Introduction


The first Microsoft-branded Lumia – the Lumia 535, announced a couple of months ago, is a low-end handset, targeted at the budget-oriented folk who still look for a device that offers the connectivity options of a modern smartphone, but having corners cut in all the right places, in order to make for a viable compromise. Costing $169.99 in the US, the Lumia 535 brings all the bells and whistles of Windows Phone 8.1 – Cortana included – powered by the humble Snapdragon 200, but still paired with a good 1 GB of RAM.

So, does this handset really deliver usability, or is it just another entry-level device that frustrates users, rather than empower them? Let's check it out!

In the box:


Design

No-nonsense

As we said, corners had to be cut, and this is evident once one lays their eyes on the Lumia 535 for the very first time – the handset looks rather dull – a black front with a quite darkened Microsoft logo above the display and a frontal cam nested right next to it – if you try to pick up the handset in a low-light environment, you'd be hard-pressed to tell which way is up.

The back panel of the device wraps around its sides and can come in a few vivid colors, signature for the Lumias, though – our review unit is matte black, which just adds to the device's dry looks. Its plastic does not feel as cheap to the touch as one would expect, but does tend to attract a lot of fingerprint smudges. We also winced at the protruding camera – a gradual lump at the back of the 0.35" (8.8 mm) thick handset houses a 5 MP snapper, with its LED flash situated to the left of it.

As far as buttons go – we found them to be pleasant to the touch – both the power button and volume rockers are placed on the right side, clicky when pressed, and just a very tiny bit shallower than we would like.

Size-wise – the handset sports a 5" display, but does not feel bulky to handle. In terms of contemporary handset size – the Lumia 535 falls in the "normal" category – it keeps the user mindful of which pocket they tuck it in, yet is not larger-than-comfortable.


Microsoft Lumia 535

Microsoft Lumia 535

Dimensions

5.52 x 2.85 x 0.35 inches

140.2 x 72.4 x 8.8 mm

Weight

5.15 oz (146 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Dimensions

5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches

141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

Nokia Lumia 730

Nokia Lumia 730

Dimensions

5.3 x 2.7 x 0.34 inches

134.7 x 68.5 x 8.7 mm

Weight

4.60 oz (130 g)

HTC Desire 510

HTC Desire 510

Dimensions

5.51 x 2.75 x 0.39 inches

139.9 x 69.8 x 9.99 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Microsoft Lumia 535

Microsoft Lumia 535

Dimensions

5.52 x 2.85 x 0.35 inches

140.2 x 72.4 x 8.8 mm

Weight

5.15 oz (146 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Dimensions

5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches

141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

Nokia Lumia 730

Nokia Lumia 730

Dimensions

5.3 x 2.7 x 0.34 inches

134.7 x 68.5 x 8.7 mm

Weight

4.60 oz (130 g)

HTC Desire 510

HTC Desire 510

Dimensions

5.51 x 2.75 x 0.39 inches

139.9 x 69.8 x 9.99 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page




Display


The entry-level 535 looks to deliver an industry-standard experience in terms of display size – its 5" screen delivers a more comfortable usage experience than the 4" one that adorned the Lumia 530. Its pixel density, however, is, as can be expected, on the low side – a 540 x 960 resolution makes for a 220 PPI ratio, which often means that the user will need to zoom in to read text on webpages.

We were pleasantly surprised by its color temperature – measuring at 7069 K – just slightly higher than the reference value of 6,500 K – the display does not look too cold and its color reproduction is pleasant and rather accurate.

The viewing angles are, as can be expected, pretty harsh – though, not as bad as we've seen on other low-range handsets. Watching the display straight on will provide for an even image, both in portrait and landscape mode, however, slightly tilting it will lead to distortions.

As far as brightness goes – the lowest the display can go is 61 nits, which doesn't make for pleasant usage in the dark. The highest level it can go to is 433 nits, which, combined with a strongly reflective glass on the panel, doesn't make it easily readable under the sun as well.



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28 Comments

1. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

PA, Is your office in Eastern Europe/Russia?

3. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

Most likely PA is a bulgarian site.

5. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

thank you :)

26. vazzzz

Posts: 64; Member since: May 09, 2014

PA has office in Bulgaria and some reviews are made there. However it's not Bulgarian and the headquarter is in USA

2. Sovat_fc

Posts: 224; Member since: Aug 30, 2014

Cute little boy! iPhone for rich people, Android for poor people & WP for people with brains! XD

4. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

Yeah, it surely takes a brain to use the worst OS on any smartphone.

7. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Moto G for people with brain! :)

15. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Apparently, by your math, only 2.7% of smartphone users have brains. XD I'll keep my Moto G, thanks...

18. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

2.7%, it seems about right ;)

6. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Budget oriented, MS nailed it again. Seems like it'll be A-Kin to similar results before it.

8. Rydsmith unregistered

I see what you did there

9. JnCrls unregistered

Is not fair the comparison with Moto G (2014), Desire 510 or Lumia 730. The Microsoft Lumia 535 is more in the category of Moto E (same processor) or the unreleased Desire 320.

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7190; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The Moto G 2014 has an 8mp camera, dual stereo front facing speakers, and a 1280x720 display. This lumia 535 has a 5mp camera, single rear speaker, 960x540 display. The Moto G has a Snapdragon 400 CPU with a faster GPU, where as the lumia has a lower speced snapdragon 200 CPU with a slower GPU.

10. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

people go to websites for youtube? its horribly coded imo. I wonder how tubecasts works on the 535.

21. Lycan155

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I use mytube on my lumia 630 and that app is on par with the official app

11. kotan24

Posts: 311; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Another meh! From Microsoft what a waste of resources, shame!

12. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

How so? 10.5million phones, to get them into the hands of users. Remember androids flagships account for like 10-20% of the platform with 60-70% being crap throw phones for awhile. With the rest being medium. I missed the target deal that had the Blu HD for 45 bucks, so if this ever hits 50, my kids will have a 5in gaming device for the car.

14. sgodsell

Posts: 7190; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Flagship Androids account for 20%, midrange another 20%, and low end 60%. With the last quarter that means around 57 million Android devices for high end, and another 59 million Android devices for mid range. The remainder 160 million were low end Android devices. At least get the facts correct.

16. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Id guess one or two Android quarters at a high point is equal to wp sales for last three years. 8(

17. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

meh i said 60% were crap and 10-20....i gave a range. I was to lazy to look up the 'exact' results. In the end my range was 'correct'.

22. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

elitewolverine always like to pluck number from the sky. If you are too lazy just refrain from commenting. Please either give correct information or don't bother at all.

19. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

this is good budget smart phone to replace the Old Nokia lumia 520 smart phone because it has a front and rear camera,Cortina, 1 gig of ram so it can run all the apps in it's smart phone store and is MS Universal Apps ready. do not judge it by expensive flagship smart phone specs. it will get the job done. Microsoft is replacing all Nokia Lumia branded smart phones with it's OWN brand smart phones. Microsoft is starting at the Low end and will soon begin replacing the Nokia lumia 920, 925, 928, 930/Icon, 1020, 1520 and other Nokia lumia products. I look for a Replacement of the Nokia Lumia plastic bodied 2520 Tablet that will use an Intel Atom CPU and run full Windows 8.1 / Windows 10. Microsoft needs a cheap "Surface Design Tablet that sells between 300 and 400 USA dollars because their Regular surface line of tablets are too expensive for low income and some moderatly income People to buy

20. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Microsoft Please sell a full Windows 8.1 / windows 10 ready tablet that sells for between 300 and 400 USA dollars so that low income Folks can buy a for REAL Windows Tablet with the non altered Microsoft software experience that Your OEM partners will not give People because they load their Own extra software on a Windows tablet that some times screws the full Microsoft windows experience up big Time. GET IT DONE MICROSOFT ASAP !

23. askarian

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

Not sure what MS is up to. Flooding the market with low end phones like Samsung (so many galaxy phones). I was interested in trying a Lumia but ended up getting confused where to start from. Solid phones though.

24. Jason78

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 10, 2013

I agree it is confusing, even just looking at the phones released with the Microsoft brand in the past 6 months: Lumia 535 - 5" screen Lumia 532 - 4" screen Lumia 435 - 4" screen

25. nomad

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Got this for my birthday, and let me tell ya, the phone (for the price) is an absolute beast.

27. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

wow folks what has Motorola got against making at least one Windows smart phone. The OS is free for them to use with no need to pay Royalty fees to Microsoft like they have to pay Microsoft for using Android. a MOTO G with windows 10 could be a cool smart phone

28. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

wow folks what has Motorola got against making at least one Windows smart phone. The OS is free for them to use with no need to pay Royalty fees to Microsoft like they have to pay Microsoft for using Android. a MOTO G with windows 10 could be a cool smart phone
Lumia 535
  • Display 5.0" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 1905 mAh(13h 3G talk time)

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