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Customer Reviews for T-Mobile T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

T-Mobile T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

The compact 521 4G T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia Smartphone is a Windows Phone that sports a memory card slot, 5MP camera and a front camera. The cell phone also has a removable battery, a 1 GHz processor, and is 4G-capable. This T-Mobile Pre-Paid Smartphone also has the ability to integrate with Xbox, Windows 8 and SkyDrive. This phone is a smart choice to connect, play games or get your daily weather, in addition to talking to friends and family.
Average Customer Rating:
4.139 out of 5
4.1
 out of 
5
(512 Reviews) 488
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating SnapshotOverall Rating Totals
5 stars
285
4 stars
131
3 stars
25
2 stars
24
1 star
47
Customer Recommendation85%433 out of 512reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Questions & Answers:
653 Questions | 994 Answers
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating SnapshotOverall Rating Totals
5 stars
285
4 stars
131
3 stars
25
2 stars
24
1 star
47
Customer Reviews
Review 1 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Excellent quality phone

05/14/2013
By ,
Tampa,FL
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I bought this phone from HSN and have been using if for 10 days so far. So far, the phone is much better than expected for this price point. The quality of the phone is right up there with any of the recent android phones I have owned. But the software just works so much better. On all of my prior smart phones, I had to reboot the phone periodically to keep from freezing. I have yet to reboot this phone. Setup was pretty straight forward and simple. Just plugged in my SIM card, entered my live.com user name and password and everything synced and was ready to go. I had already moved my calendar and contacts to outlook.com prior.
Most of what I do with my phone is make calls, email and some texting. All of which is does very well. Call quality and reception is excellent. I live in an area where we have reception issues and used wifi calling with prior phones. Have not needed it with this phone and typically have 3-4 bars of reception. Although, wifi calling is coming with an update for this phone in a few days. It appears I will not need it, at least at home.
The build quality is not quite as good as some of the higher end Nokia Lumia phones. As far as I can tell, it has scratch resistant glass and not gorilla glass. But I always use Skinomi screen protectors with my phones, so this is really a non-issue for me. There is no flash, but I rarely ever use my phone as a camera. I did take a couple of quick test pictures outside and the camera is honestly sharper and better quality that my $200 point and shoot camera. Far better than any camera I have had on any previous phones. Battery life has been exceptional. With moderate use, I have never had my battery life drop below 50% in a full day of work. This is my work phone and I use it quite frequently through the day. The Lumia 521 is a very light and slim phone.
As for the Windows Phone 8, I like the layout. I specifically went and got a windows phone because I do like the new windows 8 interface. It is very clean and easy to navigate. There are not as many games and apps as the android play store, but again, I use my phone for work and very rarely play a game or do social networking on my phone. For those that need apps, there are the standard angry birds, cut the rope, facebook, etc on the play store.
I really only have 2 issues with the phone. My biggest complaint is the lack of separate volume controls. The volume control is unified, so when you are playing a game and turn down the volume, you also turn down your ringer volume. You just have to remember to turn the volume back up. Not a deal breaker, but something you should know going into it. I am hopint this will be addressed in one of the windows 8 phone service releases. My other issue, and this is minor, the plastic back is a little slick to hold onto. I have always kept my phones in some sort of silicone case to help prevent damage. So not really an issue as you can get a cheap case from online sites for $5-$6 for this phone.
Overall, a very good experience and probably a windows phone user for life after having used this phone. Android always seemed to be in some state of Beta to me. Windows 8 feels polished and smooth.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:45 - 54
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+35points
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Review 2 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Such a deal!

