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  1. marcus.plans's Avatar
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       #1  
    I've been wanting to check out WP8 for quite awhile now, but I've invested myself pretty heavily into the Android ecosystem so I don't know how I feel about dropping top dollar for a phone OS that I may possibly hate. However, with how cheap this phone is, even if I hate it, I won't even notice the money missing.

    The thing is, I'll be coming from a Nexus 4, a high end phone, to the Lumia 521, a low budget phone, and I'm afraid that, due to this, I won't be able to properly and fairly judge the WP8 experience. So my question is this: will buying the Lumia 521 do the WP8 experience justice? If I like it, I'll definitely pick up a better phone later (the in-store T-Mobile rep says they're expecting to get one of the 900 phones next). If I don't like it, I can comfortably stay on Android.

    Some things to keep in mind:

    - I don't play games on my phone so what the WP8 store lacks in games, I could care less.
    - I very rarely take photos and, for photos I do take, I'm not very picky about the quality of them.
    - Rather than swapping SIM cards, I may just tether with my Nexus 4 to make the Lumia 521 functional while still having access to some apps that I just can't do without on my N4
    - I don't take advantage of the NFC or wireless charging of my N4

    Getting used to a small screen again will be different, but I guess one of my biggest concerns would be how I'll like the performance of a budget phone compared to mine and that I'll just blow up WP8 based on that. I know if I were to buy a budget Android phone now that I'd probably hate it to hell.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by marcus.plans; 06-28-2013 at 04:30 AM.
  2. Technoloay's Avatar
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    #2  
    I'm afraid that you might actually like the Lumia 521 more than your nexus 4 when you see the buttery smooth performance ;)
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    nbktonic and LeLee092 like this.
  3. marcus.plans's Avatar
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       #3  
    That's exactly what I want to hear. I'd love to hear more feed back from more people, too! I'm very likely going to T-Mobile on my break and buying it tomorrow.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcus.plans View Post
    That's exactly what I want to hear. I'd love to hear more feed back from more people, too! I'm very likely going to T-Mobile on my break and buying it tomorrow.
    To me it sounds like you are technically advanced enough to judge which issues can be ascribed to the OS and which to low-end hardware.

    Just remember that you are getting only $150 worth of hardware, and you'll be in for a treat. Consider it a demo of WP8 efficiency. In your minds eye you must imagine even better performance, much better screen quality (contrast, readability in sunlight, resolution), more sensors, better build quality and feel, etc. If you ignore games, then the OS and what you can do with it is identical.

    IMHO whether you'll like WP is primarily a function of what you expect a smartphone to be. If you think of a smartphone as a companion/compliment to a tablet, laptop or computer, then you'll love WP. If you think of a smartphone as an extension/replacement of those larger computing devices, then you won't.

    Also, WP is inherently cloud based, meaning you are expected to be constantly connected to the cloud (works best with www.outlook.com), that all synching occurs through the cloud, and that almost all your files are in the cloud (SkyDrive). That is important to keep in mind, because WP isn't really intended to work in an 'offline' way. Because of that, it is easy for old habits to get in the way of enjoying your device. Just something to remember...

    Finally, keep in mind that WP8 is still in its infancy. It should be a teenager by now, but it's one of those kids that doesn't want to grow up. Most of us expect a lot of changes in early 2014, which should finally realize the grand 3-screen promise. WP8 just isn't there yet.
    enthuz and zoowater like this.
  5. ag1986's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcus.plans View Post
    Some things to keep in mind:

    - I don't play games on my phone so what the WP8 store lacks in games, I could care less.
    - I very rarely take photos and, for photos I do take, I'm not very picky about the quality of them.
    - Rather than swapping SIM cards, I may just tether with my Nexus 4 to make the Lumia 521 functional while still having access to some apps that I just can't do without on my N4
    - I don't take advantage of the NFC or wireless charging of my N4
    You've told us what you don't do, but what DO you do? This is more important; are there things that you do on your N4 that cannot be done on WP?

