A budget smartphone that packs a punch, here’s what we thought of the Microsoft Lumia 535.

While the expensive flagship Android phones have hogged the smartphone limelight since Christmas, life does go on in the familiar world of Microsoft Windows. Globally, Windows has around a 10% market share and it's growing – think Xbox Live and the PC you use every day and it's no wonder why.

Following the move away from the Nokia brand, the first ‘rebranded’ Microsoft Lumia handset is now on sale at Carphone Warehouse in the shape of the budget-friendly Lumia 535 – and true to form, with the 535 you get a lot of phone for your money.

Microsoft Lumia 535Powered by a quad-core processor made by Qualcomm and sporting a 5MP camera and 1GB of RAM, the 535 is adequately equipped under the hood to cope with anything you might  throw at it, and coming in at under €80 you'd expect the same from all the big name manufacturers.

What sets the 535 apart, however, is the impressive 5-inch screen – it's a large and convenient phone to view your photos or movies on, bump up the memory and you room to save thousands of music files and images.

A handy perk which comes with all Windows phones is the addition of free cloud storage in the shape of OneDrive from Microsoft. OneDrive is a great add on to the Outlook email service and, out of the box, the 535 is easy to set up, choose Wi-Fi backup for all your photos and movies, and OneDrive will sync your phone with the desktop – log in on a PC or Mac and you've got you whole photo library there, safe in the cloud.

The Windows 8.1 homescreen – named Metro – is a series of boxes that you can 'pin' your top apps to. This gives you live updates on all your social feeds, news updates or Xbox live account details.

With this handy personalisation, you’ll never find another budget phone quite like it. For entertainment, apps from the Windows store now top 300,000 and there are many Xbox mobile spin offs that will keep you glued to the Lumia 535.

Available at Carphone Warehouse now in 'lifeboat' orange – that's what I like to call it because it's so bright, and exclusive to Meteor – and the standard black, the Lumia 535 is a great buy for anyone looking for a good quality, reliable phone for under €80.

While you won’t be able to use 4G – which would certainly raise the 535’s profile amongst its Android peers – you will get a very capable smartphone which looks great and performs well.

Microsoft Lumia 535