Vise Review: Nokia Lumia 620


The Nokia Lumia 620 is the budget smartphone from Nokia. Having said that, the only time it actually feels like a budget smartphone is when you are using the camera or if you notice a slight lag when opening and switching apps.

Phone build

The device comes in vibrant interchangeable covers available in green, yellow, white, pink, blue, orange and black. Each cover comes with its own headphone jack and buttons that is extremely handy since the phone cover, buttons and the headphone jack can suffer from problems after a year of heavy usage. Swapping a cover will give you a brand new back, buttons and a new headphone jack. The cover itself is extremely robust and solid. It gives a nice feel to the device.

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The phone is 115mm long and 61mm wide making it smaller than a lot of the top-end smart phones currently available yet perfectly sized for most hands. This becomes even more comfortable by the rounded back which makes it easy for one hand operation. Weighing 127g the phone is not super-light, but does not become seem difficult to carry around or hold it to an ear over a long period.

There are four buttons in total for volume, on/off/sleep/wake and camera on the side. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is at the top while the speaker and micro usb port is at the bottom.

Power & Performance

The phone sports a dual core 1 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM that shows slight lags when switching from one app to the other and when opening new apps. The WP 8 UI however does not suffer and remains fluid in operation. This in my view is better than most Android devices sporting similar or slightly better specs. Until Jelly Bean, fluidity in the OS seemed to be an iOS quality only. There is built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) that allows the device to quickly authenticate and connect to other NFC based devices. Transferring contacts with other NFC enabled devices is a breeze and very enjoyable. With NFC writeable tags readily available it is only a matter of time that a tap on the tag will start the right application or set a reminder.

Storage

The Lumia 620 has built in storage of 8 GB along with a micro-sd storage capacity of 64 GB. The 8 GB of storage is better than the HTC 8S which is at 4 GB given that all apps, settings, OS, cache, documents and other in-app downloads are automatically stored on the built in storage. Windows Phone 8 takes up over 1 GB of space and with system occupying anything from 500 MB to 2-3 GB there is not too much room left on the device to download large games or keep many maps in offline mode. Also, users have no way of releasing any space in their phones thus power users and gamers should stay away from the device.

Photos, music and videos can be stored on either the phone or the external memory. Similarly, there is 7 GB storage + backup space provided for free in Windows SkyDrive which comes in handy with documents.

Other cloud storage apps supported on Windows Phone 8 are Box (5 GB free). Dropbox support is currently under developement.

Battery

Battery is quite good considering its 1,300 mAH only. Here the WP 8 OS comes in handy as it is extremely battery efficient. During my 5 day of use, the phone only needed charging twice. Having said that, none of my resource intensive games were on it however I played about 30 mins of streaming video on the device and used the Angry Birds Roost app to add some birds to a couple of pictures. This caused a significant dip in battery and required charging. Skydrive backup was on thus the phone kept abreast with all my chat conversations and photos that were being uploaded by my other Nokia device the Lumia 920. This did not seem to take a heavy toll on the device.

Display + Touch

The screen is impressive at 3.8 inch display which is slightly bigger than the iPhone 4/4S.  The screen resolution is impressive at 400×800 pixels and makes watching videos and browsing photos a treat on the device. The touch sensitivity is excellent and the display works extremely well in bright sunlight.

Camera

The camera is disappointing when compared to HTC 8S. With a 5 megapixel sensor and LED flash, I found photos taken indoors quite disappointing and below average. Photos taken outdoors fared better however on the whole, do not expect 5 MP like quality from other 5 MP camera phones such as the iPhone 4/4S and HTC 8S.

Nokia Apps

Nokia’s collection of built-in apps is one of the biggest plus points to Windows Phone 8 devices. Each app is high quality and built with a lot of interest and thought. The phone comes with many popular Nokia apps preinstalled on the device. Cinemagraph and Smart Shoot for Camera; Nokia Drive+ Beta, Nokia Transit, Nokia City Lens and Nokia Maps for Navigation; Nokia Music, Transfer my Data, Weather, TripAdvisor and Angry Birds Roost are other complimentary apps that show off other features of the device and service offerings.

On the Windows Store, there are even more Nokia Lumia device targeted apps that add Panorama, lens filters, photo sharing, reading, messaging and tag writing facilities. Luckily these and others can be viewed directly on the device under the heading Nokia Collection. Some fan favorites such as Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Bejeweled, Words with Friends, Draw Something etc are also available by Nokia and other studios.

For more details on Windows Phone 8 OS, check my Windows Phone 8 review.

Other Interesting observations

The Skydrive backup and restore kicked in a surprising manner for me. The Lumia 620 took no time in downloading photos, chat messages and notes that were previously on my Lumia 920. Thus the transition was seamless once I had entered my Microsoft account Id.

Conclusion:

An excellent smartphone for its budget price. Has all the bells and whistles of the Lumia range of devices, great build quality and a very good OS in Windows Phone 8. If you are not a fan of phone cameras then you should definitely consider this.

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