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TgD

July 23rd 2014 2:04 pm

[Rant] Silly model numbering from Microsoft/Nokia

With the announcement of the Lumia 530 this morning, I was quite intrigued to see if this would be the next Windows Phone I would try out.

You may recall that I really liked my time with the Lumia 520, the predecessor to this new one.

www.engadget.com­/products­/nokia­/lumia­/520­/reviews­/...

I figured that the 530 would be a modest upgrade to the 520, and at a low price point (I am again expecting around $100), would be a must buy for me.

However, upon further research, the newer, higher numbered phone is worse in almost every way from the 520. Let me go spec by spec into detail.

Processor and GPU

530 - Quad core 1.2 GHz
520 - Dual core 1 GHz

The tricky thing here is the 530 uses Cortex-A5 cores which is worse than the two Cortex-A9 cores found in the 520. The dead giveaway to this is the 520 uses the higher end Adreno 305 GPU compared to the lower end Adreno 302 on the Lumia 530.

Storage

530 - 4GB with SDXC support
520 - 8GB with SDHC support

This is another downgrade, as (at least in my area) Microsoft has been marketing the 520 as an iPod touch competitor. The last time I checked. Windows phone 8 took up about 2GB of space. I am not sure what Windows Phone 8.1 sits at. This leaves users with about 2GB free on the 530, almost making it mandatory for them to spend extra money on a microSD card. That's not what you want to see in a sub-$100 phone that they are presumably buying because they are on a budget. Even if someone were to buy an SD card, they would most likely not be shelling out for the highest capacity SDXC cards for this phone. I don't think that Microsoft/Nokia can compete with the iPod touch for the portable music playing segment anymore

Camera

530 - 5MP fixed focus
520 - 5MP Auto Focus

Really? They dropped the auto-focus camera? There was a ton of backlash at the BlackBerry Bold 9900 when BlackBerry did the same thing. Not a good move, especially in this generation that takes a lot of photos with their phones.

Screen

530 - 854 by 480 TFT
520 - 800 by 480 IPS

Okay... so we have lost IPS. That's a bad sign, especially on something like a phone where viewing angles are arguably pretty important. At least we gained some resolution right? Not so fast. Remember the 520 has physical buttons, but the 530 must use ALL of those extra 54 lines of pixels to make the on-screen buttons.

Size

530 - 11.7 mm thick
520 - 9.9 mm thick

This is a small difference that doesn't matter to me personally, but in the age of the 'thinner' phone, it seems again the 530 is a downgrade

Conclusion

In my opinion front what I have read on paper, the 530 is (at least hardware-wise) clearly the worse phone. I won't be buying one. I may consider a 630 if it is released in my region however.

I think the model numbering is quite misleading here and I just wanted to rant about it in a post. I feel consumers may be slightly mislead if they don't look into both phones and compare the specs.

*Phew* Glad to get that off my chest

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1 reply
groovechicken

This isn't the first time Nokia has pulled a numbering scam. When the Nokia E71x was released on AT&T, I was waiting in the store to buy it since I had heard so many good things about the E71 and needed a replacement for my shattered iPhone. I didn't realize until too late that "x" apparently stood for "deleted" rather than "extra" because some of the features I had most planned to use were removed. I was not a happy camper.
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