Nokia Lumia 530: Bang for your Windows Phone buck (hands-on)

In many ways, it's the budget end of the smartphone rainbow where all the excitement is. The feature phone market has eaten itself, unable to fend off the march to more and more affordable smartphones.

Nokia has been playing in this space for some time and the Nokia/Microsoft Devices Lumia 530 comes into replace the 520 as the first step on the smartphone ladder.

We've got the dinky handset in for review, but thought we'd quickly share our first impressions of this latest Lumia model, before we get to the serious testing.

There are some slight design changes from the 520. The Lumia 530 is more rounded in the corners which gives it softer lines. It's nicer to hold than the previous model and again comes in the bright colours you associate with Nokia.

There's been a move away from camera buttons recently and the Lumia 530 doesn't have the dedicated camera button that the predecessor did. We were really taken with the contrasting black buttons and Nokia branding of the 520, but the 530 design is simpler.

The buttons match and the Nokia logo is simply etched in the back. It's perhaps not as fetching as the previous handset, but we prefer the softer edges, leading to a nicer overall design. As always with Nokia, it feels solid and well built, despite being available for well under £100.

Internally, the Lumia 530 has a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset with 512MB of RAM. There's 4GB of internal storage, but you get support for microSD cards, so you can expand it up to 128GB.

There's a 4-inch display with a 854 x 480 pixel resolution. The controls have moved onto this display, following the lead of the Lumia 630 and Lumia 930 we've recently reviewed. That makes the design look a little cleaner, even if you lose that space from the overall display.

But what you do get is Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Cyan, so this is the latest from Microsoft mixed with the latest from Nokia. Of course this being an entry-level device you don't get all the software bells and whistles that you get higher up the ladder, but it's still a fully-fledged smartphone.

You get Nokia Camera to use with the 5-megapixel camera on the rear, but there's no flash and no front-facing camera for selfies.

We'll be putting the Nokia Lumia 530 through its paces over the coming weeks. It's due to hit shelves on 4 September, but there's already some great deals for those looking to pre-order.

READ: Nokia Lumia 530 orders open: Here are the best deals



>