Nokia Lumia 530 Review Scoring Summary
|Style & Handling|
Verdict: The Nokia Lumia 530 is hugely impressive for what little it costs. There are things it could do a lot better but it already does so much for so little money.
Full Review and Specification for the Nokia Lumia 530
Nokia struck gold with the budget Lumia 520. It’s a phone that went on to outsell every other Lumia handset, every other Windows Phone handset and most other low price smartphones running on any operating system.
It’s no wonder either as it combined impressively smooth performance, a reasonably good screen and a very low price tag when until recently most other sub-£100 smartphones were barely even useable.
Now Nokia is back with the Lumia 530 and it’s presumably hoping to do it all over again. So has lightning struck twice? Read on to find out.
With a 4.0 inch 480 x 854 LCD display the Nokia Lumia 530 doesn’t stand out as particularly good or bad from a screen perspective. In terms of size and resolution it’s on a par with other similarly priced phones, if not a little better, but with a pixel density of 245 pixels per inch it’s not the sharpest screen around and opting for bog standard LCD rather than IPS LCD means the colours aren’t as rich as they could be.
Nevertheless, it’s a good screen for the money. It’s not huge but it’s big enough to comfortably use, in fact it’s the same size as the display on the iPhone 5S, and while it’s sub-HD it’s still reasonably sharp.
Nokia has played it safe with the design of the handset in that it looks much like the Lumia 520 and indeed much like almost any other Lumia handset. Unlike some of the high end offerings there’s not a scrap of metal in sight, instead it just has a removable plastic back cover, but it looks and feels well-built and the covers come in a variety of colours, so you can make it as wild or understated as you want.
From the front it looks a little low end, thanks to large bezels around the screen, but you’re unlikely to really notice this when you’re actually using the phone. At 129g it’s got a nice amount of weight to it without feeling too heavy and at 119.7 x 62.3 x 11.7mm it’s compact if a little on the chunky side.
More powerful than you’d think
The Nokia Lumia 530 has a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor and 512MB of RAM. Now, a quad-core processor is pretty great for such an affordable phone, but that amount of RAM might be setting off alarm bells, especially if you’ve not used a low-end Windows Phone handset before.
That’s understandable given that most phones come with between one and three gigabytes of RAM, but in fact Windows Phone is so light on resources that it can easily run on just 512MB and coupled with its quad-core processor the Lumia 530 is actually quite a nippy little performer just like the Lumia 520 before it was (and that was only dual-core).
You won’t mistake it for a high end phone but nor are you likely to feel limited by its power or lack thereof.
The Nokia Lumia 530’s camera is a bit more disappointing. There’s a 5 megapixel camera on the front, which is par for the course at this price range and while it isn’t really up to any serious photography it will get the job done for Facebook snaps or photos that you just want to show off on your phone screen.
However it doesn’t have a flash, so at night or even when the light just isn’t particularly optimal it can really start to struggle. It’s also not great for video as it can only shoot in 480p.
Normally we’d talk about the front-facing camera next, but we can’t, because there isn’t one. That’s a real disappointment too and means you can cross off selfies and video calls. If there’s anywhere that the Lumia 530 very obviously cut costs it’s on the camera front.
Battery life, memory and connectivity
The Nokia Lumia 530 has a 1430 mAh battery quoted for up to 10 hours of 3G talk time or 22 days of standby time, which compared to smartphones in general is average to just above average but for a low end phone it’s pretty good and a slight improvement on the life of the Lumia 520.
Things aren’t so good when we come to memory, as the Lumia 530 has just 4GB of built in storage. There is a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 128GB, but then of course you need to buy a card and when half the attraction of the Lumia 530 is that it’s so cheap having to spend extra to store anything much on it isn’t ideal.
For connectivity you get Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth 4.0. Sadly if unsurprisingly there’s no 4G. We wouldn’t expect there to be for the £80 or less that this is likely to cost, but it’s a technology that’s creeping into ever more phones and becoming ever more important, so it’s still missed.
While the Nokia Lumia 530 certainly cuts corners in some areas, notably the camera and lack of built in storage, it’s a strong phone overall and an incredibly strong one for the price. Smooth performance, a decent screen, good battery life and a solid build quality makes this one of the best phones in its class and a worthy successor to the Lumia 520.
It might not do much more than its predecessor and it’s certainly entering the market at a more competitive time, but there’s enough here to make it a strong and obvious choice if you’re shopping for a phone on a tight budget.
Nokia Lumia 530 Specification
Dimensions : 119.7 x 62.3 x 11.7mm
Weight: 129 grams
Screen size: 4.0” TFT (480 x 854)
Screen Resolution: 480 x 854 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 245
Processor: 1.2GHz Quad core application processor
On-board Memory: 4GB (microSD support)
Camera: 5MP (rear) 480p@30fps (no front-facing camera)
Operating system: Windows Phone 8.1
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes/ No
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ No
Battery capacity: 1430mAh
Colours: Bright Orange, Bright Green, White, Dark Grey
Launch Date: August
Price: £79 TBC
By Kevin Thomas on 01st August, 2014
Tags: Nokia Lumia 530