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Microsoft releases its first Nokia-free Lumia smartphone

The Lumia 535 is the first handset from the line to dump the Nokia brand. The Microsoft Lumia 535 made its debut Monday, notable for being the first Lumia handset to lose the Nokia label. Microsoft bought Nokia’s phone business in April for $7.2 billion in a deal that allowed the division to continue to produce phones with the Lumia name adorned on them. The deal also allowed Microsoft to keep using the name Nokia on new phones for a brief time, but that brand is being phased out in favor of the name Microsoft Lumia.

We were well aware it was coming, but today Microsoft finally says goodbye to Nokia branding for its Windows Phones. The first handset to omit the Nokia name is the new Microsoft Lumia 535, an entry-level device with two standout features: A 5-inch display and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Microsoft says it’s been designed as an alternative to the smaller Lumia 530, and will be targeted primarily at markets like Russia, India, China and other parts of Asia. It will also see a launch in Europe (including the UK) sometime in the future, but currently, we’re told there are no plans to release the phone stateside. Although Microsoft ranges a bunch of Lumia devices with sizable displays, most of these are aimed at the top end of the market. The Lumia 535 is intended to fill something of a hole in its current line-up, being a more affordable smartphone that still has a decent-sized screen to poke at. The 5-inch AMOLED display is hardly worth bragging about, though, as it offers a miserly resolution of 960 x 540. Microsoft claims to have paid special attention to outdoor readability, and while our initial impression of the panel’s color temperature is favorable, the low pixel count is pretty hard to ignore.

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