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Microsoft Lumia 535 Smartphone Review

Daniel Schmidt, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 02/04/2015

Flying a new flag. The Lumia 535 is the first smartphone that has not only been developed under the umbrella of Microsoft but is also sold under the name of the new owner. It is located in the entry-level sector and catches the eye with its large screen and colorful casing covers. Our report reveals what is found under the shell.

For the original German review, see here.

The Lumia 535 is the first smartphone from the Redmond manufacturer that also bears the company's name, and which is no longer sold under the brand Nokia. Quite contrary to the expected, Microsoft did not debut a premium-line handheld but concentrated on an affordable entry-level model in December 2014. The manufacturer provides the device with a solid basis in the form of a 5-inch screen, quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of flash memory, and a micro-SD slot. The price of 119 Euros (~$135) is also comparatively low.

All contenders rely on Google's Android operating system without exception. In particular, Motorola's Moto E (starts at 96 Euros, ~$109) stands out from the masses with its similar configuration. However, HTC's Desire 310 (starts at 121 Euros, ~$138), Sony's Xperia E1 (starts at 82 Euros, ~$93), Huawei's Ascend Y530 (starts at 107 Euros, ~$122), and LG's L Fino (starts at 120 Euros, ~$137) are interesting alternatives.

Case

The battery is easy to replace
The battery is easy to replace
Our review samples were glossy orange and matte cyan
Our review samples were glossy orange and matte cyan

Microsoft's Lumia 535 presents itself as colorful and flexible. Available colors are green, cyan, orange, white, and black. The casing's back is completely made of polycarbonate and can be removed and replaced. Thus, the cover can be exchanged when the color no longer pleases. The Lumia 535 not only features the largest screen in the comparison field but is also the slimmest device with a height of 8.8 millimeters, and it visibly undercuts the Moto E (12.3 mm). It is surprisingly light with 146 grams and is pleasant to hold due to its rounded edges.

The review sample's build is satisfactory, although it was evident that one of the handheld's that we received had already passed through many hands. The back cover was a bit loose and wiggled. It was, however, absolutely tight on our second device. The gaps were very even and were beyond reproach. Furthermore, the stiffness was also decent although the smartphone crackled during the corresponding tests. Pressure on the narrow display bezel did not cause wave formation on the screen. That first became visible when high pressure was applied to the back.

The removable battery can be accessed after taking off the back cover. Apart from that, the micro-SIM and micro-SD slot are found under the cover. A dual-SIM model of the Lumia 535 is also available in some countries.

Connectivity

Microsoft's Lumia 535 has a micro-USB 2.0 port that can be used for charging the handheld or data sharing with a computer. The interface does not support either OTG or MHL. DLNA and Miracast are available for transmitting images or streaming media.

The micro-SD card reader supports storage media with a capacity of up to 128 GB. Apps can be installed directly on the memory card or can be moved there later under Windows Phone 8.1.

Upper edge: audio
Upper edge: audio
Left: no interfaces
Left: no interfaces
Lower edge: micro-USB 2.0
Lower edge: micro-USB 2.0
Right: volume, power
Right: volume, power

Software

Microsoft uses its own Windows Phone 8.1 operating system (update 1) with Lumia Denim in the Lumia 535. The features largely correspond to that of the Lumia 830 and in-depth information can be found in the review.

The review sample also has access to the personal assistant Cortana. The German language version is still in the alpha phase, though. Nevertheless, it already functions quite well. Cortana is opened by simply pressing the search button for a longer time after configuring it via the app. The assistant answers search inquiries via Bing, finds weather forecasts, compiles reminders or calendar dates, controls music playback, makes calls, and sends short messages after voice inputting, among other things. The latter proved very reliable with short sentences. Besides that, Cortana can sing, narrate stories, and tell jokes. The personal assistant functions very well for an alpha version. Unfortunately, it cannot be voice activated from standby in the Lumia 535.

Communication & GPS 

Microsoft's Lumia 535 supports the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n standards and consequently only transmits in the 2.4 GHz bandwidth. The Wi-Fi connection range is decent, though. We still had a good signal quality even 20 meters away from the router (Fritz!Box 6360, 2.4 GHz), and websites were opened in the accustomed speed. Besides that, Bluetooth 4.0 is installed. It functioned impeccably in our test using external speakers. NFC is not available.

