It's a long time since I've used as Pay As You Go mobile phone. I think I must have been a teenager at the time, so well over 13 years ago (gosh I'm getting old)! So when I was offered the opportunity to review the Nokia Lumia 520, one of the many available Pay As You Go phones on Three I was intrigued to find out how much had changed since my days as a Pay As You Go user.
The Phone - Nokia Lumia 520
To be perfectly honest, my expectations weren't very high. In the past I've found that the quality of Pay As You Go mobiles isn't usually the greatest unless you can afford to spend a lot upfront buying one of the better models. I had expected that would still be the case, but the Nokia 520 easily exceeded those expectations.
The Nokia Lumia is a very attractive handset. I received it in black and it looks very sleek, but the phone is also available in an impressive range of vibrant colours from pillar box red to cyan blue. It feels sturdy in hand, not flimsy or cheap despite how slim the phone is, and I was impressed by the screen size (4 inch - 400 x 800). I found the screen resolution to be better than I expected, all images on the phone are very clear for the screen size.
The touch screen is beautifully responsive and I haven't had any issues using it so far. I also found out through a little bit of online research that the touch screen on the Nokia Lumia 520 works even if you're wearing gloves! I did actually try this, and I can confirm it's true! Certainly good to know for the winter months. I think this is an impressive feature considering the affordable price point of this handset. The only part of the handset I was slightly disappointed in was the lack of a flash for the rear facing camera. There isn't a front facing camera either, so this might be a bit of a dealbreaker for those who love taking selfies. However, if you do still snap a few too many pics the phone can easily store them, since the phone can accommodate an impressive 64GB microSD card.
So what's my overall impression of the handset? Easy to use and well designed. A big thumbs up!
As someone who is used to using android and apple devices (I have both), using a Windows phone was a bit of an eye opener for me. Initially I was a bit daunted by the set up, but it took just a few hours until I was familiar with the apps and the phone. It really doesn't take long to get to grips with this phone, even if you aren't very tech savvy, as the menus are pretty easy to navigate.
Features of the phone I was particularly impressed by were the inclusion of Microsoft Office and OneNote. The microsoft Office app lets you create, view and edit documents, presentations and even spreadsheets on your mobile.
I also liked the way social media is set up on this phone. It's quite straightforward and easy to navigate. Simply access the People app, this gives you an alphabetical list of all your contacts (including thumbnails).
Tapping on someone brings up all their information – from email and phone number right through to birthday or address (if you have it stored of course).
Swipe right from the contacts page and you'll access the 'history' screen, this shows all communications between you as well as their recent posts and updates on social networks.
Swiping to the left will take you to a 'what's new' screen, which combines accounts like Twitter and Facebook into a single feed, displaying recent activity without having to use a separate app. As someone who spends a lot of time using social media, this set up is really great for me. It saves me time going between different apps to keep up with everyone!
I could go on and tell you more about the phones features but I don't want to bore you! So I'll just wrap it up and say that this Windows phone really has some great apps and features, the bonus being that they are all easy to use! All round, this is a great phone for the price.
Pay As You Go
Along with the Nokia Lumia 520 handset, I was given a Pay As You Go SIM card to try out. I'm really impressed by the prices on Three's Pay As You Go service. With calls charged at only 3p per minute, 2p per text and 1p per MB of data it's a very affordable option if you're looking for an alternative to a contract. I seem to remember Pay As You Go prices being much higher and maybe they still are on other networks, but not on Three!
Topping up your mobile is easy too. You can:
- Buy a top of voucher at the Supermarket, petrol station or any other shops where you see the Top Up sign displayed.
- Top Up using the Three App (available free on iTunes or Google Play)
- Top Up at the ATM (Top Ups available at 1000's of ATM's across the UK)
I really did enjoy using the Nokia Lumia 520, it's a good affordable mobile with lots of fantastic features and would be ideal for anyone looking for a great Pay As You Go deal with Three. I don't think I'm quite ready to switch from my Three contract yet, but it is something I might be more willing to consider in the future given how affordable and flexible the options are.
*I received this product for the purpose of review. All views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.