The Lumia 730/735 is a sleek looking fella, strongly reminiscent of the Lumia 800, which in turn was identical to the iconic Nokia N9. Another way to describe it is a smaller version of the Lumia 1520. In any case, the phone looks the part - with a streamlined body and clean, understated design.
The Lumia 735 is thinner than its predecessors. The phone measures 134.7 x 68.5 x 8.7mm. This is the same thickness as a Lumia 1520 - the slimmest the Lumia lineup has ever offered.
Yet, the Lumia 730/735 could've been more compact, the space below the display in particular is not used for anything. More on that in a bit.
When we said the Lumia 735 looked like the Nokia N9 we meant it. The very shape and the smooth finish create a convincing impression of a polycarbonate unibody - which isn't the case. It looks like it but it's not - yet the build quality is all there, plus you get a user-replaceable battery.
The Lumia 730/735 is carrying the heritage of the lineup with pride. No risks are being taken - the design is well familiar but relevant enough. Granted, it's not a phone that stands out from the crowd but one that looks solid, dependable and by no means cheap. Sounds about right for a midranger.
The sides of the phones are rounded and they blend into the back seamlessly making for a nice feel in hand. The bottom and top sides are flat.
The entire inner body pops out of the polycarbonate shell, which encloses the screen. To open the cover and get access to the card compartments and the battery, you need to push the top of the frame right above the display and then repeat on the bottom side.
There are other color variations available including green, orange and white. Since it's a single piece, it completely changes the overall look of the phone, which is nice.
With a weight of 130 grams, the phone feels pleasantly light in the hand. Don't think however, that this takes away from its sturdiness. The phone gives out the impression it can endure a lot of bumps and drops. And since the entire plastic cover can be replaced, damaging the body of the phone isn't too much trouble, as long as you keep the screen safe from damage. A Gorilla Glass 3 protective layer on top of the display will perhaps give you extra peace of mind.
Windows Phone 8.1 enables the use of virtual on-screen keys for navigation and the Lumia 730/735 takes advantage of them ditching the traditional capacitive keys below the display. One downside of reusing a design is Nokia didn't get rid of the resulting blank space below the screen. It currently serves no purpose than housing the main microphone (which we're sure could've been located elsewhere on the bottom).
On top of the 4.7" ClearBlack AMOLED display, there's the earpiece and the selfie-centric 5MP front cam in the top right corner. The Nokia logo, which will be gone very soon, is below the earpiece. A chance to enjoy it one last time.
The basic button layout remains the same as on Lumia smartphones of old. On the right side, there's the Power/Lock button placed in the center and above it is the volume rocker. The left side is bare.
On the top, there's a 3.5mm headphone jack in the middle and that's just it. The bottom houses only the microUSB port.
The back of the Lumia 730/735 is also quite uncluttered. There's a 6.7MP camera lens complete with a LED flash. There's also a second microphone for noise cancellation next to the LED flash.
At the bottom right sits the round-shaped loudspeaker grille.
The device is powered by a 2200mAh Li-Ion battery. Next to the battery compartment are the micro-SIM and microSD card slots. The battery is removable as well, so you can carry a spare with you if you need.
Overall, we like the feel and handling of the Lumia 730/735. We are rarely disappointed by a Nokia-built smartphone and this one makes no exception. It's not a premium device but benefits from an excellent choice of materials and the build is impeccable.
The Lumia 730/735 is one of the thinnest phones in the lineup and it's also reasonably light. It's also tough and fits great in hand. Had Nokia also made it a bit more compact it would be a proper engineer masterpiece.