T-Mobile Announces Retail Availability For Lumia 521, Wi-Fi Calling And All


While the Lumia 521 has already been on sale through the Home Shopping Network and as a steal of a sale for $129 at Walmart, it’s finally coming to T-Mobile stores on May 22nd. The Lumia 521 will be available on T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans for $29.99 down payment with 24 monthly payments of $5. The biggest get with the Lumia 521 and somehow I glossed over it before is the addition of Wi-FI calling right out of the box. T-Mobile’s Windows Phone 8 lineup is lacking, but at the very least the 521 offers an excellent entry-level smartphone feature set at a price that’s just right.

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 smartphone features a super sensitive 4″ touch screen, HD Voice, 5MP camera with auto focus and 720p HD video recording. It will also include exclusive Nokia applications such as Nokia Music, Cinemagraph, Creative


Full Press Release:

Beginning May 22, the Nokia Lumia 521 – an exclusive to T-Mobile – will be available online at www.T-Mobile.com, at T-Mobile retail stores, select dealers and national retailers for $29.99 down with 24 equal monthly payments1 of $5 0% APR O.A.C. for well-qualified customers with the new Simple Choice Plan.

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 smartphone features a super sensitive 4″ touch screen, HD Voice, 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.

Lumia 521 smartphones sold through T-Mobile will also feature Wi-Fi Calling. Customers who have already purchased or ordered a Lumia 521 through HSN, Microsoft Retail Stores or Walmart will receive an over-the-air maintenance release beginning May 20, which will enable the Wi-Fi Calling feature.

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  • This is a very nice phone, the price is just right. Bang for buck with this device, for real.

  • Garrett

    I definitely recommend this phone if your curious about WP8. I love my little Lumia 521!

  • reinnier

    Finally WiFi calling on WP

    • Jonathan Shaw

      T-Mobile’s HTC 8X also has Wi-Fi Calling as of the March 2013 20010.531 firmware update.

      • reinnier

        Did not know that. This would be the 1st one to have it at launch

        • oryan_dunn

          Only those sold at T-Mobile will have it at launch. 521s already sold will get an update on the 20th.

        • reinnier

          Wow I don’t know shit. Maybe I should read the press release

        • Zacamandapio

          This made me laugh.

    • Could someone tell me why WIFI calling is even a bonus if your already on a flat rate unlimited calling plan to begin with? Is it because your connection is even more clear on voice calls because your using the Internet for voice to voice calls?

      • hx516

        its not about the minutes. its the fact that you can still make/receive phone calls and send/receive texts in areas that have no signal, such as the basement of your house or deep inside a building.

      • VG

        Many people can’t get a T-Mo signal indoors, so the WiFi calling is a HUGE benefits … All calls and messages are routed through the Internet when you turn on WiFi calling.

        • oryan_dunn

          Also, if you travel internationally, and turn on WiFi Calling (say at the hotel), then your phone thinks you’re in the US, and you get free calls to any US phone number, from anywhere in the world. Comes in real handy when you’re in India, where the going per minute international roaming rate would normally be more than $3 for a call back to the US. Yeah, yeah, Skype, other voip apps, blah blah blah, this is seamless and uses your actual mobile phone number.

        • VG

          Excellent! I may pick up one of these just for the WiFi calling when traveling abroad. Alas, my Nexus 4 doesn’t have native T-Mo WiFi calling.

        • Michael Kares

          I hope they push this update to the 810…

      • Layc

        Also, when travelling abroad, Connect to any wifi network and the phone Works as if its in the states. no roaming. amazing feature that nobody knows about.

      • TechHog

        You’re misunderstanding Wi-Fi calling. It doesn’t save you money, since if you had limited minutes it would still use them. It’s primarily for a better signal

        • Will

          Wifi calling does not use minutes unless you are on a prepaid plan. It is free and unlimited for postpaid plans.

        • VG

          Not true. For those with older postpaid plans with limited minutes, WiFi calling certainly does deduct minutes from your allotment.

