Review: Nokia Lumia 735 (video)

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We have been having a hands-on with the Nokia Lumia 735, courtesy of Microsoft Mobile.

We put the handset, which is retailing for as little as £189, through its paces and came away quite impressed.

The device, which has attracted the moniker of the Selfie phone, has quite a few strong points, one of which is design.

Design and Packaging

The handset looks much like an updated Nokia Lumia 920, featuring the same Fabula design of curves and straight angles.

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The handset feels very thin and light in the hand, and one is able to easily reach all corners of the screen with one hand.  The polycarbonate feels very solid, and at first and second glance appears to be a unibody device.

Nokia however includes a helpful sticker that shows you how the remove the back, which is still not an easy job, to reveal the removable battery and the slots for the nanoSIM and microSD card.

When the back is removed one is also able to see the wireless charging coils integrated with it, which is a great feature for such an affordable device.

The buttons, which are made of the same material as the shell, are very clicky and a joy to use (more so than the buttons on my 930).  The only pity is the missing camera key, with camera short cut pre-populating the action centre being a poor 3 step substitute.

Instead of capacitive navigation buttons the handset features on-screen buttons which can be dismissed and recalled by a swipe upwards. A handy tutorial pops up to show you just how to do this.

One thing to note is that the packaging of the device is of the same quality as the Nokia Lumia 930, which is quite unexpected. In the box you will find some standard headphones and a mains charger, but the micro-USB cable is captive and not detachable, and can not be used to sync your device to your PC.

Performance

The device performs pretty well, as all Windows Phones do, even when compared to the Nokia Lumia 930, with near identical page loading times with the 930 only being slightly faster.

Screen

At high brightness the screen looks fantastic, with a pixel-free appearance at usual usage distances. Colours are bright and vibrant and viewing angles excellent.

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Daylight viewing in the fading British winter sun is not too bad, and comparable to the Nokia Lumia 920 (right).

Camera

The camera (both front and rear facing) produce excellent results, but focus times are slow and at times not very accurate.  Shot to shot time is still in the range of 2 seconds, despite the presence of Lumia Denim.

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Rear Camera, good light

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Rear camera, good light

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Front-facing camera, good light.

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Indoors, poor light, no flash, rear camera

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Indoors, poor light, flash, rear camera

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Indoors, poor light, front facing camera.

From the last picture above, it should be clear that if you want a great selfie indoors in poor light, it is still a good idea to use your rear camera and the Nokia Selfie app for best results.

Sound

When playing music through the speaker the volume is reasonably loud, but lacks any kind of bass.

Through the headphones volume is pretty loud actually which is unusual for Windows Phones.

Battery Life

Battery life is great, with the handset managing 5 hours from its 2220 mAh battery in our stringent battery run down test.  The Nokia Lumia 530 managed 3 hr 34.5 min, the Nokia Lumia 930 4hr 10 min and the Nokia Lumia 830 an identical 5 hours, which is no surprise, given that the hardware specs are near identical.

The test 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, so is a good test of heavy usage.

Conclusion

The more I used the Nokia Lumia 735 the more I liked it.  After using increasingly large handsets over the years, it was a relief to use a thin and light handset for a change.  Battery life impressed me, as did the camera, as long as you spent time focussing, and the “unibody” design is outstanding.  Surprisingly I would be happy to use this inexpensive handset as my daily driver, and would even go so far as to recommend it to 920 upgraders looking for a cheap handset in the spirit of their old device.

