The Grid Studio ‘exploded’ Lumia 520 is a must-have for any hardcore Windows Phone fan

Grid Studio Nokia Lumia 520.
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Windows Phone, like Microsoft Zune, is something that won’t die (or be forgotten). While Microsoft’s mobile efforts failed, at least with its own OS, the passion of those who owned a Nokia Lumia is still unparalleled.

Grid Studio has been around for a few years now and specializes in selling back our mobile memories but mounted and framed. And it’s not just the device, which would be boring. Instead, each electronic item is broken down into its components or “exploded,” meticulously labeled, and re-mounted.

Grid offers old-school devices such as the Game Boy Color, Xbox One Controller, iPhones, Apple Watch, and BlackBerry Bold 9000.

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

But now, the company has created its first Windows Phone mount with the framed Nokia Lumia 520. The Lumia 520 was the phone that kicked off significant momentum for the Microsoft ecosystem selling more than any other Windows Phone.

Announced in early 2013 at Mobile World Congress, the Lumia 520 was the most affordable on the market, coming in at $99 (it later dropped to just $19 on Amazon and $30 from Microsoft, which is crazy). It also won the Mobile World Congress award for 'Best Low-cost Smartphone' that year. 

As a refresher, the Lumia 520 launched with the Windows Phone 8 OS (later going to 8.1). It had a Snapdragon S4 1.0GHz processor with just 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. On the rear was a single 5MP camera, and there was none for the front because selfies weren’t a thing yet, which is weird in hindsight.

The Grid Studio Lumia 520 is meticulously detailed with labels for all the parts.  (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Grid Studio Lumia 520: Fit and finish

When ordering, the Grid Studio kit comes from China in an excellent package, wrapped and protected so that the frame and cover don’t get damaged. 

There is no glass, and the 11.7 x 16.5-inch frame is on the more affordable side, but that’s also because you’re paying for (most) of a Nokia Lumia 520, its disassembly, mounting, plus free shipping.

The frame has mounting options on the rear (two hangers on each side), and you can easily take it apart (and use your own frame if you want).

Speaker, earpiece, camera module ... it's all here to gawk at. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

For those concerned about the battery, don’t. While it is a genuine Lumia 520, the battery is fake for safety reasons so that it won’t expand or explode.

Looking more closely at the Grid Studio Lumia 520, you can read many details on the various parts like the speaker, the complete camera module, the main board, and cables. It's all super cool looking.

A nice touch is the inclusion of the “The more fun smartphone” tagline, which was used in the original marketing for the Lumia 520. There is also the date that Lumia 520 launched, which was April 2013.

A bit of history of the Lumia 520's OS path. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Grid Studio Lumia 520: Worth it?

Overall, I can give a big thumbs up to the Grid Studio Lumia 520 as it commemorates a milestone for the Windows Phone era and arguably its peak popularity. If you (or someone you know) are a diehard Windows Phone fan, this seems like an obvious gift that will delight you for years to come.

My only complaint? I’d love to see a similar Grid Studio mount for the Nokia Lumia 920 or Lumia 1020. My guess is if enough people order a Lumia 520 the company would consider offering other Windows Phone displays, so spread the word.

The Grid Studio Lumia 520 kit retails for $199 but is on sale for $169. Shipping is global and free.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.