    I had the same dilemma as you, but I was lucky enough to get a 920 Dev Edition for WP8 support feasibility testing with my company. I used it as my primary phone for a week before going back to my N4. Also, my company uses Google Apps and pretty much all my cloud data is with Google. Specifically, I missed being able to do the following:

    Remote file access over wifi with AirDroid
    The Share intents, allowing me to open any file or link with any app I chose
    Attaching docx, pptx, and PDF files as proper attachments and NOT as Skydrive links
    Chrome tab sync over all my devices (also password sync etc etc)
    The Google Authenticator app since all my accounts have 2-factor authentication
    My banking apps
    And most importantly, Google Maps and Google Now.

    So if any if these are important, be advised that I could not find any analogues or workarounds while using WP8.
  6. ag1986's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Technoloay View Post
    I'm afraid that you might actually like the Lumia 521 more than your nexus 4 when you see the buttery smooth performance ;)
    An N4 is pretty lag-free compared to WP when you consider the animation time. When a 920 may have a 0.8-sec flip animation, the N4 may make the transition in the same time without the animation, so it feels like lag.
  7. z33dev33l's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by ag1986 View Post
    An N4 is pretty lag-free compared to WP when you consider the animation time. When a 920 may have a 0.8-sec flip animation, the N4 may make the transition in the same time without the animation, so it feels like lag.
    Do you see any stutter in the animation? Then it's not lag. Nexus 4, despite the minimal lag compared to Samsung's flagships, does still lag. The 920 doesn't.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by ag1986 View Post
    An N4 is pretty lag-free compared to WP when you consider the animation time. When a 920 may have a 0.8-sec flip animation, the N4 may make the transition in the same time without the animation, so it feels like lag.
    Apparently, there are a lot of different definitions of lag. I'd never have thought to call the time it takes to launch an app lag. I don't think it's fair to say any OS lags based on the time it takes to launch apps, because that is primarily dependent on the apps themselves. An OS' can't really do anything about that.
  9. Muessig's Avatar


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    #9  
    I think with the 521 you'll be in a perfect position to see if you like WP8 as it's widely renowned as one of the finest phones/experiences you can get for the cash. Nokia's tend to be built well, like bricks, so they last a long time generally, and they have a good warranty if you have problems.

    I'd encourage you to use the 521 on its own for a week or two and immerse yourself in the experience without comparison to how Android or the Nexus works in the same situations. These OS's are built with completely different ethos' in mind so to get the most out of WP I'd say you need to understand that it's designed to put the content you want right there at-a-glance and make things easier for you to do. Coming from Android myself I was used to having to dig into settings and have to tinker and play around to get the phone to do what I wanted it to. You don't have to do this with WP. What it does, it does it effortlessly. As others have said there are a few things it doesn't do that we're expectant for in coming updates but the experience you'll get with the 521 should be comprehensive enough to let you decide for yourself.

    I'd really love to hear your thoughts and comments as you adjust to it. Keep us all up to date!
  10. sandysan's Avatar
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    #10  
    not to be a debbie downer but you are coming from a much higher end speced phone ( the nexus 4) and you are admittedly already highly committed to the google ecosystem, my guess is that you are going to be dissapointed with the 521 which, lets not forget, is the lowest US based windows 8 phone available.

    As much as I like my 521, if I could get a nexus 4 for the same price its not even a fair fight. If you are going to compare apples to apples, the nexus4 vs the 521 isnt even a fair fight. I'm not sure the 521 could best the L9 which is decidely lower on the android totem pole than the Nexus4. The value for cost ratio is certainly high for the 521, but on straight capabilities it is inferior to the N4 in pretty much every facet.
  11. marcus.plans's Avatar
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       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by a5cent View Post
    IMHO whether you'll like WP is primarily a function of what you expect a smartphone to be. If you think of a smartphone as a companion/compliment to a tablet, laptop or computer, then you'll love WP. If you think of a smartphone as an extension/replacement of those larger computing devices, then you won't.

    Also, WP is inherently cloud based, meaning you are expected to be constantly connected to the cloud (works best with www.outlook.com), that all synching occurs through the cloud, and that almost all your files are in the cloud (SkyDrive). That is important to keep in mind, because WP isn't really intended to work in an 'offline' way. Because of that, it is easy for old habits to get in the way of enjoying your device. Just something to remember...
    I've gotten to the point where I basically use my Nexus 4 as a tablet at home and I'm actually very rarely on a PC now outside of work. The Nexus 4's screen is big enough to do that for now, however I do intend to purchase the Nexus 7 (cannot beat that price) once the new one is announced. And it's not that my phone has replaced my PC, it's just that, for what I mostly use my computer for, I can easily do on my phone. I don't expect the 521 to take up this role due to the screen size, but, once I am done test driving it, if I'm happy, I'll definitely buy a phone with a bigger screen once it comes to T-Mobile.

