Windows Phone is something that not too many people have even heard of, unless you’re keeping up with technology news often and see the name splashed in a headline here and there, or if you know someone that has a Windows Phone device. I have now seen three of them in the “wild”, per se, but it’s nothing compared to how many Samsung devices and iPhones I see out and about. I decided to go ahead and buy the Lumia 520 because I’m someone who as much as I like the latest and greatest devices, I try and buy cheaper phones, or used phones in good condition. I was a little weary to jump ship from after using iOS for 4 years followed by Android for another half a year, but iOS was getting somewhat stale and I didn’t have the money to keep up with Apple’s phone line as much as I wanted to, and since I was rooted on my HTC Desire Z, I had pretty much every version of Android under the sun for it, and that got kind of boring as well, and I decided it was time for a change. Let me just start out with this: For being a budget handset, the Lumia 520 is by no means a slouch. It has 512MB of RAM, a dual-core 1GHz processor, 4-inch screen, and a 5 Megapixel camera on the back without flash. Now, the main reason driving me away from buying it at first was due to not having flash on the camera. But in all actuality, I never really used flash for much more than a flashlight since I mainly take my pictures during the day. The only other downside to no flash, is the capacitive back, home, and search buttons are not backlit. But hey, it’s a budget phone so I can’t complain. One of the first things I immediately did after I got home was register and get the Windows Phone 8.1 preview on my 520 since it’s not publicly released yet. Windows Phone 8.1 is definitely the step in the right direction for Microsoft, although some WP geeks will probably say that some features got stripped away from 8.0, although I haven’t been using it enough to say for myself. The ability to have a picture “behind” your tiles very subtly is actually something I really like. Live tiles are absolutely wonderful, I get the next few days at a glance with Weather, Calendar tells me what I have coming up every day, and more but I won’t go into it. One of my favorite features of 8.1, is Cortana. I’ve messed with Siri and Google Now, and while both of them get the job done, Cortana does as well and Microsoft is working on making the AI a little more personal than Siri, and especially Google Now. For being in it’s beta stages, it’s very comparable to both of the other major AI. There’s quite a bit to cover, and I’m probably going to do a separate post on just the software side of the phone. So, in the end, if you’re wanting something different without being locked into a contract, and also want a really capable budget phone that way out performs any Android phone in the $50-100 range, then I highly recommend you get this phone. It’s very worth it.