Everybody loves five-thirty -- it's clocking off time from work and the start of cocktail hour. You'll have more money for cocktails or whatever non-alcoholic beverage you favour at the end of a long day with the 4-inch Nokia Lumia 530, set to be one of the cheapest smartphones going.
Nokia says the colourful 530 is the cheapest Lumia smartphone, with a rough price of €85 (roughly £70, $115, AU$120). That's before taxes, however, so expect to add a few euros, pounds or dollars on top of that when it hits shelves.
The first budget phone to be announced since Nokia's feature line-up was slashed, the 530 is in good company following a number of affordable Lumia phones like the Lumia 630 and best-selling Lumia 520. Lumia phones use Microsoft's Windows Phone software, full of colourful square "live tiles' on the homescreen.
Microsoft wants to establish Windows Phone against rivals like Google's Android operating system, and has set out to do so by offering smartphone power at an affordable price. That's worked especially well in developing markets.
Microsoft recently went ahead and bought the part of Nokia that makes phones, including the right to use the Nokia name on new phones. The plan to establish Windows Phone in the market will go ahead with wallet-friendly Lumias at the expense of Nokia's other phone brands, and the 530 is the first phone to be announced since Microsoft ditched Nokia's lines of cheaper phones. Instead of selling cheap phones in the Asha, Series 40 and Nokia X ranges, in both developed and emerging markets Microsoft is set to offer cheaper Windows Phone handsets like the 530.
The reason Microsoft can pursue this strategy is that Windows Phone is a smartphone operating system that works equally well on lower-specced phones as higher-specced phones. If you buy a cheap Windows Phone you still get respectable smartphone speed and performance, but you save money solely on hardware on things like the resolution of the camera or the quality of the screen. Compare that to Android, with which a cheaper phone is noticeably slower and performs less well than a higher-end phone.
The 530 is loaded with the latest Windows Phone 8.1 software. New features include Cortana, a voice-activated personal assistant named after a character in the "Halo" game series and similar to Apple's Siri on the iPhone. Sadly, Cortana only works in some countries, including the US but not the UK.
Because it's Windows, the phone includes apps you're probably used to from work, including mobile versions of Microsoft Office software like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. As well as 4GB of memory, you also get 15GB of free memory for photos and files backed up online in Microsoft's cloud storage service OneDrive.
Inside the 530 is a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 512MB of RAM. It's 3G but not 4G. The 4-inch screen has a 854x480 resolution, giving you 245 pixels per inch. It also sports a 5-megapixel camera with apps like Instagram built-in.
The 530 comes in sober grey or white, or for a splash of colour, bright orange or bright green. You can switch the shells to change things around.
There will be two versions of the Lumia 530: a single-SIM version and a dual-SIM version. Only selected countries will get the dual-SIM version, which allows the phone to hold two SIM cards and have two numbers available. Dual-SIM is handy if you want to keep work and personal numbers separate, or you're overseas and want to have a local number without constantly switching SIMs. The two-SIM option is unlikely to be available in some countries, such as the UK for example, where phone networks aren't keen to stock them.
The 530 will be available around the world starting in August 2014. US carrier T-Mobile announced that it will sell in that country in the fall.