Finally, after years of keeping away from Windows Phone (I am an Android user through and through), the perfect chance presented itself for me to handle and extensively use a Windows Phone device, the Lumia 535 Dual SIM. This device is a first to be released under the Microsoft Lumia branding. Was I impressed after using this device, or did it leave me with many more unanswered questions?
First, let’s take a quick glance at the key specs:
- SIM type: Micro-SIM/Dual SIM
- Announced: November 2014
- Dimension: 140.2 x 72.4 x 8.8 mm
- Display: IPS, LCD, 5.0 inches, 960 x 540 pixels (220ppi)
- Memory: 8GB, plus micro SD card slot
- Camera: 5MP back with LED flash, 5MP front-facing wide angle camera.
- OS: Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 200
- CPU: Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
- GPU: Adreno 302
- RAM: 1GB
- Radio: Yes
- Battery: 1905 mAh
Full specifications are available here.
- The best affordable Lumia yet.
- Very smooth and fluid performance.
- Good camera output.
- Poor resolution video recording.
- Low PPI for screen size.
What’s in the Box?
The whole packaging reflects the cost cutting measures Microsoft took to keep the price of this phone as low as it is. The pack looks like a medium sized Bible, charger and earphones are intact with a few booklets.
Hardware and Design
This device shares the same kind of design with many other Lumia devices, hence its appearance in various colors of black, white, orange, and green. The unit we had was White. This phone has softly curved corners and curved edges giving you comfortable grip when holding it. The back has a glossy finish that can sometimes be smeared with fingerprints.
Here we have the highly improved Windows Phone 8.1 OS which is increasingly becoming appealing with every incremental update. The tiles and menus are so beautiful and interactive. There are “Sense” apps for managing the core functions on the phone. Thee include:
- Data Sense
- Storage Sense
- Battery Saver
- Wifi Sense etc
All these help you to manage your device experience. Other notably great pre-installed apps include: Here Drive+, Lumia Camera, Microsoft Office and One Drive.
The Lumia 535 ships with a 5-inch 540 x 960 pixel display, amounting to 220 pixels per inch. To the common eyes, the display looks good, and everything comes out sharp, while smartphone geeks and display freaks will notice an occasional wash of colours. This isn’t an issue at its price point, and besides the device is clearly not targeted at geeks. Viewing angles are fine, though sunlight readability is poor – again acceptable given the price.
This device packs the best 5 megapixel camera you’ve ever seen. Image output is sharp and clear. Noise is only noticed when you zoom in too much. Even in dark places the flash performs admirably. The front 5MP shooter is perfect for selfies and covers a wide angle. Video recording here is maxed out at a resolution of just 480p though, which is quite poor for today’s standards.
The audio quality here is great. Sound output is sharp and loud. Video watching experience is superb. The default video player handled almost all the video formats I threw at it.
One of the high points of Windows Phone OS is the fact that it offers a smooth performance no matter the hardware. The Lumia 535 is not an exception. Here, everything runs smooth and fluid.
The 1,905mAh battery is quite small considering we have a 5-inch screen here, but it performs admirably and will last you 24 hours of moderate usage before a next charge.
Did I mention that I received Facebook birthday reminders? This is possible once after logging in to your Facebook account. Double Tap to Wake feature is also present on this Lumia. Every app the average person needs is covered in the WP ecosystem.
I noticed a few flaws while using the Lumia though. You can’t charge a Lumia device switched off. Once you plug it into a power source, it powers on. Clipboard apps aren’t yet available for Windows Phones. The Settings options are too many, and I hope this gets fixed in Windows 10.
Using Windows Phone has been a whole new learning curve, but I am impressed. The gleaming interactive tiles is far from what is depicted in Windows Phone launchers on Android.
Microsoft taking over Nokia has brought a wind of change with it. Considering the fact that the Lumia 520 has been the bestselling Lumia phone till date, Microsoft has wisely tapped into the “Doing what works for you” ideology and released a worthy successor – the Lumia 535. This is the best affordable Lumia phone you can get. It is a great first experience if you haven’t touched a Windows Phone smartphone before, a worthy upgrade for 520 users, and a good reflection of what we’re yet to see from the Microsoft Lumia Fold.