        • Guest

          Even with my Simple Choice unlimited plan, I was able to add the Unlimited WiFi Calling SOC. Back when I worked for TMO, you had to have this feature to take advantage of unlimited wifi calling. Now it doesn’t matter, since everything is unlimited anyway.

          The real advantage to WiFi Calling (besides calling home from somewhere overseas) is the ability to have service in areas that would never get it otherwise. I work in the center of a large building. We have a handful of cell repeaters, but none of them reach my office. WiFi Calling lets me use my phone in places my co-workers can only dream about, lol.

        • Will

          This is an excellent benefit. There are many times when I cannot get a T-Mobile signal (coverage in Maryland is very spotty). But I can always fire up the Verizon mobile hotspot on my iPad and then connect my T-Mobile phone to it to make a call.

          Hey maybe there is a new market for Verizon: providing wifi coverage for T-Mobile wifi calling where there is no T-Mobile coverage.

        • Will

          I have a limited minute plan and wifi calling is free. To further prove the point, I only used 3 minutes out of 1000 last month. However, I talk for hours each day using wifi calling. Wifi calling usage does not show up under my plan calling minutes. Check your facts before posting.

        • VG

          I stand corrected. I could swear my WiFi calls during peak hours to non-TMo numbers were being deducted from my monthly minutes bucket. Did something change recently? I see the T-Mo support doc you referenced was modified on April 12, 2013. Anyway, thanks for the clarification.

        • Will

          No worries. I thought the same thing until I checked my past invoices. It’s why I don’t need to move to the new plans. I think they clarified it with the international stuff since I had not come across that in the past.

          For those that don’t have unlimited wifi calling on your plan, just call customer service. They will add it as long as you have a compatible phone, an account in good standing, and are not prepaid (although prepaid can use it limited to their minutes).

        • TechHog

          No, you’re wrong. It just uses your plan normally.

        • Will

          No it does not unless you are calling from the outside or calling internationally. Check the website before you state something. I do. From the site:

          There is no additional monthly charge to use the Wi-Fi Calling feature on your handset. Wi-Fi Calling uses monthly plan minutes for the following:

          Calls made from the US to international numbers (subject to international rates)

          Calls made from outside the US to US numbers (not charged roaming)

          Calls made from outside the US to international numbers (subject to international rates, but not charged roaming)
          Note: You must disable Data Roaming when traveling internationally to avoid incurring data roaming charges.

  • for the price sure .. but there’s hardly a rush for another cheap windows phone device.

  • ceegii63

    $129 at select WALMARTS!!!

  • Alex Zapata

    My girlfriend is going to be so excited it’s not even funny.

  • bisayan

    I got mine yesterday at walmart just for trying it out…not so bad wp8 for that pric point, question is if I pop the att sim card will it work? Regardless I will be returning it before 14day expire.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    Is this phone LTE enabled or just HSPA?

    • ssl48

      No LTE, just HSPA+

  • VG

    HD Voice is also on this phone? Am I reading that correctly? I though LTE was required for HD Voice?

    • techymexican

      Nope HD Voice don’t not require LTE.

  • tomarone

    The Lumia 720 has 4.3 inch display and 2000mAh battery. This one is smaller screen and less battery. So typical of TMO! Well It might be worth it this time.
    Does it have NFC?

    • Ordeith

      The 720 is also over twice the price.

      ATT’s AIO subsidiary offering the Lumia 620 for $180 really makes me wish the 620 would work on T-Mobiles network.

    • Renner5379

      How is that TMO fault..they don’t make the phones just sell them..that’s nokias fault

      • tomarone

        I did not say it is a fault. Same thing with lots of TMO phones like the One-S, they make a budget version but with same processor, main memory, etc. for less $$$. I like it, just a comment about the difference between TMO 721 and 720 line of phones. I think it’s great and I wish there was a ‘Mini’ HTC One phone. Thanks for comment!

    • Timbo1

      No NFC(Bummer but didn’t expect it at this price point) and a pretty crappy resolution and screen is washed out compared to the 620 but again the price point is the positive here although there are better phones within $70 of this phone.

  • Michael Kares

    Dang it! I just purchased a refurb Lumia 810… WiFi calling would be super convenient seeing as I work in the grand canyon this summer. Do you think 810 owners will also get the update?

  • Nice for Nokia to offer an entry level to try and get more people onto the Windows platform. Nokia still needs to offer a flagship high-end Lumia across all carriers this year too though including T-Mobile. They’ve never had one I don’t believe.

    • wasapasserby

      Yup; AT&T has the 920, Verizon will get the 920/928 variant, Sprint is Android/iOS. That just leaves T-Mobile without an LTE-capable Windows Phone. I’d get the 920 from AT&T (AT&T will unlock them for you) but with no LTE support, it’s pointless.

      • Alex Zapata

        Except the 920 has bands 4 and 17.

  • landmarkcm

    Nice but still leaves some to be desired. The Optimus l9 you get more for just a tad more $

    • Ordeith

      leave the hardware to be desired: Lumia 521

      leave the software to be desired: Opt L9

      • fentonr

        I’d take the 521 any day over the L9. The 521 is considerably cheaper and Windows Phone doesn’t need to latest hardware to run smoothly. Only thing I feel its really missing is a flash.

  • enoch861

    WiFi Calling? Thats crazy. I wonder how they did it considering Windows Phone is pretty locked down.

    • Sean

      MS made it available already, but T-Mobile has to work it out on their end. They’re still in beta for the update for phones the HTX 8X but it’ll probably get pushed out soon enough. Some people are already using WiFi calling on the 8X now.

      • enoch861

        Did not know this. Good news.
        Does it seamlessly switch like in the old Blackberry days?

        • Alex Zapata

          It does not. The only phones that will perform a seamless transition are any of the old UMA phones. This is also the case for the current android phones with WiFi calling.

  • minzegwu

    This is excellent news. I have been waiting for a Windows Phone with WiFi Calling. Granted this is a low end phone, but for the price, it is a sweet deal!

  • tomarone

    Microsoft is trying hard. Kudos! Google has big problems.

  • Brian T.

    $30 plus an extra $5/month? That’s almost impulse buy territory just to play around with WP8…..

    • Alex Zapata

      Forget that, the $130 is an impulse buy! That’s less than the up front cost of a lot of subsidized phones!

    • James Harding, Jr.

      Try it!

  • LayC


  • VG

    Does anybody know if this phone is unlocked out of the box? The T-Mo branding is on the phone and that has always meant it’s locked, but I am reading various threads that claim the phone comes unlocked. Could be that people are confusing “prepaid” and “no contract” with “unlocked”. Anybody who has purchased a Lumia 521 know the answer?

    • ssl48

      The phone is locked to T-Mobile. I believe if it’s paid for you can ask for the unlock code.

  • tomarone

    I got mine. Can anyone verify, I cannot touch or swipe on the top notification area? I’m worried it is defective. Also how do you test multitouch?

    • tomarone

      I found multitouch testers. Screen touch does not work on top and bottom 1/2 cm or so, of phone. Can anybody verify this?

      • James Harding, Jr.

        There is no top notification bar in windows phone. Your phone is fine

  • MoonlitReigns

    My walmart connection center just got a shipment today for Monthly 4g (as we do not carry post paid at our location). Sold two today.

  • gnd

    I have been playing around with this on WIFI(To use it as a phone, I would have to change my plan and I’m not sure about that) It is very different from Android. Seems to be aimed at a younger audience than me. I can’t get my email to work all the time. sometimes I have to reenter my password. Also can not get any background images to show up in mail. Just text.
    I can not find a setting anywhere to change this. I have 12 more days to test this. Great price, But I think that I would rather have the SG3 or Nexus 4. Wish that I could afford one!

    • steveb944

      Go for the LG L9, sells for ~170 on Amazon

    • If you have to re enter a password periodically, this could be due to a security policy from the email service you are using. This has never happened to me on wp8. Also, try deleting the account and adding back.
      background images do not load automatically for your safety and privacy. You should only download content from trusted sources.