Microsoft recently revealed their Windows Phone 8.1 OS and to showcase its new features, two new devices were also unveiled. The Lumia 630 is placed on the lower-end of the price segment while and the Lumia 930 sits as their new hero product. I received the Lumia 630 a few days back, which is also available in a LTE variant modeled as Lumia 635.
Packaged in a square white box, the Lumia brand under Microsoft instantly distinguishes itself from the Lumia brand under Nokia which has always been bundled in a blue brick shaped box. Inside the packaging, you still find a charger, a USB cable and a headset. While I received the black colored variant for review, the Lumia 630 is also available in orange, yellow, green and white.
Measuring 129.5 x 66.7 x 9.2 mm, the Nokia Lumia 630 is about the same size as the iPhone 5 which means that it’s very usable with just one hand. It weighs 134 grams which is not the lightest for a phone of this size but is light enough. Microsoft does not require the capacitive buttons below the screen with Windows 8.1 and the Lumia 630 utilizes that by moving these buttons onscreen. This gives the 630 a somewhat bland and generic look- especially with the black color.
Also missing is a dedicated camera button- again, a restriction lifted by Microsoft. On the right side you have volume buttons on top and the power/standby key towards the center. For smaller devices, I prefer the power button located on top as its easy to reach and you don’t accidentally keep pressing the volume down button instead of power since they’re so close to each other. Other than these buttons, you have a USB port on the bottom and a 3.5mm audio jack on top.
The Nokia 630 is a dual SIM phone and you have one of the SIM cards placed next to the battery while the other one, though inside the battery cover, is accessible without turning your phone off. The phone works on dual standby technology which means that only one SIM card is properly active at a given time. Microsoft has made it easy to select which SIM card you want to call from by simply placing a switch next to the contact’s phone number. You do have separate tiles on the home screen for phone and text messages from each of the SIM cards- I would have preferred a more integrated approach.
Coming to the specs, Microsoft has done an impressive job choosing the right components for the Lumia 630 given how much it costs. The Lumia 630 has a quad core Snapdragon 1.2GHz processor with 512MB RAM and 8GB built-in storage along with a MicroSD slot for expansion. I found the phone quite snappy and had no issues configuring it with corporate email and social networks as well as messaging apps. You might not be able to run a few apps that require higher RAM but I don’t think the Lumia 630 is targeted towards the power user.
The 4.5-inch screen has a somewhat low resolution of 480 x 854 but honestly speaking, it doesn’t deter from the experience of using Windows Phone. Yes, you can see the pixels if you look closely, but the ClearBlack technology makes up for it. My only complain from the screen is readability in strong sunlight- at times, I found it difficult to read what was on the Lumia 630 in a bright outdoor area.
Although the Lumia 630 will work for most casual users, if a camera is one of your top priorities then I’d recommend you stay away from it. There is no front-facing camera so no selfies or video conferencing on Skype. The back camera is also barely passable. It works decently when you have plenty of light but the absence of a flash makes pictures in darker environments very grainy.
Wrapping things up, the 1830mAh capacity battery of the Lumia 630 does a pretty good job of keeping the phone up and running for a couple of days. The lower specs and display help- a wise move by Microsoft devices to keep the Lumia 630 working for longer than your average smartphone.
Overall, I think the Lumia 630 is a great little dual SIM phone. Priced at AED 599, it’s a good introduction for anyone looking for a cheap dual SIM smartphone. Windows Phone is maturing well as an OS and has many of the commonly used apps like Whatsapp and Instagram now available for it.