Editorials

Smackdown: Nokia Lumia 520 vs Lumia 620 vs Lumia 720

Nokia unleashes a Lumia civil war for your wallet.

Nokia has placed the MWC 2013 spotlight on its mid- and low-end Lumia devices, and now there’s a deep conversation to be had about choosing which one is right for you. The Nokia Lumia 620 was just released a few weeks ago and stunned us with its incredibly balanced specs-for-price ratio. However, the Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 disrupt that harmony by featuring a few new tricks of their own that should definitely influence your buying decision. You know what that means: it’s time for another edition of Smackdown!

Let’s get ready to ruuuuummmmble!

Nokia Lumia 520
Nokia Lumia 620
Nokia Lumia 720
Operating SystemWindows Phone 8.0Windows Phone 8.0Windows Phone 8.0
Processor (CPU)Snapdragon S4Snapdragon S4Snapdragon S4
CPU Clock Speed1.0 GHz dual-core1.0 GHz dual-core1.0 GHz dual-core
Graphics (GPU)Adreno 305Adreno 305Adreno 305
System Memory (RAM)512 MB512 MB512 MB
Internal Storage8 GB8 GB8 GB
MicroSD support?YesYesYes
Display4.0” IPS LCD3.8” ClearBlack TFT LCD4.3″ ClearBlack IPS LCD
Display Resolution800 x 480 (WVGA)800 x 480 (WVGA)800 x 480 (WVGA)
Display Pixel Density233.24 ppi245.51 ppi216.97 ppi
Super Sensitive Touch Support?YesNoYes
Thickness9.9 mm11 mm9.0 mm
Weight124 g127 g127.9 g
Camera (Front)NoneVGA1.2 MP wide-angle
Camera (Rear)5 MP f/2.4 lens5 MP f/2.4 lens, LED flash6.7 MP f/1.9 lens, LED Flash
Video Recording720p HD720p HD720p HD
HSPA+ Support?Yes  (21 Mbps)Yes (21 Mbps)Yes (21 Mbps)
LTE Support?NoNoNo
NFC Support?NoYesYes
Qi Wireless Charging support?NoNoYes
Battery size1,430 mAh1,300 mAh2,000 mAh
Price (without contract)$183 USD$249 USD$329 USD

As you can see, there’s a lot more overlap when we’re comparing within the Lumia family in this Smackdown. However, there is one clear (if predictable) winner: the Nokia Lumia 720. Capturing six categories, the new high-end-mid-range-ish phone is clearly the superior offering in terms of specifications. Not only is it the thinnest Lumia overall, it also features the best cameras and largest battery out of the three devices. The 720 is also the only sub-$400 Lumia to feature support for Qi Wireless Charging. However, it loses points for having the lowest pixel density, the heaviest weight, and of course the highest price tag. [Read more about the Lumia 720 here.]

Interestingly enough, second place is a tie between the Lumia 620 and 520! To continue with the numerical order, the Lumia 620 won two categories to its name. It retains the title of highest pixel density thanks to its petite 3.8-inch display. The 620 is also the most affordable NFC-enabled Lumia in Nokia’s lineup. Where the 620 loses its luster against the 720 is the lack of Qi wireless charging support, its less-impressive cameras, its chubbier waist, and its small battery. [Read more about the Lumia 620 here.]

Finally there’s the new Lumia 520, which also won two categories: Super Sensitive Touch support and Price. The former is an interesting sales-gimmick addition that’s not found in the Lumia 620, so depending on how often you use gloves or want to use long nails to navigate the phone it could be important. The Lumia 520 also bests the 620 in battery size, another odd decision by Nokia but not one that should result in major differences in time away from the charger between the two. However, the Lumia 520 is truly burdened by its lack of a rear LED flash and its completely missing front camera. [Read more about the Lumia 520 here.]

We think all of the similarities, rather than the differences, are what’s key to this comparison. From the perspective of performance, all three are on equal footing with the exact same processor, system memory, and display resolution. Every one of these devices also has the same amount of internal storage, includes a MicroSD card slot, and records the same maximum video quality of 720p. In the end, the most notable differences come in display size, battery size, and camera quality. If you can decide which device best suits your needs those categories, you should be able to make your purchasing decision with ease.

So, which mid-to-low end Lumia is your favorite?


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