Windows Phone train kicked off back in 2010 with Microsoft showcasing the all new Windows Phone 7 platform. It was a fairly new and innovative approach to the mobile market but it failed to gather widespread acclaim. Nokia at that time was also up to no good until they made a deal with Microsoft to use Windows Phone as their primary OS. Nokia’s push did help Windows Phone gain a wee bit attention but again, it wasn’t enough. Poor sales, slightly borked budget models and lack of public recognition didn’t help matters.
Then came along Windows Phone 8, Microsoft’s next-iteration of Windows Phone improved upon it’s predecessor exponentially and started to gather much wanted acclaim. Nokia announced a bunch of Windows Phone 8 powered smartphone and among is the Nokia Lumia 620, which we will take for a spin.
The Nokia Lumia 620 is Nokia’s third foray in the Windows Phone 8 world, the first two handsets i.e Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 were high-end affairs. The Nokia Lumia 620 aims to target mid-range market and does a wonderful job at it.
Following Nokia’s recent trends, the Nokia Lumia 620 is a very, very colorful smartphone. It comes in a variety of colors ranging from Black to white to green. The removable back color is available in a number of colors and allows for changing the look of your phone just about every week.
The Nokia Lumia 620’s design is significantly better than many of the other smartphones out there in its range. I always loved Nokia’s design and the 920’s design still tops everything out there, the Lumia 620 is no different. The Lumia 620 is engulfed in matte or gloss shell available in a number of colors. While the handset is mainly plastic, it is sturdy enough. The soft-touch feel of the plastic is appealing, it might not sound premium but it’s not cheap as well.
All and all, the handset is compact and sports great ergonomics. It’s friendly round-edges and is a bit on the chubby side. It is compact enough not to feel bulky. It weighs about 127g and is 11mm thick.
The phone has all the physical buttons conveniently placed on the right hand side, which include the volume rocker, power and lock button and the camera shutter. With that said, the Nokia Lumia 620 is great for one hand use and doesn’t force you into using two hands or unnecessary hand gymnastics.
The screen on the Nokia Lumia 620 measures 3.8-inch, sporting a resolution of 480×800. The resolution is significantly low keeping in mind today’s standard’s but the low screen resolutions paves way for a cheaper price tag, at which the Nokia Lumia 620 excels. The screen of the device might appear to be dated but it’s quite a performer in real-life. The image quality is great and the black-levels are fairly decent for a device like the Nokia Lumia 620. It utilizes Nokia’s ‘Clear-Black’ Technology which was essentially found in the high-end OLED based Lumia devices, until now. The technology ensures everything is crisp and clear, thanks to it using reflection-reducing polarization filter. The colors are natural and the contrast is exceptional. Thanks to Windows Phone 8’s great text-rendering we barely noticed any jagged edges under normal usage. Although it became quite evident if the browser or some third party apps were run. The viewing angles were decent until you reach the absolute extremes.
The Nokia Lumia 620 falls short in some areas, as I noticed that the device did not register touch inputs properly sometimes. At first I thought it to be a software issue but it quickly became apparent that wasn’t the case. The display attracts a lot of finger-prints, it could handle your usual cosmetic wear and tear but beware the screen is not prone to scratches.
Software & Performance:
The Nokia Lumia 620 runs Windows Phone 8 out of the box, it features the same old Windows Phone 7 UI but with a number of changes. First off, Windows Phone 8 allows for resizing of Tiles and there is a variety of colors to paint your UI. The overall experience is extremely smooth and fluid, I did not notice a single lag while playing through Windows Phone 8. Customizations still remain close to none, as Microsoft does not allows changes to Windows Phone 8’s UI. As a long Android user, I really did miss it’s versatility, something which Windows Phone 8 does not offer.
Nokia has built some great exclusive apps in it’s Lumia devices. They offer great added value. Apps like Nokia Maps, which offer free offline satellite navigation, a great music player music streaming services. Something which you have to pay for to use on other Windows Phone 8 powered devices. Microsoft Office is baked right into every Windows Phone 8 smartphone, so you get a pretty solid app package right out of the box. Apart from that, you will have visit Microsoft’s Store to get more apps, but the selection is quite limited compared to Android and iOS. Windows Phone 8 is still in its early days and the store hasn’t shown signs of great apps just yet.
The Modern/Metro UI features a grid of Tiles, almost everything can be pinned to the homescreen. The Live Tiles can be resized according to your liking. Although opting for the smallest will render the Tile as a static icon, to actually display information the Modern UI way you need bigger Tiles. The Tile handling could have been better, resizing the Android way would have made the situation better.
Android is still the best as far as multi-tasking is concerned, Windows Phone 8 uses a lite iOS like approach to it. Apps in the foreground are suspend, they will continue to work for instance play music. The OS also allows apps to run in the background. Its up to the developers, how they want their app to function. To actually access the multi-tasking menu, you have to hold down the ‘back’ button. You get thumbnails of apps from left-right. One of the cons of Windows Phone 8 multi-tasking is that, you can’t kill an app from the multi-tasking menu. You have to actually enter the app and keep pressing the ‘back’ button until it goes back to the very first screen and then kill it. A simple swipe to remove or close button would have done just fine.
Just like Android and iOS, Windows Phone 8 also comes equipped with a voice-assistant. The whole UI can be controlled using voice commands only, but it’s not polished. The Windows Phone assistant is far behind Android and iOS in terms of voice assistance.
