The Lumia 530 is being position as one of the most affordable Windows Phones available, despite growing completion from the likes of BLU and others. T-Mobile announced back in July that it would be stocking the ultra-budget phone, although no pricing or release date was given with only a generic "later this year" promise.
Windows Phone Central now expects the phone to launch in mid-October at a $69 off-contract price.
T-Mobile has not announced the release date or pricing, so this information is unofficial, though we believe reliable.
The Lumia 530 starting at $69 is certainly a great price. For comparison, when the T-Mobile Lumia 521 launched back in May of 2013, it sold direct for $149.99. In the following year, the Lumia 521 dropped down to $59 or less through various third-party re-sellers for T-Mobile. With the Lumia 530 reportedly starting at just $69, it can only go lower in the coming months, making this a significantly cheaper Lumia for those on a tight budget. Indeed, we expect some retailers to sell below that $69 soon-after launch.
The Lumia 530 comes off as a sequel to the venerable Lumia 520 and Lumia 521 (T-Mobile variant; see our full review). However, while it gains some impressive internals like a quad-core Snapdragon 200 at 1.2 GHz, it continues to omit other features including a front-facing camera, ambient light sensor, and more. Instead, the Lumia 635, also available on T-Mobile for $168 direct, is the most natural upgrade path for Lumia 520 owners.
Windows Phone Central compared the Lumia 520 to the Lumia 530 for benchmarks and found a significant performance bump due to the newer processor and GPU found in the Lumia 530. We also compared the Lumia 530 to the Lumia 635.
The Lumia 530 features a 4-inch display LCD FWVGA (854 x 480), a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of onboard storage (micro SD expansion) and a 5 MP fixed-focus camera. The Lumia 530 also supports Cortana since it is launching with at least Windows Phone 8.1 (although it may come with 8.1.1 out the gate build 12400 is currently shipping on the unlocked version).
You can see our above hands-on video tour of the unlocked Lumia 530 above to get an idea of what to expect.
Although the Lumia 530 comes in a variety of colors, T-Mobile is expected only to stock it in their favorite matte-white color. Luckily, users can buy alternative color back covers to customize.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, 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 for some reason, watches. 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.