The one good thing about Windows Phone 8 is that it runs in the same smooth manner on low-end phones like the Lumia 520 and Lumia 620 as it does on the top-tier Lumia 920 or the HTC Windows Phone 8X. That’s something that cannot be said for Android, in particular with phones running versions older than Jelly Bean.

So naturally, for someone on a budget, low-end Windows Phone 8 devices are an attractive choice. In this segment, Nokia has recently launched the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 620, which occupy the bottom two rungs on the company’s WP8 smartphone portfolio. Both are quite similar in terms of specifications and the price difference isn’t all that much, which could make many potential smartphone buyers think twice about which one to get. The Lumia 520 is currently available for an official price of Rs 10,500 while the 620 is being sold with a tag of Rs 14,999. In the grey market, the Lumia 620 can be had for an even lower price. Given the close price difference between the two, which one would you go far? Still confused? Here’s our take on it.

The Lumia 520 has a slightly larger display

The Lumia 520 has a slightly larger display

OS
In terms of OS, nothing separates the two smartphones. Both run Windows Phone 8, which vastly improves on the user experience found on the previous version. The OS has also started getting a lot of apps in recent times, while Microsoft has benefited from the improved maps experience of Nokia HERE, the company's several photography apps and a secondary development channel, besides Redmond’s own team. We found the Lumia 620 to be an able performer when it came to navigation and scrolling. Considering the Lumia 520 will also have the same processor and RAM as the 620, we expect it to be equally good when it comes to navigation.

While the Lumia 520 follows Nokia's current design philosophy, the 620 reminds us of the first generation of Nokia Lumias

While the Lumia 520 follows Nokia's current design philosophy, the 620 reminds us of the first generation of Nokia Lumias

Display
Both phones offer WVGA-res screens, but the Lumia 620’s 3.8-inch display is slightly smaller than the 4-incher on the base Lumia smartphone. On the other hand, the Lumia 520 has an IPS display, which usually means natural colour reproduction and a balanced contrast. The ClearBlack display on the Lumia 620, however, means that contrast will be slightly more prominent on that phone thanks to the AMOLED-like deep blacks.

Camera and NFC
Running down the specs sheet, there isn’t much to point out as differences in the two handsets, making us wonder why the Lumia 620 is priced higher. According to the company, the addition of a flash module for the camera has pushed the price up, besides the inclusion of NFC and the front-facing VGA camera. For its price, the Lumia 620’s NFC and front-facing camera could be counted as advantages.

Despite being cheaper, the Lumia 520 has a bigger battery and is thinner and lighter than the Lumia 620

Despite being cheaper, the Lumia 520 has a bigger battery and is thinner and lighter than the Lumia 620

Battery
On the other hand, the Lumia 520, while missing a flash and NFC chip, has a larger battery, which we feel is more crucial for a low-end phone than either of those features. Moreover, the Lumia 620 has a measly 1300 mAh Li-Ion battery, which is much lower than the 1430 mAh unit on the 520. Again, in the low-end segment, the bigger battery will please more buyers.

Design and dimensions
To us, the Lumia 620 seems like a holdover from the last generation of Lumia phones. Its prominently rounded corners are in stark contrast to Nokia’s current design language, especially when seeing that none of the other Lumia phones launched with Windows Phone 8 have such a design.

The bigger battery in the Lumia 520 doesn't come at the cost of the body. It is both lighter and thinner than the Lumia 620. The 520 also looks more modern and polished, based on our brief time with the handsets.

Here is a closer look at the two handsets:[@galleryid:311274]

The bottom line
Having seen both handsets up close now and knowing their specs, we think the Lumia 520 is a wiser choice. While there is no doubt that the Lumia 620 is a great handset for its specs, the fact that the entry-level Lumia 520 matches most of these specs, and at times even improves them, while still retaining a lower price makes us sway towards it.

What do you think? Given a choice, which affordable Lumia would you pick?

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