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Nokia Lumia 620 review

 Review: February 2013  
 

Last updated June 2013

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Lumia 620 brings the good clean fun of Windows Phone 8 to the budget smartphone sector. A well-made, compact handset with a fast processor, plenty of memory and outstanding connectivity, it delivers the smartphone essentials at a good price. The battery and the screen are a touch small, but otherwise it's perfect!

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First impressions

The first batch of Windows Phone 8 smartphones were very expensive, so it's great to see a very affordable option opening up the new operating system to a wider user base. The Lumia 620 looks much like the higher-level Lumia 820 but smaller and with more rounded corners.

It's quite heavy for its size, lending it a feeling of quality despite its affordable price.

The downside of such a compact phone is the limited screen size. At 3.8 inches, it's really the smallest display you'd want for a modern smartphone, and even at this modest price point, there are Android smartphones with larger displays. Having said that, there are still millions of contented iPhone 4S owners using even smaller screens! It's quite a nice screen in fact, using Nokia's ClearBlack technology and a polarisation filter to deliver good readability even in moderate sunlight. The 800 x 480 pixel resolution is quite respectable.

Looking at the edge of the phone, you'll find a power button, a volume rocker and a physical camera button, which is most welcome. We should also point out that the three Windows touch controls sit below the screen, giving a little extra screen real estate.

Windows Phone 8

At S21, we've become big fans of Windows Phone 8. We enjoy the Live Tiles, with their handy display of useful and constantly updated information directly on the home screen. We also like the way the home screen scrolls down, rather than all the flipping left and right that you get with multiple Android home screens. You can't customise the home screen as much as in Android, but you can do quite a lot, and it's very easy to do, even if you're not a tech nerd.

An excellent virtual keyboard is included and you can also use voice recognition instead of typing.

Windows Phone 8 is very closely entwined with social media and messaging, and it's incredibly easy to share anything with your friends, or find out what your friends are doing. At the heart of this is People Hub, which brings together all your contacts and conversations in one place.

The Windows Phone Store lags well behind rivals when it comes to the number of apps available, but there's a wealth of useful free apps, including WhatsApp, YouTube, Internet Explorer 10, Bing Maps, Nokia Drive and Nokia City Lens. Microsoft Office, including Excel, Word, Powerpoint and OneNote is pre-installed.

Camera

The camera doesn't rank as one of Nokia's best, but it's nevertheless a good performer and can certainly replace a compact digital camera. With a 5 megapixel sensor, LED flash and autofocus, it's capable of capturing good quality snaps in decent lighting conditions. It also has the convenience of a dedicated camera button on the side.

There's plenty of useful functionality built into the camera, including touch focus. A photo editor lets you enhance your pictures before saving them in an album, uploading to Skydrive or sharing them on facebook.

The camera can also record video at 720p HD resolution and 30 frames/second.

A front facing camera enables video chat, but only at VGA resolution.

Processor & memory

The phone is powered by a dual-core Snapdragon processor, running at a moderately fast 1GHz. It's a step down from the Nokia Lumia 820, but is enough to make the user interface operate smoothly and to run all but the most demanding apps.

There's plenty of memory available, with 8GB built-in and the ability to add up to 64GB more via a memory card. You also get 7GB of free cloud storage in SkyDrive.

The available RAM is 512MB.

Connectivity

The 620 is a quadband 3G phone with quadband GSM. HSPA enables fast data downloads of up to 21Mbps. Wi-Fi is also available for fast data access.

Connectivity options include Bluetooth 3.0, micro USB 2.0, a 3.5mm headphone jack and even NFC. You can use NFC to share data between NFC-enabled phones just by tapping them together.

Battery life

Sadly the phone isn't equipped with a huge battery. With only 1300mAh capacity, this isn't an ideal handset for heavy users. If you use your phone a lot, you're going to have to manage your battery carefully.

Conclusion

The Lumia 620 brings Windows Phone 8 to the lower-middle end of the smartphone market, and delivers a well rounded product with no nasty cost-cutting surprises. On the contrary, the phone feels more expensive than it is, and delivers on its promise, with a fast dual-core processor, lots of memory, a good camera, outstanding connectivity and a very usable screen.

Do we have a complaint? You know that we do! In this case, it's the battery life, which won't be enough for very heavy users, although in fairness it outperforms rivals like the Sony Xperia U or HTC Desire C.

It's a close rival to the Windows Phone 8S by HTC, with the 8S having superior battery life and a slightly larger screen, but the Nokia having more memory and the benefit of NFC. Both of these phones are certainly worth a look as a refreshing alternative to Android.


Nokia Lumia 620 features include:

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Nokia Lumia 620 user reviews

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Average rating from 8 reviews:

Reviewed by melanie from wales on 7th Aug 2014
Great little phone, very happy with it. I wanted a smaller phone and it's easy to get used to. Windows is simpler than android, some personalisations lost but nothing major. The apps I had before on android are available, or there is something similar in the store. The camera is good and the button on the side for it is a big bonus. I miss having profiles, but air plane mode suffices for night. I love being able to change the colour with different shells for the back. Stops me getting bored! The battery has lasted well considering and I get as long out of it as my android that had a bigger battery. I thought no swipe keyboard would be a pain but have found it responsive, easy to use and predictions very good. I don't want a big phone that has a huge screen with the power to run several apps or face recognition etc etc lol! I have a tablet, a TV and a life! It depends what u want from a phone, and it fits the bill for me.
Rating:

Reply by melanie from wales on 16th Aug 2014
UPDATE: After using for a fortnight I am still very happy with this phone. The battery life lasts more than a day with medium usage. More than the larger battery android I had before. TIP: I downloaded an app that lets you personalise the live tiles, but if the messaging, whatsapp, calls tiles etc are personalised they do not show notifications of received messages etc which drove me nuts. Figured out in the end and only personalised tiles that have no notifications. Charging is quick too.

