Nokia Lumia 735: Can I get a selfie? (hands-on)

The Nokia Lumia 735 has previously been referred to as the selfie phone and there is a good reason for that. There is a strong focus on a good front-facing camera and an accompanying selfie app to help even the most vain get a picture they would be proud of.

We dropped in on Microsoft Devices UK HQ in Paddington, the former home of Nokia, to find out a little more about the phone, have a play, and take a few selfies.

Design

After all this time, all the updates, the expanison of the Lumia range, it is clear someone in the Microsoft Devices devision still has a hankering for the Nokia Lumia 800 and the Nokia N9 before it.

The Lumia 735, which is the 4G LTE version - the 730 is a dual SIM version that looks identical - at first glance could pass for the Lumia 800, although it is much thinner and lighter.

That's because the main material used here is polycarbonate and glass, allowing Microsoft to deliver a vivid colourful range of handsets in orange, green, grey and black, that is sure to stand out as much as the operating system it runs.

Buttons and faff have been kept to a minimum. On the front there aren't any, while only one of the sides features two volume and the power button. Even though there is a strong focus on the camera capabilities there is no dedicated shutter button on this model.

The colourful back is only broken by the circular disc that features the camera.

Lumia 735 specs

Whatever Microsoft seems to put in to devices in terms of processor power and general capabilites, there is always a sense that the core experience is good.

Yes you notice the processing difference between this and the flagship Lumia 930 when it comes to editing pictures, but the kind of customer this phone is aimed at should be very happy.

There is a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 pixel resolution display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and replaceable 2220mAh battery.

The rear camera is 6.7-megapixels while the all-important front-facing camera is a wide 24mm 5-megapixel offering - perfect for selfies.

Software

It runs Windows Phone 8.1 with the Lumia Denim update. That means you'll get enhanced camera features, access to live folders on the homescreen, improvements to web browsing and a stack of other features we're detailed here.

You'll also get to Cortana without having to the do the country hack, although the "hey Cortana" feature the company has demoed is only coming to the 930, 1520, and Lumia Icon due to processing power. 

As proved across the whole family of Lumia devices, the out of the box experience is smooth and easy, although with so many features now available, especially within the camera section, there is fear that it is starting to get a little too complicated for first time smartphone users.

Selfie time

One of the big focus points of the 735/730 is that it will be great for taking selfies, whether that is the with the front or rear camera. The app, which is actually available to all Lumia users, will allow users to snap and then enhance the picture before sharing it.

Although available as beauty modes on many phones from companies like Huawei and HTC for some time, Microsoft has made the experience much more, shall we say, in your face.

Once you've snapped the shot you can make yourself thinner, brighten up those yellowing teeth, and even improve your smile or the size of your eyes.

Everything is controlled via sliders and the results are instant so you can see the effect quickly.

As we soon discovered however, you can easily over do it to the point that you look anything other than beautiful.

First Impressions

Nokia, now Microsoft Devices, is all about offering a range of devices to suit a wide range of people, but with a strong focus on the mid- to lower-range of smartphone users. Acknowledging it still has a lot of work to do to create a high-end device people want in the same way they do a new HTC or Apple iPhone.

For the Lumia 735 the company has created a device that offers a very pleasant experience that is solid and enjoyable out of the box, rather than having to wait for you to download a dozen apps to get the most out of your new purchase.

Microsoft Devices hasn't detailed how much the 735 will cost when it comes out in October, but judging from what we've seen, this is a strong contender in becoming a very good alternative to the likes of the Moto G.