Introduction

The Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 are the first compact smartphones to come from the Microsoft-aquired Nokia, the company previously focusing its attention to 5+" handsets. It is only logical for Microsoft to pay proper attention to the most popular segment of the market but it's good that the pocketable niche hasn't been forgotten.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Microsoft Lumia 435 official pictures

With Windows 10 still a few months away Microsoft has no choice but to steer the Lumia lineup towards the mid and low end segments and hope that it gives it enough time to regroup and launch another attach on the premium market. We already have a plethora of affordable Lumia smartphones but the latest Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 aim to push things even lower. The specs might be underwhelming but you just can't argue with that price.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The double digit dollar price (that's without the inevitable promotions) can't get you much further than 4" WVGA displays, Snapdragon 200 chips and and 8GB of storage, but Microsoft is keen to point out that this is more than enough to secure smooth sailing through its mobile platform. The Lumia 435 relies on a dual-core processor and entry-level 2MP camera, while the Lumia 532 does slightly better with a quad-core processor and a 5MP shooter.

Key features

  • Optional Dual SIM connectivity
  • 4.0" TFT display of WVGA resolution (233ppi)
  • Lumia 435: 1.2 GHz dual-core Cortex-A7 CPU, Adreno 302 GPU, Snapdragon 200 chipset
  • Lumia 532: 1.2 GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU, Adreno 302 GPU, Snapdragon 200 chipset
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Windows _phone_ 8.1, Windows 10 update coming summer 2015
  • Lumia 435: 2MP fixed-focus camera, 480p video recording @30fps
  • Lumia 532: 5MP fixed-focus camera, 480p video recording @30fps
  • 0.3MP front-facing camera, 480p video
  • 8GB of inbuilt storage, microSD card slot, up to 128GB
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS/GLONASS; FM radio with RDS
  • 30GB of free OneDrive storage
  • Free worldwide voice-guided navigation with HERE Drive+
  • 1,560 mAh Li-Ion battery

Main disadvantages

  • Dated chipset
  • No LED flash
  • No secondary microphone
  • About 3GB of internal storage available to the user
  • No backlight for capacitive keys
  • No Glance Screen on the Lumia 435

Corner cutting in hardware is inevitable here but what really matters is the real life user experience and Windows performance. We'll be focusing our efforts on how the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 handle the day-to-day tasks and if they are indeed capable of delivering passable smartphone experience.

The two smartphones also have a simple build that should make them longer lasting than many of their more expensive peers and a bunch of bright colors to pick from, which should please their target teenage audience.

We begin with hardware overview right after the jump.

Entry level retail package

Microsoft Lumia 435 and 532 are entry level phones - that becomes perfectly clear the moment you look at their retail boxes. Microsoft is at throwing a single-piece wall charger, which should get you started. A microUSB cable isn't included though.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 boxes contain nothing but a charger

Microsoft Lumia 435 and 532 360-degree views

The Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 share absolutely identical exterior, all their differences hidden deep under the hood. Neither _phone_ has particularly slim bezels but coming with small 4 screens they sill remain rather compact at 118 x 65 x 11.7 mm for the Lumia 435 and 118 x 65 x 11.7 mm for the Lumia 532.

The weight of 135 g (137 g for the Lumia 532) is more than the exterior suggest, but it gives away a more solid vibe, when you hold the phones in hand so it's not all bad.

Design and build quality

Both compact smartphones follow the Lumia design guidelines to the letter. That may not win them many design awards, but it makes them solid devices that are instantly recognizable members of a family that has its loyal following. That's a win for any entry-level device.