Reply by melanie from wales on 1st Sep 2014
Now the software update has been upgraded to 8.1 it's even better. Swipey keyboard and Little extras to improve ease of use are excellent and battery still lasting over 24 hours with light to medium use.

Reviewed by Charlie from UK on 21st Apr 2014
After having an HTC Wildfire for 2.5 years, I was constantly getting low memory warnings so I decided to go for the WP platform (based partly on s21 reviews) and bought a Nokia 620 in October last year. 6 months on and not really any complaints. It starts up very quickly, it has a reasonable selection of apps (enough for me anyway), I like the live tiles and the ability to pin to the home page. It is a good "pocket sized" phone and I don't find myself thinking that the screen is too small. I generally get 2 days out of a single charge (because I switch it off overnight, otherwise I'd find the battery running out during the afternoon of day 2). Personally, I'm quite impressed by the camera, and that's coming from a keen photographer, particularly the separate button on the side of the device to launch the camera and take the actual photograph. I got an "as new" device for 100, which helped to make it very good value for money, so I think that it deserves 4.5 stars. However, since I'm not prepared to give it 5, I've rated it as a 4.
Rating:

Reviewed by Jeremy from UK on 4th Sep 2013
After a sequence of Android phones I decided to try Windows Phone and chose the 620 over the 520 because I wanted a compact but usable phone and felt the 520 was too big and more angular. Its proved to be a good choice as a comfortable, pocketable phone. I find that there are enough apps to cover all the basis and the whole package feels well integrated and smooth. Pinning items to the start screen works very well and its possible to create a highly customised dashboard appropriate to your needs. I find the degree of lock-down a little frustrating compared to Android (for example, what can be put on the SD card) but at least there is a large internal memory on the phone. For my use I get around two days battery life although I'm not an intensive game player or obsessive texter. Overall a well balanced phone for the mainstream and goes to show that Windows Phone is a fine choice for most people (and a valid competitor to Android and IOS).
Rating:

Reply by Jeremy from UK on 6th Nov 2014
Update - Windows 8.1 is a great addition with a host of improvements that address a lot of the niggles with Windows 8. I particularly like the resolution changes for the front screen, the flexibility in tile sizes, the notification panel and the ability to move files to the SD card.

Reviewed by Norbert from Malta on 15th Aug 2013
excellent phone
wonderful design,love the apps
Rating:

Reviewed by steve from uk on 6th Jun 2013
After 3 years of android i decided a change was needed as i was sick of the bugs/crashes etc. I refuse to fall for the apple hype so i took the plunge and bought the windows lumia 620. i normally go for high end units but i didn't want to be stuck in a 2 year contract if i hated the windows os so i bought a cheapy on payg and chucked my sim in. I honestly wasn't expecting much, however 2 days later i'm hooked. Internet is lightning fast and it has every app i need. The tiles on the home screen are genius. love it. yeah the camera isn't brilliant, on par with other low end units but every thing else is head and shoulders above similar priced android devices. The best 125 quid i've ever spent (165 when i chuck the 64 gig card in i've ordered) I'm glad i didn't go for the 920, this phone has blown me away and i'm sticking with it on my sim only contract until i lose or break it. Superb....
Rating:

Reviewed by Andy from UK on 12th Apr 2013
Just bought this phone - mainly due to it's size - so far so good - does everything I want it to do and very well - I am by no way obsessed with speeds and latest HD screens but this phone is fast enough - minimal and barely noticeable in terms of lagging if any. Colours are rich and have depth - re battery life - so far no issues at all. Battery saver option on and Wi-Fi turned off means phone lasts all day and leaves me with 70%. Suffice to say I don't play games endlessly on it, music every now and then, internet, twitter,texting and calls so no issues considering it is a smartphone, all of which are known to have poor battery life as a rule anyway. Overall extremely happy with it...
Rating:

Reply by Andy from UK on 4th Sep 2013
Update - had my 620 for 4+ months now and I still give it 5 stars - initially I said I turned WIFI off and battery saver option on and still had 70% battery - I now leave WIFI on and still the battery lasts a whole day - it's fine for me, as I always put my phone on charge when I sleep - makes sense when you think about it really all you 'my phone battery only lasts two days' people - you go to sleep and your phone goes on charge - not rocket science really :-)

Reviewed by CBF from UK on 18th Mar 2013
not a 5 star phone as battery wont last a full day. Wish is did as otherwise a great phone
Rating:

Reviewed by Shakir from Pakistan on 8th Mar 2013
I have bought this phone some seven days back. The phone is application rich.However, is not as colourful as android phone. the battery life is pethetic.
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