Microsoft acquired Nokia’s mobile division and all that mobile hardware business that came along with it. And that was the journey of a thousand Windows Phone devices. Part of the idea is to get Microsoft another channel to get their services out to more users. This they did by owning Windows Phone, Lumia currently has over 90% of Windows Phone market-share, and this the third largest OS by market-share after Android and iOS, even though this is barely 3%.
Now Microsoft announced that they will be dropping the Nokia name for the Windows phone devices and that the Lumia 730 and Lumia 830 would be the last to carry that brand. Now we’re here. Microsoft released the first device under the Microsoft Lumia banner, Lumia 535 and as you know this would evoke curiosity as to what the main differences are between Lumia 530 and Lumia 535 with are quite close in the numbering order. You will realize they are quite far in actual paper.
Design and Looks
Lumia 530 is a thick and stocky built phone, Lumia 535 looks and is actually thinner at 8.8 mm compared to the latter which is 11.7 mm thick. Lumia 530 is the lighter one here with 129 grams compared to Lumia 535 which is 146 grams. Lumia 535 looks more refined in terms of looks compared to Lumia 530 which I termed in my review as a device with plain Jane looks. They have the same colour options which is differentiated by the exchangeable shells.
The processor on both is the same 1.2 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor but with a RAM difference. Lumia 530 comes with 512MB while Lumia 535 comes with 1GB. Lumia 530 comes with Adreno 302 GPU while Lumia 535 comes with Adreno 203. According to Microsoft, the upgraded RAM means that the noticeable lag on the Lumia 530 when one plays heavy games will go down and the messaging accompanying Lumia 535 is that you should game as the phone will support this.
Lumia 530 comes with a 4GB internal storage while Lumia 535 comes with an 8GB internal storage, the expansion options are the same with support of 128Gb microSD storage.
We can’t exactly make this a showdown as the Lumia 535 just came out and I was made aware there are no review samples close to me yet that we can do that with. But there are noticeable differences in this department. First the Lumie 530 comes with only a 5MP rear camera and that’s it. Lumia 535 on the other hand comes to unlock other levels, these being a rear flash, autofocus on rear camera and front wide-angle camera at a whopping 5MP. This goes to make it the best selfie phone at it’s price point complimented by the Selfie app by Microsoft.
There is another quite noticeable difference in display size here. Lumia 530 comes at 4 inches LCD display. LCD display makes it look noticeably inferior compared to all other displays on Lumia, at the high end we have AMOLED which is a stark difference. Lumia 535 on the other hand comes with a 5 inch IPS LCD display which as expected is a notable upgrade. The display resolution on Lumia 530 is 480 x 854 pixels while on Lumia 535 it is 540 x 960 pixels. Given, the latter is a larger display and thus the pixel per inch on Lumia 530 is better at 246 ppi compared to Lumia 535’s 220ppi. The screen technnology should play a huge difference with the IPS LCD on Lumia 535 getting the upper hand.
Software differences or similarities
The two come running Windows 8.1 but different versions of Lumia software. The Lumia 530 comes running Lumia Cyan version while Lumia 535 comes with Lumia Debian Red out of the box. This is also the case for Lumia 830 and Lumia 930. Lumia Debian Red comes with features like voice activation for Cortana, Live Folders, 4K video recording for Pureview devices, Auto HDR and dynamic flash, improved image processing and decreased shot to shot time among others.
The update is rolling out to other devices this quarter starting with Lumia 930 announced earlier in the year and the rest of Windows Phone 8.1 running devices.
Noticeable differences too here in capacity but not exactly in performance. Lumia 530 comes laden with a 1430 mAh battery that promises a 13.4 hour talktime, WiFi browsing time of 7.8 hours and a 22 day standby time. Lumia 530 on the other hand is powered by a 1905 mAh battery promising a talktime of 11 hours, WiFI browsing time of 8.5 hours and a standby time of 23 hours.
Each has it’s own position in history, according to Microsoft, Lumia 530 is there specifically to be the landing pad for those moving from dumb and feature phones into the smartphone world. Our translation is that this is the phone to compete with those cheap low spec-ced Android phones and to ensure Microsoft has a replacement for the now dropped Asha phones and Nokia X. The two are no-longer the bridge from dumb phones as they were and Lumia wants to hog all that now.
Price-wise we have a difference in that the Lumia 530 was announced with a price of EUR 85 while Lumia 535 has a starting price of EUR 110, both these prices before taxes and subsidies. This naturally means that Lumia 530 stays at the bottom of the food chain while Lumia 535 comes slightly above it. Lumia 535 is also the selfie smartphone at the entry level, while Lumia 530 is the one that goes out to make you fishers of men (convert from the bottom). Microsoft knows getting them while young is one of the best way of getting the mass numbers to up the markershare. You know, entry level has shown to be the hunting grounds for them.