Microsoft’s first Lumia device is being officially unveiled as the Lumia 535 today, a low-cost smartphone that underlines exactly where the company is heading with Windows Phone. Microsoft’s Lumia 535 isn’t all that different from the Nokia devices that have come before it, but it’s the first to drop the Nokia branding in favor of Microsoft text at the rear and front, and a company logo on the colorful removable shell. All future Lumia devices will launch with Microsoft branding, and existing Lumias with the Nokia moniker will continue to be known as Nokia handsets.
With no new flagship Lumia devices planned this year, Microsoft is betting on low-end handsets to push Lumia sales and Windows Phone market share, a tactic that Nokia adopted before its phone division joined Microsoft earlier this year. Specifications might be low on the Lumia 535, but Microsoft has made some changes that don’t compromise the experience as much as some other budget Lumia devices. The Lumia 535 comes with a 5-inch qHD display (960 x 540), a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, and 1GB of RAM. While the screen is something you’d normally see back in 2011, viewing angles aren’t as bad as you’d expect even if the pixels are clearly visible.