Microsoft Lumia 535: First Impressions [Review]

Reviews
Microsoft-Lumia-535-Nokia-Virtuaniz

Amid shimmering light and much fanfare, Microsoft launched Lumia 535 in India. The device will be available in India from 28th December at a price of Rs 9,199. We were at the launch of the device in Bangalore and got some hands-on time with it. Here is our first impression of the phone for you.

Design

One of the first things you notice while picking up the phone is the Microsoft branding on the back. The phone feels adequate while holding; it’s neither too heavy nor too thick. The phone has the right amount of width and thickness to fit perfectly into your hands. It can be easily operated with one hand and sports a replaceable cover. Which Microsoft claims is a huge selling point as users can reinvent their phones with different color options and replace their batteries instead of their phones if the need be. The one thing we couldn’t get out of our minds was, just how bright the orange back was and to be honest it did start to hurt our eyes after a while.

The volume rocker is on the top right side and the power button is just under it for easy access. The micro USB charging point is at the bottom and the 3.5mm audio jack sits on top. The speaker is located below at the back. The Lumia 535 comes in the standard Lumia design with round edges and youthful colors available in orange, cyan, green, white and black.

Camera

Microsoft has branded this phone as the 3 5s’. First being the 5 inch screen it comes with, second being the 5 major software it comes with (Skype, One Drive, Xbox games, Office and Outlook) and thirdly the 5MP front and back camera.While a lot of companies strive to provide users with a better front camera to take a better selfie.

Micosoft-Lumia-535-Camera-Samples

Microsoft has taken this to another level, by making selfies the strongest point of the front camera, and probably the only point Microsoft has taken it to another level altogether. The wide-angle lens allows selfies to be taken in large group, which was show to us by performing an elaborate skit involving taking selfies with different phones, a three wheeled bicycle and a bunch selfie loving teens. The camera can shoot FWVGA (848 x 480) videos. The rear camera has a small 1/4-inch sensor, auto-focus lens and LED flash. This camera can also capture 30 fps FWVGA videos. Sadly, the camera’s ability to record videos has been limited to 480p only while other competitive handset manufacturers offer better quality at the same price point.

Microsoft Lumia 535: 5MP Rear Camera

Microsoft Lumia 535: 5MP Rear Camera

In the limited time we spent with the phone we took a few shots from the camera and while the pictures were sharp and crisp, the colors didn’t seem realistic. But we have to admit the camera does what it set out to do and that is to take great selfies.

Microsoft Lumia 535 Camera Samples: http://bit.ly/535-001, http://bit.ly/535-002, http://bit.ly/535-003

 

Display

It has a 5-inch display with qHD (960 × 540 pixels) resolution, and the company claims that the display gives you super outdoor visibility. Unfortunately we weren’t able to test it, and we will explore it when we review the device. What we did notice was how reflective the display was; at times we could easily see our reflection while using it, although it wasn’t much of an issue but it was definitely noticeable.The display also boasts Gorilla Glass 3 protection, but we are yet to see if the phone can replicate the legendary levels of sturdiness of Nokia phones.

Microsoft Lumia 535: 5-inch Display

Microsoft Lumia 535: 5-inch Display

Performance

Under the hood of the phone is a Snapdragon 200 SoC with a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.2GHz. Along with this, Microsoft provides 1GB of RAM and a 1,905mAh battery which the company claims is good enough for 11 hours of talk time and up to 23 days on standby mode. Microsoft also provides 8GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by up to a whopping 128GB using a microSD card and if that isn’t enough for you, Microsoft is offering 30GB of free storage on One Drive. While using the phone we noticed it wasn’t as smooth as you’d expect from Lumia phones. We would go into much more detail during our review.

Software

The Lumia 535 ships with windows 8.1 and has the Lumia Denim update which means it includes camera specific apps like Lumia Selfie and Lumia Cinemagraph. It also includes the ability to make folders on the home screen and comes with action center allowing users to see their notifications on the go. The “Hey Cortana” command is enabled. Although it seems to be a pointless feature considering Cortana is still not available in India. Microsoft has integrated its services more closely than ever by allowing users to switch Skype and calls seamlessly.

Verdict

The Microsoft Lumia 535 is an interesting proposition for those looking to buy a Windows phone under Rs. 10,000. Microsoft has provided quite a lot of incentives to users like free cloud storage and stronger integration with other Microsoft products but they could have approached this device much more aggressively considering other manufacturers like Xiaomi or Micromax provide users with much better features and have an added advantage of Android ecosystem. It’s definitely one of the better windows phone and is Microsoft’s first real attempt in the low-budget category but we believe Microsoft has a long way to go and needs to approach the market with a sense of urgency and aggression considering how competitive India market is.

Saurav Anchlia

Saurav Anchlia is the deputy editor for Virtuaniz. He is currently pursuing his Bachelors of Engineering in Bangalore. Saurav is an ardent reader and a fiery debater.He supports Manchester United vehemently and remains optimistic about their chances. He writes for the love of technology and english language. Follow him at @SauravAnchlia.

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...