First look at the ultra-budget Nokia Lumia 530 dual-SIM Windows Phone

The Lumia 520 is going to go down as the phone that drove Windows Phone in emerging markets and for those who want a budget phone. Therefore, it should be no surprise to see Microsoft pick up Nokia's reins with the Lumia 530, which is just now launching globally.

I managed to get my hands on a brand new bright green Lumia 530 and in the following video, I talk about the features, specs and my first impressions. As it turns out, it very much reminds me of the Lumia 620 in terms of design, and the OS is surprisingly zippy considering the price range for this phone.

Lumia 530

  • Windows Phone 8.1 (12400) with Lumia Cyan
  • Quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 4 GB of internal memory; expandable up to 128 GB with micro SD
  • 4-inch LCD FWVGA (854 x 480)
  • 5 MP main camera
  • 1430 mAh replaceable battery
  • 10 h talk-time

The Snapdragon 200 is a new addition to the Lumia line (the current Lumia 630 features a Snapdragon 400, instead). Although it only has a 1.2 GHz quad-core, combined with the more recent build of Windows Phone 8.1, the phone is surprisingly lag-free.

The on-screen keys do not sacrifice screen real estate since the display boasts those extra 54-pixels. As a result, the Lumia 530 is still a "true" 800x480 phone, much like its predecessor. The Lumia 530's screen lacks the ClearBlack polarizer found in the 6xx series and up, so there is less contrast by comparison. Still, the Lumia 530's display not look bad at all, and it is an improvement upon the Lumia 520 series (colors are less muddy, and the display being brighter).

The 5 MP camera although not great, is adequate for this price range. See the above image for a sample. Interestingly, the Lumia 530 does not even feature tap-to-focus, let alone a dedicated camera key or flash. You just take a photo and let the limited focus do its thing. Still, the 5 MP camera is better than the previous 520 version.

In terms of design, the Lumia 530 reminds me very much of the Lumia 620 with its rounded corners and back. I like the new look a lot, as the device is flat out adorable and fun to use, especially being only 4-inches for the display.

Being dual SIM, the Lumia 530, which runs between $130 and $170, should fare better in emerging markets where such a feature is a necessity. That price is expected to drop once stores and carriers begin selling it en masse in the coming weeks.

Look for my review of the Lumia 530 likely next week, but so far, I am surprised to admit that I am highly impressed with it.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.