By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 10, 2013 10:02 AM EDT
A Nokia Lumia 520 variant that will hit T-Mobile as the Lumia 521 is no longer a surprise: the carrier just made it official.
The entry-level Nokia Lumia 521 will become available on T-Mobile sometime in May, but the carrier still offered no details on pricing. Nokia made visible efforts recently to expand its range of Windows Phone 8 devices, and its lineup now includes various handsets at various price points to suit more styles and budgets.
According to T-Mobile's announcement, the Nokia Lumia 521 will be available in May at Microsoft and Walmart stores, in addition to the carrier's website and stores.
While many expected an official announcement to include pricing details, T-Mobile is not saying anything just yet. Nokia, however, said it will sell the unlocked Lumia 520 for €139 (about $185) without a contract. As the Lumia 521 is a variant of the Lumia 520, pricing should be along the same lines, which would mean the off-contract handset would sport a price tag somewhere around $180.
While the price sounds exciting, the Nokia Lumia 521 does come with one notable drawback: the handset will run on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, which is not too slow, but it's not 4G LTE either. In other words, the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 521 will not be able to ride on the carrier's recently launched 4G LTE network.
In terms of specs and features, the Nokia Lumia 521 sports an extra-sensitive 4-inch touch screen, has a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1GHz and packs 512MB of RAM. Other features include 8GB of internal storage expandable up to 64GB via a Micro SD card, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with 720p HD video support and a 1,430mAh battery. The handset runs on the Windows Phone 8 operating system. When it comes to connectivity, the Lumia 521 supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and A-GPS. As expected, Nokia's full fleet of exclusive apps for the Lumia lineup is also on board.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop repeatedly noted that low-end devices are crucial to Nokia's efforts to stabilize its sliding smartphone market share and are therefore a priority. The Nokia Lumia 521, just like its Lumia 520 twin, caters specifically to this low end of the market, aiming to challenge cheap Android handsets.
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