The Microsoft Lumia 535 dual sim Windows Phone
Loan from Connects
tSo a couple of weeks ago I was sent a trial phone from the wonderful guys at Connects, and after being a windows phone fanboy for three years and using Nokia Lumia phones I have been sent a Microsoft branded Lumia, it was expected and it had to happen and here it is , a bright orange handset with the ability to use two sim cards and the ability to use a micro SD card to expand its memory from the inbuilt 8 gig. As a long term fan of Nokia it was a little sad to see a Lumia without any Nokia branding at all, still, the guys at Microsoft were the guys who had come from the Nokia buyout right ? Design , development, innovation ? And the OS was what I was used to , in fact the latest version 'Denim' and I'd used a few 'Budget' windows phones before and as everyone knows, you don't need high specs for a Lumia to give a good user experience do you, Windows Phone is a very light OS and still zips along even on cheaper handsets
Full Lumia 535 specifications HERE
Screen shotsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Not what I'd hoped for , but give it a chance
Now despite my real desire to want a high end 'Flagship' device, one with cutting edge tech, high end optics and speedy processor, the fact that the majority of Windows Handsets being sold are budget, the 520 being the biggest seller so far, so it is understandable that Microsoft decided to launch the first handset with the new 'Microsoft' Branding as a budget phone to hopefully have mass appeal, as I'd had a good experience with previous budget/mid-range Lumia's I honestly expected similar with the new 535 , this is what happened.
I have seen a few unboxing videos from other people trialing the 535, without any sim, just switched on, quick comment on build and value and that's about it. I may not be the most unbiased or professional reviewer, but what I do do is use the phone. After taking a couple of photos of the Lumia535 I inserted my main sim card , a spare sim card and a 32 gig micro sd card full of videos and music and enough spare space to allow the 535 to function with some spare memory on the handset itself. Then I charged it up, restored one of my old backups on it and then used it as my main handset for over two weeks over the Christmas break, sadly this was not the best experience I've ever had with a mobile phone!!
Arrival and Unboxing Lumia 535
Microsoft brandingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Trying to pull some positives from the phone, I love the dual sim feature and wish more phones had it, it works really well on the Lumia and it was nice to have a choice of provider depending on signal and it's a feature I would love whilst on Holiday. All the media on my micro SD card played well , videos looked ok on the screen and the speaker was 'acceptable' , calls and text worked great and in good light you could get some reasonable photos and that, unfortunately, is it.
Testing, Quality Control ' or lack of :(
What Microsoft were thinking is beyond me, I know many previous budget lumias ran well on low specs, unfortunately , Microsoft have found the minimum limit and gone one rung lower :( Although everything actually works, most things are slower than previously experienced by me, slow loading apps, laggy transitions and worse of all the screen!! Now maybe I am being over critical for a budget phone, but if I was a major tech co, rebranding a product for the first time I would at least check it worked as it should, the touch screen, which is a major compnent in a TOUCH SCREEN PHONE USING A TOUCH INTERFACE is an abhoration ! Did Microsoft lay off all the quality control and product testers in the job losses last year ? The touchscreen feels as though it is disconnected from the OS, it is extremely innacurate as though it needs to be re-caliberated, it's sensitivity is on par with a Nokia N97 it makes typing extremely awkward and irritating, gameplay becomes frustrating as you tap away with no response and lose points or lives and even opening a live tile other than the bigger ones can take two-three taps. A software update was due to be released to try to solve the screen issues , so I have held off writing this for as long as I can, but as things stand as I reset the 535 to send it back to Connects it hasn't arrived and from what I hear hasn't been successful where it was released. This is not the first handset to be launched with faults, but I really expected Microsofts first try at Lumia branding to do what it says on the box, it doesn't. I couldn't recommend this handset to anyone in it's present state.At about £85 sim free it should be great value, it isn't. If you want a budget Windows Phone, beg , borrow or steal the funds to buy a Nokia Lumia 735 , it does EVERYTHING better than it should and is a joy to use and great value.
As for Microsoft, pull your finger out, improve testing and quality control and release something great, I have supported and evangalised the Windows Phone product since it was launched on the Lumia 800, I want it to succeed, but if it stagnates and hardware fails to perform it will fail. Everyone deseves a chance and hopefully the 535 is a one off mistake, please don't repeat it.
Couple of pics from the 535Click thumbnail to view full-size
Thanks & Fingers Crossed
I am as always extremely grateful at being allowed to trial and review a handset, and really hope I get the chance to do it again some day and if I do I really hope I'm blown away.
Thanks for reading