01/02/2014
By ,
Philadelphia
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I NEEDED a phone I could use by the minute (no data) without a contract. I WANTED a phone that had a little more bling than the clamshells and sliders that were being offered by every other carrier.
In the past, I used Verizon and Net 10. Both offered hardware that turned out to be terrible in function and call quality. I found this phone and fell in love with the specs and as I am in a metropolitan area, T-Mobile was not an issue with coverage.
Not only can I make calls and txts over the network, but when I have access to WiFi, I can access the internet without a data plan! The beauty of this is that I am able to download apps when I have wifi and use them when I don't have wifi (of course, navigation and other apps that require continuous access to data are not part of this plan - I have a GPS for nav that I will never relinquish).
This phone is an incredible value and has really nice functionality. While the windows store is not as robust as iOS or Android, it works for me. I don't have issues with battery life - it will last the day and that is all I expect from a phone with these capabilities. I am very happy that I found it.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 3 months
Usage:A few times per year
0points
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Review 3 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Great Phone

01/02/2014
By ,
Chicago, IL
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Got this phone for my 14 yr old niece. Great phone for the price and love that it has security measures for under aged children to access certain sites.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:25 - 34
Gender:Female
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
0points
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Review 4 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Great pre-paid phone

05/13/2013
By ,
Boston, MA
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I bought this to replace an older HTC Windows Phone that was starting to act up and I have to say I'm very impressed with it. The hardware is solid, the battery life is great and the phone interface is extremely smooth and responsive. Add in the exclusive Nokia WP apps and the excellent price and this is a great recommendation for those looking to buy their first smartphone or switch from a lower spec Android/WP device.
Highly recommended if you're in the market for a budget pre-paid phone.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Male
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+30points
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Review 5 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Great value

05/14/2013
By ,
Denver, CO
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
2nd day with the lumia 521 and I'm impressed. Fast , easy to use. Set up of the phone with Nokia's help site was good as was T-mobile with Devin at Walmarts help. $30 plan with unlimited data and texting is a deal. Calls are clear and browsing is fast and easy, try this phone!
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Male
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+21points
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Review 6 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Amazing!! the best phone for the price.

06/28/2013
By ,
Logan, UT
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
In this price range around $130 I could not find a phone with better specs than this one. It packs all the basics you'd need in a smartphone and MORE! and the quality is way better than any other phone in this price range. Did not disappoint at all.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:18 - 24
Gender:Male
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+8points
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Review 7 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

BEST PHONE I HAVE EVER USED

05/13/2013
By ,
Las vegas
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a great phone for the price, better than more expensive androids,very sensitive screen, all the apps I need, easy to use, good battery life, very good pictures , very happy with the purchase. I totally recommended
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+25points
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Review 8 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone
09/25/2013
By ,
MN
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a great phone for the person who mainly uses messaging/talk. I do not pay for a data plan and just use it with Wi-fi. I am patiently waiting for the Nokia update with FM radio.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
0points
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Review 9 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Great phone, cheap price.

07/07/2013
By ,
Watertown, ny
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I was happy to find a windows phone for such a cheap price. The price being low, I expected a good amount of flaws. To my surprise, there is very few. The Windows market isn't the best but, that's not a problem with the phone itself. I can't seem to get a SD (memory) chip to work.. And the touch screen is super sensitive. Besides this, the phone is amazing. The camera is amazing, and I'm shakey yet get good pictures. It's fast. The speaker for music or speaker phone is great and gets pretty loud. Signal is better than Sprint, which I previously had. Only had like, two dropped calls within 3-4 months. Using the phone is easy. I have a bad habit of dropping the phone, and it has not yet broken. The screen is great for YouTube or other videos.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:18 - 24
Gender:Female
Ownership:3 - 4 months
Usage:Every day
+7points
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Review 10 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

great smartphone with simple cheap plan :D

11/24/2013
By ,
PA
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I am glad I didn't have to spend too much money on good smartphone or data plan :). Nokia Limia 521 is easy to use to me as my first smartphone. T-mobile has an unbeatable plan on this (pre-paid $30 plus tax for unlimited 5GB data/unlimited text and 100 minutes calls). I can surf facebook, google, youtube all right from this phone. Whatsapp works well. I am not a gamer so can't say about gaming on this. Overall serves the purpose intended in my opinion. oh and for heavy use, the battery has to be charged at least once a day.
Product Attributes:
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Female
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
0points
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Review 11 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

great phone for a begginer :-)

01/05/2014
By ,
indiana
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I bought it for my son and he liked it . Good for gaming listen to music .
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:25 - 34
Gender:Female
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
0points
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Review 12 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

I can't believe this is for less than $150!

