Nokia Lumia 735 evaluation: greater than only a selfie telephone

Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

Final yr’s Lumia 720 was a clumsy center baby. It was extra highly effective than its 620 cousin, however not a lot so that you simply’d contemplate it over the 820 until you simply needed to have the primary price range Lumia with LTE. If you are going to pay much more, why not get much more? Flash ahead to 2014, and the Lumia 735 comply with-up (together with the twin-SIM 730) seems to have extra of a cause for being — specifically, catering to a selfie-loving public. With a 5-megapixel entrance-dealing with digital camera, extra highly effective internals and a €219 ($279) worth, the 735 guarantees nice self-portraits with out decimating your checking account. However is it essentially your most suitable option for these “I used to be there” pictures? And extra importantly, is it value shopping for over each different Home windows Telephones and the opposite units in its worth class? You are about to seek out out.
Gallery | 20 Photographs
Nokia Lumia 735 evaluate

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Lumia 735


  • Good selfie photographs
  • Slick design with wi-fi charging
  • Quick efficiency for the cash  


  • General photograph high quality wants enchancment
  • Tiny quantity of constructed-in storage
  • No devoted digital camera key


Offered you are open to utilizing Home windows Telephone, the Lumia 735 is a simple selection for a finances smartphone: It is properly-made, quick and takes pictures you’d (often) be pleased to share.


Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

One look on the 735 and it is instantly clear that this can be a textbook Nokia (or somewhat, Microsoft Cellular) design. Its minimalist, rounded plastic shell seems like a Lumia 920 or 1020, simply with out the majority; the newer Lumia is simply barely narrower and taller to accommodate its four.7-inch display, however it’s noticeably thinner and lighter, at zero.35 inch thick and four.7 ounces. It is probably the most snug telephones I’ve held shortly, and about my solely gripe is that the sharp-angled corners sometimes dig into my palm. I am additionally a sucker for the matte mint-inexperienced end on my check unit, because it’s directly eye-catching and immune to mud and smudges. Don’t be concerned if this or the shiny orange is just too garish on your liking, by the best way — there are black and white fashions in the event you’re a bit of extra conservative.

Not that the ergonomics have improved throughout the board, whether or not you are evaluating it to the 720, 920 or different earlier Home windows Telephones. You will nonetheless discover the quantity and energy buttons in straightforward-to-attain locations on the correct aspect, a headphone jack on the highest and a micro-USB port on the underside. Nevertheless, you will not see a devoted digital camera key such as you noticed on the 720 in addition to the newer 830 and 930. Let that sink in for a minute — the Lumia 735, a smartphone dedicated to spur-of-the-second selfies, does not have a fast solution to take these selfies. It is an odd regression on a tool that is in any other case a transparent step ahead, and it takes a number of the enjoyable out of a signature function.

Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

Chances are you’ll forgive that gaffe with the controls understanding the enhancements to expandability. Now you can pry off your complete rear shell, which helps you to not solely add microSD storage (already attainable on the 720), but in addition swap covers and exchange the two,220mAh battery pack. In case you often end up on weekend journeys the place wall retailers aren’t an choice, otherwise you simply cannot stand USB battery packs, this might show to be a lifesaver. The 720’s Qi-based mostly wi-fi charging has carried over, too, so you’ll be able to plunk the 735 down on a suitable charging plate on the finish of an extended day slightly than fiddle with cables. Simply be prepared to purchase a microSD card for those who’re a shutterbug or in any other case are likely to chew by way of free area. There’s solely 8GB of constructed-in storage, so you are going to run out of room very, in a short time in the event you aren’t ruthless about deleting information.

Past this, the again holds each a speaker and a 6.7-megapixel digital camera with flash and a large-angle lens; on the entrance, you will see an earpiece, a mic and the telephone’s centerpiece 5-megapixel selfie digital camera. You will not discover capacitive navigation keys, nevertheless. As with the Lumia 630 and 635, you will need to get via the Home windows Telephone interface utilizing on-display buttons. I did not have an issue with these controls taking over visible actual property, however it might be a priority for those who do not like toggling software program keys on and off simply to maximise the usable display space in your apps.

Show and sound

Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

If the Lumia 720’s show was a disappointment, the 735’s is a pleasure. As an alternative of a barely cramped four.three-inch, 800 x 480 LCD, you are now taking a look at a four.7-inch, 1,280 x 720 AMOLED display. There’s rather more room to breathe right here, and visuals that when seemed blocky at the moment are crisp. The change to AMOLED nearly ensures deep blacks with full picture high quality at virtually each viewing angle. Colours nonetheless pop with none apparent indicators of oversaturation, and the output is splendidly shiny — so brilliant that I needed to flip the brightness right down to “low” once I wasn’t testing the battery. Suffice to say that you will have little hassle utilizing this Lumia in vibrant daylight.

