Microsoft’s Lumia 530: the cheapest top-of-the-line smartphone

Microsoft announced today there will be UK availability for its new Lumia 530 smartphone. While you may be thinking “oh another Lumia, what’s new?” This one could really be a gamechanger – this is reputed to be a premium smartphone with Windows 8.1 features at the knock-off price of as little as £60.

So what’s the catch? Looking at bare bone specs, it appears there is no catch. It runs Microsoft’s handheld operating system known as Windows 8.1, granting access to the expected Lumia experience, including the latest apps and newest Windows functionality.

The phone will feature a 4” LCD display – while not particularly high quality, it is acceptable when you consider the phone’s pricing.  In addition, the battery life is less than stellar – if left on standby, the phone’s battery will last up to 22 hours – not an ideal choice for a long camping trip, but not too bad for the day-to-day, with up to 13 hours battery life when heavily used. The device sports a 5 Megapixel camera, with no front-facing camera options. The phone will be available in a number of colours as you’d expect from a Lumia, such as bright orange, green and grey.

The phone will contain the lightning-fast 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, which delivers a super-fast, lag-free user experience of your favourite apps, gaming and internet browsing”. The phone will also support Microsoft’s Windows services like Skype and Office.

One key criticism that many harbour regarding Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store is the lack of many apps that can be found on both Android and iOS stores – this continues here, but many more apps are now being ported across to the Windows Store. Lumia-specific apps are also available, such as Creative Studio and Glam Me, which, according to Microsoft, “helps people take quality voice-guided selfies with the 5MP rear camera.” So if you’re the selfie lover who’s strapped for cash, this phone could be the ideal option.

Conor Pierce, VP of Microsoft Devices for the UK and Ireland commented on the announcement of the 530 saying “With high-end apps, features and exceptional build quality at an amazing price, the Lumia 530 sets a new benchmark for affordable smartphones”. While of course Conor’s not likely to talk the phone down at all, he’s demonstrating how keen Microsoft are to show off the Lumia 530’s scarily low price.

The Lumia 530 will go on sale on 4th September with a quoted price of £60, available a number of retailers like EE, Vodafone, and O2.