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Microsoft Lumia 435 review

 Review: March 2015  

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: If you're looking for a smartphone costing around 50, your choices are very limited, but the Microsoft Lumia 435 gives you a lot for your money. It's a dinky phone with a decent screen, a dual-core processor and plenty of memory. The cameras are very poor and the battery life not much better, but it's good as a first phone or as a spare.

Today's best buy: Microsoft Lumia 435 UK SIM-F ... from Amazon (£39.97)


An entry-level smartphone

The Lumia 435 is the second phone to be released by Microsoft and is the baby in the Lumia range. Available for around £50 on Pay As You Go, it's almost too cheap to be true!

The Lumia 435 is a very dinky smartphone, quite a bit smaller than the Lumia 535, but not as slim. Its size and price make it suitable as a first smartphone, or as a cheap spare. It certainly doesn't have high-end looks, but it comes in a range of colours and the matte finish is more subtle than the garish gloss colours of the 535.

The screen measures 4 inches, which is quite acceptable for an entry-level phone, and the screen resolution of 480 x 800 pixels is standard for smartphones costing £100 or less.

In terms of design and build, the Lumia 435 gives us exactly what we expect from a low-end phone.

Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana

We're happy to see that the Lumia 435 comes with the latest Lumia Denim version of Windows Phone 8.1. On the Lumia 435's cramped display, there's only room for 2 columns of apps on the home screen, but the operating system includes many useful apps, including Internet Explorer 11, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Skype and the HERE Maps and HERE Drive navigation apps. It also has Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant, which listens to voice commands or text, and respond in kind.

The third-party Windows Phone app market still lags behind Android, but now has more than 375,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store.

Newcomers to WP 8.1 will find it a very easy OS to use.

Dual-core power, but plenty of memory

The phone is powered by a dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, which is the minimum you can expect in a modern smartphone. It's powerful enough to drive the pre-installed apps, but don't expect to play high-end 3D games on this device.

On the positive side, the phone comes with generous amounts of memory: 1GB of RAM, 8GB flash memory, and a memory card slot that can accept cards up to a massive 128GB. You also get 30GB of free OneDrive cloud storage.

Entry-level cameras

The Lumia 435 comes with both front- and rear-facing cameras, but they're as basic as can be. The 2 megapixel rear camera is fixed focus and lacks a flash. The front camera is just VGA resolution (0.3 megapixels.) Both have very basic video recording capabilities. We fear that disappointment is in store for anyone who expects to use the 435 as a camera.

3G connectivity

This is a 3G phone, not a 4G one, but it does support Wi-Fi, as well as Bluetooth, microUSB and a 3.5mm headphone connection.

Limited battery life

The Lumia has a 1560 mAh battery, which is on the small side, even for an entry-level phone. Microsoft quotes a maximum talktime of 21 hours, but in real-world conditions you'll get a lot less than this. Under continuous use, the phone will struggle to make it through half a day of use, so this really isn't a phone for heavy users.

Conclusion - a good first smartphone

If you're spending just £50 on a phone, you can't expect too much. The Lumia 435 gives you more than you might expect.

It's a compact phone, well-sized for teens, and with a user-friendly operating system that's ideal for first time users. As noted however, third-party apps are limited, a fact that teenagers may not appreciate.

The ambitions of the 435 are limited, but it does what it sets out to do very well. There's plenty of memory, the dual-core processor keeps things ticking along, the screen is pretty good, and all the essential connectivity options are here. The main shortcomings of the phone are the low quality cameras and the poor battery life.

The Huawei Ascend Y330 offers a near-identical experience, but with an Android operating system. The second-generation Motorola Moto E is a step up, as is the Microsoft Lumia 535.

Microsoft Lumia 435 features include:

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Microsoft Lumia 435 user reviews

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Average rating from 1 review:

Reviewed by Declan from UK on 3rd Jul 2015
Bought in the CPW. For the basics and as a spare it's ideal. Good reception and call quality. Music player is ok. If you need a spare, get this one.

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