The Nokia Lumia 520 is the budget member of the Windows Phone 8 smartphone family and comes with a 4-inch display, pitching it directly against the similarly sized Sony Xperia M. But which one is the best budget 4-inch smartphone?
When it comes to choosing a budget smartphone, price is often as important as the features and overall look and feel of the device. That’s why we think the Nokia Lumia 520 over-shadows other budget smartphones.
The combination of a great design, which you can personalise with interchangeable shells, as well as a big bright screen, matched with a price you’ll find hard to beat makes it a great option. Here we see how the Sony Xperia M stacks up against the budget Lumia 520.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M: Design and Colour
The Nokia Lumia 520 has a 4-inch touchscreen display with 480 x 800-pixel resolution. It also comes with a super-sensitive screen, something you won’t find on any other budget smartphone. You can use the screen when wearing gloves outdoors, for example, or use it with a stylus or fingernail.
When it comes to design, the Nokia Lumia 520 measures 119.9 x 64 x 9.9mm and weighs in at 124g. The two-part construction offers a glass front while the coloured shell covers the back and sides. You can switch the covers – you can choose from Red, Yellow, Cyan, Black and White – to personalise your phone.
The Sony Xperia M weighs in at 115g and measures 124 x 62 x 9.3mm and features a 4-inch display with 480 x 854-pixel resolution. It’s available in four colours, White, Purple, Black and Yellow but you can’t switch between them as it’s a fixed shell design. That slightly higher resolution screen isn’t much of a premium and many reviews comment on how different the screen is to read in outdoor situations.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M: Tech Spec
The Nokia Lumia 520 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, comes with 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage. With twice as much internal storage, as well as access to microSD slot, the Lumia 520 has a clear advantage. Then there is the Windows Phone 8 operating system, which may not have access to as many apps as the Android OS but is far more efficient at handling them with lower-powered processors.
The Sony Xperia M is also powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and comes with 1GB of RAM, which it needs as the Google Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system isn’t as power efficient as Windows Phone 8, so you won’t find it running as smoothly or as quickly as the Nokia Lumia 520.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M: Camera
The Sony Xperia M packs in a 5-Megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom and auto-focus, the same as the Nokia Lumia 520. The one advantage it has is the inclusion of LED, which the budget Lumia lacks. If this is important we’d suggest opting for the Nokia Lumia 620, which has the same 5-Megapixel camera but packs in LED Flash.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M: Battery Life
Sony has stated that the Sony Xperia M comes with a larger 1750 mAh battery that offers up to 10 hours of talk time, and up to 552 hours in standby mode.
Nokia Lumia 520 packs in a 1430mAh battery pack that offers up to 9.6 hours of talk time on 3G, 360 hours of standby and up to 61 hours of music playback.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M: Price
When it comes to price, you’ll find that the Nokia Lumia 520 has a clear advantage. You can pick it up for as little as £99.95 (inc. VAT) on PAYG, while the Sony Xperia M currently sets you back £179.95 (inc. VAT) – we used Carphone Warehouse for the comparison.
When it comes to contract deals with a free handset, the Sony Xperia M can be yours for as little as £13 a month but with the Nokia Lumia 520 clocking in at just £7 a month with a free handset, those on a tight budget will appreciate what it has to offer.
Tempted by the Nokia Lumia 520? Now is the time to switch to Windows Phone 8.