Nokia has had a lot of success with Windows Phone in the more budget-oriented segment of the market. The Lumia 630, which we recently reviewed, does well in its position in the $150-200 device bracket. But Nokia is hoping to target buyers at even lower price points with the new Lumia 530 which positions itself to take on other Android devices at the $100-150 segment of the market. At least in its name it is a successor to Nokia's Lumia 520 which was the most popular Windows Phone, and the two are compared down below.

Lumia 520 and 530
  Lumia 520 Lumia 530
SoC 1GHz Dual Core Krait (MSM8227) + Adreno 305 1.2GHz Quad Core Cortex A7 (MSM8212) + Adreno 302
Memory 512MB LPDDR2 512MB LPDDR2
Storage 8GB NAND + MicroSDHC 4GB NAND + MicroSDXC 
Display 4” 800x480 WVGA LCD 4” 854x480 FWVGA LCD
Cellular Connectivity GPRS/EDGE/HSPA+ GPRS/EDGE/HSPA+
Dimensions 119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm, 124g 119.7 x 62.3 x 11.7 mm, 129g
Camera 5MP Rear Facing w/ F2.4 aperture 5MP Rear Facing w/ F2.4 aperture
Battery 5.291Wh 5.291Wh
OS Windows Phone 8.1 Windows Phone 8.1
Other Connectivity 802.11b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS 802.11b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS
SIM Size Micro-SIM Micro-SIM (dual SIM variant)

As you can see, the Lumia 530 has many similarities to its predecessor. Inside it makes the move from Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 platform to the newer Snapdragon 200 platform. It'll be interesting to see how the quad core 1.2GHz Cortex A7 implementation fares against the 1GHz dual core Krait implementation. The GPU takes a performance hit, going from the Adreno 305 to the 302. Storage similarly takes a small step down with half the internal NAND of the Lumia 520, but with support for MicroSDXC up to 128GB rather than 64GB in the 520. RAM and connectivity remains the same with 512MB of LPDDR2 memory, single stream 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 21.1Mbps HSPA+. The battery chemistry remains the same as well at 1430mAh and 3.7V.

The front of the device sports an 854x480 LCD display, with the extra 54 pixels compared to the Lumia 520 being used for the on-screen buttons in a similar fashion to the Lumia 630. The move from a 15:9 display aspect ratio to a 16:9 ratio allows for a small decrease in the width of the device. The 530 has an appreciable increase in thickness compared to its predecessor with a thickness of 11.7mm at its thickest point compared to 9.9mm on the 520. No apparent changes to the camera have been made with a 5MP F2.4 sensor on the back and there's no front-facing camera.

The 530 seems like a mixed bag of upgrades and downgrades compared to the 520. At 4GB of storage it really necessitates buying a MicroSD card even for users who rarely use apps, while the 8GB in the 520 leaves more breathing room. The increase in thickness is also disappointing but in the 530's price bracket there's no pressure to battle it out for the title of thinnest smartphone. In many ways it feels less like an upgrade and more like a device of its own. It will be interesting to see how users feel it compares to the original Lumia 520.

The Lumia 530 will be launching in single and dual-sim variants in August with a target price point of €85. Ignoring differences in taxes and market situations that translates to rougly $114 in the US or £67 in the UK. 

Source: Nokia Conversations

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  • JeffFlanagan - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Low-end Android phones with insufficient memory and buggy software tarnish the Android brand. I expect this to do the same for Windows Phone.
  • bplewis24 - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

  • aryonoco - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Something that used to be true, but isn't really anymore.

    The Moto G and the Moto E have done wonders for Android's reputation on the lower end, and arguably provide a much better user experience than these Lumias. Android One (set to launch later this year) will push that same user experience down below the $100 line.
  • Klimax - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    So far hasn't happened with WP.
  • BMNify - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    Windows Phone works smooth even on old Snapdragon single core with Adreno 200 and 256MB ram(ex: Lumia 510,610), so your expectation and comparison with Android is wrong.
  • mkozakewich - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    Ugh, the thickness.

    This is interesting, though, in that it's like a phone from 2010 with the really crappy CPU and graphics improved. I just really wish it had a 720p screen. Aren't those common enough now to be price-competitive?

    $600 phones have gotten a lot more powerful over the last few years, but this gives us a good indication of how cheap those phones would be with (generally) the same level of power.

    Nintendo likes their $100-$150 portable devices. In a couple years, I half-expect them to release some kind of cheap Android phone with 3DS-like controls around the screen. (Or, knowing them, their own kind of simple OS only for Nintendo games and first-party tools and social apps? Hopefully not.)
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    What's the difference between an Adreno 305 and 302 I wonder?

    And I have to wonder if an extra 20% clock speed can make up for the deficit between an A7 and an "A9+".

    Still, at least it takes 128GB (though that raises the price of the phone...)
  • nikon133 - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    Doesn't really make sense. 4C processor in lowest end budget phone... but with storage reduced to puny 4GB (yes I know it will accept SD, but still) and 512MB of RAM. I'd much rather have 2C with 1GB of RAM.

    MS/Nokia are releasing too many variants of almost the same phone. Would they not reduce R&D and manufacturing costs if they unify all of those models between 520 and 630 into one phone? They could probably boost performance a bit, too.
  • Paul Tarnowski - Friday, July 25, 2014 - link

    I'd guess it's the whole higher numbers are better thing. That and RAM is really expensive right now.

    At any rate, this may sell well in Asia, but it's unlikely to make a dent in the NA market.

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