Talking tech since 2003

Yesterday, Microsoft lifted the veil on its latest smartphone effort, the Lumia 535 – the first handset from the company to ship without the Nokia brand stamped on it. Don’t get too excited, though: it’s modestly priced (and modestly specced) Windows Phone handset that’s headed for territories throughout Eastern Europe, Asia, Australia, and eventually the UK and Latin America, eschewing a United States release.

The new handset runs Windows Phone 8.1, and has a 5-inch display. Under the hood, the Lumia 535 runs on a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128 via microSD), and 5 megapixel cameras on the front and back. It’s also only capable of 3G connectivity, though its 110 Euro ($137) price tag would seem to prove the old adage, you get what you pay for. In all, the Lumia 535 is a fully capable smartphone – but not one that’s designed to impress, well, anybody. Not quite the flagship phone we’d hoped for when Microsoft teased the 535’s reveal last week.

That said, the fact that the Lumia 535 is launching outside of the United States would seem to indicate that there are plans for a higher end flagship handset in the works. Microsoft went to all the trouble of acquiring Nokia and absorbing its smartphone-making operations. I have major doubts that the fruit of that effort would be low-to-mid-range smartphones only. Considering that the company just released the Microsoft Band – which is designed to work well with Windows Phone – and that they’re working on a new version of Windows, I would hazard a guess that we’ll see a more impressive smartphone coming from Microsoft in short order.

Maybe not by the holiday season – perhaps they know that Apple has won the day with the iPhone 6. But maybe by early 2015, to compete with the new batch of Android smartphones? We’ll see…

[High Five for Microsoft Lumia 535]

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