The Microsoft Lumia 535 is one of the latest offerings from the brand since it took over the Nokia Lumia line of smartphones completely. The name has changed to Microsoft, but Nokia bits and pieces remain. The Lumia 535 was announced in November 2014, and recently I’ve had the chance to review it.
The Lumia 535 is at the bottom of the range of Microsoft Lumia smartphones, with only the 432 and 532 models sitting below it. Pricing is at just over 100 euros, so buying one will not break the bank.
Microsoft Lumia 535 specifications
5 inch IPS LCD screen, 540 x 960 pixels
8GB internal storage
5MP camera, front and back
Quad–core 1.2 GHz Cortex–A7
Battery: Li–Ion, 1905mAh
Weight: 146 grams
For full specifications, see the product page at Microsoft.microsoft–lumia–535–box–001
What’s in the box
Contents of the box:
The Microsoft Lumia 535 smartphone
Charger with cable
Quick start guide
A dual sim version is available: we tested the regular version microsoft–lumia–535–in–hand–002First impressions
Now one thing to note upfront: as this is one of the cheaper, lower models of the Lumia range, don’t expect stellar performance in processing power or battery life. Even so, the 535 is a serious smartphone: it has a nice soft rear (not too much grip, but better than glass) and a straight Gorilla glass front. The device has a sturdy, serious feel to it: not cheap at all.
The Lumia 535 therefor feels good in your hand, albeit a bit big: 5 inch is still on the large side to hold comfortably in one hand (I have medium to large hands). In smaller hands, it would look like one of the Samsung Galaxy Note models, probably.
First setup is fairly straightforward: it asks if you have a Microsoft account, and if you do will configure a few services and set up email.
With the Microsoft Lumia comes the Windows Mobile interface, of course. It’s the famous tile interface (dubbed Metro earlier on, but that name had to be dropped), which is also used in Windows 7 and Windows 8 on desktop and laptop computers, as well as Surface models.
The tile–interface itself has been revised over the years since the introduction of Windows Mobile.
Here’s the Lumia 535 next to the newest iPhone, the iPhone 6 for size comparison:microsoft–lumia–535–next–to–iphone–6–003
As you can see, even though the iPhone has grown over the years, the Lumia 535 still has a bit more screen real estate. This works well when watching video’s or playing games that deserve a big screen, but otherwise, it can feel a bit on the big side.
Here’s a pic of the two smartphones face down:microsoft–lumia–535–next–to–iphone–6–003b
The basic app loadout is pretty good, especially if you’re already into the Microsoft services like Outlook.com and the Xbox Live community.
Here’s another size and screen comparison with the Motorola Moto G on the left of the Lumia 535, and the Sony Xperia Z3 compact on the right.microsoft–lumia–535–next–to–moto–g–xperia–z3–compact–004
Under the hood: power, storage, camera
In everyday usage, the 535 doesn’t really leave you wanting for more power. It’s only with the toughest games or other CPU–hungry apps that it can start to slow downmicrosoft–lumia–535–camera–005 a bit, but not even by much.
Storage should not be a problem, as the Lumia 535 offers a nice 8GB of internal storage. Also, a micro–SD slot is available for a micro-SD card up to 128GB of storage. This way, you can expand the storage to a fairly large limit.
The camera is pretty good, with many manual options including ISO. These manual options are lacking on many smartphones these days, which can annoy people who like a bit more control over their photography. Both front and back cameras are 5MP, which is just fine in resolution.
Pictures are of reasonable quality, but don’t expect miracles. As this smartphone retails for just about 100 euros, it’s a bargain. More on that in the conclusion.
Battery life is on par with other smartphones in this segment. As it has a capacity of just over 1900mAh, it performs pretty nice, but not outstanding. It will last for about a day and a half in normal use, but if you’re hooked to the screen and use connectivity like Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G a lot, be ready to charge once every day.
As one of the lower–end offerings, I was not expecting too much
from the Lumia 535, but it still performed pretty good. For a smartphone that costs just over 100 euros, it’s a good choice. If you are an Xbox Live member and/or are used to the Windows tile–interface, then this could be a nice extension to your tech life.
+ Good value for money
+ Nice app loadout from the start
+ Good camera with useful options
+ Sturdy build
– Battery not too great