Microsoft Lumia 535 Review

on Sunday, November 16, 2014
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 960x540-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 November in Russia, Ukraine, China, Indonesia and the Philippines, while those living in Australia, Vietnam, Thailand and unspecified countries in Africa will see this phone 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. There are no plans for a US launch.


If you were worried that a Microsoft rebrand would lead to a new design for Lumia phones, fear not -- at least not yet. 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, such as the (frankly terrible) Huawei Ascend Y550.


The Microsoft Lumia 535 isn't exactly a standout device, which is surprising, as I was hoping Microsoft would use its first phone to show off what it can do. Instead, you get more of the same, though this is no bad thing.
The target market for this phone will be countries where a high-end flagship would be priced out of the range of most people, so the Lumia 535 makes for an affordable start for Microsoft's own-brand phone range. We'll have a full review for you soon.


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