Specs Appeal: Comparing the Nokia Lumia 530 and Lumia 630

Just three months after announcing the Nokia Lumia 630 as its new entry-level Windows Phone 8.1 device, Microsoft today unveiled the Lumia 530, which slots in at the bottom of the range as Nokia's most affordable Windows Phone ever. 

The ultra-low-cost handset is Microsoft's first major step towards driving its smartphones down to the cheapest price points since its announcement last week that it is discontinuing its Asha feature phones range. The company will primarily be targeting the most price-sensitive buyers with the Lumia 530, particularly those in emerging markets who may be buying their very first smartphone. 

The Lumia 530 was announced today

Priced at €85 EUR ($115 USD / £67 GBP) before taxes and subsidies, the Lumia 530 undercuts the 630 (€119 / $162 / £95) by around 29%, which is a pretty big deal for those on a tight budget. But of course, when you're cutting costs, you have to cut features as well. 

As we discovered in our review of the Lumia 630, Nokia dropped some features from that device that resulted in a less than perfect user experience. The lack of a dedicated camera button was one such issue, which made accessing the camera when taking the phone out of a pocket or bag a much more cumbersome experience. 

The slightly more expensive Lumia 630 is a pretty decent Windows Phone - but not a perfect one

We also marked down the 630 for the absence of an ambient light sensor, which meant that users would either have to spend much of their time adjusting the display's brightness, or else just stick to the maximum brightness setting and take the hit on their battery life. The lack of a flash for the rear camera - and no front camera whatsoever - was also frustrating, especially given that some other devices in its price range now include these features.

The Lumia 530 is, unsurprisingly, burdened by these limitations too, and it also features lesser specs in other areas, compared with its slightly pricier sibling. 

The Lumia 530 comes in four colour options, with interchangeable shells

Its screen is smaller at 4-inches (versus the 630's 4.5-inches), it has a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 chipset (against the 630's Snapdragon 400) and it also has to make do with half the storage of the 630, with just 4GB on board - although, like the 630, it does include a microSD slot for cards up to 128GB. 

The Lumia 530 won't go on sale until August, and we'll have to wait until we can try it out properly before we can pass judgment on how its specs translate into a real-world user experience, and see how it compares with the Lumia 630, and indeed with other devices at the lower end of the market.

For now, though, we've put together a chart comparing the key specs of the two devices below: 

Images 1 and 3 via Microsoft Mobile / Nokia

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Man Nokia/Microsoft are releasing rubbish lately.

Far better off getting a 620, which is around the same price these days.

This 530 is basically a downgrade from 520 in all aspects beside the faster processor.

520 - 8GB
530 - 4GB

Same on both phones but 530 got smaller actual display area because of the navbar

520 - 5MP AutoFocus DigitalZoom
530 - 5MP FixedFocus

520 - Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Light Lux meter.
530 - Accelerometer

520 - dual core 1Ghz
530 - quad core 1,2Ghz

So... I would still prefer 520.

The 530 display has the same display area after accounting for the navigation bar, since the panel has an additional 54 (?) rows over that of the 520. The smaller onboard storage space is fairly well compensated by the SD card support, as long as it results in a lower base price, IMHO. Also, BT3 vs BT4.

Shame about the flash and light meter though. It is also marginally larger and heavier, but not such that it would be relevant for normal use.

Yeah but many apps doesn't allowing to install them on SD. Also if you think about that WP8.1 is ~2GB or more, then you'll have ~1,5GB storage... Which is... small. And I don't get why they made the camera worse with no autofocus. Okay I know it's cheaper on release than 520 was, but still... if it's getting a larger number (530), then it should be better, not worse.

Agreed. And the 530 will probably cost more than the 520.

The biggest reason not to buy a WP will be that the apps will be developed to run on absolute garbage hardware just as a lot of Android apps are. At the rate, I will be sticking to the iPhone for the rest of time.

So they made the 630 an even trade (win some lose some) from the 520, and made the 530 pretty much crap. I guess they're really pushing for the low end market. But where's the 730/830 damnit?!

At these prices the Lumia 530/630 make for compelling iPod Touch alternatives. You get access to HERE maps, Xbox Music and Xbox Video and Xbox games and the whole app store for less than the cost of an iPod. Even if you never activate a phone plan on them they are compelling little devices. And you don't have to worry about giving them to a kid like an Apple device that is too fragile.

I don't understand the US prices listed here. They are way higher than the actual prices the phone is selling for.

The Lumia 630 on Cricket costs $50 off-contract. The Lumia 635 costs $99 at AT&T. The Lumia 635 costs $129 at T-Mobile. So much less than the prices quoted above.


I would imagine the Lumia 530 will cost $50-$80 off-contract in the US, maybe less.

Edited by Avatar Roku, Jul 23 2014, 8:01pm :

StandingInAlley said,
Both the models look pale compared to Motorola G :/

Both models are considerably cheaper compared to the Motorola G. Even the comparable 635 (as it has 4G) is cheaper retail.

More low end crap for T-Mobile.

Of course there will be no high ends until next year since these phones won't be getting upgraded to WP9/Threshold.

Their is no point into buying into MS anymore.

George P said,
Wait, I thought the 530 had no flash or FFC???

I agree. That's what I thought too. If it DOES have a FFC and and the flash, I I think it might do well as an entry WP. The kids/teenagers NEED selfie camera, so for those parents who are looking for cheap phone for their kids, this will be a great choice.

George P said,
Wait, I thought the 530 had no flash or FFC???

Indeed it doesn't - big oversight on my part, now corrected (forget to edit that field when editing the template from our last spec comparison chart with the Lumia 630/625!)

To clarify, the Lumia 530 has a single 5MP camera with FIXED focus and no digital zoom. Apologies for the confusion.

bithush said,
Wow Neowin got it seriously wrong with this. The 530 has no flash or front facing camera. Seriously guys you are a Microsoft focused site you could at least check your facts against the official Nokia site. Very poor.


It's not that we didn't check our facts - we got it right in the text (and on the earlier report of the 530 announcement), but we made a mistake on the graphic/chart.

I'm very sorry for that - sadly, we're not perfect, and we do make mistakes from time to time! :)