Microsoft’s newest Lumia phone, the Lumia 535, is finally official, after going through the usual rigmarole of extensive supply-chain leaks and sanctioned teaser images.
This isn’t a phone that’s going to be challenging the big boys, but it is a device that has the potential to shake up the budget end of the market.
Want the inside line? Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Big M’s new Lumia 535.
1 Nokia, be gone
This is the first Lumia phone to come without the Nokia name slapped on the back.
That’s a result of Microsoft paying billions for Nokia’s devices and services businesses last year, although it spent some time deciding whether to drop the well known brand.
In the grand scheme of things, it makes little difference.
The Lumia 535 looks much like any other Lumia phone: bright plastic design, large screen and Windows Phone inside.
2 Selfies up front
Selfies seem to be Microsoft’s favourite thing right now.
The recently released Lumia 730 and Lumia 735 both featured the same five-megapixel front–facing camera as the Lumia 535.
It’s designed for taking sharper self portraits and can be used in conjunction with the native Lumia Selfie app.
Its more prescient use comes with Skype: video calls don’t look nearly as pixellated with such a hefty sensor in the up front camera.
3 Fully featured Windows Phone
Despite being very much a budget device (the 960 x 540 resolution on that 5-inch screen hardly screams high end), the Lumia 535 does come with the latest version of Windows Phone, 8.1.
That means you get the new, three-column design, refreshed native apps, excellent maps and driving tools, plus the Cortana voice assistant. That’s certainly not to be sniffed at.
4 4G not included
The lack of 4G, though, is a major issue.
Sure, the Lumia 535 comes in single and dual SIM variants and yes, it’s aimed at emerging markets.
But 4G is standard now in developed territories and not offering it seems ludicrous, especially as cheap rival Android phones do.
Even similarly priced Nokia Lumia handsets had LTE, so why Microsoft has seen fit to cut it out is something of a mystery.
5 Great value
Despite that, the Lumia 535 promises to offer pretty incredible value for money.
It’s only set to cost €110 (£86) SIM free, which means it will be extremely cheap on contract and likely come in even less on pay as you go.
As a first smartphone, it has plenty of potential, especially if the Big M can use its selfie obsession to convince the kids to part with their hard earned cash.