Nokia Lumia 730/735 review: Golden mean

The battle in the midrange has never been so intense and manufacturers have to work harder than ever to climb to prominence. Microsoft is surely feeling the heat from Android with makers, big and small, churning out solid and affordable phones that get the job done and sometimes even exceed expectations – for the price.


Nokia Lumia 735 official photos

The Nokia Lumia 735 will definitely try and do just that. It’s taking charge of Microsoft’s updated Windows Phone midrange with the latest Lumia Denim firmware, an HD screen, LTE and a selfie-centric wide-angle front cam. The Lumia 720 is one of the company’s top sellers and it’s now been upgraded two-fold by the Lumia 730 and Lumia 735. They share the 4.7″ ClearBlack AMOLED screen, the Snapdragon 400 chipset and the imaging department, combining a wide-aperture primary camera with a high-res, Skype-optimized selfie cam.

The Lumia 730 is a dual-SIM package while the Lumia 735 has LTE. That’s the only difference between the two – nothing on the outside to set them apart but they’ll obviously be offered on very different markets. There is another small difference too, as the Lumia 735 back cover is already wireless charging enabled out of the box, while you would have to get an extra wireless charging back cover to enable this feature on the Lumia 730 Dual SIM.

Key Features

  • 4.7″ 720p (316 ppi) 16M-color ClearBlack AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3
  • Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 with latest Denim update
  • Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, Adreno 305 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset, 1GB of RAM
  • 6.7MP camera with 1080p video recording @ 30fps, 1/3.4” sensor size
  • 5MP front-facing camera, wide-angle 24mm lens, 1080p video recording
  • 8GB of built-in storage, microSD card slot up to 128GB, 15GB free OneDrive storage
  • LTE Cat. 4 (up to 150 Mbps) support, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS/GLONASS, Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • 2,200mAh Li-Ion battery, wireless charging

Main Disadvantages

  • Chipset is rather dated now
  • No Glance screen functionality
  • A hardware camera shutter key would’ve been nice
  • You have to choose between LTE or Dual SIM, you can’t have both
  • Lumia 730 Dual SIM doesn’t have wireless charging support without an extra back cover

A Snapdragon 400 chipset (with LTE support) with a quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM used to be the default choice in the midrange, although we are now seeing most OEMs move to 410. The Lumia 735 hops on the selfie bandwagon with a 6.7MP camera at the back and a 5MP wide-angle front-facer, both making good use of the Selfie app, courtesy of the latest firmware. The Lumia 735 is the first phone to launch with the Lumia Denim update to Windows Phone 8.1.

Specs aside, the Lumia 735 is simply beautiful – another piece of top-notch hardware with consciously understated finish, as if to emphasize the extra solid build. The fit in the hand is terrific, too.

Nokia Lumia 730/735Nokia Lumia 730/735Nokia Lumia 730/735Nokia Lumia 730/735
The Nokia Lumia 735 live photos

We’re going to talk more about the build and finish of the Lumia 735 in the following chapter, so let’s get cracking.

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