You'll have no trouble getting to grips with the Windows Phone 8.1 interface whether you've used a smartphone before or not. It's just a shame that the headline feature, Cortana, isn't available in the UK yet.
Swipe up to get past the lock screen and you'll find your home screen is constructed from resizable tiles that can serve as simple shortcuts or updating widgets. Swipe from right to left and you have a list of your apps. Swipe down from the top and you'll find quick settings and notifications in the Action Center.
If you're coming from an older Windows Phone device then you'll be glad to know that you can now set a photo as a tile background, create folders by dropping tiles on top of each other, and set separate ringer and app volumes. I also liked the option to pull in random photos from my Facebook account to serve as lock screen wallpaper.
The nicest surprise with the interface is how easily the Lumia 530 glides through it. It feels fluid and relatively fast to swipe up and down the app list or tap on tiles. There is a slight delay of a couple of seconds as an app loads, but nothing major.
Microsoft's platform doesn't seem to be too demanding which is lucky because the Lumia 530's 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor is backed by just 512MB of RAM. It has an Adreno 302 GPU as well, which seems to be great for the gaming experience despite being theoretically underpowered.
When I ran WP Bench the Lumia 530 scored 253.32 which is respectable for this hardware. To compare with other Windows Phones: the Lumia 635 scored 255.45, despite having a Snapdragon 400 processor and the Adreno 305 GPU, and the much more expensive Lumia 1320 averaged 312.22.
It's a real disappointment to see the Lumia 530 go backwards in terms of GPU. The Adreno 305 is clocked slightly faster and it was the graphics card in the Lumia 520. Gamers are obviously not Nokia's target audience here... except, perhaps that's not the case and there's just been some clever optimisation.
The Lumia 530 can handle basic games like Angry Birds just fine. I wanted to see how it would handle a graphically intensive game, so I tried to install Asphalt 8: Airborne, but even after clearing as much space as I could it refused to install. The details state that the game is 988MB. I managed to free up 1.25GB, but it still insisted I didn't have enough room.
The operating system takes up 2.06GB of the 4GB you get out of the box. Realistically, you're going to want a micro SD card and the Lumia 530 supports cards up to 128GB in size.
When I stuck a micro SD card in and it did let me install Asphalt. Microsoft allows you to install apps or games direct to the micro SD card, something that Google is now discouraging on Android.
The game ran surprisingly smoothly. It took an age to install and a good five seconds to load, but once it was up and running, even with the engine maxed out in the settings, it ran very well. Perhaps Nokia does care about mobile gamers after all.