Nokia Lumia 520 is the most popular Windows Phone device till date and then came the Lumia 525 as the successor of Lumia 520. And finally last month Microsoft announced the new Nokia Lumia 530, the cheapest Windows Phone available right now. The device sports a 4 inch FWVGA display along with a 1.2 Ghz Quad core Snapdragon 200 processor with 512MB of RAM. The device also has 4GB internal storage, the first Windows Phone to come with less than 8GB storage.
There is also a 5MP fixed focus camera without a flash and also there is no front facing camera. The device is powered by a 1430mAh battery and supports dual SIM and microSD card like the Lumia 630 (Review). Here is the detailed review of Lumia 530 with respect to design, build quality, software, performance, camera and the battery life.
Related Reading: Nokia Lumia 530 Unboxing
Here is the video review of the device, for the text version read on.
Design, Build and Display:
Although design wise, the device has nothing new to offer, it is extremely comfortable to hold and design wise it is similar to Lumia 620. The has excellent build quality and fit and finish for its price. The back panel has a matte finish and gives it a premium feel. Nokia has not compromised on the build quality of the device even though this is the cheapest Windows Phone available.
The device has power and volume keys on the right side and the 3.5mm audio jack sits on the top. There is micro USB charging slot at the bottom along with the mic. Remove the back cover and you can see the 1430mAh removable battery and the dual SIM card slot and also the microSD card. The rear panel has the 5MP camera, speaker and also the Nokia logo.
The device comes with a 4 inch FWVGA display which is pretty low compared to Moto E. The display on the device is not that great and the colors look washed out. The device has a LCD panel which does not come with IPS technology and hence the viewing angles aren’t really great. Sunlight readability is just ok if you have increased the brightness to high level. Further there is no clear black technology found on Nokia Lumia phones.
Software and Performance:
Nokia Lumia 530 runs Windows Phone 8.1 which is the latest version of the OS along with the Cyan update from the company. With Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft has bridged the gap between Android and WP in terms of feature set. WP8.1 brings to table the much needed and awaited notification center, data sense, VPN, storage sense and more. You can customize the notification center quick launch icons and also have the option to access the settings menu.
You can also customize the start screen with background images and also has the ability to manage one more tile. Additional tools like data sense allows you to keep control on your data usage. The storage sense app is very handy to manage the storage and set the default location for saving photos, videos, apps and more on the phone.
The device runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Quad core chipset with 512MB RAM. Although the device comes with 512MB RAM, there isn’t any performance issues as WP8.1 is optimized for 512MB RAM devices as well. Since the display resolution is small and only 512MB RAM is available, the gaming performance isn’t really great and you can clearly see the lag in many areas.
Related Watching: Gaming Review of Lumia 530
This is also dual SIM Windows Phone and Microsoft has added a dedicated section for managing dual SIM. You can have two tiles on the start screen for two SIM cards and also link it to make it into one tile. The phone has an onscreen buttons and you can also customize the background color for the navigation bar.
The call quality on the device was really good and we didn’t have any issues with the signal strength. The speaker volume is pretty loud and good if you listen to songs. The device comes with 4GB of internal storage and out of which 1.5GB is available to user and this is the first Windows Phone with 4GB storage. You can also expand via microSD card and install apps directly on to the card which is a a major change with respect to Windows Phone 8.1.
For the first time Nokia has included a fixed focus camera on a Windows Phone device and this could be to reduce the cost and get the phone a lower pricing. But this has seriously affected the camera abilities of the phone. The phone comes with 5MP fixed focus camera and there is no flash and nor a front facing camera. The samples taken suing the camera did not have good colors. While the outdoor shots showed yellowish tints, the close up or macro shots were blurred out due to lack of focus.
The low light photos were noisy while the photos taken with artificial light were average. Overall, for this price point we have better cameras from ASUS and Micromax.
Here are some samples taken with the camera.
The device supports video recording at a very low resolution of 480p and the quality is below average.
The device comes with a 1430mAh battery which is pretty small considering most of the Android counterparts come with battery capacity close to 2000mAh. But having said that the battery performance on Lumia 530 pretty decent for its size. This is probably because Windows Phone 8.1 is not a battery hog and you can squeeze in a day of usage if you are causal user with web browsing, social networking apps, emails and other stuffs like calls and messages.
With the new Windows Phone 8.1 you can see which all apps are taking up the battery more and based on this you can disable these apps from background or uninstall them.
Priced at Rs 7349, the Nokia Lumia 530 does look a bit over priced compared to the Android smartphones like Moto E, ASUS Zenfone 4 and also the Unite 2 from Micromax. While most of the entry level phones offer 1GB RAM, the Lumia 530 offers only 512MB RAM. The fixed focus camera on the device also does not help. Having said that, there are couple of strong points for Lumia 530, first one being the performance which is good and with Windows Phone 8.1, you also get the option to install apps directly on SD Card which is an issue with Android KitKat devices. Further Microsoft will provide future updates for the device atleast 2 years which is missing in Android.
The device makes sense if you are looking for a decent budget smartphone with great performance and battery life along with excellent build quality.