Video Review

Full Specs

  • Dimensions
    • Height: 134.7 mm
    • Width: 68.5 mm
    • Thickness2: 8.7 mm
    • Weight: 130.4 g
  • Display and User Interface
    • Display size: 4.7 ”
    • Display resolution: HD720 (1280 x 720)
    • Display features: Brightness control, Refresh rate 60 Hz, Sunlight readability enhancements, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, Easy to clean, High brightness mode, Wide viewing angle, Scratch resistant glass, Double-tap to wake
    • Display colors: TrueColor (24-bit/16M)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9
    • Pixel density: 316 ppi
    • Display technology: ClearBlack, OLED
    • Touch screen technology: Super sensitive touch
    • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer
  • Connectivity
    • SIM card type: Micro SIM
    • Dual SIM: Dual Standby SIM
    • Charging connectors: Micro-USB
    • AV connectors: 3.5 mm audio connector
    • System connectors: Micro-USB-B
    • USB: USB 2.0
    • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
    • Bluetooth profiles: Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) 1.2, Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP) 1.1, Generic Attribute Profile (GATT), Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) 1.4, Hands-free profile (HFP) 1.6, Object Push profile (OPP) 1.1, Personal Area Network Profile (PAN) 1.1
    • Wi-Fi: WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
    • Wi-Fi security modes: EAP-TTLS/MSCHAPv2, WPA, WEP, EAP-AKA, PEAP-MSCHAPv2, WPA2 (AES/TKIP), WPA2-Enterprise, WPA2-Personal, EAP-TLS, WPA-Enterprise, EAP-SIM, WPA-Personal
    • NFC: Pairing, Secure NFC for payment, Sharing, Tagging
    • Other wireless connectivity: Screen projection
  • Data Network3
    • WCDMA network: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1900 MHz, 2100 MHz
    • WCDMA max data speed DL: HSDPA – 21.1 Mbps
    • WCDMA max data speed UL: HSUPA – 5.76 Mbps
    • GSM network: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz
    • GSM max data speed DL: EGPRS 296.0 kbps
    • GSM max data speed UL: EGPRS 236.8 kbps
  • Power Management4
    • Battery model: BV-T5A
    • Battery capacity: 2220 mAh
    • Battery voltage: 3.8 V
    • Removable battery: Yes
    • Maximum standby time: 25 days
    • Maximum talk time (2G): 22 h
    • Maximum talk time (3G): 17 h
    • Maximum music playback time: 60 h
    • Maximum video playback time: 9 h
    • Maximum cellular network browsing time: 8.5 h
    • Maximum Wi-Fi network browsing time: 10.5 h
    • Wireless charging: No
  • Processor
    • Processor name: Snapdragon 400
    • Processor type: Quad-core 1.2GHz
  • Memory
    • User data storage: In device, Memory card, OneDrive cloud storage, App and data storage on memory card
    • RAM: 1 GB
    • Mass memory: 8 GB
    • Expandable memory card type: MicroSD
    • Maximum memory card size: 128 GB
    • Free cloud storage: 15 GB
  • Main camera
    • Main camera sensor: 6.7 MP
    • Main camera focus type: Auto focus
    • Camera digital zoom: 4 x
    • ZEISS optics: Yes
    • Sensor size: 1/3.4 inch
    • Main camera f-number/aperture: f/1.9
    • Camera focal length: 26 mm
    • Camera minimum focus range: 10 cm
    • Camera image formats: JPEG/Exif
    • Flash type: LED flash
    • Flash operating range: 1.0 m
    • Flash modes: Off, Automatic, On
  • Main camera features
    • Main camera – other features: Backside-illuminated image sensor, True 16:9 sensor
    • Digital camera add-ons: Panorama lens, Nokia Refocus, Bing vision, Cinemagraph lens, Nokia Camera, Nokia Glam Me
  • Image capturing
    • Capture modes: Video, Still
    • Scene modes: Automatic, Sports, Night
    • White balance modes: Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Automatic
    • Light sensitivity: Automatic, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200
    • Photos viewed by: Month, Album, Camera Roll, Favorites, Nokia Storyteller, Photos from social networks
  • Secondary camera
    • PMDM SEC CAMERA: Full HD 5MP wide angle
    • Secondary camera f-number/aperture: f/2.4
    • Secondary camera – other features: Video recording, Still image capture, Video call, Focal length 24 mm
  • Main video camera
    • Camera video resolution: 1080p (Full HD, 1920 x 1080)
    • Camera video frame rate: 30 fps
    • Camera video zoom: 4 x
    • Video playback frame rate: 30 fps
    • Video playback codecs: H.263, H.264/AVC, MPEG-4, VC-1, Windows video
    • Video playback file formats: 3G2, 3GP, MP4, WMV, AVI, M4V, MOV
    • Video recording formats: MP4/H.264
    • Video white balance modes: Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Automatic, Daylight
  • Main video camera features
    • Video streaming: YouTube browsing and video streaming, Streaming from video services and internet, Progressive video download
    • Video recording features: Video zoom, Continuous autofocus
  • Secondary video camera
    • Secondary video camera resolution: 720p (HD, 1280 x 720)
    • Secondary camera video recording formats: MP4/H.264

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