One aspect of the Lumia 735 can take some time to get used to, and that’s the soft buttons: in this handset, they’re not part of the body design like they are on most other Windows Phone handsets.
Rather, there are no printed soft buttons join the 735, with these being on-screen, similar to what Android phones have been doing for a couple of years now.
There’s still a point of difference, though, as these icons will eventually disappear, with a swipe up from the bottom bringing them in for a few seconds, and then some time of no use making them go back from where they came.
We’re not sure if we’re huge fans of the way Nokia and Microsoft have taken this implementation, though we suspect it’ll get easier as time goes on. You don’t need a button for search all the time, and that has been a button we’ve long suspected would eventually go, though the home and back buttons are very useful, especially for a simple operating system like Windows Phone 8.
With that in mind, it is easy to swipe up and have the icons appear, and once you’ve done this a few times, it’ll stay in the back of your mind for when you need to use it, so don’t worry if the buttons disappear, because you can bring them right back when you need to.
One thing that does impress is the battery life, with two days possible from this mid-range model of Nokia, and that’s pretty freaking good.
When you consider that the top-end Nokia 930 doesn’t hit this at all, that’s a pretty solid effort, with our two days consisting of making phone calls, taking phone calls, emailing, web surfing, taking pictures, listening to music, and general use of the phone.
Power users will see a little less, and closer to the one-and-a-half day mark, but that’s still a top result for a phone that can be seen on shelves for less than $300.
Mobile speeds also aren’t half bad, with the 4G connectivity ranging from 8Mbps to 47Mbps, speeds that will change depending on where you are and what telco you’re operating on.
Wireless charging is also a neat feature that’s included in the package, and tested on the charger used with the Lumia 1020, we found the phone had no problem getting juice.
If you have a wireless charger or abhor the idea of a world filled with microUSB cables (or at least a desk or night stand with them), the inclusion of Qi charging is useful, especially since other handsets — including some made by Nokia — have made people by external cases to get that support.
The cameras are also interesting, though they’re certainly not the best of all the devices out there.
Not wanting to play the megapixel wars, Nokia’s 6.7 megapixel shooter on the back is certainly acceptable, though not the best on a phone you’ll find.
Images out of this shooter often appear soft up close, lacking clarity, though from afar, most photos will work for the average user just fine.
Indeed, this is a mid-range phone, but at least Nokia has left some of the pro-camera shooting modes from the other Lumia models available here, so if you know what you’re doing, you can at least try to control the aperture, shutter speed, or ISO a little.
You’ll also find some slowdowns here when shooting using the camera, something we noted when we tried taking pictures outside.
It’s almost as if the Lumia 735 displays the world through its camera at a delay, running at a slower frame rate, and surprising us with a bug we haven’t seen on many phones, even models that undercut this one in price.
A lack of a physical camera button is also a little frustrating, especially when Nokia has previously included this on almost every phone model with the Lumia name.
We know that the company has started to drop it from the budget models, but sitting in the mid-range and with a model number above the 6xx generation, we are a little miffed by the exclusion of the camera button.
At least the camera up front helps to make this phone redeem itself, bringing a 5 megapixel selfie camera to the table, something even the high end Windows Phone handsets haven’t been able to manage thus far.
Again, the shooter here isn’t the best you’ll see, and while we were able to get some sharpness, it doesn’t appear to be of the best quality. But hey, 5 megapixels is something so… you know… go selfie away.
For the most part, Nokia’s Lumia 735 is a decent little mid-ranger that performs quite well and offers the megapixels for someone who really loves a selfie or two. The battery life is one of those things totally worth noting, too, with two days no problem for the average user, and a solid day for the power user.
If selfies and battery life is what you’re after, we’d take a look at what this phone has to offer, if anything just because it’s also likely the last “Nokia” branded phone you’re likely to see.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Great screen for a mid-range phone; Fairly solid performance; Excellent two day battery life; 5 megapixel front-facing camera; Upgradeable storage via the microSD slot;
No dedicated camera button; On-screen hardware soft buttons aren’t always there to help you get out of menus and apps; Fairly ordinary camera performance, lacking clarity up close; Camera can show some lag in what it shows on screen;