When I reviewed the Lumia 435 I noted that Microsoft are not short of budget phones and I was impressed with the value for money you got with the little Lumia. The Lumia 735 is slightly higher up the Lumia range, sitting above the 635 and below the 835, where it fits in with new 640 we will have to wait and see until I get my hands on one. The sim free price of the Lumia 735 is £189 so it not an expensive phone but it does have some nice features that make it interesting.
The design has much more of a premium feel than the Lumia 630/635 with a curved polycarbonate design. It is really comfortable in the hand and has a glossy finish. At first it looks like the back is the non-removable type like the 1520 but the back is actually removable. You need to remove the back to install the NanoSIM and MicroSD card, it also means you can swap the battery if necessary. So you get the solid feel but with the benefit of being able to remove the back.
There is a headphone port on the top, MicroUSB port at the bottom, volume rocker and power. There is no dedicated camera button which is a shame as it makes going from pocket to photo really fast on my 1520 and on the 735 you have to switch it on and swipe down to the Action Center to select the camera button. Also the back, search and Windows buttons are on screen buttons rather than the dedicated buttons of some of the other Lumias. I noticed that the on screen buttons sometime hide when not needed and you can swipe up to bring them back.
Microsoft call this a selfie phone as it has a wide angle 5MP front facing camera and if you are a fan of selfies then this is a great feature for you, it’s not something I am really bothered about but it would be good for using with Skype. The target market for this phone will probably appreciate the selfie feature. The rear camera is 6.7MP with an LED flash which again is better than the 635 which doesn’t even have a flash. You can some nice photos from the 735 with a good colour balance.
Taken with the rear camera:
The Lumia 735’s screen runs at 1280 x 720 (316 DPI) and looks much clearer than many of the low end phones. The colours are very rich and the display looks sharp. Side by side with my Lumia 1520 the orange live tile icons look a lot more vivid on the 735 than the more expensive device. Text is very clear and display is great for playing video.
Inside the 735 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad core processor and as Windows Phone work well on lower spec phones the 735 is very snappy switching from app to app. I tested Minecraft on it and it works fine and is very smooth. Maybe the 1GB of RAM helps the performance, it certainly helps with games. So on the whole the 735 feels fast and responsive. The internal storage is 8GB which is probably as low as you would want to go but it can be expanded via a MicroSD card supporting up to 128GB and you have cloud storage in the form of OneDrive.
Another nice feature is the support for Qi charging so it will work with wireless charging plates just like the bigger 1520. The batter capacity is 2200 mAh which gave me on average about two days before needing to charge, sometimes it was reporting four days between charges. It support double tap to wake which is really handy (saves you fumbling for the power button to switch it on) and it has sensor core so you can use it with the Microsoft Health and Fitness app to track your movement I won’t go into Windows Phone as a platform here, I am a confirmed fan of the OS and if you can get the apps you need it’s a great OS.
If you take a lot of selfies then this is a great camera but it also has many of the features of the more expensive Lumia phones that make it worth considering. The cameras are good, its responsive and has a great screen, for £189 SIM free its good value for money.
In this video I take a look at the Lumia 735