Lumia 535 TechCabal 11

Microsoft acquired Nokia’s Devices and Services department in 2013 and since then, many have been anticipating how Microsoft’s absorption of the legendary mobile brand will affect upcoming Lumia phones.

The Lumia 535 is the first of the Lumia line that is completely divested of the Nokia brand and sports just Microsoft branding, meaning the company will be eager to make a good first impression. In my case, this is just perfect, because I have never used a Windows Phone before, and will be approaching the device with no preconceptions other than perhaps my Android bias.

Well, I’ll just give my honest opinion and let you be the final judge.


I already covered the specs in unboxing post here, so if you didn’t read that, do check it out and come back.  However, a quick run through: the Lumia 535 has a 5-inch display and is powered by 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad-Core processor. The device packs 5-megapixel cameras on the front and back (with LED flash on the back). It has 8GB internal memory and 1GB RAM, with a micro SD card slot, expandable up to 128GB. Of course, it comes with Windows Phone 8.1, along with the latest software update, codenamed Denim.

So the review unit we got came with a shiny plastic green back that on first look, seems susceptible to scratches (the casings are made using polycarbonate materials that make scuffs unnoticeable). Did I mention it was green? Lumias tend to come in bright colours, and is a signature feature that a lot of people seem to appreciate for its distinctiveness. Unfortunately, I don’t share their vivid taste, except in certain situations.

Lumia 535 TechCabal 2

As it is my first time using a Windows phone. It took a while getting used to. Before now I’ve played with just Blackberry and the Android OS. I never was a fan of the Windows 8 OS on PCs, which translated to the Windows phone. This was one of the reasons I chose not to get the phone when I had the opportunity. Now that I am confronted with one, my impressions are a mixed bag — a decent experience, but not without its drawbacks.


The 1,905mAh battery takes about a little over an hour to fully charge and lasts for about 7 hours with consistent, full time use. Far better than Blackberry’s battery life, but still below expectation for a Nokia…ahem…Lumia phone.


As for connectivity, it lacks 4G data speed. So restriction is to 3G networks. For Nigerians, this wouldn’t matter, but it’s a drawback for those that have 4G available in their countries.


I played around a bit with the 5 megapixel camera to see how it works and it was a swell time doing a mini-shoot to see how good or bad it was. I will tell you this; it IS good for both outdoor and indoor amateur photography. It’s good enough for professional-looking photographs too, if you know how to tweak the settings.




There’s auto and manual focus that let’s you focus on your object while blurring out the background.  A flash, which comes in useful for taking pictures in not-well-lit places as well.



Not a lot of apps

When I checked out the store, I couldn’t find most apps that I use. That is a problem. Sure it had the basic apps like BBM,Facebook, Skype, etc already pre-installed. But I couldn’t find a lot more stuff. Apparently, it is a perennial Windows Phone problem.

How much is it?

Pricing is quite reasonable. It starts from about N25 000.

Would I buy this phone?

I dunno…I certainly don’t mind getting this as a gift. Or buying it as a gift for someone who has another primary device. My major grouse with Lumias in general, I have discovered, is with the lack of a robust app ecosystem. Most of the the apps I use are not available. App monsters, or high end power users will need to look further. But if you don’t mind the scant app selection and want a sturdy, capable and affordable dual sim device, the Lumia 535 might be your speed.

Chioma Nkemdilim Author

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