The pricing is easily the lowest we've seen for a Windows Phone 8 device in the UK and make the Lumia 520 a very attractive option if you're looking to try out Windows Phone, or want a backup handset. It is possible to find a cheaper smartphone (running Android), but for overall value this offer is going to be very difficult to beat.
The Lumia 520 does achieve this low cost by cutting a few corners, the most notable of which are the downgrading of the screen quality and the absence of front facing camera, compass sensor, NFC chipset, and camera LED flash hardware. The hardware omissions do have an impact (e.g. use of LiveSight in HERE Maps, video calling in Skype), but do not seriously degrade the overall Windows Phone experience. There absence is a reasonable compromise given that the Lumia 520, at this price point, is less than half the cost of the next phone in the Lumia line up. Or, put another way, you could buy seven Lumia 520s for the cost of one Lumia 925.
Here's the conclusion to our Nokia Lumia 520 review:
Taken holistically, though, the Lumia 520 is still cracking value for money, in terms of the future proof operating system, the built-in Office suite, the mapping and navigation services, the 150,000 third party applications available in the Windows Phone Store, and (as highlighted above) even the built-in camera.
The more Nokia push Windows Phone down into this price territory, the better it will do, I suspect - budget Android phones tend to be slow and clunky, whereas the 520, on the whole, flies. And with greater sales at the budget end will come marketshare increase and revenue, increasing awareness further up the price spectrum. Assuming that Windows Phone continues to grow, I suspect we'll be looking back in a year's time and realising just how much the Lumia 520 and 620 had to do with the ecosystem taking off across the world.