mobile / reviews / 28/08/2014

Review: Lumia 630

Lumia630The Nokia Lumia 630 is the upgraded model of the best-selling Lumia to date, globally and in South Africa – the 520.

The Lumia 630 is affordable; it’s an entry-level Windows Phone that’s powerful enough to run your small business off.

The handset has a 4.5-inch touchscreen, runs on a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 512GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard memory, expandable with a micro SD card and a basic 5MP camera. Connectivity options include Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G. It has a battery capacity of 1830mAh. The handset runs Windows Phone 8.1 straight out to the box. Features it does not have is LTE, flash on the camera, a front-facing camera, proximity sensor (hence the City Lens app won’t work on it).

Nokia-Lumia-630

When setting up your Lumia handset, just like Android, you have to login with your Windows Live credentials. The only thing that bugged me is that when I logged in this time, it wanted to verify it’s me. It’s an initial setup – it’s not necessary to make me jump through so many hoops just to get started – mildly frustrating to have to type your secondary email and then for you to type a code that gets sent to it. Then to add a birthday – or you cannot proceed. Too cumbersome. Just let me login and get started instantly.

LOOK AND FEEL
The Lumia 620 has a removable back cover and inside you will find the battery, SIM slot and microSD card slot. The shell comes off easily (easier than the 520).  To the right you will find the volume and power/lock button, while the charging port is at the bottom and the 3.5mm audio jack is on top. It has a boxy look about it with rounded edges and a matte finish – it doesn’t slip off from your hand easily. The handset weighs 134g.

lumia-630

SCREEN
The 4.5-inch screen is a ClearBlack with a 480×854 screen resolution – so don’t expect anything fancy. The screen size has a 16:9 ratio and a pixel density of 221ppi. For an entry-level handset, the screen size is a plus, it’s big enough to get things done. The bright tiles on the homepage really brings out the colour and you can choose your level or brightness if it’s too much for you. The touchscreen works well, I found it fairly responsive – and as you may know, it works even when you have gloves on. The screen does tend to catch your fingerprints more than other handsets.

WINDOWS PHONE 8.1
The Lumia 630 is the most affordable current Windows Phone 8.1 handset on the market. What works in its favour here is that a lower spec handset doesn’t mean a “watered down” version of Windows Phone 8.1. It’s the same experience across all handsets, whether mid- or high-end. So all the features you find on high-end devices you will find on the Lumia 630. Like Access Centre, which is accessible by a downward swipe from the top of the screen. You can see your notifications as well as toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, camera and screen brightness; and quick access to Settings. You can also choose to have 3 columns of Live Tiles on your home screen (a feature on WP8.1).

Nokia-Lumia-630-Apps

Other favourite apps include data sense (track how much data you use over 3G or WiFi), battery saver, Here Drive+, Nokia Mix Radio, Storage Sense (manage what’s taking up space). Free apps from Microsoft include the Office, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook and Skype. Other preinstalled apps include WeChat, Transfer my Data, Ringtone maker, Podcasts, Health & Fitness and FM Radio. A great bunch of apps straight out of the box so you don’t really need to download a lot. As far as social networks go, only Facebook is preinstalled.

CAMERA
The 5MP camera is probably the most disappointing feature of the handset. There is no flash and there is no front-facing camera (no selfies, sorry!). Also if you need to make video calls for business or some other reason, this is going to be a big let down. The Nokia Camera app gives you the same manual controls found on WP. You can adjust white balance, ISO, exposure, and choose between day or night mode. The camera is slightly disappointing in that it takes quite some time to capture an image. So if you’re in a moving car and trying to capture something you may see of interest, you won’t be able to. Here’s a sample shot from the camera:
WP_20140427_04_37_28_Pro

CONCLUSION
The Lumia 630 is worth every every cent you spend on it and more. You’re getting the full Windows Phone 8.1 experience on an entry-level handset and if you don’t need to spend any more than necessary, don’t. Of course, you have to over look the cons – no 4G/LTE, front-facing camera and flash on the camera. As far as budget handsets go, this is the best you will get, given that all entry-level Android handsets can’t run the latest operating systems.

Price: R1999



Nafisa Akabor
Always online... except when I'm offline.




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