Up front there is an ample screen bezel around the 4" display, while the back cover folds around the inner body and you can have it into a variety of paintjobs. Still it's not the worst case of bezel infestation we've seen - most Androids in this price range have it even worse.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Microsoft Lumia 532 (in orange) next to the Lumia 435 (in green)

Just like Lumia X and even Asha models of old, the back panels of the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 wrap around the chassis and results in a slim colorful frame around the edge of the front panel. The plastic used on the cover is nice to the touch and we appreciate the matte finish all over the Lumia 435. Oddly, the Lumia 532 has glossy finish on the sides and matte finish on the rear.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Microsoft Lumia 435 • Microsoft Lumia 532

Handling the two smartphones is a rather nice experience. They are pocket-friendly, easy to operate with just one hand, while their solid build and matte finish provide for an excellent grip. The onscreen keyboard keys should be your only concern if your fingers tips are bigger than average.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Handling the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532

Controls

The Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 feature virtually identical bodies and in turn control placement. The 4" display is flanked by the three capacitive Windows keys below. There's an issue with those keys however as we found they have no backlighting which made operating the two phones in darker environment quite a challenge.

Ambient light and proximity sensors are hidden around the earpiece above the screen, while the VGA front camera is more prominent.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The front of the Lumia duo

There is nothing on the left side, while the right one hosts the volume keys and the power/lock button. All three of them offer excellent tactile feedback.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

There is nothing on the left • the right side has all hardware keys

The top of each handset packs the audio jack, while the bottom has the microUSB port. The microphone pinhole is hidden on the bottom edge of the front panel.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The top and bottom of the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532

Finally, the 2MP/5MP camera lenses are on the back alongside the loudspeaker grilles.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The 5MP camera on the orange Lumia 532 and the 2MP snapper on the green Lumia 435

Popping the battery is mandatory for gaining access to the microSD slots and the SIM beds.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

A peek under the batteries

Display

The Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 utilize the same screen - a 4" LCD screen with 480 x 800 px resolution. The resolution is the lowest you can currently get on the market, but given the modest diagonal it works out to 233ppi density, which isn't too bad.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The 4" displays of the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532

But resolution isn't the main problem of the two screens - the low end panels also exhibit notable ghosting when scrolling rapidly and they have poor contrast and rather low brightness.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The viewing angles of the TFT units are pretty bad too, with contrast compression and color shift visible even with very minor tilts.

The only positive thing so far is that the lowly handsets get the color temperature and saturation options found on their more premium siblings. Yet even a very skillful tuner will find it hard to extract much performance from those two screens.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Microsoft Lumia 435 0.19 138 728 0.49 360 735
Microsoft Lumia 532 0.19 139 739 0.49 365 749
Microsoft Lumia 535 0.26 312 1188 0.45 458 1118
Nokia Lumia 735 258 363
Nokia Lumia 520 - - - 0.51 422 834
Nokia Lumia 635 undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined
Xiaomi Redmi 1S 0.08 158 1437 0.45 615 1370
Samsung Galaxy A3 243 470
Motorola Moto E 0.27 278 1024 0.49 522 1062
Sony Xperia E1 - - - 0.72 489 677


Sunlight legibility is disappointing too - but we didn't expect anything else given the very dim screens and the reflective glass on top.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy E7
    4.485
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    3.543
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • LG G Flex2
    3.465
  • YotaPhone 2
    3.453
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    2.892
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    2.765
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • vivo Xshot
    2.465
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC Desire 820
    2.372
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • HTC One M9
    2.334
  • LG G4
    2.317
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Oppo N3
    2.181
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML
    2.149
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    2.12
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • ZTE Blade S6
    1.927
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Acer Liquid Jade S
    1.734
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Microsoft Lumia 532
    1.615
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Microsoft Lumia 435
    1.598
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1.507
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Sony Xperia E4
    1.467
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

There's very little good that can be said about the Lumia 532 and Lumia 435 displays - those were the first most obvious corners cut to achieve the price. Yet, it's not hopeless for them as most of the other smartphones in this price range are just as poor. So while the screens certainly won't be earning those two much fans, they might just be good enough so they don't lose any to the competition.

Battery life

Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 are powered by the same kind of battery unit - the BV-5J with 1,560 mAh capacity. This sure doesn't seem much, but let's don't forget these are entry-level compact smartphones. Windows OS has a good energy-efficiency track record lately, so we expected these two Lumia phones to do fine.

