Nokia brought the Lumia 620 to Indian shores after long delay, and the waiting for the smartphone is worth. This is the affordable Windows Phone 8 handset. It was released this month in India and went on sale from 12th of this month. Lumia 620 offers great features and for the target price of Rs. 14999, but don’t expect something like Lumia 820/ 920 as this is an entry-level device.
Design / Hardware
Lumia 620 has a compact form factor unlike the recent phablets we have seen with oversized screens, you can hold and operate this phone in one hand with out any issues. But one thing you will immediately notice is how thick is this phone and the back interchangeable shell is tough one and can withhold few drops and abuse quite comfortably. The build quality of the smartphone is what you expect from a Nokia phone.
The front of the device is almost occupied by the 3.8-inch screen, at the bottom of the screen you will find the Back, Home and Search capacitive buttons typical to the Windows Phone 8 devices. On top of the screen you will find the front camera with sensors on the left side and Nokia branding on the right side. The back panel houses the 5MP camera and LED flash, Nokia branding and the speaker grille. Removing the back cover can be achieved by pressing on the Flash and removing the case from the top at the same time, this has to get some used to to remove easily. The left side panel is devoid of any buttons, while the right side panel houses Volume rocker keys on top, Screen on/ off button in the middle and the Camera Snap button below them. This is quite uncomfortable in the beginning as we are used to go to the on/off button on right side panel top but this is not a major issue though. The top panel houses the 3.5mm audio port while the bottom panel has the microUSB port. The 3.5mm port is housed in the interchangeable black panel instead of the phone itself. Overall the phone looks perfect, doesn’t look cheap at this price and easy to hold and fits quite well in the hands.
Lumia 620 packs a 1GHz Dual-Core Snapdragon S4 processor coupled with a 512MB RAM and 8GB of internal storage along with a microSD card for expanding memory upto 64GB. Connectivity options include 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Nokia managed to offer NFC in this budget phone which can be used to pair up a with a NFC capable device to share media. A 5MP camera is placed at the rear along with a LED flash and a modest VGA Camera was added at the front. It weighs 127gm and its dimensions are 115.4 x 61.1 x 11 mm.
Nokia has introduced this phone with several colors, the range of colors include Green, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, White and Black. I got the black unit, if you are looking for something vibrant you should try the lime green or the Cyan ones which look great.
Lumia 620 comes with a 3.8-inch ClearBlack LCD Capacitive multi-touch with WVGA 480 x 800 pixels resolution. The display is quite good in this phone with excellent outdoor visibility and good color reproduction. The screen also has good viewing angles. Overall the screen feels really nice and vivid and the touch interface experience is really smooth.
On the software it runs on the latest Windows Phone 8 from Microsoft and offers unique features like Live Tiles support and others. You will get a clean WP8 experience unlike Android where vendors and carriers customize the experience to a great degree. Along with the Phone you will get access to the MS Office, SkyDrive, Xbox integration, various Camera enhancements from Nokia. Nokia has included several apps from it’s store to differentiate its Windows Phones from the pack. The list of Nokia apps included in the phone include Nokia Care, Nokia City Lens, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps and Nokia Music.
The biggest disadvantage so far with Windows Phone is the lack of popular apps on the WP8 platform, though the situation is improving quite rapidly. Still you will not find some of the popular apps like Instagram on the platform, and the app updates and managing apps doesn’t offer a great experience.
Nokia Here maps are better than the Bing maps and offers better features. Nokia City lens app can be used to find what is nearby you for example restaurants, shopping etc. Nokia Music offers free music for one year and allows to make playlists and listen to the pre mixed radios.
Camera and Multimedia
Nokia has put a 5MP camera on this phone at the rear and a front VGA camera. The rear camera comes with a LED flash. 5MP may not be great if you see the latest launches of smartphones, but it is ok for the budget device. The most notable features are not camera itself but the apps you will get with the phone, including Bing vision, Panorama, Cinemagraph and Smart Shoot. You can also download more lenses for the Camera app on Windows Phone 8, the lenses in WP8 are enhancements to the camera app and allow users to do more with the camera.
Under outdoors the Camera performs good with sharp and accurate colored photographs. Under low light conditions that photos are not that great though with some grainy, but they are much better than what you see in other low-end devices. The video quality on the outdoors is ok, but not so in the indoor. But for a phone with a budget under Rs. 15000 the rear camera performs very good.
Cinemagraph Nokia included in this phone allows you to have a blend of mix of photos and videos and create a mashup with certain area of the clip moving while others are masked out, creating an interesting clip. The clips can be shared on social media sites. Smart Shoot allows you to fire up a series of shots when taking a group photo and using the facial recognition technology of the app you can create a perfect group shot by picking faces from different frames.
It is powered by a 1GHz Dual-Core Snapdragon S4 Processor coupled with Adreno 305 GPU, For most of the tasks the phone performs well. The 512MB RAM included in the device may not feel great in intense gaming situations, you may want it more of you are a serious gamer. The software is well optimized for a good user experience and I didn’t feel any lag in launching apps, playing games during my usage over a week or so. It may not be able to run the Asphalt 7, but this happily runs on the previous version of the game Asphalt 5 and Angry Birds like ones with out hiccups.
The sound quality of the phone is ok, but at the high volume level the sound the quality is not upto the mark. The phone speaker sounds very loud at the high volume levels. The call quality is also good. This device uses a micro SIM.
It comes with a 1300mAh battery to power up the device, Windows Phone 8 is not a power hungry OS, though the battery is small it does last for at least 2-3 days with moderate usage. But if you use it heavily it may not last for more than a day.
Lumia 620 offers great smartphone features at an affordable price. It also has a good build quality compared to some Android smartphones with better specs released recently, but always remember specs is not the only criteria to look for when shopping for a smartphone.
Android and iOS are not the only options in the market, if you want something different from the pack definitely you should consider Windows Phone 8 and Lumia 620 fits the bill for a new smartphone owner or as a second phone for tech savvy crowd. If you want overall package with a good build quality, smart features like NFC and of course the price you should choose the Lumia 620.
The Lumia 620 does it’s job perfectly and at right price. We would recommend it against a cheap Android smartphone.