Nokia Lumia 530 is positioned to replace the Lumia 520. It features faster quad-core processors, runs on newer Windows Phone 8.1, and comes with dual-SIM option with an affordable price tag. But should owners of the Lumia 520 upgrade to 530? We compare the two phones to guide you in making the right buying decision when faced with the two options.
Nokia Lumia 530 comes in colourful polycarbonate shells as the Lumia 520, but the edges are now more rounded like the Lumia 630. Lumia 530 will be available in Bright Orange, Bright Green, White, or Dark Grey.
Nokia Lumia 530 is slightly shorter and thinner than the 520, but is thicker and heavier. While the former is 11.7 mm thick and weigh 129 g the later is just 9.9 mm and weigh 124 g. The difference is so slight that you may not even notice. In both cases the shells are swappable, so you can switch colours.
Microsoft also dropped the three physical or hardware capacitive soft keys on the Lumia 530, which in part contributed to the more compact design of the 530. The keys are now part of the touchscreen, which means they now take some space on the screen, unlike the 520.
Both phones feature 4.0-inch displays. However, while the Lumia 520 features an IPS display, the new Lumia 530 comes with a TFT display. This means that Lumia 520 may offer better viewing angles, since IPS is better than TFT in this respect. This looks more like a downgrade, if you ask me.
In our earlier comparison, before we actually reviewed the Lumia 530, we inferred that since Lumia 530 offers a higher resolution with 480 x 854 pixels compared to the 480 x 800 pixels of the Lumia 520, that its display could offer a better view.
However, having used both device, we consider Lumia 520’s display as superior.
Both phones come with 512MB of RAM, but the Lumia 530 promises better performance with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. For comparison, Nokia Lumia 520 offers only a 1GHz dual-core processor. So, it goes without saying that if the Lumia 520 can run so smoothly on dual-core processors, the Lumia 530 should perform better.
Microsoft reduced the storage capacity by half, now offering 4GB built-in storage on the Lumia 630 compared to 8GB on the 520. However, the former now supports up to 128GB microSD compared to the 64GB of the later. Nokia Lumia 530 also come bundled with 15GB of free Cloud storage (OneDrive).
Nokia Lumia 530 will be coming with Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. Microsoft have now provided Windows Phone 8.1 update for Lumia 520 since August. This means both smartphones now offer software, once you upgrade your 520. That said, because Lumia 530 is coming with Windows Phone 8.1 preloaded, it is likely to be better optimised for Windows Phone 8.1, add the quad-core processor and the 530 offers smoother performance, though not very noticeable with current update.
Windows Phone 8.1 come with new refinements like the new Action Centre and the amazing Work Flow on-screen keyboard. Microsoft’s intelligent digital assistant, Cortana, though currently on Beta only for consumers in the United States, is also bundled with Windows Phone 8.1. You can now also personalise the background of the Start Screen.
Both phones offers Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as OneNote for note-taking.
Both Lumia Phones come with a 5 megapixels camera on the back. But the Lumia 520’s camera has the edge with support for autofocus and 720p HD video recorders. Lumia 530 offers fixed focus and 480p video recording, but offers burst which takes multiple photos at a time allowing you choose the best shot. That said, the camera on the Lumia 530 is good, not just as good as that of the Lumia 520.
Single SIM or Dual SIM
One major compelling feature of the Nokia Lumia 530 is that it offers a dual-SIM option, which means two SIM cards can be supported enabling you access two networks on your phone. Nokia Lumia 520 is single SIM. Both smartphones require micro SIM cards. Note that Lumia 530 will also offer a single SIM variant, so make sure you confirm SIM support before you buy.
One edge that Nokia Lumia 530 have over other cheap dual-SIM phone is that both SIM cards can offer fast 3G internet.
Nokia Lumia 530 may be replacing the Lumia 520, but is not an upgrade in every respect. For me, the Lumia 530 seems to be targeted at users currently using Nokia Asha or Symbian and looking for an upgrade. Lumia 530 will be an amazing upgrade for such crowds. If you are currently using, the 520, 530 might not be the upgrade you are looking for.
However, if you want a faster and smoother 520 with dual-SIM support and don’t mind the tradeoffs in the display and camera, the Nokia Lumia 530 will be great for you.