Last week, AT&T also launched another Windows Phone, besides the much anticipated Lumia 1020—the Lumia 520. Sure, entry level devices aren’t nearly as exciting as technology busting ones, but the Lumia 520 is AT&T’s first GoPhone (month-to-month) and goes for $99 sans contract.
We picked one up last night at our local Microsoft Store because hey, $99. And yes, you can throw in your existing AT&T SIM card and it will work just fine, no need to sign up for any plans or sign anything. You just pay the $99 (plus tax) and walk out the door with a fully functional Windows Phone.
What may surprise some of you though is knowing that this bad boy comes with a Windows Phone 8 build 10327 (GDR2) and Nokia’s Amber firmware update already on board. The means that it has a bunch of low level OS fixes, like that Me Tile situation and the Other Storage fix (we're at 300 MB) and some Nokia perks likes double-tap to wake and flip-to-silence for phone calls. (Watch our video tour above to see it in action.)
The Lumia 520, which we’ve reviewed previously, comes with a 4-inch WVGA display (no ClearBlack), 8 GB of storage (expandable microSD), 512 MB of RAM and a dual-core 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU. The 5 MP camera on the back lacks a flash and there is no front facing camera or NFC on board, but for $99, you get a solid Windows Phone-lite experience. It’s perfect for kids, grandparents, a backup phone or anyone who just needs a phone with perks. The phone only gets HSPA+ with no LTE support on board, but that shouldn’t be too surprising when you consider the price-point.
Nokia Amber features on the AT&T Lumia 520
A lot has been written lately about low-cost Windows Phones specifically that getting them into people’s hands is what will drive the platform. While that strategy remains to be proven, the Lumia 520 (similar to the Lumia 521 on T-Mobile) is a solid contender to lead the way in the States.
Head to AT&T's website to order the Lumia 520, or stop by your local Microsoft Store if you have one near you.
Left: AT&T Lumia 520; Right: T-Mobile Lumia 521