Handson Review – Microsoft Lumia 435

Microsoft Lumia 435 has been in Kenya since mid February 2015, one month after it was announced in January. This is an indication that Microsoft listened to our recommendations in the article Three things Microsoft East Africa new General Manager can do to rekindle our love for Nokia. Initially Nokia phones used to launch in Kenya three to six months after launch in US and Europe, but as from Lumia 435 and going forward we can expect the phones to arrive in Kenya within a month or two of announcement.

I received the phone in the last week of March, and since then I have used it extensively. There are things that I liked, and a few others I wish were removed or improved. So let’s get into it and dissect Microsoft Lumia 435.


Immediately I received the phone from my colleague I couldn’t help but notice the small box the phone was packed in. “How tiny is the phone?” I wondered before unpacking. Anyhow I went home with the phone and did the unpacking, slowly (sorry I didn’t take any photos at this stage so there is nothing to show here). Inside was the phone, a charger, documentation and ear phone. The charger is fine, well made, and convenient – a bit bulky though for those of us who like carrying chargers in our pockets whenever we are on the move. The ear phone? Not so great. Looks like those that will fail within the first week of use and for sure the left ear piece doesn’t work as at now.

Then there was the phone, a White 118.1 mm by 64.7 mm  by 11.7 mm, a medium sized device that is very thick, way too thick at the current standards of below 6mm thickness. I held and felt it; solid as usual.  Its 134g weight makes you forget that it’s a cheap phone (not so cheap in any case – see conclusion in page 2). The plastic casing felt nice, high, and premium. I turned it around, looked at the rear, the sides, and I thought that this should be a great gift for my niece who had just broken her Samsung Galaxy Ace.

The battery was already inside the phone (blame this on Microsoft) so I didn’t have the privilege of getting the excitement of inserting it for the first time.

Core Specs

The first thing you do after unpacking the phone and inserting the battery is to turn the phone on, mostly even before you insert a SIM card. I did the same and headed straight to Setting –> Storage Sense to check the amount of storage I was gonna have; just in case I needed to rush to the phone shop to buy a mem card. It was a 4GB with only 3.34 GB available. I debated a bit and decided not to buy the mem card as I hardly use more than 2 GB of storage in a phone anyway.

I tried to check on RAM but I couldn’t find my way around that so I Googled. No answer. Seems there is no way to check RAM on Microsoft Lumia devices, I couldn’t do that even with Nokia Lumia 630 and Lumia 930. Microsoft should take note and let us check and clear RAM, if for nothing but to make us feel geeky.

The RAM on Microsoft Lumia 435 is 1GB. What I don’t know is the “available RAM” but that shouldn’t worry anyone. The phone, although dubbed “low end” or “entry level” device for light users or for first time smartphone users, loads faster than Android devices of similar price points, and executes neatly and seamlessly. No hanging. Okay, it hanged on me only ones or twice for reasons I can’t tell as there were no Apps that were running. Actually, other than the Apps that came with the phone that I disabled, I downloaded zero Apps on the device.

Microsoft Lumia 435 is powered by Dual Core Cortex A7 1.2 GHz processor, and since the phone is meant for light users, this processor is more than adequate for your light use requirement. Light use basically means calling, texting, browsing the Internet and using simple Apps like Skype, Facebook, Twitter that come preinstalled with the phone or installing a few more that you can download from the Store. I didn’t download any nor upgrade preinstalled ones as I couldn’t remember my Outlook Account details – only if I could be allowed to just use my Google Account to download etc.

Interacting with the content on the 4 inches 480 by 800 pixels screen is exciting. Because the screen is somehow small, the pixel density of 233 ppi delivers close to HD experience. When you set the brightness to medium, you can be able to comfortably view texts, images and video both indoors and outdoors. This is advised because setting the brightness to Auto mode might get into your nerves when the phone refuses to notice that you have moved from darkness to lightness or vise versa.

I didn’t use the 2MP camera. Okay I did but I don’t want to believe that I did, the pictures are bad, and reminded me of the days that I used to take pictures with Nokia N series cameras. Dark, bad, and ugly. The ugly version of myself shown below tells it all. I already asked the phone manufacturers to forget including cameras in the low end phones, especially if that camera must be below 5MP. The poor useless cameras add no value but cost to the low budget phones. How much less would Microsoft Lumia 435 cost if it came without a camera? I believe less, much much less.

Microsoft Lumia 435
Odipo Riaga

What else is there under core specs? Oh yes the battery. Forgive me, I haven’t done a test on the battery to actually know how long it can survive under extreme use conditions. I actually used it as a light user would, and by light user I mean someone with a high end device for heavy use and this Dual SIM Microsoft Lumia 435 for calls, texts, and stuff like that. Most times therefore, I found myself recharging the phone two to three days later. In the early days when I was really excited by the phone and I couldn’t let go of it, I used to charge it every 8 or so hours. The battery that powers the phone is a 1560mAh that enables the phone have a 504 hours standby time, 21 hours talk time, and 64 hours music play time.

If there is a core spec you would be interested in and I seem not to remember, ping me at the comment section and I’ll update.

Next page is about other fun and disappointing stuff


Odipo Riaga2215 Posts

Film Director, Tech and Business Blogger, Chess Player, and Photographer. God is Science.


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