That does not imply it is flawless, in fact. There are sharper screens should you’re prepared to go to greater-finish hardware (the 750p Apple iPhone 6 and 1080p HTC One M7 come to thoughts), and it is notable that the second-era Moto G sports activities a 5-inch, 720p LCD at a lower cost. Furthermore, you aren’t getting the Lumia line’s hallmark Look function, which exhibits the time and primary notifications whereas your telephone’s asleep. I discovered myself lacking that comfort various occasions throughout my trial run; I do not need to wake my telephone up simply to understand how late I’ll be. The 735 does have each a excessive-sensitivity and a double-faucet-to-wake choice, thoughts you, so it is nonetheless a great decide in case you both wish to put on gloves or do not need to attain for the facility key each single time.

Sound on this Lumia is not almost as spectacular. The rear-firing speaker is loud, however there’s nearly no bass; you will undoubtedly be plugging in headphones to take pleasure in your tunes as they have been meant to be heard. And whereas the grille is positioned at an angle that retains it uncovered on a desk (reminiscent of throughout a speakerphone name), it is just a little too straightforward to muffle the sound whereas holding the telephone in your hand. Given how intently the 735 resembles the 920 and 1020, I am stunned Microsoft’s cellular workforce did not hold the speaker in an unobstructed place on the underside.

Software program

Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

Home windows Telephone eight.1 is not all that recent, however it’s nonetheless an necessary think about whether or not or not you will like this system. If the Lumia 720’s software program felt undercooked, the 735’s comes throughout as properly-accomplished. There is a notification space to catch these essential alerts, and Cortana’s voice command engine will do your bidding; the Phrase Movement keyboard provides you swipe-based mostly typing, and you’ve got extra management over the look of your own home display (together with folders and wallpaper). There are nonetheless gaps within the OS, similar to Microsoft’s unorganized settings and Cortana’s lack of ability to deal with timers. Even with the hiccups, you’ll be able to decide the Lumia 735 with out feeling that you simply’re sacrificing primary options from Android or iOS simply to get a few of Home windows Telephone’s key benefits, like Reside Tiles and deep tie-ins with social networks.

It is also interesting for what you do not get: bloatware. Apart from the curious inclusions of Gameloft’s GameHub and the Domino’s Pizza app — no, actually — my unlocked check unit was restricted to the anticipated batch of Lumia apps (comparable to Beamer display sharing), MSN apps (like Sports activities) and Right here navigation instruments. The most effective half? You do not have to maintain many of those titles. Even for those who wind up with a service-locked 735, Home windows Telephone will allow you to uninstall nonessential apps to both release storage or take away muddle.

The platform nonetheless has an app deficit, although, and it stays an Achilles’ heel. Do not get me incorrect: Most of your wants are simply coated. You will discover Instagram, Swarm, Vine, WhatsApp and different staples of the fashionable smartphone expertise. Nevertheless, there are nonetheless a number of holes. When you lean closely on Google’s ecosystem, Home windows Telephone nonetheless is not for you. You will discover various apps like IM+ (for Hangouts messaging) and MetroTube (for YouTube), however the platform stays greatest once you’re profiting from Microsoft’s personal big selection of software program, like Skype and Xbox Video. The extra urgent difficulty is just the shortage of “final mile” apps that cowl specialised providers and utilities, resembling your native financial institution or transit authority; you might have to make do with web sites or unofficial instruments. The Home windows Telephone Retailer’s choice is wholesome, however Microsoft must focus extra on the standard of its catalog, not simply the amount.

Digital camera

Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

Images is ostensibly why you are right here — if it weren’t for the guarantees of excessive-high quality selfies on a price range, there would not be a lot to seize your creativeness and lure you away from different smartphones. Fortunately, the Lumia 735 lives as much as that billing… as long as your expectations match the worth, anyway. The 5-megapixel entrance-dealing with digital camera is sharper than what you will usually discover on this class, and the mixture of a large-angle lens and a comparatively shiny f/2.four aperture (each carried over from the 720) produces photographs which are properly-lit and allow you to match an absurd quantity of content material into the body. There was loads of room for 3 individuals if I held the telephone at arm’s size, and solo self-portraits can simply embrace vacationer points of interest or different scenic backdrops.

