Hands on with the Lumia 530, Microsoft’s most affordable Lumia
This morning, Microsoft Mobile invited both the media and bloggers to the famous Marini’s on 57 to not only enjoy the stunning view of Kuala Lumpur but also to witness the launch of the Lumia 530. The launch today is not only the stage for the new Lumia 530, but it is also the first media appearance of Mr Bruce Howe, the new General Manager of Microsoft Mobile Devices sales for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Prior to this position he has garnered 10 years of experience from Nokia and since the Microsoft acquisition in April, he is now part of Microsoft Mobile devices. I had a small chat with him and he is a very enthusiastic person and has that positive energy with him. During the launch Mr Bruce took some time to talk about the Microsoft strategy and plans to drive the malaysian market with volume first devices. Moving on to the main point of this article the Lumia 530, as usual Gary Chan took the stage to introduce the most affordable windows phone handset to date. He first touched on the Lumia 520 which is the best selling windows phone device worldwide and also in Malaysia. Quoting that the Lumia 520 is the most affordable smartphone in it’s price range, he says that starting with the Lumia 530, Microsoft will begin to focus on the low-mid end market because outside of the Klang Valley area many users are still contemplating whether to get a smartphone or not. Additionally he noted that dual SIM devices have been quite popular in Malaysia during 2013 and Nokia/Microsoft has neglected the feature due to the windows phone limitation. With that off the hook more dual SIM Lumia devices are expected to launch in Malaysia as the response of the Lumia 630 has been very positive. Besides that, he also mentioned that the Windows Phone store has recently surpassed 300,000 applications and Microsoft is planning to reduce that app gap within the coming months and by the starting 2015, the Windows Phone store will be quite compelling in terms of sheer application volume. The Lumia 530 is the third Lumia to come with the new Windows Phone 8.1 software out of the box and despite it being a budget friendly device, the Lumia 530 doesn’t skimp on specs; Powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor and 512MB of RAM, the Lumia 530 can zip through daily tasks without a hitch. On the front of the device there is a 4” FWVGA 540 X 854 display and no sight of a front facing camera nor a proximity sensor. Similar to the Lumia 630, the Lumia 530 also has support for dual SIM cards, features on screen buttons and does not have a physical camera shutter key. All of this comes wrapped around a brightly colored shell and that good o’l Nokia build quality. With the introduction of the Lumia 530, Microsoft says that they’ll begin to aggressively aim towards the budget friendly market. He also said that the Lumia 530 is expected to be a volume shipper in the Malaysian market because of the affordable price tag its bearing. The price of the Lumia 530 is by far it’s biggest WOW factor, the RM 335 price tag of the Lumia 530 is actually lower than the €85 MSRP set by Nokia. During the launch i had the chance to play around with the 530 and from that i can conclude that Microsoft has managed to bring down the windows phone experience to an even lower price point with this device. Not only is the device snappy and responsive but it also packs Windows Phone 8.1 and future updates are definitely confirmed. But there are some thing i don’t quite like about it and one of them is that the fixed focus camera delivers an experience which is bad for a person which has been using autofocus camera(s) since like forever. Overall my experience with the device is quite positive and yeah first time smartphone users would be quite satisfied because Microsoft managed to bring down most of the software and several hardware traits from higher end lumia devices. The Lumia 530 will be available at selected stores around the Klang Valley area starting this Saturday (16/8) for a suggested retail price of RM 355. Colors being offered are bright orange, bright green, white and dark grey.