The Lumia 532 Dual SIM is Microsoft’s second coming as Nokia, trying to get back the middle and low income earners to own a smartphone affordably like Nokia did with its brand name.
Launched after the Lumia 535 which was Microsoft’s official Lumia phone, Lumia 532 comes in a box with earphones, a battery, a charger and user’s manual booklet.
The one we used was black but there are varieties of Black, Green, Orange and Glossy White.
OS: Windows 8.1 with Lumia Denim
Processor: 1.2 GHz Quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
Main Camera: 5MP with fixed focus
Display: 4 inch WVGA screen size.
RAM: 1 GB RAM
SIM: Smart Dual SIM running Micro SIMs.
Storage: 8GB internal storage expandable to 128GB plus with up to 30GB free OneDrive cloud storage.
Design and appearance
With an exchangeable back cover coming in a transparent layered design, the phone has a 4 inch display screen, is 118.9 mm in height, 65.5 mm in width and 11.6 mm thick and is covered in thick plastic. The front face has the back arrow on the left, a home Windows button in the middle and a Bing search button on the right. At the top there’s an earpiece in the middle above the Microsoft logo and a camera in the far right corner.
On the back cover there’s a speaker at the bottom, a Microsoft logo in the middle and a camera at the top. The left edge has nothing. The top edge has a 3.5mm hands free/earphone jack in the middle. The right edge has a power or lock button in the middle and a volume keys immediately after it. The button edge has a charging or Micro-USB port.
The back cover can easily be removed to place the Dual micro SIMs and memory card in their slots then battery.
On design and appearance, the Lumia 532 is a budget smartphone and has a huge appeal for users who like sleek design and brightly colored phones. The pricing makes it perfect for first-time smartphone users and especially in the emerging markets where Nokia had a foothold.
Users can buy and replace new casing on the phones to suit their fashion trends or match with their vibrant colors.
The only huge disadvantage is the phones width of 11.6mm is too thick and makes it too bulky. The phones cover and display screen also attract dust and fingermarks and make the phone dirty so often.
We think the 1GB RAM and 1.2GHz Quad core processor is fine for the market Microsoft is targeting here. But if you get a heavy user to multitask the phone becomes underpowered, and slows down or even fails to load some times. Games also take long to respond and you can get a hit if you’re playing with friends who are using more powerful phones.
Once when I placed the earpiece in the audio jack, my recorder app player hanged when I needed the audio so urgently. The home, back and power buttons went dysfunctional and there was no sound output so I had to switch off the phone, end all the apps that were running in the background then I was good to go.
The phones 4 inch display is quite okay but its resolution is quite poor you will struggle to use it outdoors in the bright Nairobi sun. Even when it was cloudy the best part of the week, using that screen in broad daylight is quite a pain.
The front camera is another thing we hate as you can’t do clear selfies with the phone. Its main camera however is able to take clear images even if it lacks focus. You can’t blame Microsoft here as you know its high-end Lumia smartphones come with great autofocus and super Carl Zeiss lens, the Lumia 532 Dual SIM targets mostly users who want to experience a smartphone on a budget price. With the Lumia Camera, Lumia selfie, Lumia Creative Studio and the Lumia Storyteller apps one can take crisp clear photos and make a story out of them.
On WiFi and 3G the Lumia 532’s battery gave us a good six hour use when fully charged while on voice and text alone it could do as much as 8 hours. Music, videos, FM Radio, 3G and Wi-Fi could deplete the battery in 4 hours. Media volume is good.
The affordable pricing
The Main Camera
The thick phone
The slow autocorrect
The 4 inch screen could have been bigger as the edges use up lots of space
The irritating finger marks and dust on the phone
At KES 11,750 (almost $100) we think the phone is a bit pricey.