Monday, April 15, 2013

Nokia Lumia 520 versus Huawei Ascend W1

Windows Phone has not yet achieved a significant market share, but within the Windows Phone market Nokia is the thousand pound Gorilla. Nokia accounts for 80% of Windows Phone sales. Samsung, the leader in the  mobile phone market has pretty much quit on Windows Phone's. HTC, which used manufacture the best Windows phones, cannot match Nokia's Lumia's offerings. Nokia is the big fish, in the still small Windows Phone pond.

But it looks like Nokia is going to be getting some stiff competition from a unexpected source, Huawei. Huawei is now the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, and its first  Windows Phone 8 device, the Ascend W1 looks very impressive for the price and well equipped to compete with Nokia's entry level Lumia 520.

Both phones are rather similar, with 4-inch displays, Qualcomm Krait processors, 512 MB of RAM, 5 MP camera's and HSPA+ connectivity. The Ascend W1 has marginally faster processor than the Lumia 520. The Lumia 520 is just a little thinner and lighter. But in deciding between these two entry level Windows Phone 8 devices there are really four areas to consider.

Price. The Lumia 520 is priced at Php7,990. The Ascent W1, is priced 1K more at, Php8,990. The Ascend W1, needs to justify its higher price.

Price update (April 17): The street prices of these units is closer than the gap in suggested retail price. The Huawei Ascend W1 can be had for as low as Php7,700, while the Nokia Lumia 520 is prices a few hundred less at Php7,450. 

Camera.  Both phones have 5MP  primary cameras, but only the Ascend W1 has a LED flash.  For  wanting to do video calls, the additional cost of the Huawei is  agsineagain justified. The Ascend W1 has a VGA front camera, while the Nokia Lumia 520 does not have a front camera.

Storage. Despite being cheaper. the Lumia 520 provides more storage, with 8 GB of internal storage, expandable via a microSD card with official support for 64 GB microSD cards. This is double of what the Ascend W1 offers with 4 GB if internal storage, expandable via a microSD card with official support for 64 GB microSD cards.

On the specs sheet it sounds like double the storage. In the real world it is more like 5:1. With Windows Phone 8, and the bundled applications, leaves you with just a bit over 1 GB of storage available. The Lumia 520 has over 5 GB of storage available.

Yes, both phones support microSD cards, but Windows Phone 8 only makes limited use of the SD card. You can store pictures, video and music on the SD card, but not apps or app data. Every application you download has to be stored and run from the internal storage. User data created by applications will also use internal storage.

In over words, you can store 5 times as many apps on the Lumia 520 as you can on the Ascend W1. 

Battery. The Lumia 520 has a 1430 mAh battery, which is a decent size for a 4-inch phone. The Ascend W1 has a generous 1950 mAh battery, which is a third larger than the Lumia 520.

Conclusion. Which is best for you depends. The Ascend W1 easily justifies it higher price with a front camera and larger battery, but the 1 GB or so of internal storage may not be enough for a fair number of users. For the typical smartphone users the 1 GB of internal storage for apps should be enough. On the other hand some games like Modern Combat 4 are 1 GB in size all on their own (Note: I am not sure if Modern Combat 4 will run on either of these phones). 

Entry level phones mean compromise. For me, the best compromise would be the Ascend W1. I can live with 1 GB for apps and would benefit more from the longer battery life. Apps like Facebook and gMaps are only 4 MB. Twitter is 2 MB in size.  But if you want to install plenty off apps, especially games, the Lumia 520 is the better choice.


  1. nice article....both mobiles are same in many aspects. But from my point of view Nokia lumia 520 is better option. its price and large memory storage capacity is enough. On the other hand, Ascend w1 is little bit price high and memory storage is very low. Its worth for only maximum battery back up.

  2. I might undoubtedly opt for the Lumia 520. It offers a more receptive touchscreen display screen you should use fingernails or perhaps safety gloves to operate the product. It offers increase how much storage (8GB vs 4GB).An individual gain access to distinctive Nokia programs and also services like Nokia Music intended for free and also endless audio mixes, and also Nokia's BELOW mapping applications.Nokia Mobile Prices


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