There’s a few things you could have told us in the year 2000 about the year 2014 that we’d struggle to believe: that the USA would have a black president; that Manchester City would be reigning Premier League Champions; that the dad from Malcolm in the Middle would be one of the hottest properties in Hollywood… but Nokia no longer making major mobile phones for the Western market? That would be a stretch too far.
That’s exactly what’s happened though, and it’s not been a gradual process either. We’ve known for weeks now that Microsoft would be dropping Nokia’s name from the Lumia range, and now we have the first smartphone produced after the fact: the Microsoft Lumia 535.
It’ll take some getting used to alright, but hopefully this brand consolidation will provide a tighter user experience across all of Microsoft’s platforms and operating systems. Unfortunately, the device itself is nowhere near as exciting as the name change it heralds.
The Microsoft Lumia 535 is an effort rather typical of Microsoft of late. It’s a low-end/mid-range smartphone with moderate specs and an even more moderate price tag. The handset is set to retail for a very reasonable ¬110 (most likely ~£95), and for that money you get a fair bit of value.
There’s a quad-core 1.2GHz processor (more-a-less the standard for low-end devices nowadays) alongside 1GB of RAM, which is twice as much as you got in Microsoft’s last Lumia of the same price bracket. You’re restricted to just 8GB of onboard storage, but there is a microSD card slot for up to 128GB extra – something of a rarity for Lumia devices.
The battery is a lean 1,905 mAh whilst both the rear and front-facing cameras are both 5-megapixels. The rear snapper has an LED flash.
So far, so Lumia. The screen seems to be where Microsoft has cut back on costs, with the 535’s 5-inch display having a resolution of just 480 x 854 pixels.
In fairness, that’s actually a touch sharper than the Lumia 630. The most comparable Lumia handset, the 630 is improved upon in almost every respect within the 535 yet looks set to cost a fraction less than its £110 asking price.
Unsurprisingly, the Lumia 535 also looks remarkably similar to the 630. Its smooth plastic case is rounded at the edges and comes in the usual array of striking colours – green, cyan, orange, black and white.
There’s no confirmed Western launch date yet with the device set to hit Asia, Africa and other developing markets first. We’d be surprised if we didn’t see it landing on British shores eventually, though.