The Lumia 535 connects to the Internet via HSPA+ (max. 42 Mbps) on-the-go. It only covers the minimum frequency range with two bands. LTE is not supported, which is not surprising in view of the price range.

We let the handheld compete against the Garmin eTrex 30 on a short bike trip to test its localization accuracy. The Lumia 535 did an astonishingly good job and made a convincing impression. Its tracking was even more precise in the area of the marina and little forest than the professional GPS system.

Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Garmin eTrex 30
Microsoft Lumia 535
Microsoft Lumia 535
Microsoft Lumia 535
Microsoft Lumia 535
Microsoft Lumia 535
Microsoft Lumia 535

Telephone & Voice Quality

Microsoft's Lumia 535 exhibited minor shortcomings in voice quality. Though we could understand our call partner well, we were a bit quiet when the phone was held to the ear. Both sides were accompanied by a permanent noise and quiet click. Trebles also sounded piercing. The speaker was a nice surprise. The voices were conveyed very loudly, and we were understood very well even in a loud environment.

The Lumia 535 had weaknesses in VoIP telephony via Skype. Voice transmission was regularly interrupted, sometimes for several seconds. Otherwise, the voice quality was middling and could not convince us in conjunction with the messenger.

Picture w/ front-facing camera
Picture w/ front-facing camera

Cameras

Microsoft's Lumia 535 sports a 5 MP camera on both the front and the back. The front-facing lens has a slightly larger wide angle (24 mm) and a fixed-focus, which is allegedly suitable for selfies. Considering the price range, it actually achieves good results though it cannot compete with the selfie machine HTC Desire Eye

The primary camera features an LED flash and has a focal length of 28 mm with auto-focus. It takes a good four seconds for the camera app to open, which is relatively long. However, Microsoft has promised improvement with the next update of Lumia Camera. The user should not be deceived by the pure megapixel count; the camera shoots comparatively decent pictures. The colors look a bit too vivid on outdoor pictures and make an unnatural impression. The pictures could also be a bit sharper. The outlines fray in low light (scene 3), and the color intensity decreases, making them look a bit pale.

It is not possible to record nice videos with the Lumia 535. The handheld has a maximum resolution of 848x480 pixels (FWVGA, 16:9).

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Accessories

The accessories included for Microsoft's Lumia 535 are meager with only a power supply (2.75 watts, 5 volts, 550 mAh) with a non-removable cord. Not shipping a headset is tolerable, but a USB cable for data sharing with the smartphone and a computer will have to be purchased separately. A modular power supply with a USB cable would have been a nicer accessory.

The back covers are optionally available in retail (15 Euros, ~$17).

Warranty

Microsoft includes a 24-month warranty on its Lumia 535 that cannot be upgraded.

Input Devices & Controls

The capacitive touchscreen in Microsoft's Lumia 535 already caused problems right at its launch. The input interface proved to be very inaccurate and slow. Microsoft rolled out an update last year to fix the bug. Although the inputs now function more accurately, the touchscreen is not yet absolutely convincing. Our first review sample shifted inputs so that we had to tap a bit over the point to hit it. That was no longer the case in the second sample. Buyers who experience major problems with the touchscreen should therefore report that to either the manufacturer's customer service or the dealer. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 surface was pleasantly sleek, but inputs were implemented a bit sluggishly. They had to be reentered occasionally.

The virtual keyboard has not been modified. One-handed use is still possible in portrait mode despite the large screen. Microsoft does not give support to users with small hands, and both hands will have to be used. A lot of space is wasted in landscape mode. The available area could have been better exploited. The on-screen keys can be blended in and out via a swipe gesture. The physical keys have a short and crisp pressure point and make a good impression.

Portrait mode
Portrait mode
Landscape mode
Landscape mode

Display

The Lumia 535 reproduces colors superbly.
The Lumia 535 reproduces colors superbly.

The IPS screen in Microsoft's Lumia 535 has a size of 5-inches and a resolution of 960x540 pixels. That corresponds to an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a pixel density of 220 ppi. A somewhat higher resolution would have certainly been nice in view of the size. However, it is understandable that it is not an HD screen in view of the price. It is still enough for everyday use. Only very small texts disintegrate into small heaps of pixels.

