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The Nokia Lumia range – Which is best for which purpose and which budget ?

By Kevin Thomas on 06th March 2013

Since the launch of Windows Phone 8, Nokia has come up with 5 new handsets sporting the OS, from the very budget friendly Nokia Lumia 520, right up to the top end of the market with the impressive Nokia Lumia 920. With so many similarly named handsets it can be hard to pick one out- but don’t worry, we’re here to help.


Nokia Lumia 520

The Nokia Lumia 520 is the baby of the Lumia family- both in that it’s the least powerful model in the range and in that it’s the most recent. It’s so recent in fact that it’s not even out yet. With a 4 inch 800 x 480 display (giving it a 235 ppi pixel density), it’s not the highest resolution screen on the market, far from it in fact, but it’s not terrible and it’s a decent size.


The 1 GHz dual-core processor isn’t too shabby, but with just 512 MB of RAM to play with it may struggle. Rounding out the package you get 8 GB of internal storage (which can be expanded with a micro SD card) and a 5 megapixel camera with no flash, but which can shoot 720p video at 30fps.


All in all it seems thoroughly underwhelming, but when you consider that it looks like it will go on sale for just £141 it suddenly sounds a lot more interesting. There’s no release date or confirmed price yet, but if it really does launch for under £150 it could become a very affordable entry level handset, making it great for those buying their first smartphone, or perhaps as a phone for a child.




Nokia Lumia 620

Until the Nokia Lumia 520 launches, the Nokia Lumia 620 is the lowest end Windows Phone 8 Nokia handset available. Its screen is actually slightly smaller than the Lumia 520’s, at 3.8 inches, but with the same 800 x 480 resolution giving it a slightly higher 246 ppi. That’s still not going to threaten the top end handsets, but it should make for a slightly sharper display.


The rest of the specs on the Lumia 620 are pretty similar to the 520. It has a 1 GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage (which once again can be expanded with a micro SD card) and a 5 megapixel camera (this time with flash), which can shoot 720p video at 30fps. It’s also quite a lot more expensive coming in at almost £200 SIM-free.


So why choose it over the 520? Well for one thing it’s available now, so you don’t have to wait. Additionally the flash will make the camera a lot more useable in places with poor lighting and the screen not only has a slightly higher ppi, but it also makes use of Nokia’s ClearBlack technology, which improves the contrast. So if you’ve got slightly more money to spend and want a better screen and camera then go for this.



Nokia Lumia 720

The Nokia Lumia 720 is another one which hasn’t actually launched yet. At 4.3 inches it’s fairly large, though the resolution remains at just 800 x 480, which leaves it with a 217 ppi pixel density- slightly lower than either the Lumia 520 or 620. Though like the Lumia 620 it has a ClearBlack display. It also uses Corning Gorilla Glass 2, making it more resilient to bumps and scratches.


The processor is once again a 1Ghz dual-core and as with the two lower end handsets it comes with just 512 MB of RAM, which is pretty low for a seemingly mid-range handset. It doesn’t buck the trend with its storage capacity either, giving users 8 GB of internal storage along with a micro SD card slot.


Aside from a bigger screen, the main standout feature of the handset is the camera. Sporting a 6.7 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens it should easily hold its own against other mid range phones and should also be substantially better for taking pictures on than either the Lumia 520 or 620, though it merely matches them for video, shooting in 720p at 30fps.


It will likely launch sometime in the spring and while we don’t know what all the retailers will sell it for yet, it looks like it will go for around £250, which seems about right given the boost in camera quality and screen size over the Lumia 620. For budding phone-camera-photographers who can’t spare an extra £100 this looks like a good bet.


Nokia Lumia 820



The Nokia Lumia 820 is a mid-range handset through and through, though it has substantially better specs than the Lumia 720. Things aren't much different on the display front; in fact both this and the 720 have a 4.3 inch 217 ppi 800 x 480 display. As with all the lower end handsets in the range it also comes with 8 GB of storage along with a micro SD card slot, so you can expand it if you want.


However the Lumia 820 has a substantially faster 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and twice as much RAM (1GB). The camera is also an improvement, with an 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens and 1080p video at 30fps. If it wasn’t for the slightly disappointing display resolution this could almost be a top end handset, but for a mid range offering it makes very few compromises and at around £350 it’s a great all round performer on a not-quite top end budget.






Nokia Lumia 920

The Nokia Lumia 920 is currently Nokia’s flagship handset and packs a solid list of specs. Starting with the display it’s 4.5 inches, with a 332 ppi 768 x 1280 resolution, making it both the biggest and highest resolution phone in the range.


Disappointingly for a top end handset it only has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM (matching the lower end Lumia 820), but it certainly seems snappy enough. It also comes with a rather meatier 32 GB of internal storage, though oddly there’s no micro SD card slot here, so you can’t expand it.


As with the Lumia 820, it comes with an 8 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and is capable of shooting 1080p video at 30fps.


It’s a shame that the specs didn’t see a boost over the 820, in fact really the only major improvement is the screen, but it really is a big improvement and while it comes at a premium (£450+ SIM free), if you want a Lumia handset with a crystal clear display this is the only option.



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