Microsoft which acquired Nokia's services and devices business in 2013, initiated a slew of reforms on the latter's smartphones and launched the first non Nokia-Lumia device which is called the Microsoft Lumia 535.
This smartphone is targeted at tech-savvy budget-conscious buyers, and comes with features that seemingly justify its sub-£100 pricing in the United Kingdom.
Also, this device is seen as an upgrade to the older Nokia Lumia 530 that caters to budget smartphone buyers across the globe.
Both the Lumia 530 and Lumia 535 were released in 2014, and being budget devices, these could create a division of loyalty among Windows Phone loyalists.
Hence, let's take a look at how these smartphones stack up against one another, and whether it is really worth upgrading to the Lumia 535, from the Lumia 530.
Microsoft Lumia 535 vs Nokia Lumia 530
Microsoft's Lumia 535 has a 5in display with resolution of 540 x 960 and pixel density of 220ppi. The smartphone's touchscreen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3.
On the other hand, the Nokia Lumia 530 features a much smaller 4in display which has resolutions of 480 x 854 with 245ppi.
Both the smartphones boast 16 million colours and multi-touch support.
Also, the Lumia 530 does not feature any screen protection by default, so you need to buy a third-party screen guard.
Gauging from the above, it is evident that the Lumia 530 has the bigger display, but its 220ppi lets the device down with respect to sharper images forming on the screen.
Even the screen resolution of Lumia 535 is only marginally higher than the Lumia 530. So, the battle here is almost even-steven.
Lumia 535 is driven by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 SoC clocked at 1.2GHz and supported by 1GB RAM on board.
The Lumia 530 incorporates an identical 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, but lags behind with its 512 MB RAM.
Those preferring to indulge in a decent degree of high-end gaming within their smartphones, could prefer the Lumia 535.
In terms of connectivity, both the handsets offer 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and microUSB connectivity options.
Microsoft's Lumia 535 offers 8GB of internal storage as standard, but features a microSD card slot for expansion of internal storage area up to 128GB.
Nokia Lumia 530 also lets users expand its 4GB internal storage, up to 128GB with a MicroSD card.
Hence, memory expansion should not necessarily be an issue for users preferring to watch movies within their mobile devices, rather than watch them on a bigger screen.
Both the Lumias draw level as far as offering a decent level of memory expansion is concerned.
Lumia 535 features a 5MP autofocus rear camera that comes with LED flash and supports geo-tagging of images. The camera supports shooting 480p videos at 30 frames per second (fps). The handset also features an identical 5MP front camera.
On the other side, Lumia 530 also offers an identical 5MP rear camera, but does not feature a secondary camera.
The Lumia 535 wins here, since it caters to the selfie generation with its 5MP front camera, and offers intuitive features within its rear snapper.
Microsoft Lumia 535 pips the Lumia 530 with its 1905 mAh Li-Ion battery, whereas the latter comes with a comparatively inferior Li-Ion 1430 mAh battery.
So, it is clear as to who the winner is as far as providing a decent battery backup time is concerned.
Microsoft's Lumia 535 runs the latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating platform straight out of the box (Also read how Windows Phone 8.1 performed in December 2014) and incorporates Lumia Denim. Buyers of Lumia 535 should also get to observe Nokia-specific native applications viz MixRadio and Here Maps (both online and offline).
The Nokia (now Microsoft) Lumia 530 also runs the Windows Phone 8.1 OS out of the box; but does not feature Lumia Denim. Lumia Denim will be available to Lumia 530 users via an OTA software update.
Release date and price
Both the Lumia 535 and Lumia 530 have been released and are available for purchase; the Lumia 530 has a wider reach owing to the timing of its launch.
In summary, Microsoft Lumia 535 features minor technical improvements over the Nokia Lumia 530.
So, if you are a user of the older Lumia 530, it should do a world of good to stick to your current Lumia.
For others, Lumia 535 seems to be a good bet for its price (especially for first-time smartphone buyers).