And they sure did. The Lumia 532 offers Glance screen and we naturally tested it with this option turned on. If you decide not to opt for the Glance extras, you'll get the same great battery endurance as the Lumia 435.

The dual-SIM flavor of the Lumia 435 is good for 58 hours straight if you use it for an hour of 3G talks, an hour of web browsing and an hour video playback each day. You can squeeze 6 more hours up to 64h endurance rating by using just one SIM card.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

As we mentioned, the Lumia 532 had its Glance screen turned on, so its dual-SIM endurance dropped down to 55 hours, which is still a decent achievement. By turning one of the SIMs off you'll get an additional 5 hours up to 60 hours.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Connectivity

The Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 have quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support. The Lumia 435 offers dual-band, while the Lumia 532 has quad-band 3G with HSDPA. The Dual SIM models, as ours, support dual standby.

In terms of local connectivity, the two handsets offer 2.4GHz Wi-Fi b/g/n with DLNA and Wi-Fi Hotspot, and stereo Bluetooth 4.0, with file transfer support.

For positioning, the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 call on GPS and GLONASS. Compass isn't available though.

FM radio is on board, a nice alternative source of news and music that many Androids have been dropping recently in favor of its online streaming alternative.

Windows phone 8.1 awaits with its live tiles

Both Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 are running the Windows phone 8.1 (Update 1) out of box. The latest Lumia Denim software expansion package comes pre-installed, too, for some exclusive software perks. The duo lacks the Update 2 firmware, which brings organized Settings menu and app permissions, among other improvements.

Glance Screen is available only the Lumia 532, which is odd as both run the same OS on the same type of display. Anyway, Glance screen shows you the time and it also supports notifications - the same as the ones you've permitted on your lockscreen. What you get is basically a monochrome representation of your lockscreen. You can opt for the Glance to be always on, timing out after predefined interval, or to light up when you pick up the phone.

Other than the Glance screen, there are no software differences. The lockscreen itself looks the same as the Glance screen, but with colors. Double tap to wake and additional security are available as options.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The Lockscreen

The familiar interface with resizable live tiles is your Start page, you can group tiles into folders if you like. Almost every app within the Store comes with its own tile and you can see useful info live at your homescreen. Tile background is available and while it looks great, still not all live tiles are transparent, which can detract from the overall effect.

The Action Center is your place for four customizable toggles and all notifications in Windows. It works just like on Android OS - you access it by pulling down from the top of the screen, dismiss all notifications key is available.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The Start background • Action Center

Microsoft likes Apple's way of handling apps running in background - most of the apps are suspended upon hitting the Windows key and will be resumed once you bring them back. There are others, of course, such as Navigation, Cortana and Battery apps, which will continue to run in background unless you specifically kill them.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Multi-tasking • Quiet Hours

Quiet Hours mode is Windows Phone's take on the Do Not Disturb feature - it can be set to block calls and messages over pre-defined time interval, plus it can also go on automatically during events you have marked in your calendar. Naturally, exceptions are available.

Microsoft's Cortana is available to recognizes your natural language commands and questions and provide voice feedback. Cortana can fully interact with your phone and carry out all kind or commands related to it. Cortana can also track various news topics, makes suggestions for cooking and dinner, plan trips, find places and even crack the occasional joke.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Cortana in action

Performance

Microsoft Lumia 435 is powered by a very basic flavor of the Snapdragon 200 chipset with a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 processor, Adreno 302 GPU and 1GB of RAM. The Lumia 532 runs on a faster version of the chip with a quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, while keeping the same Adreno 302 GPU and 1GB of RAM.

It seems the 1GB RAM is now the minimum for the Lumia lineup, even within the entry-level, as it will ease the transition towards Windows 10 later this year. Microsoft promised to update all previous WP8 Lumia phones, even those with 512MB RAM, but the latter seems to require some (unspecified for now) sacrifices.

Nobody expected any records in benchmarks department, but we were still curious to see how they do.

