NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The new Microsoft (MSFT) Lumia 735 for Verizon (VZ) is a terrific smartphone. It's fast, polished and fairly priced. But it runs on an old operating system, and consumers aren't exactly breaking down doors to buy Windows phones.
The big operating system change Microsoft says it's offering later this year can't come soon enough.
The new Lumia 735 runs on the current, and long-in-the-tooth, Windows Phone 8.1 OS. But Microsoft has made a few changes in the software for this new phone. In case you've never had the pleasure of using one, Windows phones are the only devices that actually thrive on the tile-based home screen format that the company foisted on the public a few years ago.
The Lumia 735 runs the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1, called "Update 2 with Lumia Denim." It includes a few good software tweaks, including the option to hide the buttons on the bottom of the home/tile screen, and a revised Settings menu that is conveniently split into categories and makes more sense. Everything seems much more polished, too.
As for the hardware, the phone is sleek and beautifully designed. It is a lightweight black slab with curved sides -- easy to hold and slip in a pocket or purse. It's reminiscent of the ground-breaking design of the ill-fated Nokia N9 from all the way back in 2011.
Inside, there's a 4.7-inch OLED touchscreen display (1280 by 720 pixels, 316 ppi), a quad-core, 1.2 GHz Qualcomm (QCOM) Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, plus a microSD expansion slot. Microsoft touts the Lumia 735 as being designed for taking selfies with its 5 megapixel, full HD front-facing camera. (The company's emphasizing that feature, and downplaying the fact that the rear camera is only 6.7 megapixel.)