Nokia Lumia 530 Review
A Smartphone on a Budget
Microsoft’s latest effort on the budget smartphone market, the Nokia Lumia 530 is the follow up handset from the Lumia 520, and one which will be hoping to see the same success as its predecessor.
Using its trusted and colourful build, the Lumia 530 is targeting younger users or smartphone fans in need of a back-up device. But can it prove to be yet another hit? Or will it fall into budget phone obscurity? We take a look in our Nokia Lumia 530 review!
Following up from the Lumia 520’s stylish and colourful design, the 530 has made a few noticeable changes. The major alteration is the general shape of the handset, turning the squared off edges from the 520 into smoother corners, giving the handset a much better feel.
The 4” screen size has stuck put however, possibly to keep the cost of the handset down, which is incredibly important if the handset is to do well. Its plastic shell is by no means a luxury, but compared to other similar priced devices, it doesn’t feel loose or fragile, and isn’t prone to scratches or other blemishes.
The front side of the handset is obviously dominated by the display, but the bezels of the screen are noticeably large, again probably in an effort to reduce the price of the handset. This is a bit disappointing, but again nothing we don’t really expect on such a cheap smartphone.
In terms of all of the buttons and ports everything is as you’d expect in what is now a tested and classic design method for Lumia handsets. In general, the build quality is nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s a solid showing from Microsoft, with the bezels the only area which really suffers.
Phone Set Up
Boasting the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, the Lumia 530 might take some getting used to if you’re making the move from an Android or iOS device. Once you have though, you’ll quickly realise how much this software has grown since its welcome onto the mobile market.
Offering its ever growing app store, you can easily grab many of the standard apps you’d download from Android or Apple devices and store them easily using the Windows Phone live tile design. Also, you can alter the colour of the system to match your handset’s colour, so if you opt for a green handset, you can make sure you’re colour coordinated in the software section as well.
Behind the hood, a quad-core 1.2GHz processor and 512MB RAM handle all of the heavy lifting, giving the Lumia 530 a distinctly quick feel for its price. We rarely encountered any lag whatsoever, and when we did, it was often because we were using as many apps as we could at one time.
The display is once again an area of disappointment, its bright colours are almost let down by the low resolution, making the display come out softer than you might expect. It doesn’t make the Lumia 530 hard to use, but it’s a slight put off if we’re being honest.
All in all, the Lumia 530 is a great little phone to use, it runs fast enough and the Windows Phone OS is simple and easy to use. It’s just a shame that the display isn’t quite up to scratch with the rest of the handset.
With the Windows Phone OS running behind its display, the Nokia Lumia 530 actually hosts a number of brilliant features you might not happen to know too much about. Plenty of Windows based apps make the cut, with the likes of Office and Nokia MixRadio offering practical and entertainment qualities.
OneDrive is also included on the Lumia 530 handset, and offers to give you some cloud storage that ensures your documents are kept safe and secure, as well as being accessible anywhere online. More third-party apps have also made their way onto the Windows Store, meaning the likes of Netflix and Instagram are ready to go.
All of your standard smartphone features are all included as well, but with a Windows twist, so your maps is handles by Nokia HEREMaps and so on. The Lumia 530 was never expected to give us anything special on the feature front, but it has supplied us with a nice batch of features for its price tag, making it a great handset to pick up and play with.
Camera & Video
Keeping the same camera module as shown on the Lumia 520, it’s a bit of a shame to see the Lumia 530 really stand still on the photography front. Whilst the 5 megapixel lens is a good performer for a budget device, its failure to improve has opened the door for other manufacturers to catch up.
Still lacking a flash, don’t expect the Lumia 530 to perform well in low light. Plus, the omission once more of a selfie camera on the front side of the handset won’t get photo fans shouting about the Lumia either.
Video comes in at a fairly average 480p at 30 frames per second, which is by no means disappointing but does leave a little to be desired.
In general, the same camera isn’t really a step down from the 520, but it definitely isn’t a step up and has to be considered a bit of a disappointment. Hopefully this is something Nokia will notice and improve upon with the next handset in the franchise.
Packing a 1430mAh battery, the Nokia Lumia 530 can last well over a day, mainly thanks to its efficient processor and smaller screen. Obviously if you spend a lot of time downloading apps and using the maps features, it’s likely to burn more battery, but recharging the device doesn’t take long.
Overall, the Nokia Lumia 530 does its job well, offering smartphone specs and features at a discounted price. It’s not going to stand out as a brilliant piece of equipment, but if you’re after a cheaper device, you’ll struggle to find much better than it, making it a great option.