05/13/2013
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love this phone. I had the HTC Sensation and the wifi receiver stopped working so I wanted a budget phone to replace it while my contracts is still going. I thought I would give Windows Phone a try after being a loyal Android user for a while.
This phone was nothing like "budget". it works great and is so smooth. It's so much for the money, honestly I don't know how Nokia does it. Here's why:
1) GPS: GREAT. You can download the maps and make them available offline, meaning that you don't need 4G anymore to download the maps while you're driving. It's almost like a standalone GPS.
2) Nokia Music: GREAT. It's a free service similar to Pandora but it allows you to download the playlists to your phone and make them available offline. The free version lets you download a few songs per day but you can upgrade to the full version if you're a music buff.
3) Camera: Good. back camera: It's only 5MP, but it works well. The software that comes with it is really nice though. Smart Shoot and Cinema Graph. Google or youtube them to know more. The phone doesn't have a front facing camera though which is OK with me, but if you need one for video chatting, just know that it doesn't.
4) Aesthetics: Great. No one believes that this phone is a $130 phone without contract. Really. The white/black contrast and the clean and neat look are amazing.
5) OS: Windows Phone 8: OK. But can be great. I love the interface, I love the clean cut. I love the integration with Skydrive. If you're migrating from Android, Apple, don't expect to find all the apps that you use there... but for me, I found equivalent apps for 90% of the apps I used on my Android.
Summary, just for the GPS, Nokia Music, phone aesthetics, and camera, this phone is worth more than $200 without contract. This is a great deal for anyone thinking to try one the Windows 8 interface or someone just coming to the Smart Phone world. You will love it as long as you know what to expect...
Good luck.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:25 - 34
Gender:Male
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+30points
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Review 13 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone
07/11/2013
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Best phone I ever purchased! I had my doubts about it, esp. since it was a touchscreen, but now, I'm glad I took a chance on it.
:Walmart.com
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Gender:Female
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+7points
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Review 14 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Simply the best "bang for your buck" smartphone.

