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Full Review

Microsoft Lumia 535 Review - Photo 1

The Microsoft 535 is the first phone to bear a Microsoft logo in place of the familiar Nokia logo, and as it offers a choice of matching accessories, will it be able to turn heads while keeping to a budget?

First impressions

Sunglasses may have been a good accessory to include – we were dazzled when we opened the box and were greeted by a neon green case. Of course we shouldn’t have been surprised as the Lumia handsets are well known for being peacocks in a world of smartphone magpies.

Generally, the numbers in the name have corresponded with the size of handset – the Lumia 1520 was a beast of a handset, so we expected the 535 to be of smaller stature – but we were wrong.

Microsoft Lumia 535 - Side Angle

In fact the 535 measures up at 5.5 inches of chassis with a 5in display – and weighing in at a hefty 146g. You can change the covers and at this price we imagine you could almost make sure they matched your clothes each day. The covers are easily removable, as is the battery, but the cover is a fingerprint magnet, so you’ll be forever wiping it.

It is bright and certainly doesn’t look like a premium device, but that may not matter when you’re paying this sort of price. The camera, by the way, sticks out at the back, but less so than the snapper on the Lumia 1020.

Microsoft Lumia 535 - Back Cover

Performance and operating system

Best and worst thing about the 535? It’s a Windows phone. It runs on Windows 8.1, sporting Denim updates, and offers the likes of Office 365, OneNote, Skype, Outlook, OneDrive and a beta version of Cortana, so it’s easy to move, save and work on documents.

Microsoft Lumia 535 - Software

Skype is already onboard, as is MixRadio, to ensure you’re never short of entertainment.

The beta version of Cortana is now simpler to use, speedier and filled with references to your dislikes and likes – a neat party trick on your smartphone,

There are plenty of apps available in the Windows App and Games store, although we found that downloading apps was tricky with only 8GB of onboard storage.

There are lots of features that we have already seen on previous Lumias, but no bright, shiny new features to make us go ‘oooh!’. A shame for the first handset to sport the Microsoft name.

There’s no facility for 4G LTE or NFC, and the processor is a disappointment. While other phones are sporting quad-core Snapdragon 800/850 chips, a 1.2GHz quadcore Snapdragon 200 teamed with 1GB RAM is always going to be a bit of a letdown.

Mind you, we wouldn’t have expected much more at this price, and we were quite able to carry out everyday tasks – but when it comes to multitasking, the 535 will give up the ghost.


Microsoft Lumia 535 - Camera

A plus point is the presence of a pair of 5-megapixel snappers on the front and back. There are all kinds of filters on the selfie snapper that will appeal to younger users.

Our conclusion

The Microsoft Lumia 535 is a great price at less than £110, and has many features seen on more expensive phones, but it’s a shame that the first device to bear the Microsoft name lacks any standout new features.

It is basically your average Lumia handset with a mediocre processor – bit of a letdown really. Let’s hope the next one makes more of an impression.

The Lumia 535 should be available in early 2015 in the UK.



Dimensions : 140.2 x 72.4 x 8.8 mm

Weight: 146 grams

Screen size: 5-inch IPS LCD (540 x 960 pixels)

Screen Resolution: 540 x 960 pixels

Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 220ppi

Processor: Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7


On-board Memory: 8GB  (microSD up to 128GB)

Camera: 5 mega-pixel (rear), 5 megapixel (front-facing)

Operating system: Windows Phone 8.1

3G / 4G LTE:  Yes / No

Bluetooth / NFC : Yes / No

Battery capacity: 1905mAh

Colours: Orange, green, white, black, gray, blue

Launch Date: Q1 2015

Price: ~£250

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