Nokia are about to release into the wild the newest, and by far the cheapest, Lumia device yet: the Nokia Lumia 521.
The American cousin of the recently-announced Lumia 520, the 521 is surely going to be a hit over in these here parts. Why? Because unlike most smartphone purchases in the the US, this phone is downright affordable, and comes off-contract. That means you can walk into the Microsoft Retail Store at Columbus Circle here in NYC and pick one up for just $149.99 (plus tax, so roughly $163 all in). No contract signing required. It’s all yours without the strings for $150. Just slip your current sim card in and away you go! It will also be available at Wal-Mart, and T-Mobile stores, obviously.
Here’s the T-Mobile press blurb:
T-Mobile will partner with Nokia to bring customers the Lumia 521 – an exclusive to T-Mobile. Powered by Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 521, which will run on T-Mobile’s fast nationwide 4G network, is a perfect, everyday smartphone that will embody a range of high-end features at an affordable price.
The Nokia Lumia 521 features a super sensitive 4” touch screen, 5MP camera with auto focus and 720p HD video recording. It will also include exclusive Nokia applications such as Nokia Music, Cinemagraph, Creative Studio, Panorama, Smart Shoot and HERE Drive, Maps and Transit.
Beginning in May, the Nokia Lumia 521 will be available through Walmart, Microsoft Retail Stores and T-Mobile retail channels. Exact availability and pricing of the device will be shared at a later date.
UPDATE: That price is $149.99 and the date is April 27th
The Lumia 521 isn’t short on features either. Apart from losing any kind of LED flash for its 5MP camera on the back, it’s really not going to scare anyone away, even the hardcore geek set. To be honest, it’ll be quite difficult to really see any noticeable difference between what you get on a premium flagship Lumia 920 and the 521, if you’re just looking at the OS and the software features. Obviously there are hardware differences, notably the processor, which is clocked at a modest 1GHz, and with just 512MB of RAM on board, I wouldn’t expect the ‘blazing fast’ smoothness of the 920. But I bet it ain’t bad at all.
It also comes with a microSD card slot, scratch-resistant glass, T-Mobile’s 4G (not LTE) capability, 1430mAh battery and the ultra-sensitive screen that you can still use with gloves on. Not that you’ll be wearing them in the 110F NYC summer that’s around the corner.
According to some sources, it will come bundled with a screen protector and a car charger. Bonus!
I will be picking one of these up for myself in the next few days once it is offically launched by Microsoft, Nokia and the network T-Mobile USA. I will, of course, be reporting back to you all about how I am getting on with Nokia’s latest Lumia offering. I’m confident it will be ridiculous value for money.