06/07/2013
By ,
Texas
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I've had my Lumia 521 for about a month now. In the past I was a die-hard Android phone user, but everything about the Lumia has exceeded my expectations, so much so that I can't ever see myself going back to Android. What makes this phone so wonderful? Several things, actually:
1. The Windows Phone 8 is fluid and smooth. This is really the highlight and main reason to buy this phone. Even though this phone only has 512 MB of RAM, there is no slowdown or stuttering like on many similarly spec'd Android devices. Apps load quickly and snappily, and games run just as fast. The only drawback to the limited RAM is that you can't multitask with very many apps open (otherwise you'll see the "Resuming..." screen when an app reloads#. Still, this is a minor nitpick, as apps resume very quickly. And speaking of apps...
2. Nokia's built-in apps are excellent. If you're coming from Android or iPhone there is a slight learning curve, but after using the phone for a day you'll be a pro. Nokia provides a "Help & Tips" app just in case you need assistance learning the ins and outs of the OS, and their other apps such as "HERE Maps," "HERE Drive" #GPS navigation# and Nokia Music are extremely user-friendly and, in my opinion, of higher quality than other Android apps that provide the same services. Nokia also provides their own "App Essentials" pack in the Windows Phone store that you can download, which includes many other useful apps like Ringtone Maker, Photobeamer #which allows you to "beam" your photos projection-style onto any PC or Mac that has the Photobeamer website loaded#, and HERE Transit.
3. The camera takes decent, but not great, photos. If you're looking for iPhone quality photos, I'll be honest: The Lumia 521 will not cut it. There is also no LED flash included on this model, but really, what did you expect for $130? On the other hand, if you just need something for a quick point-and-shoot, then the 5MP lens on this phone does just fine. You can further enhance your pictures through Nokia's #MANY# photo editing apps if need be. I've found that as long as there is ample light, the photos turn out satisfactory.
4. Less apps than iPhone and Android. That's right, I said "LESS" apps. While most people would see this as a negative, it actually works to Windows Phone's advantage. Most major apps you would need are readily available in the Windows Store, like Twitter, Facebook, Kindle, Spotify, Pandora, etc. For everything else, you can usually find a comparable substitute that is of better quality than what's available on iOS or Google Play. For example, if you need a replacement for Google Reader - or one of its many offshoots - NextGen Reader is an awesome alternative. Because there are fewer apps available, quality apps like NextGen Reader are much easier to find. No wading through tons and tons of garbage apps just to find a diamond in the rough!
5. Call quality ROCKS. Calls are clear and loud, and I've never had anyone say that they have trouble hearing me. Voices don't sound muffled in the least.
And because no product is perfect, here are some things you might not like:
- The feel of the phone is very cheap, particularly the back. It's just a hard plastic shell without a good grip. You'll want to get a case for this phone soon if you consider yourself a butterfingers and don't want to risk dropping it.
- The screen is nothing to write home about, but once again, what are you expecting for $130? Sure, it's not a super AMOLED like on the Samsung phones, and it's only 4", but it's definitely more than passable. It is, however, super-sensitive, although you can turn down the sensitivity in the Settings if you desire.
- Only 8 GB of internal memory. This will fill up rather quickly if you download a lot of apps and music. Fortunately you can remedy this by using a MicroSD card for more storage, but keep in mind YOU CANNOT INSTALL APPS TO THE SD CARD. You can only put music, pictures, and videos on the SD card.
If you're on the fence about picking this phone up, or you're hesitant to switch to a Windows Phone, then trust me: The Lumia 521 is worth it. For the price, you're getting a phone that has an awesome mix of features and apps, and if you plan on using T-Mobile's $30 prepaid plan then you're getting even more of a bargain. In fact, the only reason you should consider NOT getting this phone is if you don't get T-Mobile service in your area or if you just dislike T-Mobile altogether. There's a reason this phone is nearly sold out everywhere: it's just that good. Track one down if you can, because you won't regret it.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:25 - 34
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+64points
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Review 15 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone
07/31/2013
By ,
PA
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Great phone only bad thing I can think of is the battery doesn't last long. it starts out at 100% and in about 3 hours of non stop use non phone use it's about 40%,don't know if that's good or not since this is my 1st smartphone. windows is great , nokia music is the only app messed up, the offline radio stations 4 max unless you pay $3.99 a month get deleted from your phone if you take 1 of the 4 off and put a different one on. the best app in the windows store ever not even apple got it is the 3 Stooges all 194 shows free. as for T-Mobile if you can't get 4g in your area don't get $30 a month plan, stay pay as you go 2g is worst than a 33k modem I though it would be better than that. or get it unlocked and go straight talk or net 10 which is at&t and they got more 4g coverage.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every few days
-1point
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Review 16 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Easy to use right out of the box

10/30/2013
By ,
Minneapolis, MN
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Purchased this as my first smartphone to replace an old phone on my T-Mobile Family Plan. Used the new sim card that came with the purchase (old sim card is different and would not fit), went to the my account website, logged in, clicked on new sim card, and within two hours my phone was up & running. The next day spent a couple of hours "playing" with Windows to understand the apps and could navigate well setting up what I needed (bluetooth, email, storage, home wi-fi, defaults).
Have always liked Nokia phones and this one is no exception. If you want the latest & greatest you may want to look elsewhere, but for a great value and eaze of use, you will like this one.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+4points
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Review 17 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

This is an excellent phone.

10/31/2013
By ,
Houston
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I got one for my wife and it was really good. I decided to buy one for my self and we are very happy with this phone. It is not the fastest phone, but for my needs of making calls, checking mail, sending messages, and have Skype on the go which is really good.
I wish that Win 8 gave certain capabilities to cater the solution more to my needs, but I guess I can't expect all that from this price point. I am happy with what I got so far.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+1point
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Review 18 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Very Happy, thank You

01/04/2014
By ,
bolingbrook
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
My Wife has not had one complaint over this phone. So I guess it is Well satisfiying. and that is Good for all of us Thank You
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:45 - 54
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+1point
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Review 19 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

Great phone.

12/06/2013
By ,
Kenly, NC
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Great phone.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:45 - 54
Gender:Female
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
-1point
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Review 20 for T-Mobile Pre-Paid Nokia Lumia 521 4G Smartphone

great windows phone, great capacity

12/19/2013
By ,
Manchester, NH
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I would definitely recommend this product because is easy to use and great to download apps, and Internet usage.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:25 - 34
Gender:Female
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+1point
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