Microsoft Lumia 435 review

A different breed of Windows Phone

Microsoft Lumia 435 review

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The Microsoft Lumia 435's incredibly low price means that it doesn't face too much competition, as it's a lot cheaper than many so-called budget smartphones. However, there are a few handsets out there that offer similar features for a similar price. But how do they compare?

ZTE Kis 3 Max

ZTE Kis 3 Max

The Lumia 435's incredibly low price point means there's not much out there to compete with it purely on cost, but one of those handsets is the ZTE Kis 3 Max. This handset can now be had for as little as £50 (around $79, AU$102), which means for the price at least it gives the Lumia 435 a run for its money.

The ZTE Kis 3 Max also looks pretty good, despite its budget origins, and when put side by side with the Lumia 435, it's likely many people would think that the Kis 3 Max was the more expensive handset.

The Kis 3 Max also has a slightly larger screen (4.5-inches compared to the Lumia 435's 4-inches), but a similar resolution, which means the smaller Lumia 435 screen looks a little sharper.

The Lumia 435 is a much better performer, however, with 1GB of RAM (the Kis 3 Max has just 512MB), and a more generous 8GB of storage. That's not a huge amount, but it beats the paltry 4GB offering from ZTE.

The biggest difference between the two is their operating systems, with the ZTE Kis 3 Max running Android, which means it has a much broader selection of apps, while the Lumia 435 has Windows Phone 8.1, which misses some key apps.

However, the ZTE Kis 3 Max is running an ageing Android 4.4 KitKat, and it's not too likely to be upgraded to the newer Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has indicated that it wants most, if not all, Windows Phone 8.1 devices to be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile, which means the Lumia 435 could end up with a more modern and feature-packed operating system.

Because of this, and the better performance, we'd recommend getting the Lumia 435.

Vodafone Smart 4 Mini

Vodafone Smart 4 Mini

The Vodafone Smart 4 Mini is another one of those rare handsets that can match the Lumia 435 on price. While there's a certain charm to the design of the Lumia 435 with it's bright colours, the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini is a handset that looks and feels cheap.

Both handsets have the same size screen and resolution, and neither particularly impress, though that's to be expected with phones as cheap as these.

Performance wise, the Lumia 435 again takes the edge, thanks to it's 1GB of RAM – twice the amount that the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini has.

The 8GB storage space of the Lumia 435 is also bigger than the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini's 4GB, so you have a bit more space to save photos and music.

Both handsets allow more space to be added via microSD cards, though the Vodafone Smart 4 Mini only supports capacities up to 32GB, with the Lumia 435 being able to handle up to 128GB.

If you want to carry a lot of songs and videos around, and don't mind splashing out on a microSD card, the Lumia 435 is a clear winner here.

As the name suggests, you're locked into the Vodafone network with the Vodfafone Smart 4 Mini, so if you're with another provider, you'll be better off with the more flexible Lumia 435.

Motorola Moto E (2015)

Motorola Moto E (2015)

Putting the Motorola Moto E (2015) head to head with the Lumia 435, when Motorola's handset is almost twice the price of the Lumia, might seem unfair but even when double the price, the Moto E still offers an incredible amount of value.

This is in part due to the fact that the Lumia's low price means even when doubled it's still relatively cheap, as well as the fact that Motorola has packed a decent amount of power and features into the Moto E.

The design of the Moto E is solid, and though unglamorous, looks decent. The Lumia 435 also looks good for such a cheap handset, so design wise it's a bit of a draw, though if you like colourful phones the Lumia might just pip the Moto E. Although Motorola's device comes in different colour options, it's just the surrounding edge that changes – so the Lumia 435 looks like a more vibrant phone.

Both phones perform well with similar specs, though the Moto E's 4.5-inch screen has a cleaner picture quality thanks to a higher resolution.

The Moto E (2015) also comes with the latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop. Although the Lumia 435 seems to be in line for an upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, it means Lumia is lumped with an older operating system at the moment.

As it comes with Android 5.0, it means the Motorola Moto E (2015) also has a much more diverse collection of apps and games to choose from.

If you're willing to spend a little extra, the Motorola Moto E (2015) is a great choice, though it doesn't quite match the Lumia 435 when it comes to the price tag.

Sean is a Scottish technology journalist who's written for the likes of T3, Trusted Reviews, TechAdvisor and Expert Reviews.