Editorial by Luke Jones on Saturday August 23, 2014.
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We are the first here at MobileBurn to admit that the HTC One M8 has immediately become the best handset on the Windows Phone platform. The Taiwanese company's all metal device sports better specs than any other WP handset and arguably looks better too. However, we have been thinking that the stellar job that Nokia has done over the last couple of years has been drastically undercooked this week.The Finnish company backed Microsoft's platform partly out of necessity, but it continued to build quality devices and often times was held back by the limitations of Windows Phone. However, Nokia managed to drive growth in some markets and gave the platform its fighting chance of being a viable alternative to iOS and Android. Sure, Windows Phone is not quite there yet maybe, but Nokia has done so well that Microsoft forked out billions of dollars to buy the smartphone division of the company. With the HTC One M8 for Windows Phone now on the scene, Nokia handsets have their first true platform rival. Before we get too giddy over the admittedly fantastic M8 though, we should accept that some potential WP consumers do not want HTC's juggernaut. So, there are plenty of alternatives from Nokia still available, so let's look at the company's best Windows Phone devices. Lumia 520 There are a number of Nokia Lumia devices on the market that can be classed firmly in the budget market, and honestly most of them are rather good. For our money though, the Lumia 520 is the best and even though it is aging it remains a compelling option for those working with a tight budget. It has such a good overall package that it has become a sales hit in emerging markets, giving those with limited means, but some income, a chance to get on the smartphone ladder. This device now costs well under $100 in most markets, but its specs still hold up to its humble price even in today's vibrant low end market. It features a 4-inch IPS 480p screen, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM and a 5MP camera. It is not a design triumph, but Nokia's colorful hues certainly help. Yes, some of you are probably thinking why not the Lumia 630, the handset that has replaced the 520. That is another solid offering, but it has not been around long enough to really get a recommendation and more than that it is still only incrementally better spec'd than the 520, but more expensive. Lumia 1320 The Nokia Lumia 1320 is a phablet, it is a big 6-inch device that is actually a little rarity in this niche. You see, the Lumia 1320 is rather affordable, unlike almost every other phablet (even mid-range ones) that are expensive. Nokia is very good at giving you what you paid for, and in that respect the 1320 has specs that match its price, solid and unlikely to wow or disappoint you. Its 720p display does struggle a little at this size, all but the most media consuming fiends will notice it really, while a dual-core 1.7GHz processor and 1GB of RAM make it an able performer. The device wizzes through Windows Phone 8.1 at a decent enough pace. Not mind blowing, but if you want a large screen Windows device that will not break your wallet, then this is it. Lumia 1020 Photography is becoming an important part of the smartphone world and Nokia has always been one of the best in this field. The Lumia 1020 is the best ever camera on a mobile device ever, there I have said it. You may disagree or you may not, but ultimately it is a very good lens regardless. This is as niche a device as you could imagine, but then if photography is your particular thing you should be happy. The 41 mega-pixel Pureview Camera with Carl Zeiss Tessar lens is a triumph, but the 1020's other specs such as a 4.5 inch 720p display (334ppi) and 1.5GHz processer with 2GB of RAM make it a very capable smartphone period. Lumia 1520 If the Lumia 1320 is the budget Windows Phone phablet the 1520 is the expensive one, but it is well worth its premium aspirations. It is the most powerful WP device ever made, the first to take advantage of Windows 8.1 with a quad core processer and a 1080p Full HD screen, huge at 6-inches. There are all the trimmings you would expect, such as LTE, NFC, and a premium metal chassis with polycarbonate rear plate. This is a stunning tour de force and if you are looking for a high end phablet then this is among the best on the market, on any platform. Lumia 930 Launched as the Lumia Icon, the 930 (main image) was a Verizon exclusive that spread its wings around the world and arrived as the Lumia 930. This is a smaller 5-inch version of the Lumia 1520 with the same fantastic specs and stunning build quality. In many ways though, the 930 is better than the phablet as the smaller form factor makes it much more appealing and accessible. Arguably the most desirable Windows Phone handset ever made before the HTC One M8 arrived on the platform. That said, if you want a high end alternative to the M8 and have your heart set on Microsoft's OS then the Lumia 930 should be your next port of call.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.