Microsoft Lumia 735 Review

Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Introduction


This summer, thus far, has proven to be fruitful with popular mid-range smartphones from the Android side. Devices like the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, Asus Zenfone 2, and Huawei P8 Lite have shown us that you can snag a quality smartphone for around the $200 to $300 mark, something that’s suitable for consumers who don’t need rich, power packed things. As we’ve seen, though, the majority of these ‘premium’ mid-rangers are Android – with very few from the Windows _phone_ camp.

Nowadays, anything Windows _phone_ related comes from Microsoft, as the Nokia moniker has been put to the pasture. For Verizon customers, it seems as though they’re getting a doozy of a phone in the Microsoft Lumia 735 – a mildly spec’d $192 off-contract offering. Considering that there’s been a lot of buzz around this price point, it’ll be intriguing to see if the Lumia 735 has what it takes to pull people away from thоse polarizing Android mid-rangers.

The package contains:

  • Microsoft Lumia 735
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Quick start guide
  • Product and safety information

Design

Compact and stylish, there’s a good balance with the Lumia 735’s design.

After checking out the Lumia 640, we realize how drastically different looking it is from the usual crew of Lumia-branded smartphones that have come out. With the Microsoft Lumia 735, however, it favors the style we’d most say is typical Lumia – one that’s available in an assortment of bright colors, and bears a resemblance to some of the high-end Lumias of the past.

Primarily consisting of plastic, our particular model has a matte finish that offers a pleasant grip in the hand – while also doing a good job of repelling dirt and debris. The left and right sides are rounded for comfort, but the top and bottom are uniformly flush to allow it to stand upright on its own. What’s nice, though, is that the plastic casing can be removed relatively easy, allowing owners to interchange it with other colors.

So, it all boils down to a fun and refreshing design that we like. Better yet, it’s compact to make it the perfect size for one-handed use.

While the usual ports and buttons are found around its sides, it’s just missing a dedicated camera/shutter key for quick convenience to the camera. Rarely do phones in this price category offer built-in wireless charging out of the box, but this one does, which is a pleasant treat to find. Moreover, the battery is removable – while also offering us memory expansion via its microSD card slot.

 

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Front view | Side view
Nokia Lumia 735
Nokia Lumia 735
5.3 x 2.7 x 0.35 inches
134.7 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm
4.74 oz (134 g)

Nokia Lumia 735

Microsoft Lumia 640
Microsoft Lumia 640
5.56 x 2.84 x 0.35 inches
141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Microsoft Lumia 640

Huawei P8 lite
Huawei P8 lite
5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
4.62 oz (131 g)

Huawei P8 lite

Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE500CL)
Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE500CL)
5.83 x 2.81 x 0.43 inches
148.1 x 71.5 x 10.9 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE500CL)



Display

It might still be over-saturated, but this OLED can turn heads.

In keeping its compact size, the Lumia 735 is fashioned with a reasonable 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 OLED display with ClearBlack technology. Much like the other OLEDs employed by other Lumias, this one follows in true form with its iridescence and overblown colors. Even though it’s not color accurate when looking at the sRGB color spectrum chart, the overly-saturated tone of the display helps to give it that polarizing glow to enamor us from afar.

And of course, it exhibits all of the characteristics that are typical of OLED technology – like its true to life black color reproduction, wide viewing angles, and punchy color tones. In terms of its brightness output, it maxes out at the luminance mark of 341 nit, a weak tally that makes it tough to view outdoors.

We can talk about how inaccurate it is, or how the display exudes a colder tone with its ~7000K color temperature, but we can’t neglect to say that the entire package just looks surprisingly good – it’s definitely more attractive than the Lumia 640's display, that’s for sure!

