My wife has never had a smartphone before. I set her up with my son’s Samsung Focus S after he upgraded to a Nokia Lumia 925 (I’m now jealous of the thin and light 925 compared to my Lumia 920). The Focus S was fine, but Windows Phone 7 does not have font size adjustment capability and Windows Phone 8 does. The default text size on the Focus S was not made for people over 40. So to the Nokia Lumia 520 we went.
The Nokia Lumia 520 is not a high end phone. It doesn’t have a high end Super AMOLED screen. It only has 512mb of ram. It only has a dual core processor. How could I be talking about price/performance for such a low end device?
Even with those limitations, the Lumia 520 is leap years above anything in the same price range (non-subsidized). Maps, GPS, Nokia Music (like Pandora), most apps anyone really uses, Facebook integration, Xbox integration, etc. And even though it is only a dual core processor, Windows Phone 8 is smooth and fluid on dual core. Other good, modern, phone operating systems can be sluggish on low end processors. Ask anyone with a 2 year old Android phone on a low end processor.
Flagship phones on IOS or Android or Windows Phone 8 are all really good now. When people ask me what phone to purchase, I usually ask them what they have used before. iPhones are easy to use. The Samsung Galaxy high end phones are usually excellent as well with myriads of sizes and options. The Motorola new stuff looks really good with the Google influence. And the Nokia Lumia high end Windows Phone 8 devices are my personal favorite with unique features like live tiles and great cameras to go along. In the US, if you are willing to lock into a contract, great phones are available to you at subsidized prices no matter which of the big 3 phone operating systems you choose.
However, if your spouse used your upgrade (like I did for my wife), and you don’t care about the high end features, it is hard to beat the Nokia Lumia 520 for AT&T or Lumia 620 for AIO or Lumia 521 for T-mobile. If you want your kids on prepaid service to learn phones are not free, but still want to allow them a smartphone that won’t break the bank, again the Lumia 520, 620, and 521 are great options. I guess that’s why market share gains keep piling up for Window Phone 8 in South America, Europe, and Asia where multi-year contracts and phone subsidies are not so common.