Microsoft certainly isn't resting on its laurels when it comes to Windows Phones. Today it has launched two new budget smartphones: the Lumia 435 (the first 400-series model) and the Lumia 532, although there are "no plans to launch the 532 in the UK".

See also: Best cheap smartphones of 2015

Microsoft Lumia 435: price and release date

The big news about the new Lumia 435 is its rock-bottom prices. It will cost around 69 euros, although that's just an estimates from Microsoft.

It converts to roughly £54, so we might see SIM-free Lumia 435s on sale for £49.99. That's only slightly cheaper than the existing Lumia 530, reviewed here.

We're told that it won't go on sale for at least the next couple of months, so expect a March release date for the UK. It will start rolling out in selected countries from February, though.

Lumia 435 release date, price and specs

Microsoft Lumia 435: specifications

What do you get for 69 euros then? Not much, just as you'd expect.

The headline specs are a 4in, 800x480 capacitive screen (233ppi), a dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and a microSD slot for adding up to 128GB more.

That means only the processor is shared with the Lumia 530. The Lumia 435 gets a double helping of RAM and storage, but has a slightly lower resolution screen.  

Lumia 435 release date, price and specs

The newcomer does have front- and rear-facing cameras, with 0.3- and 2-Megapixel resolutions respectively. The Lumia 530 had no front camera, but a higher-resolution 5Mp rear camera. The main camera has no LED flash, records video at only 800x448 at 30fps and has fixed focus.  

The Lumia 435 has a slightly bigger battery capacity at 1560mAh against 1430mAh, but don't expect great battery life from either phone.

Charging is via microUSB, and there's Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi and GPS. It also packs an ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Although Microsoft hasn't confirmed this, we expect the 435 to use the same screen technology as the 530, which means a low-quality TN panel rather than the usual IPS screen you find on most smartphones.

Microsoft Lumia 435: design

The 435 is much like other current Lumias, available in black, white, bright green or bright orange. It has interchangeable back covers, so you can go bright one day and be more subtle the next.

It measures 118x65x11.7mm, and weighs 134g, so it's a little chunky but light.

 Lumia 435 release date, price and specs

Microsoft Lumia 435: software

One of the best aspects of the 435 is that it comes with Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim. That means you get all the latest Windows Phone features including Cortana (the useful digital assistant), a notification centre, the Word Flow keyboard, Live Folders and Quiet Hours.

Apps include Office, Skype and OneDrive, which gives you 30GB of free online storage.

Lumia 435 release date, price and specs

Lumia Denim adds extra goodies, including the Lumia Selfie app, and you also get the brilliant HERE Drive+ app which offers free, downloadable country maps so you can use the Lumia 435 as a satnav without an internet connection.

You can tap the screen twice to wake the phone - another handy addition.