It's no secret that Microsoft has done pretty well with low-priced, budget spec Windows Phones. The Lumia 520 to this date is still one of the most popular Windows Phones of all time, and there have been several since. Joining the likes of the 530, 535 and 630/635 now is this, the Lumia 435. And with a drop down from 5 to 4, it's easy to presume that this is the new standard for the entry level device.
Announced with the 532 as only the second (and third) devices to come with the Microsoft badge over the old Nokia one, the 435 enters a crowded space. And it's crowded through Microsoft's own doing. There's such a selection at the budget end that it's hard to choose an outright winner. The Lumia 435 has to compete against several of its own siblings, and it's capable of holding its own.
Read on for our first impressions.
At this point in time we'd not feel at all bad about telling anyone looking for a low cost Windows Phone to ignore the Lumia 530 altogether. While it's cheap, surrounded by the more recent, Microsoft badged releases, the value for money isn't necessarily there. The Lumia 530 used to the be baseline, the entry level, but that title now belongs to the Lumia 435. And it's definitely worth considering. With 1GB of RAM on board, the Lumia 435 already has a leg up on anything with only 512MB. It falls short of the Lumia 530 in other areas, but since it's a 4, not a 5, we'd expect some shortcomings.
Lumia 435 specifications
- Single and dual-SIM variants
- Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim
- 4-inch WVGA LCD (800 x 480)
- 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 CPU
- 1 GB RAM
- 8 GB storage
- MicroSD card support (Up to 128 GB)
- Removable 1560 mAh battery
- 2MP rear camera (fixed focus)
- 0.3MP front-facing fixed-focus camera
- Four colors: green, orange, white, black (swappable covers)
It's not the slimmest phone in the world, in actual fact it's a little chunky. But since it's so small it can get away with it, as it doesn't bring any real heft with it. It's actually a real lookalike for the Android powered Nokia X, and with the two side-by-side you'd probably be hard pushed to pick which one was which (without looking at what's on the screen or the badge on the back).
The display is a little reflective, but doesn't seem too bad when compared to some other budget devices, and even without Clearblack it's potentially approaching the Lumia 635 for quality. It's also going to be a real fingerprint magnet, but the same can't be said of the back with the matte orange finish like the Lumia 830 on our unit compared to the glossy orange of the Lumia 535.
All in all it's a nice little phone. If you just want a cheap Windows Phone that'll run all the apps you want it to, it might be worth considering. It's in a crowded and confusing area of Microsoft's product portfolio, but if it's priced right it's worth consideration for anyone in the market for this type of device. As is always the case with Windows Phone devices, it performs admirably even with low-end hardware.
We'll be putting together a full review soon, so stay tuned to Windows Central for more.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine