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Vodacom offers a variety of affordable smartphones, all catering to the different needs of their consumers. In this case, we're going to be taking a look at the Microsoft Lumia 435.

Spec wise, the 435 has a 4-inch LCD which isn't particularly high res, but it does have a dual-core Snapdragon 200, 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. It also has 8GB of onboard storage which is fairly standard with many smartphones, and an option to expand via microSD. Charging is via microUSB.

The 435 has decent specs considering its price point – and it's perfect for people looking to upgrade to their first smartphone without breaking the bank. 

Due to the fact that it's a Microsoft phone, it conveniently comes with OneDrive, Office and Outlook. On the flip side, as a Windows phone the selection of Google integrated apps available on the Windows store isn't huge. It has all the social media essentials though, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on.

The storage and RAM spec on this phone is also impressive considering its affordability, and while it might not be the speediest phone on the market, it offers a good balance between price and performance for those looking for a decent smartphone without the huge price tag.

Tough cookie

The plastic shell not only protects the phone from falls, but also offers the option to change up the colour. The front glass is protected by a hard plastic ridge around it, which means the Lumia will survive pretty much anything.

In terms of speaker, the sound is surprisingly loud and clear, and because of how it's positioned on the body of the phone, it doesn't become muffled when you put the phone down on its back.

Battery-wise, you're probably looking at about a day if you use it fairly regularly, although you might be able to squeeze two days out of it if you're not actively using it a great deal.

The rear-facing camera is a fixed focus 2MP camera, with no flash and only a VGA front-facing camera. Camera-wise, the picture quality is not terrible considering that the resolution is lower than many smartphones on the market. The fact that you can also shoot video is a plus, as is the inclusion of the Lumia Camera app which offers good features and functionality.

Windows runs quite smoothly on the 435, helped no doubt by the 1GB of RAM, with very little lag unless you're trying to run too many apps all at once.

So why should you buy this phone? Well, if you're looking for a good, affordable entry-level smartphone that doesn't overcomplicate things, or perhaps for your kids, then this is likely to satisfy.

Pros & Cons

On the plus side, the 435 offers good value for money for price vs performance and is a fairly resilient piece of hardware. On the down side, the camera resolution could be a little higher. Overall however, the Microsoft Lumia provides an affordable out of the box solution for those wanting to take the smartphone plunge.

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