    And I'm perfectly okay with a cloud based product. That's basically what Android is now (and I actually use my SkyDrive now more than I do Google Drive).

    Quote Originally Posted by ag1986 View Post
    You've told us what you don't do, but what DO you do? This is more important; are there things that you do on your N4 that cannot be done on WP?

    I had the same dilemma as you, but I was lucky enough to get a 920 Dev Edition for WP8 support feasibility testing with my company. I used it as my primary phone for a week before going back to my N4. Also, my company uses Google Apps and pretty much all my cloud data is with Google. Specifically, I missed being able to do the following:

    Remote file access over wifi with AirDroid
    The Share intents, allowing me to open any file or link with any app I chose
    Attaching docx, pptx, and PDF files as proper attachments and NOT as Skydrive links
    Chrome tab sync over all my devices (also password sync etc etc)
    The Google Authenticator app since all my accounts have 2-factor authentication
    My banking apps
    And most importantly, Google Maps and Google Now.

    So if any if these are important, be advised that I could not find any analogues or workarounds while using WP8.
    Honestly, I use my phone mostly for social networking (I've turned Google+ into my primary source of news and also online socializing with people that share common interests with me) and communication. And the apps that I'm probably going to miss the most are Google specific apps (Google Now, Google+, Google Hangouts, Google Voice), but especially Google+, though. I don't plan leaving Google completely, though, even if my next phone is a high end WP8. Like I mentioned above, I'm very interested in purchasing a N7 and I'll still have my N4 handy in the meantime if I absolutely need something (which'll probably just be Google+).

    And another thing, I have my phone rooted and I do enjoy using custom ROMs, but I think I spend more time tinkering getting my phone to exactly how I like it rather than actually using my phone sometimes. One of the selling points that I gather from WP8 is that they're pretty customizable to each individual user.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandysan View Post
    not to be a debbie downer but you are coming from a much higher end speced phone ( the nexus 4) and you are admittedly already highly committed to the google ecosystem, my guess is that you are going to be dissapointed with the 521 which, lets not forget, is the lowest US based windows 8 phone available.

    As much as I like my 521, if I could get a nexus 4 for the same price its not even a fair fight. If you are going to compare apples to apples, the nexus4 vs the 521 isnt even a fair fight. I'm not sure the 521 could best the L9 which is decidely lower on the android totem pole than the Nexus4. The value for cost ratio is certainly high for the 521, but on straight capabilities it is inferior to the N4 in pretty much every facet.
    I get what you're saying, but my intention isn't to see if the Lumia 521 is a better phone than the Nexus 4. I know it's not; this is the best phone I've ever owned. My intention is to test drive WP8 and see if I'm willing to spend real money on it in the future. I would have never learned or been willing to learn that I'd actually enjoy longboarding if it wasn't for the fact that I bought a cheap starter deck. I would have never got into Android in the first place if I never bought that cheap, low-end LG Optimus M from T-Mobile years ago. In fact, I used to be strongly opposed to smartphones. Now, if I enjoy my test drive, then my next phone will more than likely be a WP8 that has comparable, if not better, hardware to the Nexus 4. I'm paying less than $150 total to test drive. If buying a $500 phone was the only way to test drive WP8, I'd stay on Android forever without trying to venture off and try new things.
    a5cent likes this.
  12. sandysan's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcus.plans View Post

    I get what you're saying, but my intention isn't to see if the Lumia 521 is a better phone than the Nexus 4. I know it's not; this is the best phone I've ever owned. My intention is to test drive WP8 and see if I'm willing to spend real money on it in the future. I would have never learned or been willing to learn that I'd actually enjoy longboarding if it wasn't for the fact that I bought a cheap starter deck. I would have never got into Android in the first place if I never bought that cheap, low-end LG Optimus M from T-Mobile years ago. In fact, I used to be strongly opposed to smartphones. Now, if I enjoy my test drive, then my next phone will more than likely be a WP8 that has comparable, if not better, hardware to the Nexus 4. I'm paying less than $150 total to test drive. If buying a $500 phone was the only way to test drive WP8, I'd stay on Android forever without trying to venture off and try new things.
    Well the hurdle to get into WP8 is pretty low with this phone, you could certainly get one and put it through its paces and if you like it go with a 900 level lumia. I also came from android ( although with a decidely lower end phone that the N4) and I'm okay with the 521. There are some things that are strange ( lack of a file explorer), some things that dont make sense ( lack of HID profile in bluetooth stack) and somethings that might change ( the ability to attach ANY file to an email without an arduous workaround using skydrive).

