Nokia have always pushed the envelope with their Lumia devices. Right from the beginning their signature polycarbonate around clear black screens have always given these services a feeling of quality. Now they are owned by Microsoft and the 630 is one of the first devices to be released following being absorbed into the Seattle technology giant. As you may have read, we loved the Lumia 1520. It had a superb screen, snappy performance and was stuffed with features. The Lumia 630 is a very different beast, so it would be unfair to compare the two devices. The 630 is aimed very squarely at the ‘entry level’ market at about £99 sim free compared to the 1520 which costs at least 4 times that amount. As always, you do actually get what you pay for and this is reflected in the Lumia 630’s specifications.
The 630’s packaging continues the current trend of ‘the reveal’, the box is a slim slide out affair, when slid open the phone is revealed in its bright green (in our case) glory. The phone charger and instruction leaflet are stored under a white card cover. A headset is not supplied with the phone, but I’m not short of earphones from previous phones, so this is not a deal breaker.
This is one of the first handsets to come with Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box, although at the time of writing it is being rolled out to a host of existing handsets. 8.1 provides a host of improvements, notably the ‘notification bar’, which started out on Android, but has now found itself on the iPhone and now Windows Phone 8.1. There are now other new features to set a background image for the single colour screen tiles and also to enable another column of tiles to display on the screen. There are dozens of additions on top of this, but these are covered in detail on Microsoft’s dedicated Windows Phone web site.
The phone is wrapped in a plastic case which can be removed in the same fashion as the Moto G; by pushing gently on the back of the phone and levering the case off. Once removed, pop the 1830mAh battery out and slot in your Micro Sim and upto 128gb Micro SD card. Put everything back together again and you are ready to rock and roll.
The display is a relatively modest 4.5 inch IPS LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels which Gorilla Glass 3 covering a Clearblack display. The phone only has a rear mounted camera and to be honest I have already found someone disappointed that it doesn’t rock a front mounted camera. I’m entitled to agree, as Windows Phone is about Microsoft software which includes Skype, if you can only Skype by turning the phone around it sort of negates the whole thing.
The rear mounted camera is 5 megapixel unit which is ok, but don’t expect the 20 megapixel or 41 megapixel PureView cameras of the 1520 and 1020 models. It can record 720p video at 30 frames per second. The phone does run on a Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset, but at a lowly 1.2ghz. Graphics are handled by a Adreno 305, so it’s pretty snappy, but it only comes with 512mb of memory, so it is not capable of playing our favourite FIFA 14 which requires 1gb. This lack of memory may cause you problems in the future, so beware. Coupled with a lowly 8GB of storage, you are likely to soon run out of storage space even if you make use of 7GB Onedrive and others to store your files in the cloud.
The phone comes with a inbuilt FM radio, but this requires headphones to use, so out of the box you aren’t going to be able to use it.
All the usual features are present though and the software suite supplied by Nokia is mind blowing to say the least and sets it apart from the other Windows Phone manufactures (HTC and Samsung) for bundled software at least. The phone is available in Bright Orange, Bright Green, Bright Yellow, White and Black.
Changing cases is as simple as buying a new one and popping off the old one and replacing it. As an entry level phone, the 630 is great, but you soon find the downsides when using it. It’s a great way to get into a very good phone ecosystem, but don’t expect too much from it. To sum up, it’s a good phone, but serious smart phone users may want to think about spending a bit more money.
As always, thanks goes out to Nadine from Axicom for providing us with the 630 and the 2520. We really appreciate the cooperation of these agencies to help us bring something to the radio segment and here.