The screen achieves a brightness of up to 441 cd/m², and its homogeneity of 90% is very good. The Moto E does not quite reach that (max. 373 cd/m², 96%) although its brightness is even more homogeneous. The other contenders also achieve good rates. The review sample's minor clouding in dark contents was annoying.

430
cd/m²
430
cd/m²
399
cd/m²
441
cd/m²
431
cd/m²
407
cd/m²
423
cd/m²
433
cd/m²
425
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 441 cd/m² Average: 424.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 431 cd/m²
Contrast: 673:1 (Black: 0.64 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.6 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 3.71 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.4
Microsoft Lumia 535
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
LG L Fino
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 4 GB Flash
Huawei Ascend Y530
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Sony Xperia E1
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Screen
-10%
-20%
-49%
-29%
Brightness middle
431
373
-13%
299
-31%
375
-13%
348
-19%
Brightness
424
365
-14%
303
-29%
370
-13%
358
-16%
Brightness Distribution
90
96
7%
93
3%
91
1%
92
2%
Black Level *
0.64
0.5
22%
0.5
22%
0.74
-16%
0.51
20%
Contrast
673
746
11%
598
-11%
507
-25%
682
1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.6
4.84
-34%
5.41
-50%
8.8
-144%
6.43
-79%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.71
5.62
-51%
5.44
-47%
8.69
-134%
7.92
-113%
Gamma
2.4 92%
2.59 85%
2.23 99%
2.03 108%
2.52 87%
CCT
6878 95%
7943 82%
7400 88%
8507 76%
9560 68%

* ... smaller is better

The Lumia 535 has a slightly increased black level of 0.64 cd/m². Black does not look very rich, but a bit too pale particularly at the edges. The resulting contrast of 673:1 is still very decent. Only the Xperia E1 and Moto E are a bit better here.

The Lumia 535 excels in color reproduction and provides really good results. The average dE is below four in both the mixed colors and grayscale levels. None of the contenders manage that. However, the color saturation could be a bit higher. Particularly red and cyan are under-saturated and magenta shifts slightly into blue. Additionally, a light greenish cast is seen in the grayscale, but that is not noticed adversely in routine use.

Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (target color space: sRGB)

Microsoft's Lumia 535 provides useful results in outdoor use. There are no problems reading the screen in the shade or light-protected surroundings. It is considerably more difficult in direct sunlight, and the special software algorithms are not much help, either. The user will have to sit in the shade in the summer although the handheld has a good contrast ratio and high brightness. The relatively big gap between the glass and the screen will primarily be a problem here.

The surface is highly reflective.
The surface is highly reflective.
It remains well-legible when looking straight from the front.
It remains well-legible when looking straight from the front.
Not much is seen in direct sunlight.
Not much is seen in direct sunlight.

The viewing-angle stability of Microsoft's Lumia is quite good, owing to the underlying IPS technology. There are slight brightness losses in flat angles. Again, the big gaps between the protective glass and the screen are noticed here and prevent extremely acute viewing angles. Furthermore, a minor IPS glow becomes visible.

Viewing-angle stability: Microsoft Lumia 535
Viewing-angle stability: Microsoft Lumia 535

Performance

Microsoft's Lumia 535 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 200 MSM8212 quad-core processor, which is supported by 1 GB of working memory. The configuration is not a matter of course in this device category. The Moto EHuawei Ascend Y530 and Sony Xperia E1 are still based on the dual-core version of this SoC, and some only have half the working memory capacity.

Nevertheless, the user should not expect performance miracles from the Lumia 535. Apps sometimes need a moment to open, and the operating system's animations occasionally stutter visibly. Windows Phone 8.1 even ran smoother on the older Lumia 920 (Snapdragon S4 Plus). The few available benchmarks underline that. Basemark X 1.1 refused to even start on the Lumia 535, and Browsermark 2.1 crashed. GFXBench 3.0 started but also crashed.

The browser performance is decent considering the device category, even if the benchmarks frequently see the contenders in the lead. However, it is possible to browse the Internet well with the Lumia 535 seen purely subjectively.

The review sample's internal storage of 8 GB seems comparatively generous. The Moto E only has half of that with a nominal 4 GB (2.2 GB available). However, only 3.2 GB of the Lumia's 8 GB is available for personal use. The flash memory is very swift and can be expanded by up to 128 GB via a micro-SD card. That is a real added value owing to Window Phone's good storage management options.

Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
234.392 MFLOPS ∼8%
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014
145.528 MFLOPS ∼5% -38%
HTC Desire 310
167.995 MFLOPS ∼6% -28%
Single Thread (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
58.598 MFLOPS ∼6%
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014
77.48 MFLOPS ∼8% +32%
HTC Desire 310
81.709 MFLOPS ∼8% +39%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
367 Points ∼18%
Nokia Lumia 920
399 Points ∼20% +9%
LG L Fino
562 Points ∼28% +53%
Graphics (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
189 Points ∼1%
Nokia Lumia 920
362 Points ∼1% +92%
LG L Fino
318 Points ∼1% +68%
Memory (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
593 Points ∼9%
Nokia Lumia 920
788 Points ∼13% +33%
LG L Fino
164 Points ∼3% -72%
System (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
572 Points ∼3%
Nokia Lumia 920
472 Points ∼3% -17%
LG L Fino
711 Points ∼4% +24%
Overall (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
391 Points ∼5%
Nokia Lumia 920
482 Points ∼6% +23%
LG L Fino
380 Points ∼4% -3%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia Lumia 920
3.6 fps ∼0%
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014
4.5 fps ∼0%
LG L Fino
4.4 fps ∼0%
Sony Xperia E1
0 fps ∼0%
HTC Desire 310
3.8 fps ∼0%
Huawei Ascend Y530
0 fps ∼0%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia Lumia 920
6.3 fps ∼0%
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014
11.1 fps ∼0%
LG L Fino
13.3 fps ∼0%
Sony Xperia E1
0 fps ∼0%
HTC Desire 310
8.8 fps ∼0%
Huawei Ascend Y530
11.7 fps ∼0%
WebXPRT 2013
Offline Notes (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
2835.1 ms * ∼59%
Nokia Lumia 920
2247.3 ms * ∼47% +21%
Sony Xperia E1
2415.9 ms * ∼50% +15%
HTC Desire 310
2123.6 ms * ∼44% +25%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
2571.4 ms * ∼69%
Nokia Lumia 920
1855.4 ms * ∼50% +28%
Sony Xperia E1
2485.9 ms * ∼66% +3%
HTC Desire 310
2223.7 ms * ∼59% +14%
Face Detection (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
5995.6 ms * ∼49%
Nokia Lumia 920
3301.1 ms * ∼27% +45%
Sony Xperia E1
3767.9 ms * ∼31% +37%
HTC Desire 310
2802.7 ms * ∼23% +53%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
2296.3 ms * ∼26%
Nokia Lumia 920
2670.7 ms * ∼30% -16%
Sony Xperia E1
1935.6 ms * ∼22% +16%
HTC Desire 310
1534.7 ms * ∼17% +33%
Overall Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
131 Points ∼6%
Nokia Lumia 920
169 Points ∼7% +29%
Sony Xperia E1
161 Points ∼7% +23%
HTC Desire 310
196 Points ∼9% +50%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
1254.1 ms * ∼14%
Nokia Lumia 920
891 ms * ∼10% +29%
LG L Fino
1525.9 ms * ∼17% -22%
Sony Xperia E1
ms * ∼0% +100%
HTC Desire 310
1331.4 ms * ∼15% -6%
Huawei Ascend Y530
1538.8 ms * ∼17% -23%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
1141 Points ∼6%
Nokia Lumia 920
785 Points ∼4% -31%
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014
1777 Points ∼9% +56%
HTC Desire 310
2200 Points ∼11% +93%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Microsoft Lumia 535
293 Points ∼5%
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014
562 Points ∼9% +92%
Sony Xperia E1
550 Points ∼9% +88%
HTC Desire 310
612 Points ∼10% +109%
Huawei Ascend Y530
628 Points ∼10% +114%

Legend

 
Microsoft Lumia 535 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8212, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia Lumia 920 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 32 GB SSD
 
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8210, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash
 
LG L Fino Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8212, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash
 
Sony Xperia E1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8210, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash
 
HTC Desire 310 Mediatek MT6582M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 4 GB Flash
 
Huawei Ascend Y530 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8210, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

The integrated Qualcomm Adreno 302 graphics unit is not particularly suitable for gaming. Undemanding games like Angry Birds or Candy Crush ran without problems. More sophisticated games jerk visibly, though. Lags were noticed in Asphalt 8 despite a reduced detail level. Video playback did not cause any problems.

