Value on top of value — Microsoft Lumia 735 Review

Physically, the Microsoft Lumia 735 looks really good despite it being a budget phone. The Lumia line has always had swag in the design department so it’s no surprise that the Lumia 735 continues that tradition. It doesn’t look cheap at all! It does FEEL kind of cheap; however, but that’s mainly because of the plastic backing and weight of the device.

With the way the Lumia 735 looks, it definitely gets me excited for what Microsoft has in store for it’s Windows Phone 10 flagship device. I feel like these budget phones are beta devices for Microsoft. And they’re using them to see what works and doesn’t work. With the way the Surface pro’s are designed, I’m definitely encouraged to see what Microsoft has in store for its Windows Phone flagship device.

One of the Lumia 735’s design features that I like is how the camera is flush with the backing. You normally don’t see that with most smartphones nowadays.

Speaking of the backing, its “awesomeness” lies in the fact that it’s removable. When you first look at the Lumia 735, it looks like one solid piece of polycarbonate material attached to the display, but lo and behold, the back can be removed to expose the battery! Having the option to change out the battery is a valuable feature that’s usually left out on most smartphones these days, so it’s nice to see that option on a smartphone of this caliber.

I’m really starting to love the size of what use to be a normal smartphone these days. And the more devices I review, I’m coming to the conclusion that a 4.5″ to 4.7″ display with overall dimensions around 5″ tall x 2.6″ wide is the sweet spot for me. The Lumia 735 was within the sweet spot for me. Overall, the size of the device was not an issue for me.

I hate to say it, but Apple was right. I can see why they were so hesitant on creating an iPhone larger than 5″. As the masses move on to Phablet’s like I did a couple of years ago, I’m moving back to normal sized smartphones. Specifically display’s no bigger than 4.7″. A 5″ would be pushing it in my honest opinion.

Speaking of the display, it’s vibrant and bright, even in sunlight thanks to the Clear Black Display technology. I had no problem using it outside here in Arizona.

Being able to see your smartphone display in any environment is an important detail that gets overlooked. It’s nice to see that even on a budget smartphone like the Lumia 735 the display will work anywhere.

The Lumia 735 sports a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 6.7-megapixel rear camera. Both cameras outperform expectations for a budget smartphone. Whether it was a selfie or a picture taken with the main camera, the Lumia 735 outperformed my demanding expectations. In my honest opinion, it can outperform some high-end Android devices!!! I recently went up to Antelope Canyon in Page Arizona and took some really good photos. Check out this link to see what the camera can do.

The amount of detail that I was able to capture was impressive. The cameras performance is just more added value to an already value rich smartphone.

The Lumia 735 is tagged as a “Selfie Phone” and it delivers on that front. Now I’m now selfie king, but I did tend to use it a lot, especially with my kids. Knowing you have a decent 5MP front camera gives you the opportunity to take some memorable selfies. Besides, photos are always better if you’re in them!

The Specs:

The Negatives:

  • There’s no “hey cortana” voice listening assistant — Cortana is still available, but you have to manually tell it to listen to you. It’s not a big deal.
  • No rich capture or 4k recording — But that’s expected for a budget phone. You still get 1080p video recording which is really all you need.
  • There’s no dedicated shutter button — A physical shutter button seems to be reserved for more of the high-end Windows Phones.

The Lumia 735 is the king of mid tier budget smartphones if you can get past Windows Phones app deficiencies. It’s a cheap smartphone for people who mainly just need a phone with Microsoft Exchange support, a really good camera, a decent web browser, and battery life that can last a whole day.

But if you’re an app/game whore, and you’re constantly on social media like Instagram, then Windows Phone might not live up to your standards. Yes, Instagram is available on Windows Phone, but the app isn’t up to date like it is on Android and iOS. WP fans just need to face it, an updated Instagram app for Windows Phone is never coming. I mean… c’mon Instagram (@kevin and @mikeyk), WTF? why wouldn’t you want a smartphone with a Lumia Camera to use what your app has to offer? Lumia smartphones are the best camera phones available today. And I mean real photography too, not just useless selfies. You see the communities for it (nban). They’re “arms, legs, and A-HEAD” above everyone else!

Value is found everywhere on this phone. A more than decent camera, built in wireless charging, microSD expansion, CBD display technology, expandable memory, and a removable back with the option of swapping out batteries. The Microsoft Lumia 735 oozes value on top of value. Check it out here to see if this is the budget phone of your dreams!

Originally published at on July 28, 2015.