The compound AnTuTu is highly skewed towards CPU marks and since the Lumia 435 has just two CPU cores, it gets half the points its sibling achieved. The Lumia 535 even managed to beat the way more expensive Lumia 640 here.

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better

  • Nokia Lumia 830
    12112
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    12095
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL Dual SIM
    12009
  • Microsoft Lumia 532
    11778
  • Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM
    11761
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE
    11666
  • Microsoft Lumia 435
    6615

The BaseMark OS II is another compound test, which gauges CPU, GPU, memory, system OS and web performance. The two phones outed the same scores on all departments but the processor, and thus the difference in the final rating.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    556
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    478
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    435
  • Sony Xperia E3
    417
  • Microsoft Lumia 532
    414
  • Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM
    414
  • Microsoft Lumia 435
    346

The Internet Explorer browser in Windows phone 8.1 is nothing spectacular, but it's fast and snappy as it could be on this hardware, does a great job rendering web pages and while its JavaScript performance is rather poor as determined by Kraken, the compound BrowserMark 2.1 shows decent numbers for the class.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Sony Xperia E3
    16059
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    18323
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL Dual SIM
    26368
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    26542
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE
    26647
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    26913
  • Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM
    26981
  • Microsoft Lumia 532
    27156
  • Microsoft Lumia 435
    28850

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia E3
    1044
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    625
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE
    610
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    599
  • Microsoft Lumia 435
    528
  • Microsoft Lumia 532
    526
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL Dual SIM
    502
  • Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM
    480
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    465

The entry level Lumia smartphones aren't meant to do much gaming or provide blazing-fast performance. They are designed to cover the bare minumum - calls, messaging, social networks, even navigation and office tasks, and we found they managed to do that. Windows phone 8.1 runs fine on those, as all the crucial apps, though some heavier system apps (such as Skype) may require a few seconds to load. There are a few games that run very well if you are not too pretentious about graphics.

Telephony and contact management

People Hub is the phonebook that you'll find on any Windows phone device. It supports multiple accounts, including social ones, and has multiple pages like the rest of the WP interface. The first page is your contacts list, the second one is What's New with all of your friends' social updates, then come (chat) Rooms, and Groups.

Just like the People app, viewing a single contact also allows you to check this specific person's social updates plus you can view the complete history of exchange with this contact in one place, displayed chronologically. Everything but status updates is listed here: calls, texts (actually threads from the Messaging hub) and emails.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Contacts

Each SIM card has separate phone and Messaging apps, so there is very little chance that you accidentally use the wrong SIM. The People Hub offers a comfy switch to each number, so you can easily choose the card you wish to initiate the call from.

We ran our traditional loudspeaker test and both the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 scored Very Good marks. The loudspeakers embedded in both devices seems to be the same and are among the loudest around so you won't be missing calls or notifications in louder environments.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Nokia Lumia 735 67.6 66.8 63.7 Below Average
Xiaomi Redmi 1S 66.9 65.9 71.7 Average
Motorola Moto G (2014) 66.5 66.2 75.1 Average
Microsoft Lumia 640 70.6 65.2 75.9 Good
Sony Xperia E1 70.2 73.5 75.8 Very Good
Microsoft Lumia 532 74.5 73.5 75.7 Very Good
Microsoft Lumia 435 75.1 73.7 75.7 Very Good
Motorola Moto E 75.9 71.5 81.6 Excellent


Multimedia

In Windows phone 8.1 the Photo Hub has lost the magazine UI in favor of the traditional WP page view. You get three swipe-able pages - all, albums and favorites - all pretty much self-explanatory. Automatic OneDrive backup is available, you just need to enable it from the settings. Microsoft gives you 30GB for free plus 3GB for the each device on which you turn on the automatic OneDrive camera upload.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Pictures hub

The default Music player in Windows phone 8.1 uses the familiar page layout - you get Now Playing page; Collection view with shortcuts to artists, albums, songs, genres, playlists, and Music Store highlights. It also allows you to create, edit and delete playlists straight from your phone.