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Huawei P8 lite 380
(Average)
10
(Average)
1:933
(Average)
8536
(Poor)
2.25
6.50
(Average)
7.04
(Average)
Microsoft Lumia 640 352
(Average)
1
(Excellent)
1:869
(Average)
6939
(Excellent)
2.25
3.96
(Good)
2.02
(Good)
Nokia Lumia 735 341
(Average)
16
(Poor)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6943
(Excellent)
2.38
4.41
(Average)
4.58
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Nokia Lumia 735 51.3%
56.3%
unmeasurable
16.2%
0.8%
76.6%
79.3%
Huawei P8 lite 81.6%
80%
85.1%
23.3%
14.2%
2.3%
46.7%
Microsoft Lumia 640 88.4%
0%
83.4%
10.8%
1.8%
0%
100%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Microsoft Lumia 735 Review

Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Introduction


This summer, thus far, has proven to be fruitful with popular mid-range smartphones from the Android side. Devices like the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, Asus Zenfone 2, and Huawei P8 Lite have shown us that you can snag a quality smartphone for around the $200 to $300 mark, something that’s suitable for consumers who don’t need rich, power packed things. As we’ve seen, though, the majority of these ‘premium’ mid-rangers are Android – with very few from the Windows phone camp.

Nowadays, anything Windows phone related comes from Microsoft, as the Nokia moniker has been put to the pasture. For Verizon customers, it seems as though they’re getting a doozy of a phone in the Microsoft Lumia 735 – a mildly spec’d $192 off-contract offering. Considering that there’s been a lot of buzz around this price point, it’ll be intriguing to see if the Lumia 735 has what it takes to pull people away from thоse polarizing Android mid-rangers.

The package contains:

  • Microsoft Lumia 735
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Quick start guide
  • Product and safety information

Design

Compact and stylish, there’s a good balance with the Lumia 735’s design.

After checking out the Lumia 640, we realize how drastically different looking it is from the usual crew of Lumia-branded smartphones that have come out. With the Microsoft Lumia 735, however, it favors the style we’d most say is typical Lumia – one that’s available in an assortment of bright colors, and bears a resemblance to some of the high-end Lumias of the past.

Primarily consisting of plastic, our particular model has a matte finish that offers a pleasant grip in the hand – while also doing a good job of repelling dirt and debris. The left and right sides are rounded for comfort, but the top and bottom are uniformly flush to allow it to stand upright on its own. What’s nice, though, is that the plastic casing can be removed relatively easy, allowing owners to interchange it with other colors.

So, it all boils down to a fun and refreshing design that we like. Better yet, it’s compact to make it the perfect size for one-handed use.

While the usual ports and buttons are found around its sides, it’s just missing a dedicated camera/shutter key for quick convenience to the camera. Rarely do phones in this price category offer built-in wireless charging out of the box, but this one does, which is a pleasant treat to find. Moreover, the battery is removable – while also offering us memory expansion via its microSD card slot.


Front view | Side view
Nokia Lumia 735
Nokia Lumia 735
5.3 x 2.7 x 0.35 inches
134.7 x 68.5 x 8.9 mm
4.74 oz (134 g)

Nokia Lumia 735

Microsoft Lumia 640
Microsoft Lumia 640
5.56 x 2.84 x 0.35 inches
141.3 x 72.2 x 8.8 mm
5.11 oz (145 g)

Microsoft Lumia 640

Huawei P8 lite
Huawei P8 lite
5.63 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
4.62 oz (131 g)

Huawei P8 lite

Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE500CL)
Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE500CL)
5.83 x 2.81 x 0.43 inches
148.1 x 71.5 x 10.9 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE500CL)



Display

It might still be over-saturated, but this OLED can turn heads.

In keeping its compact size, the Lumia 735 is fashioned with a reasonable 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 OLED display with ClearBlack technology. Much like the other OLEDs employed by other Lumias, this one follows in true form with its iridescence and overblown colors. Even though it’s not color accurate when looking at the sRGB color spectrum chart, the overly-saturated tone of the display helps to give it that polarizing glow to enamor us from afar.

And of course, it exhibits all of the characteristics that are typical of OLED technology – like its true to life black color reproduction, wide viewing angles, and punchy color tones. In terms of its brightness output, it maxes out at the luminance mark of 341 nit, a weak tally that makes it tough to view outdoors.

We can talk about how inaccurate it is, or how the display exudes a colder tone with its ~7000K color temperature, but we can’t neglect to say that the entire package just looks surprisingly good – it’s definitely more attractive than the Lumia 640's display, that’s for sure!