    I guess it depends on what you want. It wont do everything a N4 does and I'm not really sure that it can do things that a N4 cant ( I dont like the MS office argument). Unless you can describe everything you want or intend to do with the phone, its hard to say.

    if you live near a frys you can apparently get one for 120 now.
  13. #13  
    Well, it will be interesting to hear what you think. Keep us posted!
  14. marcus.plans's Avatar
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       #14  
    It's hard to decide in writing how exactly I use the phone for you guys to be more specific on whether or not it's worth trying out, however, all of your input has been perfect for me to decide I want to try it out. My lunch is in 30 so I'll be stopping at T-Mobile across the street before I get something to eat. I'll check back in a week to let you all know how I'm liking the OS and you may see me check in throughout the week if any questions pop up.

    Thanks all for the helpful input!
  15. marcus.plans's Avatar
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       #15  
    The T-Mobile rep asked me why I was buying the phone after seeing the Nexus 4 on my account. She looked so confused that I asked for it specifically because nobody does apparently. Their last one was sold out, though, so it doesn't look like I get to get it until I'm off work when I try a store closer to home.
  16. ngnetzky's Avatar
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    #16  
    Maybe, mine insight will be helpful to you. I'm much like you, I jumped from a iPhone 4 to Nokia Lumia 521. I did this because, in the same way I had wanted to test the platform without spending a fortune. If you can judge what is OS related and what is Phone/Hardware related issues/likes/dislikes, etc than I don't think you can go wrong with the Lumia 521. I have fallen in love with Windows Phone and despite my original intent on upgrading to the 925, I have fallen in love with the 521. It really is a nice phone for the price, and it has some good hardware to it (again based on Price). The Lumia 521 is not the end all/be all of Windows Phone, it's not a flagship phone, and it's not a iPhone or Nexus 4 killer. With all that being said, your mileage may vary, WP8/521 may not be for you. I certainly hope I have helped you out.

    Also, keep in mind that if you are heavily invested in Google (not necessary Android per se), ie Gmail, Maps, Hangouts, Google Voice, etc. you may not like WP8, because Google does not play friendly with Microsoft/Windows Phone. There are some unofficial third party apps to these services, but it wont cover all of them.
  17. Newfangled's Avatar
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    #17  
    The Lumia 521 is an excellent way to try out the Windows Phone experience without wasting a ton of cash.

    I've had mine for a few weeks now and, while there are limitations and quirks (as with any phone), I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    Just keep in mind that you're not going to get the high-end Windows experience offered by the Lumia 920/925/928, but what you do get for your money is fantastic.

    My biggest gripe is T-Mobile's poor coverage, which actually has nothing to do with the device itself. WiFi calling makes up for that to some degree, but I was travelling most of the week and was constantly frustrated by T-Mobile's terrible coverage.

    If I decide to stay with Windows Phone, I'll most likely get a Lumia 928 so I can enjoy Verizon's fantastic coverage.
  18. Troyseph's Avatar
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    #18  
    I think the 521 is a great litmus test for the platform. I have enjoyed such flagship phones as the 920, and now use the 521 until the 925 comes out. It is a great little phone will solid features for the price. You won't go wrong.
  19. #19  
    Given that you just use your phone for the basics the 521 will be a perfect fit if you can stomach losing some resolution (N4=720p 16:9 vs L521=480p 15:9). There may also be issues with some apps when they first release since the 521 is only a 512mb device. But as stated apps only use the 1GB restriction when they're initially released for some reason.
  20. LeLee092's Avatar
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    #20  
    The good thing about Windows Phones OS is that you can get a stable, fluid 'WP8 expereince' without needing fancy hardware
    heres a good video to put it in perspective:


    and with the 521 theres you wont experience any problem loading up heavy things like Netflix or Nokia Here maps..aka you wont experience constant 'force close' like you do in some low-end android devices..as people have mention, there is a learning curve, and by that i dont mean getting used to live tiles :P..i mean learning how to use the Microsoft ecosystem to get things done rather than the google or apple ecosystem. And learning our OS and the best way to get things done through our OS (there may be things you think you cant do because there not done like android/apple way, when in reality theres probably a way to do it *cough*andmoreefficient*cough*, it probably doesnt just doesnt feel natural because you used to how other OS's are done)

