Both the Nokia Lumia 520 and the Sony Xperia M are tremendous value for money, providing users with a fairly good 4 inch smartphone on a budget. However beyond the fact that one runs Android 4.1 and the other runs Windows Phone 8 there are of course differences between them and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Read on to see how they compare.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M – Build quality
The Nokia Lumia 520 is very plastic and very colourful, like most other Lumia’s. However it looks and feels pretty good for a low end phone and with colour choices including yellow, red, cyan, white and black it even has a bit of visual flair.
As low end handsets go, the Sony Xperia M is pretty good looking too. It’s plastic, but it feels as solid as the Nokia Lumia 520 and has a slim 124 x 62 x 9.3mm build (compared to the Lumia 520’s 119.9 x 64 x 9.9mm build).
While they won’t worry the HTC One, both phones have good build quality for the money.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M - Display
The Nokia Lumia 520 has a 4 inch 480 x 800 IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 233 pixels per inch, while the Sony Xperia M has a 4 inch 480 x 854 TFT display with a pixel density of 245 pixels per inch.
The Sony Xperia M is marginally higher resolution then but not so you’d notice and if anything we’d be inclined to say that the overall quality of the Lumia 520’s screen is slightly higher as colours look richer on it.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M - Power
The Nokia Lumia 520 has a 1 GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM, while the Sony Xperia M has a 1 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. This is another area where the two phones are very closely matched, as while the Xperia M is better on paper, in reality the two phones show very similar performance. Neither handset can cope well with the latest and greatest games or other heavy duty tasks, but both work well for general use, with few performance hiccups.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M - Camera
Both phones have a 5 megapixel camera which can also shoot 720p video at 30fps. They also both have dedicated camera buttons. However the Sony Xperia M edges the victory here as it has an LED flash, while the Lumia 520 has none and it has a VGA front facing camera which is again lacking on the Nokia Lumia 520.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M – Battery life, memory and connectivity
The Nokia Lumia 520 has a 1430 mAh battery with standby times of up to 360 hours or talk time of up to 9 hours and 40 minutes (on 3G). The Sony Xperia M has a slightly larger 1750 mAh battery which promises standby times of up to 454 hours or talk times of up to 9 hours (on 3G). In practice the two phones offer pretty similar battery life, lasting a day but not much more.
The Nokia Lumia 520 has 8GB of built in memory along with a micro SD card slot which supports cards of up to 64GB. The Sony Xperia M has just 4GB of built in memory and a micro SD card slot with support for 32GB cards. In other words the Lumia 520 has twice as much memory however you look at it.
The Nokia Lumia 520 supports Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth 4.0 while the Sony Xperia M supports Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
Nokia Lumia 520 Vs Sony Xperia M - 3G's Conclusion
Ultimately these two phones are very evenly matched. They have similar build quality and performance and even in areas where one is better than the other the difference is usually minimal. The Nokia Lumia 520 has a slightly better display and a lot more storage, while the Sony Xperia M has a slightly better camera and marginally better connectivity options.
We’d be inclined to say that the Nokia Lumia 520 is a slightly better handset overall as the only big difference between the two is the amount of storage and that works in its favour. It’s also cheaper, starting at around £110 SIM free, compared to around £180 for the Sony Xperia M. However they’re both great value for money and among the best budget handsets of their respective operating systems.
By Kevin Thomas on 23rd September, 2013