T-Mobile Announces Lumia 521 Budget Windows Phone 8 Smartphone, Again

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T-Mobile’s announced availability of the Lumia 521 all the way back in February at Mobile World Congress and Nokia’s keynote event. Which makes todays short press release the second official announcement for the Lumia 521 — coming in May to Walmart, Microsoft Retail Stores and T-Mobile retail channels. T-Mobile is playing coy with pricing and exactly availability saying they “will be shared at a later date.” Oh, how I hate that wording.

The Lumia 521 brings a 4” 800 x 480 display to the table, 512RAM, 8GB storage with a microSD slot, 5 megapixel camera with 720p video recording, 9.9mm thick and HSPA+ 21Mbps connectivity. Early hands-on show the Lumia 521 is “solidly” built, if a little cheaper feeling than higher-end Lumia handsets, but comfortable to hold.

For those of you looking for a budget-entry device that isn’t Android or iOS, the Lumia 521 is likely to catch your eye. Let’s hope we hear official pricing and availability direct from Magenta soon.


T-Mobile Statement:

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.


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  • LinkArt

    it will sell well

    • Agreed.

    • mdosu

      Perfect for a non-feature, minimum data intensive user…like our parents… lol

  • Wickedblue

    No LTE? :/

    • mdosu

      dream on…it’s a stripper phone.

      • Zacamandapio

        What do you have against strippers?

        Oh you mean….


        • mdosu

          I’m part of a luxury/performance car forum where cars built with no options are called “strippers”, for fully-stripped cars. i’d like to start that idiom here on TMonews

        • Zacamandapio


          I understood that completely.

  • Giraffe

    I don’t know whether to complain that I can’t find a high end windows phone at the 4 inch mark, or be happy that it’s so inexpensive. Dilemmas!

    • jay_max

      These types of cheap phones, in my view, allowed Android to rise to the top in terms of number of users. For better or for worse, Windows Phone also needs these devices in order to increased its installed user base. There are many who are simply not going to pay $500 for a flagship/top of the line phone. While the specs may not impress us techies all that much, most of middle America isn’t really going to care. What matters is that it works.

      • mdosu

        this is the perfect phone for my parents who doesn’t have the need for speedy data connection and navigation. If only they can figure out the aweful titles GUI…..

        • fentonr

          Awful? Hmm, to each their own I suppose.

      • The great thing about wp8 is that it isn’t really crippled by these hardware specs. User experience is still very good.

  • What price point do you all think it will cost? It’s only about $249 to $289 right now online, (well the original version is).

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if this is something along the lines of $0 down and $5 per month, which makes it an absolute steal for an entry level smartphone (and Nokia exclusive Windows Phone apps).

    • mdosu

      has to be less than $300…this is a stripped out phone. $250 is a super competitive price point. It has to be competitive with the HTC One S to sell. I wouldn’t buy it unless it was signficantly cheaper than the One S.

      • fentonr

        The European version is priced around $180 new. It better hit under $300.

  • Alex Zapata

    No WiFi calling? No deal. I love windows phone, but I love my WiFi calling a lot more.

    • Stanislaus Szczepaniak

      No. LTE is missing. But, it’s a budget device, and in white a cool lookin’ one at that!

      • Alex Zapata

        What does LTE have to do with WiFi calling?

        • mdosu

          it doesn’t. they were just pointing out key hardware and software features. This phone is a complete stripped down phone in these terms, so no wifi calling no LTE. Not surprised.

    • iamnumbersix

      And this is exactly my problem with WP7/8. Coverage in my house is pathetic and I must have wifi calling. Even though I loved my DVP I had to move back to android because of no wifi calling. I would buy this phone for my kids in an instant, IF it had wifi calling– which apparently it does not.

  • mdosu

    I wonder how many people will buy this and expect a future Windows update? lol

    • Zacamandapio

      That’s what gets me about Microsoft.
      They had all the time in the world to come up with Windows Phone. Then they released it and take forever for an update. I wonder if their mobile division doesn’t get any money from “Microsoft”.