    Overall 521 will deff Impress you..whether you end up liking Windows Phone or not...only reason I didnt get it was because I need or a front facing camera or a flash..cant deal with not having both.
  21. paulheu's Avatar
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    #21  
    The only 'problem' I see is that if your are a heavy user of Google services you won't get those (at least on the same level) on a non-android phone. Google has pretty much excluded other ecosystems from fully tapping into Google apps and services. That said, the alternatives are as good if not better on Nokia phones (HERE drive/maps and Nokia apps)
  22. drbanks's Avatar
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    #22  
    Getting off the google ecosystem is no doubt just as painful as getting off the iPhone ecosystem, or any other if there were others.

    But to me, that's not so much an advantage of Android or IOS or even Windows Phone as it is a way to keep you locked in to an OS.

    For me, it was painful to move off IOS and icloud, but ultimately worth it. Strangely, it drove me farther down Google's, albeit on Windows Phone, but the result is that my data are now less locked in than before. That means I can concentrate more on how much I like or dislike the workflow on each different OS.

    Still loving Windows Phone.
  23. sdc1's Avatar
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    #23  
    I came from an iPhone 5. I wanted to try WP so bought a Lumia 520. The iPhone has now been sold on and I've bought a Lumia 920. It's a big change and there is an adjustment period but its worth it.
  24. Oakdale Dude's Avatar
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    #24  
    It sounds as though your are looking at things the same way I was when I bought this phone. I was a Android User for a long time and while Android is capable and has it's many perks, I was never a Android Fanboy and was intrigued with Windows Phone and wanted to get an extended tryout. I knew though I did not want to enter into the subsidised phone & contract world again just to satiate my curiosity and I knew I did not want to drop 4 or 5 bills either. I mean what if I hated the experience?

    I called Elop from Nokia and told him my problem. He said he'd try to build a device and keep it under $200 off contract.

    Well, that last part is a lie lol But they did swoop in at the right time and built and offered an affordable device that afforded me the chance to give Windows Phone a try-out without having to auction off one of my kidneys on ebay.

    It was a slick move on Nokia's part because after my experience with the 521 and the Windows Phone Platform in general, I'll be much, much more likely to take my Windows Phone experience to a higher level.

    I'll use this for a year, get my $150 and more out of it, then look out at what higher end Windows Phone Devices are available at that time.
  25. smt4731's Avatar
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    #25  
    I did *just this this week.

    I have a Nexus 4. I have the $30 T-Mobile plan, and had read wonderful things about the Nokia 521. I wondered if it would be a decent phone. I have a child who's going to need a phone soon, and I thought I'd pick up the Nokia and play with it and see if I liked it. My plan was to just give it to my son. However, I honestly think that I'm going to give up the Nexus 4 and just hold on to this for a while.

    Like you, I'm not really into a bunch of apps. The Nokia has most of everything I need -- Facebook, Twitter, good messaging and email, and really nice navigation and music apps. It *is* missing a few of the Android apps I used regularly (like coupon apps), but not to the point where I'm feeling pain. Admittedly, I'm only 3 days into this experiment, but -- I like Windows Phone. A lot.

    I've never owned an iPhone, so I cannot compare the experience. However, the 521 does an excellent job with basic tasks. Everything runs VERY smoothly. Like REALLY REALLY smoothly. No force closes. No stuttering. No unpleasantness. It's not as fast as the Nexus - but I wasn't expecting it to be. I just wanted to see what WP was like before I spent any real money on it in the future. Based on what I've seen so far, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another WP in the future. I haven't really missed the Nexus this week at all. The screen is much smaller, but the overall feel in my hand is far superior -- believe it or not -- to the Nexus. I'm a woman with average hand size. I was always petrified I'd drop the Nexus and shatter it, even with a case. I'm not worried about this phone at all.

    Dip your toes into the WP pool with this phone. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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