How much tech gear can you get for the price of a Galaxy S4?

How much tech gear can you get for the price of a Galaxy S4?

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Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 has a good camera, a good display, thousands of apps, and the ability to keep you connected to the weather, sports, news, and all of the people you care about. It’ll also cost you a cool $750 if you buy one off contract.

The new Nokia Lumia 521 also has a good camera, a good display, thousands of apps, and the ability to keep you connected to the weather, sports, news, and all of the people you care about (and because it’s a Windows Phone, it does so arguably better than Android). And you can get it for $150 off-contract.

That’s a $600 price difference. So we started thinking…what could that $600 buy you? We hit the Microsoft Store in Los Angeles, CA to find out:

As you can see, $600 can buy you a LOT of great stuff at the Microsoft Store. Here’s what we picked up:

And for the record, here’s the side-by-side of the receipts. Note that we got all of this stuff for $4 less than the GS4 – enough to buy me an Americano at the Starbucks across from the Microsoft Store:

WP_20130430_014

 

Which would you rather have if you’re looking for a smartphone that rocks the basics? A Lumia 521 plus a laptop, earbuds, memory card and tons of music (and a coffee!)…or a Galaxy S4?

 

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12 Comments
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  • @bcotton

    The best free office suite available for android is Kingsoft Office, which also happens to be available for windows, with the newest version even matching the ribbon interface almost step for step with Office. And the subscription you speak of will also yield ms office for your phone. if you can't stand the subscription, you can still buy office, or go with a free solution, like you suggest for the gs4 (PS, the lumia 521 comes with office built in)

  • bcottun
    0 Posts

    Comparisons such as this are of little use in the real world.  The MS spin makes this sound like a great deal but...

    1.  You can buy a brand spanking new Samsung Galaxy S4 off contract for under $600 and the price keeps falling.

    2.  The Lumina is a low end phone; the S4 is a top end phone.

    3.  Follow the link on this page to purchase the Vivobook listed above and guess what?  They are out of stock.  I guess you save another $449 because you can't buy one.

    4.  Lastly, if you purchase MS Office 360 for $79.00 as listed on the linked page so you can actually use the laptop, guess what?  You get to spend another $80 every year after that to keep the subscripiton active.  It did not cost me a cent to add MS Office compatibility to my Galaxy S3.

    Not such a great deal after all.

  • Great article. Sure, the S4 may have much better specs, and Windows Phone has much to work on...

    Until someone finds me an android phone at the same price point, without contract, as the Lumia 521, then I can say this article is crap. But the point is, I haven't (Ben even had a similar artcle on this) The Lumia 521 sweeps the market at this price point.

    Heck, even an Android user wouldn't want to use an $150 Froyo device.  

    Or he could compare the best Android phone out there, and the most affordable Windows Phone out there, and see what you could buy with the $600 extra. If I was offered 2 phones for free, an S4 and the Lumia 521, I would definitely choose the S4 anytime.

    But, if I had the choice of an S4, or the Lumia 521, a 16GB SD card, 3 months of Xbox, and a laptop...

    Doesn't it make you feel like Samsung is ripping you off a bit?

  • You could do this with any off contract phone...or how much nice stuff can you get for the price of an iphone or a hummer?  Pointless comparison if you're not going to pit the S4 against something with at least a similar spec or feature set!

    I'm with everyone here demanding more access to apps which other platforms have as standard.  This is a Windows Phone made by Microsoft - they're not exactly a small software vendor with limited resource or no global presence!

    I'd also like a file manager on the phone to delete or manage all those hidden files that have filled my 8s internal memory to capacity - I can't even update the phone with a system upgrade!  Being able to download and run apps from the 32GB card I bought for my phone would be a massive help, the card is a bit pointless at the moment.

    I love the simplicity of WP8 over it's competitors, but let's acknowledge there are a lot of reasons to consider the alternatives.  Especially when the likes of the S4 exist.

  • jo d
    0 Posts

    Before you start firing on a target be sure you can take it down, It's just disgusting when i read blogs like this, i am sure s4 wins..as we know S4 is far better than lumia 520, taking for example the "simplest things" that 520 should have

    1) no audio enhancement

    2)not able to use your songs as ringing tone(limited customization)

    and a lot more..

    it needs more patching

    thanks

  • Well, the first piece of hardware I would buy with the $600 is a phone that I actually would want to use.  Then I would Ebay the Lumia, but I probably wouldn't be able to find a buyer.

    Seriously, this dur-hur-hur snobby Windows Phone attitude has GOT to stop.  It reminds me of Apple, only without the sales numbers to support the snobbiness.

    Windows Phone 7 and 8 are very competent phone OSes that have a lot of cool and innovative things going for it, but no matter how you slice it, they don't do half of what Android or iOS does.  And that is just sad.

  • The only bad thing about the L521 is Xbox Music on WP8.. It needs a complete overhaul, and quick. XBM is the ONLY thing that I can say seriously frustrates me about WP on a daily basis... If I could find a good app in the store to replace XBM I would install it now. And, if I could delete XBM from my phone I would.. Nevertheless, I hate feeling this way about XBM, and I hope it is seriously improved on.

  • xpclient
    50 Posts

    Yeah but I got completely free from T-Mobile's contract and it allows the kind of customization, choice, openness and advanced features for power users that Windows Phone doesn't have. Plus there will be a guarantee that the Apps I buy from Google Play will work on a future version of Android unlike my HTC HD2 whose purchased apps got wasted due to "reimagination" of Windows Mobile.

  • The 920s Camera is clearly superior to what Samsung put into the S4 but I don't believe the 521 really can compete with the S4 on that. Also it still lacks in memory compared to the S4 and is missing LTE connectivity. The list goes on.

    Where you are right is that you can get a phone that can do most of what the S4 can and far more than many people need at a very, very competitive price and the savings can get you a lot of stuff so definitely worth thinking about.

    The App situation is looking better in recent months but the numbers aside: there still are some gaps in the WP App lineup.

    @Twigg: Can't tell you about the others but at least Favorite Sync has been confirmed in conjunction with Windows 8.1 although we don't know with which update it will hit Windows Phones. Might be GDR3, might be only with WP Blue.

  • Twigg
    0 Posts

    If you put all the effort you guys are putting in bashing Android and iOS, in trying to improve Windows Phone, that'd be great...

    Windows Phone needs some MAJOR improvements, no matter how hard you bash the others.

    Where the hell are custom notification sounds?

    Where is tab/favorite sync with desktop IE10?

    Were is the independent volume control?

    Where are the custom sound profiles?

    These are just a few small, but greatly irritating features.

  • The sad part is the number of people that will argue any/all of the following points:

    1. High end phone vs. low end phone (ignoring that that low end phone can run more stable than the best Android device).

    2. That the S4 on contract has a good price with most carriers (ignoring that any Lumia is better priced on contract AND better technology).

    3. That the S4 can run thousands of apps that Windows Phone doesn't have (ignoring that most people just don't care about those apps, most of the apps are crapps, and the ones that are good almost always exist in official or unofficial capacities).

    This is quite a decent tech package for the average consumer... especially for the budget conscious! :)

  • Andrew
    3 Posts

    Sounds like a steal to me. The Galaxy S4 is a nice piece of hardware but I'll take the Lumia line any day of the week. Throw in everything else seen here and all I can say is "sign me up!"