      • jay_max

        I don’t get this complaint. I bought my 8x a few days before Christmas and have already had two updates to it.

        • mdosu

          a joke referencing the various and unrelated 710 and the 810 carrier update issues… I think most people will have learned not to buy a low- to mid-range windows phone, or any phone, and expect more than 1 years worth of carrier support. Your 8x should be fine.

        • fentonr

          I’ve not heard of any issues with either of those phones. I have an 810, my mom and sister have 710’s and my store sold 710’s like crazy…not sure what you’re talking about.

        • mdosu

          Although possible or capable, these phones are not getting Windows 7.5 or LTE updates.

        • kalel33

          fentonr, he was referring to T-mobile not pushing out the update to 7.8 for the Nokia 710. T-mobile didn’t feel the need to update it.

  • turb0wned

    I… Don’t….Care…. Give me the HTC ONE already Tmo!

    • mdosu

      oh okay, now that you’ve noticed and spoken, they’ll just ship you one shortly. Sorry about the wait. If you haven’t read the headlines (on even Google and other news outlets), supply has been delayed from manufacturer

    • And your anticipation of the HTC One has what to do with this article. Like David said, if you don’t like an article, just skip over it.

  • galaxymaniac

    perhaps this will sell for $250 like the Lumia 710

  • landmarkcm

    Am I the only one who keeps saying a flash for the camera has become a must for me. I don’t know why they would leave that off. They tout the camera yet this will be pretty useless in low light & indoor night shots. The 620 would have been better. Better yet the 720. Sorry Tmobile fail with this.

    • Ordeith

      I would love a 620!

  • I think this will replace the 710 on monthly4Gs for about 199:99$ .

  • D_Wall__

    I Wish T-Mobile would get a Flagship Windows 8 Phone. Im really wanting to get it a run… MY GS3 Is great, Just getting bored with Android.

    • SocalTeknique

      HTC 8X?

      • TechHog

        Believe it or not, this is the second guy I’ve seen who acts like the 8X doesn’t exist. It seems like the Lumia 920 is the only thing WP8 fans care about.

        • Alex Zapata

          Forget the 920, Eos all the way.

        • D_Wall__

          Nothing about the HTC8X catches my attention. No wireless Charging, No NFC. Ive had a few issues with my last few HTC phones also. I really want to try Windows 8. A friend here at work got the Nokia 920 and its a great device.

    • Pelt Frelken

      “Catwalk”, this summer.

  • UMA_Fan

    T-Mobile’s Optimus L9 right now is $240-$260. This would be a great phone in that price range.

    • landmarkcm

      The L9 which im currently using is better then this & can be had for 199.00 @ wally world. As I said in my other post strange to me why Nokia would not include a flash for the camera on this. That’s become a must for me..

    • Novus

      The unlocked version is selling on Expansys.US for $224 – see the link


      Click on the “New Releases this Week” tab.

  • Don’t hate

    Why would anyone buy a Windows phone with iPhone being released in 3 days? Their phones are total junk with a horrible app store. It’s all about iPhone from now on T-Mobile, dump your other handsets, nobody cares about them after Friday!

    • TechHog


      • g2a5b0e

        I almost certainly enjoy any post you make, TechHog. Always super insightful or ridiculously funny. Just thought I’d give props where they were due.

        • TechHog

          Thanks lol. I’ve never heard that before…

      • don’thate

        I know hog you are hating that you have Windows phone lol, it’s ok Boo, get yourself an iPhone and never look back!

        • TechHog

          If you say so.

  • Neil Griffiths

    this devices has much the same spec as the others in the range, same CPU and memory which are the important bits. Price is kept down by dropping front facing cameras etc. The 520 has no flash! The 520 and 620 are serious bargains because as I said the CPU and memory will let you play premium games, high quality sat nav etc. Bargain. Most people would do fine with a 620..

    • Ordeith

      521 has 512mb RAM vs 1GB in the 810.
      so not the same memory, and some apps won’t run on the 521 because of it.

  • Pelt Frelken

    Perfect timing for the new rate plans, this phone will sell very well.