With that in thoughts, Microsoft undoubtedly is not setting a brand new excessive watermark in images. The Lumia’s entrance cam has a barely bluish tone, and photographs in reasonably dim settings are susceptible to each noise and occasional blurring. The dynamic vary and shot-to-shot efficiency are additionally missing. It isn’t unusual to see blown-out skies in daytime pictures, and also you ceaselessly have to attend a few seconds because the 735 processes a photograph; you will not be taking speedy-hearth snapshots any time quickly. I am additionally of a combined opinion about Lumia Selfie, Microsoft’s app for — what else? — entrance-dealing with footage. Its Auto Selfie mode is nice for utilizing the rear digital camera to seize photographs, and there are many filters and face-particular changes, however you’ve little management over the photograph earlier than you faucet the shutter. If there is a sickly hue from a close-by road lamp, as an example, you will have to repair it later. These limitations are effective for the worth, however I might want telephones just like the HTC One M8 (with a brighter f/ lens) or iPhone 6 (with burst selfies and smarter picture processing) if cash wasn’t an element.

Gallery | forty one Pictures
Nokia Lumia 735 digital camera samples

And the again digital camera? You are still coping with the 720’s 6.7-megapixel sensor and a large-angle f/1.9 lens, so the story hasn’t modified a lot versus a yr in the past. It is fantastic for the worth vary, however the high quality varies wildly relying on the state of affairs. Whereas photographs are sometimes vivid and sharp in good lighting, there are occasional moments when the outcomes are lifeless or flat-out inaccurate; like many Lumias, it periodically wrecks the colour stability for no obvious cause. As with the entrance shooter, the primary cam’s dynamic vary is restricted and tends to cover element in each highlights and shadows. It is succesful sufficient in low-mild conditions, however do not let that candy-sounding aperture idiot you — you will nonetheless need to hold a gentle hand for night time photographs.

Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

Microsoft partly makes up for these shortcomings via its excellent Nokia Digital camera app. The software program does not simply offer you far-reaching management over parts like focus, sensitivity and white stability, but in addition presents all that management in a significant method. You will see the consequences of most modifications in actual time, they usually’re easy sufficient that you simply’re inspired to experiment. Working example: Absolutely automated capturing ruined a nighttime river scene, however the guide controls let me take an extended-publicity, low-sensitivity picture that was much more pleasing. You may also tie Nokia Digital camera into different apps by way of software program add-ons (“lenses”), so that you’re solely a fast hop away from the likes of Bing Imaginative and prescient looking or 6-second Vine clips.

Video recording on both of the 735’s cameras (each of which may deal with 1080p) mirrors the visible high quality you get with stills, simply with lowered enter over the image. You are principally restricted to tuning white stability and focus when capturing with the primary digital camera, and people few choices go away with the entrance unit. Microsoft’s actual ace within the gap right here is audio recording. As with many current Lumias, there is a Wealthy Recording setup that forestalls very loud noises from overwhelming the microphones, comparable to bass at a live performance. The Lumia may be overzealous in muffling sounds with the default settings; sometimes, it sounds such as you have been recording from a closet. Nonetheless, that is nonetheless preferable to the unlistenable messes you incessantly get from different telephones.

Efficiency and battery life

Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

Gauging the Lumia 735’s velocity is troublesome. If all you are doing is measuring specs, it is no nice shakes. Though the quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon four hundred processor and 1GB of RAM are miles above the twin-core chip and 512MB of RAM of the 720, they’re strictly par for the course amongst low-finish telephones lately. The truth is, the additional reminiscence is that this telephone’s solely actual efficiency benefit (albeit an essential one) over the Lumia 630 and 635. Why would you pay Microsoft’s asking worth when one thing just like the Moto G has comparable innards for much less?

Lumia 735 Lumia 720 Lumia Icon WPBench 245 179 471 SunSpider (ms) 1,237 1,440 538 AnTuTu 12,060 7,348 25,750 SunSpider: Decrease scores are higher.

As a result of specs do not inform the complete story; that is why. No, the 735 will not outrun excessive-finish beasts just like the Lumia Icon or One M8 for Home windows, nevertheless it thrashes the Moto G within the SunSpider net browser check (1,237ms vs 1,534ms) — proof that Microsoft can wring out further efficiency by way of software program. You would be arduous-pressed to inform that this wasn’t a flagship simply by steering by means of the essential Home windows Telephone interface. Scrolling is quick and fluid; transitions occur at a brisk tempo; and lots of apps reply as shortly as you’d hope. If all you are doing is checking Fb and enjoying music, this decrease-finish Lumia will serve you in addition to one thing costing twice as a lot. It is definitely a greater decide than the 630 and 635, whose low reminiscence goes to curb your means to run video games and different intensive apps.

There’s solely a lot Microsoft can do, nevertheless, and it is once you dive into demanding apps that it turns into clear you are not utilizing a powerhouse. In addition to slower net-shopping efficiency (it is roughly half as fast because the Icon in SunSpider), the 735 simply is not nice for 3D gaming. A modest title like Wings on Hearth performs easily, however you possibly can anticipate stuttering in a visually wealthy arcade racer like Asphalt eight. No, it would not be affordable to demand blistering body charges from a tool so low cost, however you’ll have to dial your expectations again a notch.

Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

You will not have to fret a lot about battery life. That 2,220mAh pack is not big in an period when some mid-measurement telephones pack upwards of three,000mAh, nevertheless it’s additionally driving modest hardware. That is mirrored within the wholesome longevity I obtained throughout my stint. The Lumia 735 managed 9.5 hours in a battery-rundown check that concerned looping an HD video at medium brightness with e mail, Fb and Twitter operating within the background; that is truly half an hour higher than Microsoft’s official estimate. It is greater than sufficient to get via a day of average use that features Instagram, Twitter, Swarm examine-ins and prompt messaging, though I might get nervous if somebody invited me to take pleasure in an extended night time out.

It doesn’t matter what, mobile efficiency comes up aces. The unlocked 735 I attempted sadly did not help North American LTE frequencies (solely bands three, 7 and 20), nevertheless it nonetheless managed very respectable averages of 21 Mbps for downloads and eight Mbps for uploads on Rogers’ twin-service HSPA+ community in Ottawa, Canada. It ought to play properly on AT&T’s community within the US, in the event you get the identical mannequin. Name high quality, in the meantime, is superb. Each ends of the dialog are loud and clear, whereas the noise-cancellation function does a superb job of squelching background audio — a recipient could not even inform that I had loud music enjoying within the background throughout one check. You must anticipate equally stellar voice calls on the Lumia 730’s two strains, however it should be slower provided that it solely helps single-service HSPA+ knowledge.

The competitors

Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

The Lumia 735 is getting into a crowded area of not-fairly-entry-degree smartphones, and your decisions are going to differ dramatically relying on what platforms you are prepared to make use of and the place you reside. You are more likely to run into a couple of widespread options, although, so let’s dig in.

Whenever you restrict your self to Home windows Telephone, the 735 is a reasonably protected guess — partially as a result of it is robust to seek out model-new handsets that immediately compete in each worth and measurement. A variety of what’s obtainable is a transparent step down in each reminiscence and display high quality, such because the Lumia 635 or Huawei’s Ascend W2. In case you have a set spending restrict, chances are you’ll need to think about the Lumia 1320. You will hand over the 735’s digital camera prowess and quad-core processing, however you will get each a big 6-inch show and an extended-lasting battery. If something, the most important menace to the 735 is the subsequent step up, the Lumia 830. You will lose some high quality in selfies, however you will additionally get a extra highly effective 10-megapixel rear digital camera, a hardware digital camera key, extra storage and a barely bigger 5-inch display. Even then, it is nonetheless tempting to select the 735. It delivers almost all the 830’s efficiency and show high quality in a package deal that leaves masses of cash left over for equipment.

When you’re not wedded to Microsoft’s ecosystem, the rivalry turns into a lot fiercer… and admittedly, the Lumia does not emerge unscathed. Not surprisingly, the elephant within the room is Motorola’s second-era Moto G. You are getting a lot of the expertise for a smaller outlay (€199 or much less in Europe, $one hundred eighty within the US), and you will get each a better-decision rear digital camera and a bigger display, as well. Whereas the 735 does have LTE knowledge, wi-fi charging and higher selfies, you’d need to worth these a great deal to justify the premium. HTC’s Want 616 presents an analogous discount, though it isn’t as straightforward to seek out. Samsung’s comparably priced Galaxy Grand 2 is not any actual menace, however do take a look at Huawei’s Ascend G6 — when you lose display sharpness, you are getting an excellent selfie cam and a better-decision rear shooter for much less money.


Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone

I will not lie: I got here into this evaluation fearful that the Lumia 735 would lean too onerous on the selfie angle on the expense of different options, very similar to the 720 did. Fortunately, this is not the case. The 735 (and by extension, the 730) can be a succesful, trendy finances smartphone that simply occurs to take some good self-portraits. Microsoft Cellular has ironed out most of the kinks from the 720 whereas concurrently decreasing the worth. How are you going to not like that? To me, the 735 is the actual successor to Nokia’s cult favourite, the Lumia 620. It prices a bit extra, nevertheless it nonetheless strikes a wonderful stability amongst engaging design, affordability and strong efficiency. The 630 and 635 are solely value contemplating in the event you merely should have a contemporary Lumia and may’t justify spending extra.

Having stated this, there are a couple of massive gadgets on my improve want listing. The 735’s cameras might stand to carry out higher, notably in darker scenes; it actually wants a digital camera key, or at the least a lock display shortcut; it would be good to get each a quicker processor in addition to extra constructed-in storage. And sure, the app provide stays a priority. The Lumia 735 is an excellent telephone for what you are paying, notably for those who’re dedicated to Home windows, however it stops in need of greatness.

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