The player is compatible with your Xbox Music account and can stream your songs if you have active connection without saving them on the phone.

Unfortunately, the Music app doesn't support FLAC playback. Equalizer options are available from Settings -> Audio. You can either user presets or customize your own.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Music app with Now Playing screen and its album view • Equalizers

There's an FM radio with RDS support on board. You can use the loudspeaker for the FM radio, though you still need the headset connected as it doubles as an antenna.

The video player is a separate app called Video. It has a four-page layout - your collection, movie store, TV store and spotlight. It supports XviD, DivX, MOV, WMV and MP4 videos up to 1080p resolution. The few things it won't play are H.264 videos (often found in MKV containers) and videos using the AC3 audio codec. There is a limited subtitles support.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The Video hub

Basic camera department for entry-level smartphones

Microsoft Lumia 435 comes with a 2MP fixed-focus snapper, while the Lumia 532 offers a 5MP one, still with fixed-focus. Both phones lack LED flash and a secondary mic for stereo audio recording.

The Lumia camera interface is very familiar - it offers white balance, ISO, shutter speed up to 1s and exposure settings. Additionally, you can get more camera functionality via Lenses, such as Cinemagraph (animated photos), Panorama, Selfie, etc.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Lumia Camera UI

The 5MP images taken with the Lumia 532 turned out decent for the resolution, with reasonable amount of resolved detail. Contrast is good, although more often than not the white balance is off. Noise is dealt with nicely and generally we are happy with the overall processing.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Microsoft Lumia 532 camera samples

The 2MP shots taken with the Lumia 435 have less detail, more noise and noticeable pink tint in the center. Those will only do for occasional social network sharing unless you decided to shoot something up close, because of the fixed-focus camera.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Microsoft Lumia 435 camera samples

You can check the Lumia 532 in our Picture Compare Tool, too.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

Microsoft Lumia 532 Dual SIM in our picture compare tool

480p video recording

Both Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 camcorders can record video at FWVGA@30fps (848 x 480 px), with a low 3Mbps bitrate. The videos are recorded in a single channel AAC mode with a 160Kbps bitrate and 48KHz.

The camcorder interface is pretty much the same as the still camera. But you are able to choose the audio bass filter (off, 100 Hz or 200 Hz). Opting for 200 Hz (Strong) will capture much better sound in concerts or clubs.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Camcorder UI • Settings

The captured videos are nothing to barely worth much discussion. They resolve unimpressive amount of detail, the colors are warmer than they should be and the white balance is off. The Lumia 435 keeps the pink tint even while recording videos, too.

Here are 30s samples we've uploaded on YouTube.

Also here are untouched 480p@30fps video (Lumia 532) and 480p@30fps (Lumia 435) for you to download.

Apps

Internet Explorer 11 is the newest version of the Microsoft's mobile web browser. It supports private browsing, Reader mode, unlimited tab support, tab and bookmark sync across devices, among others. Back and Forward iOS-like gestures work too - just swipe from the left or right edge of the screen.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Internet Explorer 11

Office is one of the key selling points of Windows Phone. Document/Excel/PowerPoint viewing and editing is absolutely free and integrated into the OS. OneDrive integration is available as well. Docs are automatically synced between the phone and your computer through OneDrive.

Microsoft's OneNote note making tool comes preinstalled as well.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

MS Office

All other organizing tools are available at first run - there are Calendar, Alarms, Calculator and Weather apps.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Calendar • Alarms • Calculator • Weather

Microsoft's Travel, Sports, Finance, Food & Drinks and News apps are available, too.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Travel • Food & Drinks

With the Lumia 435/532 you get a few Lumia exclusive apps - Storyteller interactive diary, and, of course, HERE Maps and HERE Drive+.