Windows Phone 8 lags behind in terms of versatility, for instance there are no quick toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS etc.. You have actually go into the settings and enable everything which is frankly a tiresome for something this simple. Third party apps allow for connectivity toggles to be placed on the homescreen but they also take you to the settings of the respective toggle. Microsoft should address to this, it might not be much but it is a needed additive.
Microsoft also brings along new features such as Kid’s Corner and ability of a company to create it’s own Hub. Kid’s Corner is useful, you can select apps, games and whatnot and password-protect it. Allowing for sharing your smartphone with your kids worrisome. Microsoft is also looking to please business guys with the ability of Windows Phone 8 to allow a company to create it’s own Hub, where employees can find news, dates and other useful info to help them with their work. Companies can also create their own apps that only employees can use.
All and all, Windows Phone 8 is a great performer. The UI is lag-free and everything from animations to scrolling is silky smooth. The powerful dual-core Krait SoC ensures snappy performance on the Nokia Lumia 620. Firing up apps is a little slower is a bit slower than it’s bigger brothers but its not a deal breaker. Even with multiple apps and games running, the Nokia Lumia 620 did not lag and ensured snappy performance. Although switching between apps was slow due to a number of apps running. Nonetheless it is a great performer.
The Nokia Lumia 620 packs a 5MP shooter with auto-focus and a LED flash. The shooter is capable of 720p HD video recording. Unlike many other mid-range smartphones, the Nokia Lumia 620 also sports a front-facing VGA camera for video chats.
Given it’s price you shouldn’t expect out-of-the-world image quality, it lacks in detail and clarity department a great deal. But for it’s price, it does manage to take some decent quality pictures. It delivers pictures with life-like saturated colors in well-lit places.
The stock Windows Phone 8 camera app is loaded with a number of features. You have access to ISO, sharpness, contrast and balance settings just to name a few. There is a dedicated Macro focus but lacks Face detection feature. The flash can also be quickly turned on and off by a toggle.
The camera also packs some feature add-ons such as lens effects. It enhances camera quality without messing up other useful tinkers you did. There are many lenses, and are directly available through the stock camera app. With the Nokia Lumia 620 comes the Smart-Shoot lens. Panorama and Cinemagraph lenses are also available. You can try out various of the lenses available and leave a comment on their functionality.
Moving on, the video recording on the Nokia Lumia 620 is fairly decent. The details and colors are good. The camcorder also pack many features such as video resolution, white balance etc.. The LED flash can also be used to act as a light source in low light situations which is pretty handy feature of the camcorder.
Audio quality isn’t great on the Nokia Lumia 620, it is decent but surely isn’t great. The video sometime come out shaky but its really rare. Apart from that, the Nokia Lumia 620 handles video recording particularly well.
The Nokia Lumia 620 handles multimedia very well. The phone has support for popular codecs which include Mpeg4, H.264, H.263 and WMV. It can handle multimedia files with 720p support easily.
The Nokia Lumia 620 comes equipped with both Xbox Music app and Nokia Music app. The Music hub is convenient and stores you’re the history of content you played. The Music player UI is great, better than both Android and iOS’s music players. While other phones lack Mix Radio streaming service, thanks to the Nokia we have it on out Nokia Lumia 620. It pretty much does what other paid services do, and does it easily. A certain plus for Nokia Lumia devices. You play around in the Music player, it allows for creating your own playlist and caches playlists for offline use.
The speakers on the Nokia Lumia 620 are loud and have decent amount of clarity. It comes with Dolby headphone sound enhancement, while in reality it is nothing much to brag about. But it does result in better mids and lows, my Bose AE2 headphones certainly sounded better with the enhancements. Enabling the enhancements sometimes results in small amounts of crackly sounds.
Call Quality & Battery Life:
The Nokia Lumia 620 has dual-mic setup, and sports noise cancelling. The quality of calls was pleasant. Although I faced occasional drop-outs and sometimes the other person could not even hear me. Apart from that, voices were loud and clear for the most part. The earpiece performed well.
The battery on the Nokia Lumia 620 is a meager 1300maH, Nokia officially claims 9 h 50 min on 3G or 14 h 40 min on 2G. I was able to squeeze out a day with the Nokia Lumia 620 with moderate usage. The battery life isn’t great but isn’t bad either. It can take you through a day with moderate usage but fells short when heavy tasks come into action such as gaming. Windows Phone 8 also has a ‘battery saver’ option, you can enable it to squeeze out more hours from the battery but frankly don’t expect wonders from it.
Value & Conclusion:
All and all Nokia Lumia 620 is a great smartphone for it’s price. Obviously there are drawbacks but that doesn’t stop it from greatness. Nokia Lumia 620 although has competition in it’s backyard, the HTC 8S is similarly priced but lacks Nokia’s quality touch and a front-facing camera. On the Android train there are devices like Samsung Galaxy S III Mini and HTC One SV. Windows Phone 8 may be mature but it still lags behind Android in terms app support and many other features. If the app selection limitation isn’t an issue and you are willing to give Windows Phone 8 a try in a budget. The Nokia Lumia 620 is a great choice. In the end it all boils down to preference, if you are up to live with Windows Phone 8, the Nokia Lumia 620 is the best budget smartphone around.
- Ergonomic design
- Great value
- Great Nokia app additions, along with built-in Office support
- Meager app selection
- Small screen
- Mediocre camera
Date posted: February 21, 2013