When talking about Lumia phones,
many still have to come to terms
with the fact that it is Microsoft and
not Nokia behind them. That said,
all the credits and criticism at this
point will still be pointed at Nokia.
Early last month Microsoft
announced the availability of Lumia
530 in the Kenyan market. This
phone is significant in many ways
especially if the script had remained
the same….that is Nokia selling it
and not Microsoft. First, it is the
immediate successor to the top
selling Lumia phone ever, Lumia 520
and it would be interesting to see
how it will perform in the market.
Secondly, it is a phone that is
capable of competing with any entry
level smartphone in the market at
the moment and it is possible that
Nokia thought this would be among
the phones to help them regain
their footing in the developing
market like Kenya.
Talking about Kenya what do
Kenyans consumers look for, when
shopping for a phone? This is a long
standing debate but roughly the
following are some of the things that
Kenyans look for in a smartphone.
Price is everything. Usually the
conversation about buying a phone
starts with the question of the
budget. Like you want a phone what
is your budget. Start with the
budget then fits in the phones
within the given price range. How
about Lumia 530? It is an entry level
smart phone retailing at Kshs 9,999
in Kenya. That price can be
considered affordable to the majority
of Kenyans who are looking to buy
smartphones. Here is what Kingori
Gitahi, Product Manager, Microsoft
Devices Group said about the phone
“With high end apps, features and
exceptional build quality at an
amazing price, the Lumia 530 sets
the benchmark for affordable
smartphones. The Lumia 530
demonstrates our focus on
welcoming more people to the
Windows Phone ecosystem with
amazing devices that light up
Microsoft’s digital work and life
experiences at an affordable price
As expected, high praise indeed by
Kingori but in terms of pricing he is
on point. I will come back later to
this pricing maneno and the so
called growing Kenyans middle class
and what type of phones they buy
The next thing is the location. In
other words the availability of the
phone. This might be seen as non-
issue but because there are many
shops in town which sell fake
phones, knowing where to get the
phone is important to most Kenyans
when looking for a phone. So where
do you get Lumia 530? Microsft
Kenya has partnered with orange for
the activation of the Lumia 530 and
that means the phone is available in
all the Orange shops countrywide.
On top of that you can get the
phone from the authorized dealer’s
shops within the major towns. As
you can see so far the first two
things have nothing to do with the
phone specifications.
The Beauty
I am always amazed at the number
of Kenyans who make their mind
about a phone based on the look or
the color. From what I have
observed it is a big deal to many
people. The great thing about Nokia
is that design wise they never
disappoint and it does not matter
whether you are talking about the
high end or entry level point
gadgets. I like the feel and the looks
of the Lumia 530 but with things
like this, it is always about the
beholder. Small and comfortable to
hold but these days small in the
phone world does not necessarily
mean great. So I went around the
office asking randomly what people
think about the phone at a glance
and the verdict is most of them like
it. One word for it colorful … it
comes in bright green and orange as
well as black and white.
Whether a phone is able to connect
to 3G or 4G or 2G is a feature which
most Kenyans put entirely on the
doorstep of the mobile phone
operator like Orange or Safaricom.
Some phones especially on the low
end are not capable of connecting to
the 3G even where it is available.
Network operators take all the sticks
whenever subscribers feel like they
can’t connect to the internet even in
a situation where the problem is
actually the phones they are using.
Lumia 530 has basic features but
surprisingly it is equipped for HSPA+
speeds …yes that is 4G.
Phones are rapidly replacing the
external hard disks and already
obsolete flash disks (well not yet but
soon, just like floppy disks). Lumia
530 has internal memory of 4GB and
can hold up to 128GB in external
storage. On top of that the good
people at Microsoft have started
using their cloud nicely, meaning
there is additional 18GB free cloud
storage. As basic as Lumia 530 is, it
has a storage capability of 150 GB…
Battery Life
This is one area that smartphone
makers still lag behind. Battery life
has remained problematic for all due
to the increasing capabilities of new
generations of smartphones. Lumia
530 has the Maximum talk time of
8.4 h with active or continuous 3G
connections. So on paper the battery
life is 8.4 but in reality, it is about
6 hours. That is disappointing,
considering how good the battery of
Nokia feature are
Sorry, Lumia 530 has no front facing
camera for the selfies and that is
not cool at all. The good people at
Microsoft need to realize that with
the current digital generation,
selfies are the most important
pictures ever. No flash too. In the
positive side of the things, the
phone has 5MP rear camera.
Operating System
Lumia 530 is available in both single
SIM 3G and Dual SIM 3G and runs
on Windows Phone 8.1. The Dual
SIM 3G variant offers easy switching
between two SIM cards. One
interesting thing which I have seen
on the Lumia 530 is what they call
Word Flow keyboard, you can
anticipate every word you write, for
quicker chats. This is slightly
different from word predictive
feature which is completely annoying
in most cases.
1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm
Snapdragon 200…good performance
Why you should buy it
Micro SD card support- storage
Good performance
Easy to use
Why you need to think first
No front camera
No flash
Battery life.



Ambuli Victor.


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