We have been very vocal about our fascination with Windows Phone, Microsoft’s mobile operating system that competes with Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. We admire how fluid the OS performs even on a limited hardware (example: dual core processor, 512MB RAM, etc). People are becoming curious about Windows Phone especially that Cherry Mobile released two new smartphones, Cherry Mobile Alpha Luxe and Alpha Style. Both are running Microsoft’s OS.
In April 2014, Nokia Corporation sold its handset division to Microsoft this year. There are now reports that the Nokia branding will be removed and be replaced by Microsoft soon. The company still released a number of devices with Nokia branding including the Nokia Lumia 530, the most affordable among the Lumia range of smartphones. Priced around P4,990, is it a good Windows Phone to buy? Let’s find out!
Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM:
- 1.2GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor
- Adreno 302 graphics
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
- 4-inch IPS LCD display (854 x 480 pixels) 245 ppi
- 5 megapixel rear facing camera
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby, Dual 3G
- HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- 1,430 mAh Li-Ion battery
- Windows Phone 8.1
- SRP: P4,990
- Status: Available on Nokia stores and retailers
What’s inside the box?
HARDWARE AND DESIGN:
The phone is made from Nokia’s signature materials – polycarbonate, a high quality type of plastic. The Lumia 530 has a thicker body than other phones we’ve reviewed. But that thickness made phone easier to hold and grip. And because Nokia is well known for its build quality, the Lumia 530 is a rock solid device like if it drops, it can withstand the fall.
It quite disappointing to see Microsoft used a TFT display instead of an IPS LCD display. The 4-inch display fades when we tilt it sidewards. Good thing it is usable outdoors and under direct sunlight.
One big advantage of Windows Phone over Android and iOS is its ability to operate smoothly even on a low end hardware. The Lumia 530 is powered by the old Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor with a small 512MB RAM. Despite its entry level specs, the level of fluidity is at par with flagship smartphones on Android. We never encountered any lags and slow downs not even once.
Windows Phone’s one disadvantage is the lack of apps. Windows Store has around 400,000 apps which is quite few compared to iOS App Store and Google Play Store which has more than a million apps. If you are a gamer, Dead Trigger 2 and Clash of Clans are not present on Windows Phone. Essential apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are present. Our favorite apps like Swarm, MMDA, I Want TV, ABS-CBN News, Viber and Facebook Messenger are also present.
One of Nokia’s best strengths that is passed on to Microsoft is the camera. We all know how amazing Microsoft’s camera on its current flagship, the Lumia 930 and the newly released Lumia 830. The Lumia 530’s 5 megapixel camera takes decent pictures outdoors. Low light shots are brighter but a little grainy. The camera lacks autofocus and flash by the way.
HSPA+ speeds from Globe and Smart are pretty decent ranging 3 to 5Mbps on many areas. Bluetooth and WiFi works fine too. Calls are crystal clear on both ends of the line using either networks.
Don’t be deceived by the phone’s 1,430 mAh battery. The phone lasted 20 hours of light to moderate usage and 10 hours to heavy usage which is surprisingly impressive. Our heavy usage includes hours of You Tube and I Want TV, usual calls and texts and playing Zombie Tsunami for 1 hour.
Looking for a smartphone with an excellent build quality, affordable, fluid performance but not powered by Android or iOS? The Nokia Lumia 530 will best fit your needs.