HERE Drive+ offers free, life-time voice-guided navigation anywhere in the world. All you have to do is download a voice in your language of choice and you're good to go. Of course, to make use of the key selling point of Drive - offline navigation - you have to download a map for a country of your choice, too.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Storyteller • Here Drive+

Windows Phone's traditional Games app is present - it carries over many features from the similar Xbox profile - from your avatar to your scores and achievements. It is also your gaming hub - here you can find all of your pre-installed games, spotlight news and store links.

Finally, Windows phone now features a dedicated and feature-rich file manager. It's called Files, developed by Microsoft and you can get it for free from the Store.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Games hub • Files

Conclusion

Microsoft Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 are the lowest reaching additions to the already rich in entry level devices Lumia series. With the WindowsPhone OS increasingly targeting budget-conscious users there is some very solid logic behind this.

But while playing it safe and not walking off the beaten path might pay dividends in the short run, we are not sure it's the best decision for Microsoft in the long run. The company would certainly like to return to the premium segment eventually, but focusing so hard on the race to the bottom runs the risk of making everyone think of WP as a budget-only platform even if it helps retain some market share.

It's been over a year since the last Microsoft flagship, the Lumia 930, made the rounds and despite fan pleas Microsoft is still only focusing on the other end of its range. It's clear that this won't change before Windows 10 comes out but at this point it's costing the Remond giant dearly to continue playing this waiting game.

Microsoft Lumia 435
Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 532 Dual SIM

Microsoft Lumia 435 • Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM • Microsoft Lumia 532 • Microsoft Lumia 532 Dual SIM

Anyway, we are not here to judge Microsoft's business strategy, but merely decide whether the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 are worthy purchases. The cheap, small handsets run Windows phone 8.1 smoothly and offer decent battery life - that a pretty solid foundation. Add the full-featured Office package and offline navigation and things are certainly starting to look up for the duo.

The Lumia 532 is more powerful adding two more CPU cores and thus loading some apps faster. Its 5MP camera turned quite alright, while many will enjoy the available Glance screen. On the other hand if the camera isn't of importance for you and you are OK with the few seconds loading times for some apps, then you can save some cash by opting for the Lumia 435.

Microsoft Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 key test findings:

  • Build quality is great, excellent handling with one hand, good grip due to matte finish;
  • The display is dim, contrast is poor, and so is sunlight legibility
  • Battery life is solid at 58 h for the Lumia 435 and 55 h for the Lumia 532 (Glance enabled);
  • Standard connectivity package with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM radio, optional Dual SIM;
  • The speakers are really loud qualifying for Very Good scores;
  • Snappy and powerful Windows phone 8.1 (Update 1) with the Lumia Denim firmware, Windows 10 update on the way;
  • The 2MP shots of the Lumia 435 are nothing to talk about, while the 5MP samples of Lumia 532 turned out quite good for the class
  • The video recording quality is OK, white balance is sometimes off;
  • Plays various video files but H.264 video codec or files using AC3 audio are a no-go.

You can have the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 in dual-SIM editions with dual standby mode. Don't you worry, you won't be loosing the microSD or any other feature because of the dual-SIM connectivity. The Lumia 435 costs about €10 less than the 532 model, while their dual-SIM flavors cost extra €5-€10, depending on the market.

We think Microsoft has gone beyond the reasonable limit of developing entry-level phones and we can already find virtually the same phones, but using different model names. Microsoft Lumia 435 is absolutely the same device as the Lumia 430, its battery is just a whisker smaller.

Microsoft Lumia 430 Dual SIM

Microsoft Lumia 430 Dual SIM

The Lumia 530 adds some extra pixels to its screen for FWVGA resolution but comes with half the RAM at just 512MB. The phone has been launched a while back and costs about €20 less than the Lumia 532, so it's probably a better bet than the Lumia 435 if you are on a tight budget.

Nokia Lumia 530
Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM

Nokia Lumia 530 • Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM

Leaving the Windows camp you see that there are only a few smartphones at the same price on the market. There are the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy V and Tizen-based Samsung Z1. Both phones pack 4" displays, run on dual-core processors and offer 3MP snappers. They both offer TouchWiz interface - the Galaxy V has it on top of Android KitKat, while the Tizen UI on the Z1 model was inspired from TouchWiz. Neither of those is an easy recommendation hower with the Lumia 532 providing a more rounded experience with that kind of hardware.

