Microsoft Lumia 535 review

Microsoft's first smartphone sans-Nokia branding is the Lumia 535. We went hands on with the smartphone to see if there's life after Nokia for the Lumia.
by
Microsoft Lumia 535 review

MICROSOFT’S FIRST SMARTPHONE

The 535 is the first smartphone in the Lumia family to shed the Nokia brand, after the Finnish company was taken over by Microsoft in April 2014. Bill Gates’ firm may be a renowned household name for its computing software, but can it make it alone in the smartphone world? Let’s find out…

PROS

  • Removable plastic shell
  • Two 5MP cameras
  • Inbuilt virtual assistant

CONS

  • Slow scrolling experience
  • Low-powered screen


LOOK & FEEL

The 535 has a removable polycarbonate (or ‘plastic’ to us normal people) rear, which is available in a selection of colours including green, orange, black, grey, white and blue. The cover can be simply clicked off and underneath you’ll find the removable battery and SIM card slot.

On the front of the phone is a 5-inch screen, which is a whole inch bigger than its predecessor Lumia 520. The 535 is a good size, but it doesn’t have the brightest display we’ve ever seen. Blacks aren’t as deep as they’ve been on past Lumia products, and colours seem less vibrant.

HOW IT WORKS

As Microsoft manufactures the Lumia 535, the phone runs on Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. With it you will have access to more apps than ever previously available from the Windows Phone store, including social media channels like Twitter and Instagram.

The 535 is preinstalled with video-chatting app, Skype and everyone’s favourite, Facebook. But, if that doesn’t sound like enough bang for your buck, you can now enjoy your very own personal assistant.

Cortana made a name for herself in Xbox’s Halo videogame series, and is now present on the Lumia 535 to help you out with everyday stuff. Maybe you need reminding to post that letter on your way to work, or you’d appreciate being woken up that little bit earlier because the traffic is bad – Cortana has got your covered.

CAMERA

The 535 has two cameras, one on the front and one on the back. They’re both 5 megapixels and are capable of taking great photos. Capturing the perfect shot can be made easier by using the Lumia Camera’s many modes, allowing you to alter loads of settings from shutter speed to brightness. There’s also a powerful flash on board and the ability to record videos.

PERFORMANCE

There are loads of games available from Microsoft’s Xbox games collection, including the ever-popular Plants vs. Zombies and Cut The Rope, both of which offer a ‘try before you buy’ service. Unfortunately, the processor inside the 535, which looks after how fast the phone can operate, isn’t the most powerful. As a result you may find that games don’t run as smoothly as you might hope.

On the other hand however, there is a great battery in the 535 with a large 1905mAh capacity. Compared to the 520’s 1430mAh battery, it’s streets ahead, ultimately meaning you won’t find yourself running low on charge before the end of the day.

OUR VERDICT

It seems odd that Microsoft has chosen to produce a mid-range handset for its debut model. The 535 is great if you’re looking for a practical smartphone with an affordable price tag, but the flagship products from the likes of Sony and Samsung don’t have anything to worry about yet.

Microsoft obviously has the resource for greatness, so perhaps it’s just a matter of time before we see something groundbreaking from the American company.

0 Stars

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant, is designed to boost productivity and make your life simple.
We tried out the HTC Desire 620, one of HTC's most recent launches to arrive in the UK. Here is what
We went hands on with the Huawei Ascend G7. Here are our thoughts on Huawei's recent big and beautif

19 November, 2018
The OnePlus 6T is a spectacular phone, packed with amazing tech. Thinking of getting...
16 October, 2018
We’re at ExCel London, where Huawei has just unveiled its new Mate 20 Pro. And we’re...
10 October, 2018
The Google Pixel 3 has arrived. We were luck enough to get our hands on it recently,...
21 September, 2018
Apple Watch Series 4 truly breaks the mould, with some incredible new features and...
13 August, 2018
Samsung are back with perhaps their most exciting release of the summer – the Samsung...
26 June, 2018
Off the back of the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus, Galaxy A8 and the Galaxy A6, let us...
18 June, 2018
The new Samsung Galaxy A6 is a mid-range phone packed with premium tech, including...
12 June, 2018
The BlackBerry Key 2 truly is a thing of wonder, and it looks the part too. In this...
6 June, 2018
The LG G7 ThinQ is a stunning flagship phone, with an AI-powered camera and game...
25 May, 2018
The Nokia 1 is a budget smartphone running Android Oreo (Go edition). For the price,...
17 May, 2018
The Samsung Galaxy A8 is an affordable mid-range smartphone with some truly flagship...
10 May, 2018
The Nokia 8 Sirocco has launched. It's a luxury flagship handset, and it's been described...