The sensors functioned reliably; only the somewhat sluggish touchscreen might lead to moments of frustration in reflex games.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Candy Crush Saga
Candy Crush Saga

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures of Microsoft's Lumia 535 reached up to 28.3 °C in idle mode. The rates climbed up to 39.0 °C under permanent load that we simulated with Relative Benchmark. The Moto E (max. 39.2 °C) and Desire 310 (max. 39.7 °C) reach similar temperatures, but the other contenders remain slight below that. However, none of the rates come close to a critical value.

Max. Load
 38.6 °C
101 F
34.6 °C
94 F
29.3 °C
85 F
 
 39 °C
102 F
35.1 °C
95 F
29.8 °C
86 F
 
 38.5 °C
101 F
35.4 °C
96 F
29.4 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 39 °C = 102 F
Average: 34.4 °C = 94 F
26.9 °C
80 F
27.4 °C
81 F
35.1 °C
95 F
26.4 °C
80 F
26.9 °C
80 F
35.7 °C
96 F
26.4 °C
80 F
27.3 °C
81 F
35.9 °C
97 F
Maximum: 35.9 °C = 97 F
Average: 29.8 °C = 86 F
Power Supply (max.)  37.7 °C = 100 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34.4 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 39 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 35.9 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.2 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

The speaker in Microsoft's Lumia 535 made a quite good impression in telephony, but it is not as suitable for playing music. The sound makes a discordant impression and its playback distorts slightly at half the volume. This effect is even enhanced in maximum volume. That is, however, not as evident when watching videos. Nevertheless, users who want to use the handheld for playing multimedia should use external speakers or headphones.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of Microsoft's Lumia 535 is relatively high. Up to 2.4 watts is consumed just in idle mode. The consumption climbs up to 4.6 watts during permanent load. None of the contenders in the comparison field come even close to that requirement. The maximum power consumption of most rivals remains below that of the Lumia when idling. The power-saving champion is the Xperia E1 that only requires 1.5 watts even during full load.

The manufacturer has designed the power supply quite tight with a nominal output of 2.75 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.3 / 1.6 / 2.4 Watt
Load midlight 3.3 / 4.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 870

Battery Runtime

The battery in Microsoft's Lumia 535 has an appropriate capacity of 1905 mAh. Nevertheless, the handheld does not achieve any really good battery runtimes. That is not even due to the fact that the screen's lowest brightness setting is a high 152 cd/m² because the reading test rates were actually very good.

The review sample has to accept high losses when the SoC is loaded slightly, no matter whether in the Wi-Fi test or when playing the Big Buck Bunny video in a loop. Neither rate is completely convincing, and they are rather mediocre for a smartphone. It is quite possible that Microsoft can improve that with some software tweaks.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 48min
WiFi Surfing
6h 16min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
5h 22min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 07min
Microsoft Lumia 535
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 8 GB eMMC Flash
LG L Fino
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 4 GB Flash
Motorola Moto E 1. Gen 2014
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Sony Xperia E1
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Huawei Ascend Y530
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Battery Runtime
24%
68%
78%
46%
Reader / Idle
948
801
-16%
1336
41%
H.264
322
350
9%
WiFi
376
407
8%
846
125%
480
28%
483
28%
Load
127
228
80%
248
95%
290
128%
208
64%

Verdict

In review: Microsoft Lumia 535. Review sample courtesy of Microsoft Germany.
In review: Microsoft Lumia 535. Review sample courtesy of Microsoft Germany.

Microsoft offers a decent entry-level alternative with its Lumia 535. It primarily convinces with up-to-date software, a bright and color accurate screen, and comparatively good cameras. The GPS receiver also surprised us favorably in the test and did a good job. The option of expanding the storage by up to 128 GB is unique in this price range to date.

The handheld's biggest shortcomings are certainly the somewhat sluggish touchscreen and mediocre battery life. The latter could be foreseen in view of the remarkably high power consumption. It should be possible to rectify both via a software update.

The slim and typically colorful Lumia design also advocates the device. The contenders from this price range are mostly bulkier. In total, Microsoft offers a decent smartphone that convinces with the usual, great software bundle as well as with its good configuration and fair price-performance ratio.

