Microsoft Lumia 535 Review

Call Quality


The Lumia 535's earpiece was pretty underwhelming – it delivered audio that was loud enough to hear, but was heavily digitized, with random noises and hiccups in the sound, forcing us to do some guesswork, figuring out what the other side was saying.

Its microphone sounded somewhat the same – still loud and muffled, but at least – far less digitized, so the other side was treated to a clearer, more understandable audio.

Battery


Equipped with a 1,905 mAh battery, the Lumia 535 may look like it can't stay on for long, but assuming that would be a mistake. Lacking a lot of pixels to keep alight, and carrying a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon SoC, results in a very sparing toll on the battery, allowing the device to easily run for a couple of days with normal usage. Windows Phone also has a battery saving mode to help extend the juicer's life even longer. The official numbers say that the phone can endure 11 hours of talk time or 23 days of stand-by time on a single battery charge – both numbers are close to the average – not too low, nor impressively high.

Conclusion


The Lumia 535 manages to deliver a good chunk of the Windows Phone 8.1 experience, for a measly cost of $169.99. Yes, there has been a lot of corner-cutting involved, which results in unimpressive looks, low screen resolution and bad viewing angles, below-average camera, and sub-par call quality. On the flip side, however, we have a 5-inch display with comparatively accurate colors, a smoothly-running Windows Phone system, the Office package, the full Cortana experience, and pretty good battery life. It is by no means a daily driver for experienced users, but we'd recommend it as an entry-level device for people who are OS-agnostic. It's also a good pickup for anyone who's interested in just trying out Windows Phone, but doesn't want to pull the trigger on one of the more expensive handsets.

As for rivals and alternatives – Motorola's Moto G still offers a great value at $179.99, with a more powerful Snapdragon 400 SoC, a crisper 720p display, and the more familiar, more app-populated, Android platform. Now, whether having a choice of a great many apps actually matters in the world of low-range devices, we'll leave for you to decide.

Pros

  • $169.99 cost for a device that runs generally smooth
  • 5 MP frontal cam and Lumia Selfie app offer the same functions as higher tier Lumias
  • Impressive color reproduction, topping many others in its class and beyond
  • Full Windows Phone 8.1 experience, including Office and Cortana

Cons

  • The display's low resolution and very reflective glass leave room for improvement
  • Opening large websites or YouTube could crash the browser
  • Windows Phone store still has much less apps than the leading operating systems

PhoneArena Rating:

7.0

User Rating:

8.5
6 Reviews

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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: 7382; 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: 7382; 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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