Microsoft’s first smartphone won’t likely impress you if you’re looking for your next high-end device. While the Lumia 535 waves goodbye to the Nokia brand, it doesn’t replace it with any flair.
Sporting a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor and a 5-inch 960×540-pixel display, the phone is decidedly aimed at the lower end of the market, although it is running the latest Windows Phone 8.1. The price of just €110 makes it pretty affordable even for developing countries — that translates to roughly $135, £85 or AU$155, although expect final local prices to vary with taxes and subsidies.
The Microsoft Lumia 535 is set to debut in Africa in December. January will see the Lumia 535 sold in Latin America as well, while Microsoft has promised it will come to the UK in the first quarter of 2015.
If you were worried that a Microsoft rebrand would lead to a new design for Lumia phones, fear not. The Lumia 535, the sequel to the Lumia 530 sticks to the same proven formula as the current range of handsets. That’s to say, it has a plastic back and clean lines with rounded corners. It resembles the older Lumia 530, though bigger and slimmer.
While I expect an updated design when the software giant does eventually launch its first flagship phone, it’s sticking to the tried and true for now.
At 9.4mm thick, the phone is actually quite comfortable to hold and the edges don’t dig into your palm. The 5-inch display is narrow enough that you can still use it with one hand (unless you have really small hands). The glossy rear cover is removable, and besides bright green, comes in a few other colors as well, such as blue, orange, dark gray, black and white.
Microsoft will also be selling a flip cover accessory that has a small slit on the inside for a credit card. I wasn’t too impressed with the flip cover, but the credit card slot is quite a useful touch.
Besides the quad-core Snapdragon 200 and low-res 5-inch display, the Lumia 535 also comes with 5-megapixel front and rear cameras. It will have 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage and a microSD card slot that supports up to 128GB cards.
It will be powered by a 1,905mAh battery, which should be enough to last you through a day. It has two SIM-card slots and Microsoft says both will support simultaneous 3G connectivity, which gives it a leg up compared with phones that do only 3G in one slot. It doesn’t have 4G LTE, which we’ve begun to see on phones around this budget.
Microsoft Lumia 535 – Detailed specifications
- Front camera: 5MP wide angle
- Main camera: 5.0MP
- Flash type: LED flash
- Display size: 5”
- Processor type: Quad-core 1.2GHz
- Battery capacity: 1905 mAh
- Maximum talk time (2G): 11h
- Maximum standby time: 23days
- RAM: 1 GB
- Mass memory3: 8 GB (Maximum memory card size: 128 GB)
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
- Wi-Fi: WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
- Wi-Fi hotspot: Up to 8 Wi-Fi-enabled devices