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Huawei P8 lite 380
(Average)
10
(Average)
1:933
(Average)
8536
(Poor)
2.25
6.50
(Average)
7.04
(Average)
Microsoft Lumia 640 352
(Average)
1
(Excellent)
1:869
(Average)
6939
(Excellent)
2.25
3.96
(Good)
2.02
(Good)
Nokia Lumia 735 341
(Average)
16
(Poor)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6943
(Excellent)
2.38
4.41
(Average)
4.58
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Nokia Lumia 735 51.3%
56.3%
unmeasurable
16.2%
0.8%
76.6%
79.3%
Huawei P8 lite 81.6%
80%
85.1%
23.3%
14.2%
2.3%
46.7%
Microsoft Lumia 640 88.4%
0%
83.4%
10.8%
1.8%
0%
100%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

Nothing really new here, it’s the same Windows phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim experience.

In standard fashion, the Lumia 735 is running Windows phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim in tow, which means it’s accompanied with Cortana integration and the entire suite of Lumia branded apps. Purists of the platform will find it familiar, naturally, seeing that the experience is identical to every other phone running this version of Windows Phone. We won’t get into the specifics of it all, but we can simply say that it’s always a work in progress – in the way that it’s still reaching, or catching up to its peers, but it definitely has that base functionality to compete.

Regardless, it has its perks to appease a wide array of users. On the productivity side, it’s preloaded with Microsoft Office to ensure we can edit and create documents and spreadsheets while on the road. Best of all, it’s on tap to receive the Windows 10 update when it comes out – so there’s peace of mind that ensures that owners won’t be left in the dust when the newest version of the platform is launched.

Processor and Memory

The small stuff are handled okay, but it surely strains with the heavier things.

Just like the Lumia 640, the 735 is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC coupled with 1GB of RAM and the Adreno 305 GPU. This hardware set executes most functions with ease, such as scrolling through the UI and launching apps, but there’s an apparent lack of responsiveness when it comes to dealing with complex tasks. Such is the case with 3D gaming, as it crawls at times and has some skipped frame rates.

Shockingly, it’s blessed with a generous 16GB of internal storage, something we wouldn’t believe for something in its price point. However, that is the case here, which is made better knowing there’s a microSD card slot too!

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 35438
Nokia Lumia 735 11953
Microsoft Lumia 640 11945
Sunspider
Lower is better
Huawei P8 lite 1272
Nokia Lumia 735 1265.9
Microsoft Lumia 640 1231.1
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 23.5
Nokia Lumia 735 7.5
Microsoft Lumia 640 7
View all

Internet and Connectivity


Internet Explorer serves its purpose well here with the Lumia 735. Combining its XLTE connectivity, ample sized screen, and responsive navigational controls, it has all the elements necessary to deliver a pleasant web surfing experience. It might not have Google Chrome’s depth, but it serves its purpose on a superficial level.

Our particular review unit is the CDMA version meant to play nicely with Verizon’s network domestically, but it’s assured to work with other GSM networks around the world because of its global capabilities. Its other connectivity features include aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and also NFC.



Camera

Selfies look pretty good with its 5-megapixel front camera, while its rear 6.7-megapixel can deliver some decent shots as well.

The Lumia line has never been afraid to gloat about the megapixels in its cameras, evident in class-leading things like the Lumia 930, 1020, and 1520 to name a few. With the Lumia 735, however, it’s been graced with a 6.7-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics. That figure is undeniably miniscule in comparison to the stuff we’ve seen, but as a general rule of thumb, never base a camera’s performance solely on that.

Running the Lumia camera app, it’s the same style and layout we’re familiar with seeing on past devices. Although it appears simplistic by nature from the onset, sliding the on-screen shutter key to the left reveals its full manual mode – where every parameter can be modified, including the focus and shutter speed. A shocking revelation, though, is that it doesn’t offer the Rich Tone capture (HDR) we’ve fondly come to like.

