Lumia 435 Review – Another low-end Windows Phone from Microsoft but is it better than the competition?

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Microsoft is probably the only company that could build the same smartphone again and again with only minor differences in the hardware and design. Well, it’s done it again with the Lumia 435.

With the Lumia 435, Microsoft’s has once again laid its claim to the low-end smartphone market, but is it any better than what’s already out there?

Design

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Unlike most of the other Lumia handsets, the Lumia 435 isn’t curvaceous. The handset looks and feels more like a Nokia X, and has been rumoured as initially intended to be part of that range. The Lumia 435 is indeed pretty thick, but its square edges make the device a easy to hold in the hand.

Although I really like the square edges, I don’t appreciate the device’s thickness at all. Yes, it’s a low-end smartphone, but its younger brother, the Lumia 430 and even its older brother, the Lumia 535 is much thinner. However, on the positive side, the 11.7 mm thickness of the Lumia 435 makes it harder to drop.

As usual, the Lumia 435 comes with a polycarbonate cover which you can swap out to match your mood. The Lumia 435 is comfortable to hold, its lightweight, but it isn’t the best-looking phone – but then again you probably don’t expect to get a sexy design for the price of the Lumia 435 (£49.99).

Display

Despite the fact that the Lumia 435 is a budget smartphone, the display of the handset is pretty decent. It comes with a 4-inch WVGA LCD display (480 x 800 pixels) which produces vibrant colors. The device packs 233ppi pixel density which makes small text vivid on its 4-inch display.

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However, as you may expect, the Lumia 435’s display is quite reflective – even indoors. And viewing angles on the display isn’t impressive either. Although the Lumia 435’s display is decent indoors, one could not say the display perform very well. Once again however, we probably shouldn’t expect any better display in this price range.

Performance

Unlike Nokia handsets Microsoft hasn’t disappointed us with its smartphones when it comes to specifications in the last couple of months. The company’s smartphones are cheap, but they come with decent hardware which can run Windows Phone smoothly.

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The Lumia 435 only has a dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor. As with all the other Windows smartphones however, I’m not disappointed with the Lumia 435’s performance. Windows Phone is fluid on this hardware, but you’ll still see the traditional “Resuming..” screen quite often, despite the 1 GB RAM. Multitasking on the Lumia 435 is also quite fast and there’s hardly any lag on animations.

Gaming on the Lumia 435 is also decent – thanks to the Adreno 302 GPU. I’ve tried a couple of games on the handset, including Asphalt 8 and the games were smooth on the device. However, there was a few frame drops which isn’t really disappointing on a budget smartphone. Here’s the AnTuTu Benchmark result for the Lumia 435:

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Overall, the Lumia 435 offers a great performance experience. Windows Phone runs fluidly on the device, games are also smooth on the device, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best devices when it comes to performance for this price range.

Camera

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Whenever you hear about a Lumia smartphone, you probably think of its camera. So far, most of the Lumia smartphones packed impressive cameras – if not, they are at least decent.

However, the Lumia 435’s cameras aren’t impressive or decent. The handset sports a  2MP rear camera which is capable of capturing quite good pictures in daylight. As you may expect however, the rear snapper of the smartphone struggles to take decent pictures in low light.

Camera Samples

Moving on to the front snapper, the story isn’t good there either. The handset packs a VGA sensor which doesn’t produce good pictures in decent light, and it produces terrible pictures in low light.

The Lumia 435 captures decent pictures in daylight and video recording isn’t impressive – however, under low light, it doesn’t perform well. And the front camera doesn’t offer good pictures either – but yet again, you probably won’t expect a £49.99 smartphone to capture impressive pictures.

Battery

The Lumia 435 comes with a 1560mAh battery which is pretty decent for the price. As always, we tested the battery life of the device which involves playing music through the loudspeaker on repeat at 50% volume while repeatedly loading our website every 30 seconds with the screen at maximum brightness.

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In our stringent battery rundown test, the Lumia 435 was able to survive 3 hours and 50 minutes which is pretty good as heavily stressed the device during the battery test process. In the same test the Lumia 530 lasted 3 hours and 34.5 minutes while the Lumia 535 lasted 4 hours 32 minutes. However, it would still be nice to see a more powerful battery on the Lumia 435 device.

Others

There are some other small things of the Lumia 435 that I’d like to talk about:

  • The speakers are decent, but not impressive.
  • Call Quality on the handset is also good.
  • For some weird reason, I really, really, love the haptic feedback on the device. I’ve used other high-end devices such as the HTC One M8 and the low-end Lumia 535, but the haptic feedback on the Lumia 435 just feels good.
  • The volume rocker and the power button is also pretty good
  • Comes with 8GB of internal storage – which is a great feature for the price. Additionally, you can expand the storage using a microSD card.

The Good

  • Decent display
  • Lightweight design
  • Gaming experience is quite good
  • 8GB internal storage, and comes with microSD card slot
  • Impressive price

The Bad

  • Pretty thick device
  • Bad camera – not capable of capturing decent low light images
  • Decent battery, but could have been better

Quick Video Review

Full specs

Display4 inch
Processor1.2GHz
Resolution480×800 pixels
RAM1GB
OSWindows Phone 8.1 Lumia Denim
Storage8GB
Front Camera0.3-megapixel
Rear Camera2-megapixel, fixed focus
Connectivity3G/HSDPA
Battery capacity1560mAh
Size118.10 x 64.70 x 11.70 mm
Weight134.1 g
SensorsProximity sensor, light sensor, accelerometer

Thanks to UnlockedMobiles for sending us the Lumia 435 – make sure to check out the Lumia 435 at Unlocked Mobiles here!

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