Samsung Galaxy V
Samsung Z1

Samsung Galaxy V • Samsung Z1

In fact, the only Android that we can say matches the performance of the Lumia duo in this price range is the first generation Moto E, which comes with a bigger and higher resolution 4.3" qHD display. It has a lowly dual-core processor, but Motorola's light Android skin and timely updates makes sure it doesn't lag too much, while still giving you far superior customization options. This is certainly the key rival to the Lumia duo and the handset most worth considering if you didn't like what you saw in the review.

Motorola Moto E
Motorola Moto E Dual SIM

Motorola Moto E • Motorola Moto E Dual SIM

All in all if you want a 4" compact smartphone the Lumia 532 will do the job for you without the breaking the bank. The 435 is priced too close to it to be a smart purchase but perhaps they won't be meeting in most markets with Microsoft releasing one or the other.

Entry level retail package

Microsoft Lumia 435 and 532 are entry level phones - that becomes perfectly clear the moment you look at their retail boxes. Microsoft is at throwing a single-piece wall charger, which should get you started. A microUSB cable isn't included though.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 boxes contain nothing but a charger

Microsoft Lumia 435 and 532 360-degree views

The Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 share absolutely identical exterior, all their differences hidden deep under the hood. Neither phone has particularly slim bezels but coming with small 4 screens they sill remain rather compact at 118 x 65 x 11.7 mm for the Lumia 435 and 118 x 65 x 11.7 mm for the Lumia 532.

The weight of 135 g (137 g for the Lumia 532) is more than the exterior suggest, but it gives away a more solid vibe, when you hold the phones in hand so it's not all bad.

Design and build quality

Both compact smartphones follow the Lumia design guidelines to the letter. That may not win them many design awards, but it makes them solid devices that are instantly recognizable members of a family that has its loyal following. That's a win for any entry-level device.

Up front there is an ample screen bezel around the 4" display, while the back cover folds around the inner body and you can have it into a variety of paintjobs. Still it's not the worst case of bezel infestation we've seen - most Androids in this price range have it even worse.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Microsoft Lumia 532 (in orange) next to the Lumia 435 (in green)

Just like Lumia X and even Asha models of old, the back panels of the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 wrap around the chassis and results in a slim colorful frame around the edge of the front panel. The plastic used on the cover is nice to the touch and we appreciate the matte finish all over the Lumia 435. Oddly, the Lumia 532 has glossy finish on the sides and matte finish on the rear.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Microsoft Lumia 435 • Microsoft Lumia 532

Handling the two smartphones is a rather nice experience. They are pocket-friendly, easy to operate with just one hand, while their solid build and matte finish provide for an excellent grip. The onscreen keyboard keys should be your only concern if your fingers tips are bigger than average.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

Handling the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532

Controls

The Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 feature virtually identical bodies and in turn control placement. The 4" display is flanked by the three capacitive Windows keys below. There's an issue with those keys however as we found they have no backlighting which made operating the two phones in darker environment quite a challenge.

Ambient light and proximity sensors are hidden around the earpiece above the screen, while the VGA front camera is more prominent.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The front of the Lumia duo

There is nothing on the left side, while the right one hosts the volume keys and the power/lock button. All three of them offer excellent tactile feedback.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

There is nothing on the left • the right side has all hardware keys

The top of each handset packs the audio jack, while the bottom has the microUSB port. The microphone pinhole is hidden on the bottom edge of the front panel.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The top and bottom of the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532

Finally, the 2MP/5MP camera lenses are on the back alongside the loudspeaker grilles.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

The 5MP camera on the orange Lumia 532 and the 2MP snapper on the green Lumia 435

Popping the battery is mandatory for gaining access to the microSD slots and the SIM beds.

Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 435 vs. Lumia 532

A peek under the batteries

post from sitemap