Despite that, the Lumia 735 isn’t bad of a thing to use when lighting is abundant in the scenery. Sure, it doesn’t deliver the great depth of detail that other phones muster up, which means that cropping photos later on is totally out of the question, but it still generally composes photos that are likeable. Colors appear a bit overblown under artificial lighting, and even more, it’s strangely washed out looking in direct sunlight.

Unfortunately, you’ll want to refrain from using it for low light photography, since details are pretty much non-existent. And it doesn’t help either that it’s noisy with its overall production. What about its front-facing wide angle 5-megapixel camera, since it’s touted for being a selfie camera? Well, we’re actually quite pleased by the results – where it produces enough detail and accommodates a wide area of the scenery.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Huawei P8 lite 3.1
6.3
520
425
Microsoft Lumia 640 4.5
No data
293
277
Nokia Lumia 735 9.9
No data
408
370
View all

Capable of shooting videos in 1080p or 720p, its quality is simply too dull to make it a standout hit. Not only that, but there are other distracting characteristics with its video capture – like its slow focus adjustment and the heavy artifacting elements that appear when there’s significant movement by the camera.


Multimedia

Playing videos is not a problem, it’s just the subdued look of the screen that lessens the experience.

When it comes to music, we have two options to choose from – the usual Xbox Music app or MixRadio. Both handle the task of playing music, as they both employ Windows Phone’s Modern UI design style. For the most part, we’re content with the speaker’s audio quality, as it churns out 76.4 dB of power. More than capable of echoing in smaller rooms, it’s nice that the speaker never sounds too strained or irritating – there’s just a pleasant balanced consistency to it.

Nothing makes videos come to life on a smartphone than an OLED display, which is what’s found here with the Lumia 735. In addition to being able to smoothly play all sorts of 1080p videos, the vibrant colors and glow of the panel captures our full attention. Now, the only thing missing with the experience is just some sort of multi-tasking element.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia 735 0.656
Microsoft Lumia 640 0.615
Huawei P8 lite 0.26
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia 735 76.4
Microsoft Lumia 640 68.7
Huawei P8 lite 79
View all


Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Microsoft Lumia 735 Review
Call Quality

Phone calls are handled decently, so you can generally expect audible tones.

After using the Lumia 735 for several phone call conversations, our experience is generally favorable – so definitely above average. Voices through the earpiece are succinct in tone, which makes it relatively easy to comprehend in noisy conditions. Likewise, the experience is similar on the other end of the line, as our callers describe clear and audible tones. With the speakerphone, however, it tends to exhibit I pitchy sound.

Battery

Nothing extraordinary, its battery delivers average results.

Endowed with a 2200 mAh battery cell, it’s not extravagant by any means, but despite that, we find its battery very much average – to the degree of getting us through one-day of normal usage. Adding more to that, our battery benchmark test reveals a total mark of 7 hours and 24 minutes, which is more than acceptable in our book for a device of its caliber.

While it takes approximately 149 minutes to get it charged back to full capacity, we’re more astounded that it features built-in wireless charging as an alternative to the usual wired connection.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia 735 7h 24 min (Good)
Huawei P8 lite 5h 30 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes)
Lower is better
Nokia Lumia 735 149
Huawei P8 lite 136
View all

Conclusion


We all thought that the Microsoft Lumia 640 would be the posterchild for the affordable segment of the Windows phone camp, especially when its presence was in full force during Mobile World Congress 2015. After checking out the Microsoft Lumia 735, however, we have a change in heart because this feels more like a fitting candidate. Aesthetically, we adore the classic Lumia styling, as it features removable rear casings that are available in an assortment of color ranges – conjuring up an upbeat, cool design.

In the US, it’s currently available for purchase via Verizon Wireless, where it recently received a drop in price to $29.99 on-contract – down from the initial $79.99. That’s pretty valuable considering it’s a compact, decently performing Windows Phone. Going the off-contract route instead? Well, it’s still pretty competitive at $192. For those on a budget and who prefer the tight Microsoft integration, the Lumia 735 is reasonable choice.

Software version of the review unit: Windows phone 8.1 Update 2



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