|+ Low price||- Average display|
|+ Great Lumia design||- Disapointing camera|
|+ Windows Phone 8.1 on-board||- Thicker and heavier than it should be|
"The Nokia Lumia 530 is hugely impressive for what little it costs. There are things it could do a lot better but it already does so much for so little money."
There is one standout feature on the Lumia 530 before we even take a look at it – the price. At just £60, it offers many of the functions that you find on devices costing ten times as much. Okay, so while it doesn’t have the best resolution, the largest display, the speediest processor or most impressive camera, if you are on a tight budget, it could be right up your street.
Despite the fact that the phone costs around the same as filling up your car’s petrol tank, it still shares some of the nicer design features with the rest of the Lumia devices. The plastic back cover is a single piece that can be easily swapped – for instance we had a bright green back cover, which wouldn’t necessarily be to everyone’s tastes. If you also don’t fancy the orange version, you can opt for more sedate blue, grey or white. Here you’ll also find the rear snapper, while the volume, screen lock and power buttons sit on the right side, as on the other Lumias.
The back cover wraps round the corners, while the front is covered with glass over the four-inch screen. That is surrounded by a slightly too wide bezel. The microUSB port sits at the base and the headphone jack at the top.
The Lumia 520 is hardly dinky – measuring 11.7mm in width and weighing in at 129g, however, the smaller display does mean you can still hold it comfortably in one hand. And if you have to do one-hand texting while standing on the bus or tube, it’s small enough for your thumb to stretch across.
The screen has a 580x854 resolution, offering 245 ppi, which is not bad for a device at this price. It’s a pity that the screen quality lets it down a little – and because it has no oleophobic coating, it’s a magnet for sticky fingerprints. This is not a deal-breaker – and to be fair we see so many phones that we do get rather picky. For this price, most people will probably put up with it,
The screen is bright enough to allow you to be able to read it pretty much anywhere, and reading articles in the IE web browser does not feel squashed. Smaller copy does start to appear a little jagged but it is still fine to read. It’s amazing how few negative things we have to say about a phone this cheap!
Usually, cheaper phones get landed with outdated software, but again this is not the case here. The 530 has Windows Phone 8.1, the latest version – and is one of the first phones to run on this new OS.
Thanks to an 8.12 update there is now a pull-down drawer that appears on the home screen, offering notifications along with speedy access to settings such as display brightness, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Under the hood sits a quad-core 1.2GHz chip, teamed up with 512MB RAM. It runs smoothly enough although it does suffer from a second or two delay when firing up apps.
It’s still true of Windows phones that they lack the apps on offer to users of iOS and Android devices – but we still think that 60 quid price tag will lure a lot of buyers.
Storage comes in at only 4GB, but happily that can be expanded thanks to the microSD card, which lets you use cards of up to 128GB.
The rear snapper is a five-megapixel model that is okay but feels slow because it takes a few seconds to take a snap and save it. It lacks flash, so you’ll really only be able to use the camera outside – and there’s no front-facing snapper – so no selfie opportunities.
It’s hard to get away from the fact that this phone costs just £60. People pay more for cases for their iPhones – and yet it offers all the smartphone features, such as internet, email, social networks, maps and YouTube, that your average user wants.
Okay it doesn’t have the best screen but for those who are happy to spend 10 times as much on a phone, that won’t be a problem. For the rest of us, the Lumia 530 offers a decent smartphone experience. This will make a lot of people rethink what they want from a phone at this price.
Dimensions : 119.7 x 62.3 x 11.7mm
Weight: 129 grams
Screen size: 4.0” TFT (480 x 854)
Screen Resolution: 480 x 854 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 245
Processor: 1.2GHz Quad core application processor
On-board Memory: 4GB (microSD support)
Camera: 5MP (rear) 480p@30fps (no front-facing camera)
Operating system: Windows Phone 8.1
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes/ No
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ No
Battery capacity: 1430mAh
Colours: Bright Orange, Bright Green, White, Dark Grey
Launch Date: August
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