Review MicroSoft Lumia 535

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, Mar 14, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    After the removal of the Nokia branding from the Lumia series of mobile phones, Microsoft has been on a roll to release devices bearing the Microsoft Logo. They have been wise enough to keep the Lumia branding to ensure recognition. However the naming nomenclature has kind of gone out of hand with too many similarly numbered devices out there.

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    For instance the 5XX series in it self has the 505, 510, 520, 525, 530, 532, 535 and Dual SIM variants of the last three models making for a whopping 10 models within 35 digits of each other. Though some models are for different markets, but for someone reading about them, or trying to get a handle on the series online, it's quite a hassle.

    The same can be seen with their 6XX and 1XXX series of phones, though on a lower scale. It's like the naming/numbering nomenclature done by Intel with their Core series of processors. It got overwhelming after a while.

    Honestly, in my opinion, they should've gone with a simpler naming convention and probably split their mobile line into 3-4 categories, Entry level, Entry level +, Mid segment, Sub Flagship and Flagship.

    A simpler (perhaps 2 digit) numbering with 1-3-7-9 could've kept things easier, rather than 3 being the only number that does not have a phone series named after it.

    Anyhow, rant over, lets have a look at the Lumia 535, that's on a special offer with a Selfie Stick (no bluetooth controller), a flip cover, and some extra offers. The device is priced around the 7k INR mark here, which does make it cheaper than the pricing in India, but also brings it in line with the current Android competition going on in the segment.

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    The device sports the Microsoft branding prominently, and does pack some decent hardware. First up a quick look at the tech specs -

    Processor/Chipset -
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 - Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7

    RAM -
    1Gb

    Graphics -
    Adreno 302

    ROM -
    8GB

    Expandable Memory -
    Yes - upto 128 Gb via MicroSD

    Screen -
    5.0 inches - IPS LCD - Multi-Touch (5) - 540x960 - 220 pixels per inch
    Corning Gorilla Glass 3

    Battery -
    Removable 1905 mAH

    Connectivity -
    3G only, on SIM 1. Dual SIM support.

    Camera -
    Rear - 5MP Auto Focus with LED flash. Video at 480p at 30FPS

    Front - 5MP Fixed Focus

    Weight -
    146 gms.

    As you can see, the specs are nothing really to write much about. However Windows Phone OS excels in one thing, and that is being really light on hardware requirements. This enables lower end hardware to perform as smoothly as one would experience with Android on higher end hardware.

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    The device features a Uni-body shell, that has been the main stay of all Lumia designs that involve a removable cover.

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    The cut out for the loud speaker and the Micro USB charging port are at the bottom of the device.

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    Volume, power(lock/unlock) are in line with other Lumia devices on the right hand side of the phone.

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    Comparing the 535 next to my Lumia 1020 (which has a 4.7 inch screen) you can guess estimate the size of the device. Importantly, there are no capacitive buttons on the front bezel. Microsoft has gone the software, on-screen buttons a-la Android in some devices. It does take away from screen space, but not as much. The bezel on the sides was neither too thick, nor too thin.

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    While the Lumia 1020 has a metal body, the brushed plastic body of the 535 instills more confidence in handling and holding the mobile. It is surely grippy and makes the phone feel easier to handle for its bulk.

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    The LED flash is flush with the body, while the camera protudes slightly.

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    If you look closely, the plastic ring around the camera lens offers some protection against a surface when the device is put down, but that's about it.

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    Pulling out the cover, we can see the slots for the Dual SIM arrangement (both Micro SIM) and MicroSD Card slot.

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    The 1905 mAH battery.



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    The internal space is mostly taken up by the battery. They could've shaved a few millimeters off the Lumia 535, but being a budget offering, I presume they went easy on packaging.

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    Very spartan bundled items in the box, only a Micro USB charger, and a headset. No data cable.

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    A look at the flip cover. It allows for the device to be propped up for video viewing or Skype etc.

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    Very decent build quality. Definitely one of the better covers out there.

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    The reverse of the cover.

    I did shoot another video of the User interface and windows OS 8.1 in operation. There are certain features that are present in the Lumia 535, that I found missing in my 1020. Here is the video -


     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  2. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Testers notes -

    Pros -

    - Screen size
    - Fast UI
    - Camera Image quality

    Cons -

    - No 4G support
    - Limited app availability
    - Not as VFM when compared to Android options.

    Windows Mobile devices will always suffer on one front, unless Microsoft actively targets this issue on a regional level. I love the way Windows 8.1 feels and runs. However I don't have a) a decent enough browser (Opera is doing a good job, but still lacking). b) App support, App support, App support.

    I can book a taxi, check my traffic fines, Renew my vehicle registration, keep track of my mobile + Landline bills, access both my banks online, Shop on Groupon, ebay, flipkart and what not on Android and on iOS.

    Switching to my Lumia 1020 for a day, would incur losing all of these abilities and much more. Apps like 9Gag, Quora, FlipBoard etc etc are just not good enough.

    Maybe Microsoft should actively look at resolving these issues by making Android App development kits port-able on the Windows environment like BlackBerry has. This will ensure something for both the average user and the power user.


    From a user perspective, a person who has limited wants from his/her mobile device, the Lumia 535 delivers a much simpler interface to handle and manage. If you just wanna chat, WhatsApp, a little bit of Facebook and a few other bits here and there, this is just right.

    Another gripe that I was hoping Microsoft would face is the un-intelligent settings menu. Everything is spread out and under sections they should'nt belong. This was a page they could've taken from Nokia. Simple settings, everything in the right place. Maybe they might re-work it in the coming releases.

    All in all, not a device for a power user.
     
  3. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    I stopped caring for Windows mobile devices.
     
    JD666 likes this.

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