It takes some getting used to calling this phone the Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM. Often I'd find myself calling it the Nokia Lumia 535 Dual SIM.
This is the first Lumia phone that is not a Nokia, coming from Microsoft Mobile. However, it's not the first DUAL SIM Lumia.
The Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM (I'll be calling it 535 in this article. But put in mind that I am referring to the Dual SIM Lumia 535) was released to the Nigerian market in January 2014 Microsoft Mobile Nigeria, and as of publishing this article is not available yet in South Africa.
Features and Specs
The 535 is supposed to be a low-end Lumia phone considering it sells for around NGN24,000 .
It spots a 5 inch screen, 5 MP front (more on the powers of the front facing camera later) and back camera with an 8 GB internal memory, 1 GB of RAM (not 512 MB like the Lumia 520), plus a room for extending the storage by popping in a micro SD card of up to 128 GB.
This 535 I'm reviewing here is a Dual SIM.
The phone is light at 146g, although it weighs more than the Nokia Lumia 530 that weighed 129g.
The display on the phone is QHD (960 x 540) with a pixel density of 220 ppi.
The battery in the phone is removable at 1905 mAh. The processor used is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200. See full specs on the Microsoft Mobile Website.
The back cover (colour coded) of the 535 is removable.
Microsoft wants you to know that they have taken over from Nokia by splashing the Microsoft logo on the front and back of the phone. Essentially, it is not a Nokia phone, but a Microsoft phone.
The phone has a flash at the back that comes in handy when you are shooting photos when there is less light shinning at your object. However, I want you to take my word for it, you don’t need it.
Most flash that comes with smartphone cameras does a very poor job, except for a few that just manage. I speak more on this when speaking about photography.
The function keys are not on the hardware, but on the screen of the phone (which is good. When playing games or reading in landscape mode, you won’t be hitting on the function keys mistakenly). These function keys disappear out of sight when you do not need them. You can easily call them back by simply sliding up from the bottom of the phone.
The software on the Lumia 535 is the most recent on a Windows Phone (version 8.1, aka Lumia denim). This brings a lot of features that were initially not available.
You can easily put apps in folders just by dragging them. You don’t need software or a trick to do that. There’s a double tap to wake up the screen function on the phone as well. You may have to activate it, as it did not come activated. Just go to Settings > touch and tap “double tap screen to wake up phone.”
But, while using the phone,
I noticed a glitch with the touch screen. The screen is too sensitive. My sweaty palms coupled with the too sensitive screen made it difficult for me to use the phone at times.
I read online that some users are experiencing this issue and a software fix is on the way to fix it. I am yet to receive that software. I will be sure to update this article as soon as I get the software update.
Call Quality and Sound Production
I used the phone as my primary device for a week; and I have made several long duration calls with it. The calls are crystal clear.
Listening to music using the earphones that come with the phone leaves much to be desired.
If you are a proper audiophile, I assume you have your 3.5mm earphones that you use already. I plugged in my Sony MDR-EX100IP/B Earbuds into the phone and I got a better sound quality.
If you listen to music or watch a movie without using the earphones, the sound quality is not as good. The tiny speaker is behind the phone and it is just a single one.
The camera of the Lumia 535 is 5 MP front and back. It is just good enough to handle all the pictures you share on social media and the ones you share with your friend. Don’t expect the results of the 535 to blow you out completely.
But, selfie lovers are going to love the wide-angle front facing camera. I enjoyed using it myself over the weekend while I was having some BBQ party with my friends. You won’t get superb pictures with the phone under low light condition
Video records on 848 x 480 resolution and 640 x 480. So you won’t get full HD recording of 1080p on the phone. But the video still come out decent. I tried to record in a noisy area, but I did not enjoy noise cancelation, the type that is available on the Lumia 920, 925 and 1020.
On a regular day, I got a full day’s use from the Lumia 535. But when I am on the phone a lot, the battery takes about 5/6 hours. But who spends that kind of a time on a phone, if not a smartphone addict like myself? Besides, if you find out that you have such a huge need, you can easily buy an extra battery, as the phone’s battery is user replaceable.
The Lumia 535 is that ideal phone you’ll want to pick if you have two SIMs, but do not want to carry two phones about. The price and all the features it parks, that I discussed already, made it a phone I’ll recommend to anyone who doesn’t want to break the bank.
I’ll score the phone 6.5/10. As soon as I can get a fix for the screen that acts too sensitive ones in a while when my hand is sweaty, I’ll increase the score.