After more than a week of playing around with the Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM, I've had enough time to thoroughly test this promising budget friendly smartphone. If you haven't seen our unboxing article of the Lumia 535, head over to this link first (Click here!). There we have shared our impressions about its build quality and what comes inside the package! We've also included the technical specifications of the handset.
Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!


As we all know, the Lumia 535 is the first ever Lumia handset released under the Microsoft branding. When its suggested retail price was first announced during its launch, everybody got really surprised that it only costs Php 5,990! It's very affordable right?

It's a solid and classy looking entry level Windows phone that packs great specs: 5-inch display, Snapgradon 200 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB expandable storage, 5MP rear camera, 5MP wide angle front facing, dual SIM capability and Windows 8.1 with Lumia Denim! 


By the way, the back cover is replaceable - it comes in orange, black, grey, green, white and cyan. Just pick what you like! :)


Unboxing, Build Quality & Specifications - Click here

Display

I think one factor that the Lumia 535 doesn't feel cheap is its 5-inch screen as most entry-level cheap phones usually sports 4-inch or less. It has a 960 x 540 resolution (@ 221ppi) - yes, I know this is low for a 5-inch phone, but it's arguably competitive if we will consider the price (Hello! It just costs Php 5,990! LOL).

I'm just slightly off with its touch sensitivity when typing a message (or a tweet / Facebook post) because I occasionally missed pressing the right characters on the keyboard. Although this is somewhat tolerable but sometimes can be irritating especially when I'm in a hurry.


By the way, here's a trivia. Wondered why Microsoft is calling it 535? Well, this phone is a 5x5x5 handset: 5-inch screen and dual 5-MP cameras :))


Camera

Rear Camera

The Lumia 535's 5MP rear camera has f/2.4AF (this is pretty high for the price)
, auto-focus lens and LED flash that can capture 30 fps FWVGA videos. It can produce great quality images when captured in good lighting condition resulting to vibrant shots. I love how the rear camera can still capture an image of an object even in bad (and low) lighting conditions. Although it resulted to grainy photos, it's still pretty impressive when you compare it to other entry level phones. The rear and front camera's quality is commendable.

It's for you to judge! Check out the photos below.

Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
Lumia 535 Rear Camera Outdoor Shot
Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
Lumia 535 Rear Camera Outdoor Close Up Shot
Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
Lumia 535 Rear Camera Outdoor Evening Shot <333
Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
Lumia 535 Rear Camera Outdoor Evening Shot
Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
Lumia 535 Rear Camera Indoor Shot
Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
Lumia 535 Rear Camera Indoor Low Light Shot
Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
Lumia 535 Rear Camera Indoor Low Light Shot With Flash
Front Camera: Lumia 535 (Wide Angle Front Camera) VS MyPhone A919i (Regular Front Camera)

The Lumia 535 features 5 MP wide angle fix focus front camera perfect for taking selfie and for skyping with your loved ones! To see how lovely its wide angle lens is, I took selfie shots using the said handset and compared it to a regular front camera.


The Lumia 535 captured a clearer selfie photo even its taken on a dark place. It also captured the Church as background!


Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
Lumia 535 Front Camera Outdoor Evening Shot | Church At Back
The regular selfie camera was not successful in capturing the Church as background. It only captured partial of it. That's sad :( Lol. kidding

Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
MyPhone A919i Front Camera Outdoor Evening Shot | Church At The Back
The Lumia 535 is also perfect for groufie as it was able to capture the five of us without the need of using a monopod. It can even fit more people. :)) Look at the extra spaces! Excuse my big nose :))

Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!
Lumia 535 Front Camera Groufie Shot
As for the regular selfie camera, it can only fit about 3 people (possibly more, if you extend your arms further. LOL, That's what you call EFFORT). Thanks to our stuffed toy for representing the third person in this pic. HAHA

 The Lumia 535 is also perfect for groufie as it was able to capture the five of us without the need of using a monopod. It can even fit more people. :)) Look at the extra spaces!
MyPhone A919i Front Camera Groufie Shot
Front Camera: Exploring Lumia 535 Lumia Selfie Filters

I also enjoyed exploring the filters. :) I don't need to install third party photo editor apps anymore! :) Hassle free, right?

