlack technology for better use in outdoor lighting conditions, as well as when being used in car with HERE Drive.
The real ace in the hole for the Nokia Lumia 520 has to be the super-sensitive touchscreen, which means you can use the screen when wearing gloves, with fingertips, any which way you like and suddenly the screen of the Huawei Ascend W1 isn’t quite so impressive.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Huawei Ascend W1: Tech spec
The Nokia Lumia 520 and Huawei Ascend W1 both run Windows Phone 8, making them as up-to-date as possible. With 512MB of RAM in both devices you’ll find that apps load and run smoothly.
We will concede that the Huawei Ascend W1 has a slight speed edge, using a 1.2GHz dual-core processor over the 1GHz dual-core processor of the Nokia Lumia 520. That said, with both handsets sporting 512MB of RAM you’ll find they’ll be able to run the same spread of apps.
When it comes to storage, the Nokia Lumia 520 packs in 8GB of internal memory, twice that of the Huawei Ascend W1. Both come with microSD slots for expansion and of course there is a further 7GB of free SkyDrive space online.
The Nokia Lumia 520 and Huawei Ascend W1 are equally matched in terms of camera too, both coming with a 5-Megapixel camera.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Huawei Ascend W1: Features
Clearly the biggest difference between the Nokia Lumia 520 and Huawei Ascend W1 comes when you dig a little deeper and see what they offer in terms of features. It seems there are no “Huawei-only” applications bundled with the W1 so you’ll find it ships with the default Windows Phone 8 apps. Sure, that gives you everything you need to get started but we see it as something of an empty vessel.
After all, you’ll find the Nokia Lumia 520 comes with the full array of Nokia apps and camera Lenses that elevate the Windows Phone 8 experience to the next level. For starters there are Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive helping you get around whether you are on foot or travelling by car. What’s more, don’t forget the Nokia Transit app allows you to tap into the local public transport services too.
Sure, you can download these apps for free from the Windows Phone Store as Nokia has opened them up for use by rival devices but consider if they didn’t you’d be limited in your use of mapping solutions.
Then there is Nokia Music and the Nokia Mix Radio that allows Nokia Lumia 520 owners to stream over 20 million tracks for free. No subscription, no fuss, simply open the app and start listening to music. There are now over 300 playlists created by the Nokia Musicoligsts and you can even create your own Mix Radio playlists and discover new music based on your tastes.
Overall, we think there is little in the Huawei Ascend W1 to compare with what’s on offer with the Nokia Lumia 520. Check out the tech spec below and let us know what you think.
|Nokia Lumia 520||Huawei Ascend W1|
|Operating System:||Windows Phone 8||Windows Phone 8|
|Size:||119.9 x 64 x 9.9mm||124.5 x 63.7 x 10.5mm|
|Resolution:||480 x 800 pixels||480 x 800 pixels|
|CPU Speed:||1GHz Dual-core Snapdragon S4 MSM8227||1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4|
|Memory:||8GB, + 7GB SkyDrive, MicroSD||4GB + 7GB SkyDrive, MicroSD|
|Extras:||HERE Maps, HERE Drive, Nokia Music, Nokia Mix Radio||No|
|Colours:||Blue, Red, Yellow, Black and White||Blue, Red, Black and White|