Nokia’s Lumia 530 is a £60 smartphone rocking the latest Windows Phone 8.1 and some impressive features for the price. Here’s our full hands-on review.
Just when you think you couldn’t get any more awesome smartphones for under £100, Nokia fires out something like the Lumia 530, which costs just £60 yet packs the latest version of Windows Phone.
We’ve had a play with the Nokia Lumia 530 and compared it with Nokia’s other super-cheap budget blower, the Lumia 630, and so far we’re impressed by the slick and user-friendly experience.
Nokia Lumia 530: Design
Nokia hasn’t compromised on design despite that low asking price, and the Lumia 530 is just as colourful and jolly as its brethren. Our review model was a bright lime green colour, and you can also pick it up in orange, white and black.
It’s compact enough to comfortably slip inside a pocket, despite the somewhat chunky build. And we’re pleased to feel a decent amount of heft when we pick the Lumia 530 up – this isn’t some cheapy plastic toy that feels like it might crumble under heavy finger-pounding.
There’s only 4GB of on-board storage, but the blissful addition of a micro SD memory card slot means that’s not an issue. The slot can be accessed by prising off the back cover, no easy feat unfortunately and an action which snapped one of our fingernails clean in half. May you have better luck.
Nokia Lumia 530: Screen
Of course, there have to be some sacrifices at this price point, and the Nokia Lumia 530’s dinky 4-inch screen is clearly a budget offering.
Even compared with the Lumia 630, there are notable differences. Viewing angles aren’t as good and colours look a lot more washed out, even with the ‘vivid’ and ‘temperature’ settings turned to max.
Nokia Lumia 530 (left) compared with Lumia 630 (right)
Still, the 854×480 pixel resolution gives a surprisingly crisp result (that’s around 245 pixels-per-inch, which matches many mid-range phones such as Sony’s Xperia M2). So even though the Lumia 530 rocks a small display, we had no trouble browsing the web or reading ebooks.
And like the Asus Zenfone 4, we didn’t struggle to type on that dinky display, mostly thanks to the responsive touchscreen controls.
Nokia Lumia 530: Performance
Considering the price yet again, the 1.2GHz quad-core SnapDragon 200 processor does a commendable job, along with 512MB of RAM. For Windows Phone 8.1, this seems to be more than enough to produce smooth performance.
As well as running everyday tasks such as email and web browsing, we tested out a couple of fast-paced games including Mirror’s Edge. Again, the Lumia 530 performed well, with no dropped frames or stutters to ruin the experience.
We haven’t had a chance to fully test out the Lumia 530’s battery life yet, but check back very soon for our full review.
Nokia Lumia 530: Camera
Once again you get Nokia’s Camera app, which gives you full manual controls when snapping away with the Lumia 630’s 5-megapixel camera. But is that lens any good, given the bargain basement cost?
We’ve had only a very brief play, but so far it’s shaping up to be a typical budget shooter. Our photos look a little hazy, no matter how much t-shirt wiping we bestow on the lens. Still, we’ll give it a thorough going over and show you the results in our full review.
Nokia Lumia 530: Early verdict
For the money, we’re really impressed by what Nokia’s produced in the Lumia 530. If you want a no-fuss, user-friendly phone that can get online and do all your usual smartphoney functions, and even play games, this seems to be a great choice.
We’ll bring you our full Nokia Lumia 530 review soon.