 The Lumia 535 is also perfect for groufie as it was able to capture the five of us without the need of using a monopod. It can even fit more people. :)) Look at the extra spaces!
Lumia 535 Filter
 The Lumia 535 is also perfect for groufie as it was able to capture the five of us without the need of using a monopod. It can even fit more people. :)) Look at the extra spaces!
Lumia 535 Filter
 The Lumia 535 is also perfect for groufie as it was able to capture the five of us without the need of using a monopod. It can even fit more people. :)) Look at the extra spaces!
Lumia 535 Filter
 The Lumia 535 is also perfect for groufie as it was able to capture the five of us without the need of using a monopod. It can even fit more people. :)) Look at the extra spaces!
Lumia 535 Filter
Microsoft Lumia 535 Rear Camera Outdoor Sample Video


Audio


Lumia 535 is a good music source. It has a pretty decent audio playback that has a slightly similar fun sound signature to the higher end Lumia 930. The bass was boosted, fun, tight and punchy with enough midbass that muffles in some notes of the song. The mids has fair quality wherein you can clearly hear the voices. The highs is there though I find it lacking in some songs. The soundstage is its strong point as it is wider than most phones I've heard in its price range. The microdetails however is not its strong point as I find it lacking in some highly detailed songs. Overall it has enough and decent quality that can put a smile on most people's faces.

The speakers of this phone has decent loudness too. It can fairly match the Lumia 930 in terms of loudness while the Lumia 730 is much louder. Overall the speaker quality has fairly good quality for playing music and making loud calls.

Check out the sample videos and be the judge of its audio quality. :)

Microsoft Lumia 535 Rear Camera Video and Microphone Sample


Microsoft Lumia 535 Playing Music
Note: Video shot using Lumia 930


Performance

When it comes to performance, don't let the price tag fool you. It may not be the most expensive Lumia out there, but it can clearly perform on a good level. It doesn't lag - it has an ample 1 GB of RAM and the updated Lumia Denim. Overall, my experience was very smooth and fluid. It has good shutter speed when taking photos too. My only concern again is the lack of app maturity which I know will be resolved by Microsoft in the very near future. So far this has been a great solid entry level phone that can compete with some mid-range devices.

Gaming 

Microsoft Lumia 535 Gaming Video Shot



Skype


Since it features wide angle front camera lens, the Lumia 535 is perfect for Skype video calls! :)

OneNote

Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!

OneNote is one of the most useful Windows app (well, at least for me). It's really easy to take notes because aside from the text, you can insert photos and even organize your list through bullets. It's very user friendly and easy to navigate. Taking notes has never been this efficient! Thanks to OneNote! :)

By the way, it syncs automatically with OneDrive and Office 365 by default! 

Calendar

Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!

I love the Calendar App's interface! I can plot and keep track of my schedule very easily. Like the typical Calendar App, it will notify you minutes before your plotted sched (well, it varies depending on your settings). What's distinct about this app is its user friendly interface! Well, that's important especially to impatient people like me. I don't want myself having a hard time using a single app.

It also allows you to view your complete schedule your way - you can view it by year, month or day (whichever are your comfortable).

User Interface

Lumia 535 Full Review: Microsoft's New Breed of Budget Goodness!

Benchmark

 The Lumia 535 is also perfect for groufie as it was able to capture the five of us without the need of using a monopod. It can even fit more people. :)) Look at the extra spaces!
Lumia 535 Phone Mark Benchmark
 The Lumia 535 is also perfect for groufie as it was able to capture the five of us without the need of using a monopod. It can even fit more people. :)) Look at the extra spaces!
Lumia 535 MultiBench2 Benchmark
Pros

  • Camera (rear and wide angle front)
  • Audio (speakers, microphone)
  • Apps (OneNote, Calendar)
  • Processor
  • Very good price to specs ratio
  • Wide angle front camera
  • Great 5 MP rear camera (better than most 8 MP at this price)
  • Doesn't feel cheap
  • Good build quality
  • Updated Lumia denim
  • Doesn't lag
  • Good microphone

Cons

  • Occasionally missed pressing the right characters on the keyboard
  • Not so high quality display
  • OS lacks a little app maturity

Verdict


For brand conscious and budget conscious people at the same time, this one might catch your interest. Although it's an entry level phone, its build and design doesn't feel and look cheap! Microsoft really maintained its standards in terms of the quality. 
As for the camera, Microsoft Lumia never failed to impressed me because taking selfies has never been easier.

The Lumia 535 is also perfect for people who always use Skype to communicat with their loved ones abroad. Its wide angle front camera lens makes the Skype experience more convenient and more fun. :) 


The OneNote feature is actually one of my favorite. Taking notes using your smartphone has never been this efficient. You can record information or data easily with the help of it.
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