Microsoft Lumia 535 Hands-on, Photo Gallery

by Chetan Bhawani 12

Microsoft Lumia 535 Front

It is hard to shift to something new. For a brand, for a user or for someone reporting about it. I lost the count of number of times I named the Lumia 535 with a prefix “Nokia”, because it was always Nokia and Lumia together. The acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft will not go easy. But the transition is already happening, as we go hands-on with the Microsoft Lumia 535 smartphone.

The design recipe is kept the same by Microsoft, and the Lumia 535 looks no different from the previous Lumia smartphones. This design language has never failed, although the glossy back, especially because Nokia has been giving users a choice with colors to choose from, and Microsoft is doing the same now – Orange, Green, White and Black colors will be available in India. On the back, you see the Microsoft branding, and the speaker grill and the 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. The back cover is removable, and it extends till the edge of the screen, and curves down at the sides, giving the device a smooth finish with no sharp edges.

The front has the 540×960 pixels 5-inch display, which is not so great at response (note: we used the early build devices, so won’t already comment on the unit that would go on sale in market) and it attracts fingerprints, which still go unnoticed on full brightness, and because now the Windows Phone OS now allows you to set a wallpaper for the tile interface, it isn’t the standard black and it looks a lot better.

Above the display is the much-hyped 5-megapixel selfie camera, which actually does a very good job for the price you are being asked for it. The display has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and the navigation buttons are a part of the display. Overall with the display, it was quite comfortable to hold, with Microsoft able to keep it around 9mm and the edges aren’t digging into your palm, although the orange and green ones with glossy back are a little slippery and would require some grip to hold.

The specs are well upgraded, and that is what was lauded by most of the users who complained of the low RAM availability on the Lumia 530, and the Microsoft Lumia 535 has a quad-core Snapdragon 200 with 1GB RAM and out of the 8GB internal storage, about 3.5GB is available for the user, and a MicroSD card slot is a great help.

Windows Phone 8.1 is what the device runs, and the special point – Denim update. Microsoft smartly removed the Nokia tag from each of the apps, and there is a long portfolio of “Lumia” apps in the app list, including Lumia Beamer, Lumia Camera, Lumia Selfie, Lumia Cinemograph, Lumia Creative Studio and Lumia Storyteller. We’ve always seen the settings section cluttered with the long list, making you search for a particular setting, and that is unchanged, with an even longer list now.

MS Office comes pre-installed with the full version for free for the Lumia 535, and the OneDrive app is pre-loaded as well for giving a free cloud storage. One of the handy setting we found in the Lumia 535 is the double-tap-to-wake function, which many would love to use so that the phone doesn’t need to be lifted all the time for pressing the physical button to wake the screen.

The camera apps are different, as you see a Lumia Camera app for the rear camera and there is a Lumia Selfie app for the front-facing camera, and they do have a few differences. For those wondering, the front camera is a fixed-focus one and it captures a mirrored image which you will have to manually rotate later after the capture, but the capture quality isn’t really bad. Don’t expect much for video recording with both the cameras, as the maximum resolution for video capture is 848×480 pixels, i.e. FWVGA resolution.

Microsoft Lumia 535 Branding

For the early impressions, Microsoft did all things right with the first “Microsoft-branded” smartphone which they have tried to bring into the budget range, but the pricing isn’t aggressive at all. If the company had brought this into the price range of around Rs. 7000, it would have been a sureshot success, given that there are several competitors in the Android smartphone market with that pricing, but no perfect device with Windows Phone was available in the range.

Chetan Bhawani

Chetan Bhawani is a dentist, a tech blogger and a passionate writer in the field of technology. He keeps himself connected to the web for the entire day, of course except when he's dozed off! Add +Chetan Bhawani on Google Plus for more!

  • Shashank Chourey

    The combination of 5-inch display and two 5MP cameras pretty much justifies the pricing. the Lumia 535 follows the lead of the Lumia 735 and Lumia 830 in having a wide-angle lens at the front for better ‘group selfies. Love the display and built. It’s cool that the smartphone comes with changeable back covers in white, grey, cyan, green, blue and black colors.

  • Shanky Yadav

    It looks too good but now after removal of nokia’s branding microsoft may face the cutoff .. As it also dont havr pureview camera and the touch is also not so good like before .. But its a selfie camera which so i has 5mp front which is good and also with this microsoft is providing a lots if features like beamer and also with latest windows 8.1 denim update and the common feature is like double tap to wake up.. The new microsoft camera is little bad the video recording is also bad ..but the one thing that it stills owns is the design which just looks good . it has the slippery back which might sometimes slip out from your hand.

  • For the long apps list does lumia provide any grid views? This phone I got tibsay looks nice and even better with Microsoft branding on the front and back. At the same time I don’t like what this phone has to offer. It’s a great phone that many will like, but its just not my cup ifvtea.

  • Suraj Racharla

    So my first thought of this phone reminded of the Iphone 5C. The plastic glossy build is very……plasticy and not build you would like on a phone. But Microsoft has seemed to work with the glossy design and made a pretty spectacular phone. The 5 inch display is a pretty decent size and the 5 megapixel is amazing considering the price. In regards to the price the phone is built well and the plastic design is more like an attraction than a cut costing speculation.

    • Yeah in terms of the glossy design iPhone did a great job with the color variety of the 5c with their colorful plastic builds. The base color options for this are green orange white and black. Green white and orange remind me of the Indian flag.

      • Suraj Racharla

        Yes the iphone did a great job with the iphone 5c but they shot themselves in the foot with that. People buy Apple phones because of the build quality and the Apple OS and the Iphone 5C was terribly overpriced considering it was plastic and the processor was also a bit weaker than the Iphone 5s. The iphone 5C reminded Apple to never produce a plastic phone!!

        • Yes it was quite the downgrade from previous metal builds. Apple honestly thought they if they reduce the material to plastic and processing power and not price accordingly, that their loyal users will still buy in spades because they have pretty colors lol!!

          • Suraj Racharla

            LOL i know right. Customers in apple these days…..

          • Yeah some people actually did but a lot didn’t which hurt apple

  • Suraj Racharla

    Changeable back covers was a fad and one time and if the phone had this feature it was going to be a pretty successful device. In modern times people just dont have the time to change back covers and right now the changeable back covers are great but not many people would care about it

  • I’m not a selfie guy and honestly wouldn’t mind if the facing camera was reduced to 2 or .3 megapixels and the primary raised to 8 or 13 for better quality photos!

  • I saw your hands in with this. Plethora of apps us a pro but wasn’t the constant double apps from having dual Sim cards a problem? It made the list view even more complex