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In review: Microsoft Lumia 535. Review sample courtesy of Microsoft Germany.
In review: Microsoft Lumia 535. Review sample courtesy of Microsoft Germany.

Specifications

Microsoft Lumia 535 (Lumia Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 302, Core: 400 MHz
Memory
1024 MB 
, LPDDR2, 333 MHz
Display
5 inch 16:9, 960 x 540 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, 220 ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 3.22 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: headphone and microphone combo jack, Card Reader: micro-SD max. 128 GB (SD, SDHC, SDXC), Sensors: ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor, GPS, Glonass, Miracast, DLNA
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), HSPA+ (900 and 2100 MHz), head-SAR: 0.54 W/kg, body-SAR: 0.55 W/kg
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.8 x 140.2 x 72.4 ( = 0.35 x 5.52 x 2.85 in)
Battery
7 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3.7 volts, 1905 mAh, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 11 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 13 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1
Camera
Webcam: 5 MP (f/2.4, 24 mm), primary camera: 5 MP (auto focus, f/2.4, 28 mm, LED flash)
Additional features
Speakers: one mono-speaker, Keyboard: virtual, power supply, Here Maps, Here Drive+, MixRadio, Storyteller, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
146 g ( = 5.15 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 33 g ( = 1.16 oz / 0.07 pounds)
Price
119 Euro

 

The screen has a size of 5-inches.
The screen has a size of 5-inches.
But it only has a resolution of 960x540 pixels.
But it only has a resolution of 960x540 pixels.
The color reproduction is good, but the black level could be better.
The color reproduction is good, but the black level could be better.
Useful selfies can be shot with the front-facing camera.
Useful selfies can be shot with the front-facing camera.
The back is comprised of single-colored polycarbonate.
The back is comprised of single-colored polycarbonate.
The primary camera has a flash and auto-focus.
The primary camera has a flash and auto-focus.
The speakers make a good impression in telephony.
The speakers make a good impression in telephony.
The back cover can be removed in one step.
The back cover can be removed in one step.
The battery is easy to remove.
The battery is easy to remove.
Now Microsoft's logo appears at booting.
Now Microsoft's logo appears at booting.
It is also found on the power supply.
It is also found on the power supply.
The power supply could be a bit stronger and, above all, modular.
The power supply could be a bit stronger and, above all, modular.
Cortana is now also available in German.
Cortana is now also available in German.
The latest Windows Phone version is preloaded.
The latest Windows Phone version is preloaded.
Storage is tight, but it can be expanded.
Storage is tight, but it can be expanded.
Basemark OS II
Basemark OS II
The on-screen buttons can be faded in and out.
The on-screen buttons can be faded in and out.
Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
The Google Octane 2.0 benchmark did not completely finish.
The Google Octane 2.0 benchmark did not completely finish.
WebXPRT 2013
WebXPRT 2013

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Links

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  • Find the right notebook - notebookCHECK Hardware Guide

  • Display resolution comparison - DPI (grain size) of displays

  • Our test criteria
  • Manufacturer's information

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Pros

+Latest Windows Phone 8.1 (Denim)
+Good GPS
+Expandable storage
+Decent cameras
+Bright screen with good color reproduction...
 

Cons

-...and increased black level
-Below-average voice quality
-High power consumption
-Sluggish touchscreen

Shortcut

What we like

The slim design, bright screen, and decent GPS are convincing. Furthermore, Cortana is enjoyable even in the alpha version.

What we'd like to see

A touchscreen with higher responsiveness and a better battery life.

What surprises us

It is quite astounding just how little available storage remains for the user.

The competition

The contenders are: Motorola Moto E, Huawei Ascend Y530, Sony Xperia E1, HTC Desire 310, LG L Fino, and LG L70.

Rating

Microsoft Lumia 535 - 01/30/2015 v4(old)
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
81%
Keyboard
63 / 75 → 84%
Pointing Device
73%
Connectivity
49 / 60 → 82%
Weight
93%
Battery
88%
Display
81%
Games Performance
50 / 63 → 79%
Application Performance
25 / 70 → 36%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Audio
63 / 91 → 69%
Camera
61%
Average
71%
79%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Microsoft Lumia 535 Smartphone Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2015-02- 4 (Update: 2018-05-15)