Review: Microsoft Lumia 550 vs 540 Dual SIM vs 535 Dual SIM

Microsoft is truly into smartphones these days. After launching the best Windows 10 phone (Lumia 950 and 950 XL) ever, the company has announced the new budget handset with Window 10 operating system onboard named, Lumia 550. The handset was recently released in the UK for the price of €139 which could be around ₹11,000 when converted into Indian rupees. Though the exact price in India and USA has not yet been announced officially.

Let’s see if this new Lumia 550 when compared with its predecessors Lumia 540 Dual SIM and 535 Dual SIM is better or is another doomed Windows phone.   

Microsoft presents Lumia 550 with their new flick, Windows 10 operating system installed on the chipset, while the other two predecessors came into the market with Windows Phone 8.1 Denim on board.

Though Lumia 550 has a 4.7-inch screen which is smaller than the two other old brothers with 5-inch screens, it looks a little thicker than those predecessors. The Lumia 540 and Lumia 535 are 8.6cm and 8.8cm thinner respectively where as Lumia 550 is 9.9cm thicker.

The Lumia 550 is continued with the same 720p HD display that we can see on Lumia 540 too where as 535 has only 540p qHD screen. I see no upgrade in this aspect but 720p screen for a budget phone is convincing as per today's specifications for smartphones.

The disappointing thing about the Lumia 550 is its camera. It comes with a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front camera which is totally discouraging to buy this handset. There is no need to talk about the LED flash as all the three devices have it undoubtedly.

All the three devices come with 8GB internal memory but it could have been 16GB on Lumia 550. The memory on 550 can be expandable up to 200GB through microSD card where as it is limited to 128GB on both the other devices. The noticeable thing is, Microsoft is the first company to introduce 128GB expandability to smartphones. The allowance of 128GB on budget phones cannot be pushed out from being considered as one of the pros. Memory expandability wise, Lumia 550 gets the best.

The Lumia 550 is a 4G device. The mobile networks have been upgraded to 4G by now even in countries like India. So, it is definitely a plus for Lumia 550 when compared with the other two comparatives.

The operating system on the new Lumia 550 is the best Windows operating system that Microsoft has ever made. It is fast, energy efficient and its processing capability is smooth and efficient. Though having 2100mAh battery, Lumia 550 can standby 28 days (not literally) compared to that of Lumia 540 Dual SIM with 2200mAh battery and Windows Phone 8.1 OS on board.

Coming to the processing power, Lumia 550 comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 Quad Core processor clocking at 1100MHz supported by 1GB RAM. The processor is an upgrade compared to Lumia 540 and Lumia 535s Snapdragon 200 Quad Core. We could expect some better processing capability for Lumia 550.

Lumia 550 supports Nano SIM. It cannot be taken as an upgrade but is futuristic, as many other smartphones are upgrading their slots to support Nano SIMs these days. It also gets an upgrade to Bluetooth from 4.0 to 4.1. It supports 850 MHz Band 5 WCDMA network along with with the 2100 MHz Band 1 and 900 MHz Band 8 that the other two devices support. Other than these, it also supports 4G LTE bands as the device is a 4G compatible.

Groove Music from Windows 10 adds up to the MixRadio as a music software feature on Lumia 550. The HERE Maps and Bing Maps are replaced by Maps app in Windows 10. The package of this device comes with 90% recycled material made accessories.

Should you buy it?

I don’t see Microsoft Lumia 550 as a great budget phone. It is good with its little new upgrades and software features. But some features like camera, internal memory and battery disappoints me personally when compared to its predecessors, Lumia 540 and Lumia 535 Dual SIM versions.

If you want to own a budget-friendly Windows 10 phone to sync up your work and files with your Windows 10 computer, Lumia 550 can be your option. Other than that, I don’t see it lucrative for its price point.

Feel free to share your thoughts about it in the comments section below.

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