Performance and Battery Life
The Lumia 735 is equipped with a quad-core, 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, as well as 1 GB of RAM and only 8 GB of onboard storage (though it is expandable up to 128 GB via microSD). The phone’s performance is a funny thing, namely due to its inconsistency. When it’s working properly, it can actually be quite impressive for what it is(games like Sonic CD and Plants vs. Zombies held up well to testing), but apps crashed back to the home screen more often than I would have liked.
The battery life, meanwhile, is excellent. The phone lasted for almost an entire work week, though I admittedly did not sync my email to it, thereby having one less process to continuously drain battery life in the background. The performance was nevertheless impressive; the roughly four days that the single charge got me through included a decent amount of web browsing (which at one point included a 23-minute video streaming session), Facebook browsing, and picture taking/editing, all with the screen on maximum brightness.
Despite a modest 6.7-megapixel resolution, the camera on the Lumia 735 is easily one of its strong points. Like other Lumias this model is also equipped with Carl Zeiss optics, though it lacks the xenon flash that many of the higher end models sport, instead opting for the more typical LED flash.
The sharpness in the photos that the Lumia 735 takes is probably the weakest aspect, though it’s still not terrible; the softness of some of the edges isn’t noticeable until closer (read: zoomed in) inspection. Everything else looks great, however, as colors are wonderfully saturated while whites and blacks look crisp and deep, respectively. Even the amount of noise in low light shooting is on the lower end of the spectrum. That said, at the end of the day it’s still a phone camera, so expect to see some graininess when zooming in on low light photos or while shooting in especially poor lighting.
It’s also worth mentioning that the proprietary “Lumia Camera” software that shooters can use while taking photos is well-equipped with a variety of different options and settings that can be tinkered with. It’s a great option for those who want a little more depth to their experience than just leaving all settings on “auto.”
We’ve been over the benefits of the way Windows Phone integrates with other commonly-used aspects of the Microsoft ecosystem (Office, Xbox Live, Outlook, etc.), so let’s talk about the preloaded offerings instead.
While the software offering here is more or less on par with what you’ll find on other Lumias, that’s not exactly a good thing, given that it seems like the amount of bloatware to be found on these phones is quietly increasing. What was once a smattering of included apps on Microsoft’s phones (some of which were actually useful, like Nokia’s HERE Maps) has now expanded into a plethora of generic software from Microsoft for things like news, sports, food and drink, finance, travel, health and fitness, etc. It’s not that any of these apps are especially bad or useless — it’s that we all already have sources that we go to for things like this. And given that these versions don’t bring anything special to the table, users unlikely to make the switch to, for example, Microsoft’s health and fitness app from something more established and versatile like Misfit or Fitbit.
The aforementioned Lumia-branded photo software is arguably the only useful preloaded software on the device (aside from the usual essentials like Office, OneNote, calculator, calendar, etc.). And I suppose internet radio lovers can get their fix and then some, given that Microsoft inexplicably includes two streaming radio services preloaded on the phone, Slacker and (the formerly Nokia-branded) MixRadio. But really, that’s about it.