Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Budget Windows Phone 8: Nokia Lumia 520 or Huawei Ascend W1?

Nokia recently announced the availability of their latest budget Windows Phone 8 device, the Lumia 520 which they say brings some high-end features to an affordable package worth Php7,990.
When the Huawei Ascend W1 (Php8,990) was announced last week, I immediately thought that it will directly compete with the Nokia Lumia 520 instead of the Lumia 620. Let’s take a closer look at the specs to see which phone gets an advantage on what area.
Nokia Lumia 520Huawei Ascend W1
4.0-inch IPS LCD touchscreen (800 x 480 resolution), 233 ppi4-inch IPS LCD multi-touch display (800 x 480), 233 ppi
Scratch-resistant glass, super sensitive touch technology 
Dual-core 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8227 Snapdragon S4 (Krait) processor1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8230 Snapdragon S4 (Krait) processor
Adreno 305 GPUAdreno 305 GPU
512MB RAM, 8GB internal storage, microSD up to 64GB512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, microSD up to 32GB
5MP autofocus camera no flash5MP autofocus camera with LED flash
No front cameraVGA front camera
HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 MbpsHSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DPBluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASSGPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
Li-Ion 1430 mAh battery (BL-5J)Li-Ion 1950 mAh battery
124 g130 g
SRP: Php7,990SRP: Php8,990
Firstly, we can all agree that when it comes to quality and durability, we can trust Nokia. It’s good to know that they used a scratch-resistant glass on the Lumia 520 along with their super sensitive touch technology. Not only can you leave the glass without any protection but you can also use your gloved fingers to navigate the phone. Very important if you frequent cold climates.
The 1.2Ghz processor speed advantage on the Ascend W1 is not a significant one since both chips came from the same family with the same L1 and L2 cache.
The Lumia 520 has double the internal storage than the Ascend W1 but both supports microSD. For some, this is a problem because WP8 doesn’t install apps to the SD. However, if you’re not planning to install dozens of apps/games that you probably won’t use, the 4GB of the Ascend W1 should be enough.
On the camera front, the Ascend W1 trumps the Lumia 520 with its LED flash and front-facing camera. I think WP8 devices should have front-facing cameras by default mainly because of Skype. With a 4-inch screen, these phones are good enough for video chat.
The Huawei Ascend W1 also has a bigger battery at 1950mAh which should go a long way for a dual-core WP8 with a 4-inch WVGA display. However, it’s also more expensive than the Lumia 520 by a thousand pesos.
So which one should you choose?
I think it all boils down to what’s important to you. Nokia offers superior quality and service having been operating in the country for decades while Huawei still has to prove itself in that regard. That super sensitive touch display can prove to be useful at times as well especially for travelers. However, we can’t discount the front-facing camera of the Ascend W1 and its long battery life.

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