It has been some time since Microsoft completed the acquisition of Nokia’s mobile devices business and they have launched a couple of Lumia phones. However, those phones like the Lumia 830 and Lumia 735 are still bearing Nokia’s name. Now, Microsoft finally has announced the Microsoft branded Lumia 535, a budget phone with respectable specifications.
At first glance you will still be able to tell this is a Lumia phone. The colourful polycarbonate back with the black front has become the “standard” Lumia design. Lumia 535 is available in green, orange, white, grey, black and cyan. Microsoft definitely spoils us with so many colour varieties. However, you will notice that the branding is different. Nokia’s brand name is gone and it is replaced by Microsoft in front and at the back.
Lumia 535 has a 5″ qHD IPS LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3. The display size will be adequate for most people but the resolution of 960×540 and pixel density of 220 pixels per inch are less than ideal. However, the sacrifice is totally understandable for such budget friendly device. In fact, the display is among the best for devices in the same price spectrum.
Microsoft has packed in two 5 megapixels camera in this phone, which is a surprise to me. The 5MP rear camera has autofocus and LED flash while the front facing camera has a wide angle lens and the same pixel count as its counterpart on the back. The front camera will be one of the best, if not the best, among all budget phones. I guess selfie lovers will like to have a cheaper option. We can hardly see a 5MP selfie camera on a phone with such cheap price. However, the physical camera shutter has been omitted.
Lumia 535 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad core 1.2 GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and it is running Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim update. While this combination might be less than ideal for Android devices, it is sufficient to run Windows Phone smoothly. In fact, 1GB of RAM will allow Lumia 535 to run all kinds of applications in the store. Microsoft promises that the replaceable 1905mAh battery will provide 6.5 hours of video playback and 13 hours of 3G talk time. So it should be able to last for one day easily.
Microsoft also provides 8GB of internal storage and you can easily insert microSD card to expand the storage up to 128GB. There 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage for you too. Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS and up to 3G connection are supported. Unlike the Lumia 630 and Lumia 530, Lumia 535 has proximity sensor and ambient light sensor. This means that the screen can be turned off during phone calls automatically and auto brightness is present. While this might seem minor, it will come in handy in everyday use. Double tap to wake is supported too.
There will be single SIM and dual SIM variant for this phone and the availability will vary across different regions. It is priced around 110 Euros (around RM460). We have no idea when will it come to Malaysia and how much will it cost officially. So stay tuned for the update. You can learn more about Lumia 535 here.
Thanks to the fierce competition in the smartphone business, we have a lot of good choices, even we have a tight budget nowadays. So how does Lumia 535 compare with other competitors? Quite well, I would say. With the 5″ display with still acceptable pixel density, quad core processor with 1GB of RAM, two 5MP cameras in front and at the back, there are not much more you can ask for, given that it only cost you less than RM500. Microsoft also provides free services and applications such as Microsoft Office, Here worldwide offline navigation, OneDrive, OneNote and Cortana, every penny you spend for it will worth it.
I feel that the Lumia 535 is the most balanced (less sacrifice here and there) budget Windows Phone. For me, its even better than the Lumia 630 and it will be a very suitable phone for you if you want to try Windows Phone. It can provide complete Windows Phone experience to you with a low cost. If you want to compare it to other Android phone, Lumia 535 will be able to stand out with the 5MP front facing camera, the free services, the performance, and more importantly, the price. I think that Microsoft has pretty much nailed it and with proper marketing, I am not surprised if this phone will sell well.