Microsoft Lumia 535 review
Packed with features, looks great!
In our Microsoft Lumia 535 review we uncover an affordable smartphone that really is packed with tons of features to explore.
The Microsoft Lumia 535 has a 5” display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and this is the largest display on a Microsoft budget phone so it really shows off those Live Tiles in the way they were intended.
Easy readability enhancements ensure a great viewing experience under sunlight and the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, making the screen scratch resistent. The design sees a front face that is all glass and this does promote a premium look.
The 8.8mm thick body is slimmer than the frame we see on many affordable phones and the Lumia 535 isn’t heavy at 146 grams. The back cover is exchangeable and its curved edges really do feel good in the hand. The volume buttons are on the right hand side and for some reason the handset seems a little cooler now that it is officially branded as Microsoft.
Performance wise there is a quad core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB RAM and an 8GB internal memory. This can boosted if you choose by inserting a MicroSD card of a value of up to 128GB.
Phone Set Up
The Microsoft Lumia 535 is powered by Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim. This provides an overall update of Microsoft services including the home screen which can now be fully customised. You will want to set a Live Tiles background image at this point which instantly changes the look of the home screen into something with a more premium feel.
Your initial setup will include signing in to your social apps and you will find Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat, Line, Foursquare and Picasa pre-installed. You may also want to visit the Windows Phone Store where titles such as Instagram and WhatsApp as well as upcoming game titles such as Subway Surfers can be found.
The Microsoft Lumia 535 features will certainly keep you entertained. The web is accessible over 3G or Wi-Fi with the Internet Explorer 11 browser. Skype, Cortana the digital assistant, Microsoft Office and OneDrive with 15GB of free Cloud storage all come pre-installed.
The Xbox Music app allows you to play and manage your songs as well as buy songs from the Xbox Music Store. The MixRadio app delivers a personalised streaming service with Play Me music mixes. You can give a thumbs up or thumbs down to the played tracks and your smartphone then learns what you like and tailors the music mixes to match.
GPS with Free Maps will take care of your navigation needs as you enjoy free global turn-by-turn navigation with live traffic information and speed limit warnings. HERE Drive+ is part of the package and this provides true offline navigation once you download the maps and there are 88 downloadable voice-guidance options.
Camera & Video
The camera package on the Microsoft Lumia 535 balances the experience with 5MP cameras on both front and back. The forward facing camera has a wide angle lens for group selfies and Skype video calls.
The Lumia Selfie App allows you to fine tune your appearance with selfie filters and there is a remote shutter feature to assist in capturing the perfect selfie. The Lumia Creative Studio app is built in and lets you apply filters, blur the background, change the brightness, adjust the colour tone and vibrancy, sharpen the image, rotate the image, crop it and reframe it for the best results.
To ensure you make the most of the Microsoft Lumia 535’s camera read our complete guide to smartphone photography
The 1,905mAh battery is certainly smaller than some that we have seen recently but it doesn’t seem to have effected performance. In standby the Lumia 535 can stay powered up for up to 23 days and from full the battery will keep you talking for up to 13 hours.
For entertainment, 78 hours of music playback is possible or you could browse the internet over Wi-Fi for 8.5 hours or play videos for up to 6.5 hours.
Microsoft Lumia 535 verdict: We are actually pretty impressed with the Lumia 535 because it is packed with features and the overall look more closely mimics that of a premium smartphone.
Written by: Michael Brown