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Nokia Lumia 630 review

 Review: June 2014  
 

Last updated February 2015

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Nokia Lumia 630 is a cheap-as-chips Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone with a large screen and a quadcore processor. It's a good buy, but can't match the best Android phones in this price range.

Today's best buy: Nokia Lumia 630 UK SIM-Free ... from Amazon (£82.89)



 

Design & looks

The Nokia Lumia 630 isn't a phone that's destined to win any design prizes. In fact, it won't even win runner-up prize, despite its puppy dog desire to please. Somehow Nokia's designers have managed to create a phone that looks just as cheap as it is. It's probably quite tough though, as the screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and it's the kind of phone that you won't worry too much about throwing in a bag with keys and coins.

The standard Lumia 630 comes in non-descript black, but would just love to have its boring black shell swapped for a brightly-coloured snap-on back panel. Would this be an improvement? We couldn't possibly comment.

Nevertheless, since we aren't expecting premium design for under £100, let's move on. What we can say is that the phone has one of the largest screens on any sub-£100 phone, and that has to be a good thing. It's an IPS display with Nokia's ClearBlack technology, which means that the screen is bright and easy to read even in sunlight. It's not very sharp, having 480 x 854 pixels and a lowly pixel density of just 221 ppi, but it's not at all bad when you consider the price.

The screen surround is larger than it needs to be, making the phone quite large and bulky. At least it's quite light in weight, weighing just 134g. We also note here that unlike most Lumias, this model has no dedicated camera button.

Snapdragon power

Despite its cutesy looks, there's a beast lurking at the heart of this phone - a quadcore Snapdragon 400 processor running at 1.2GHz. Suddenly the Lumia 630 is looking a lot more interesting. This is a significant step up from previous Nokia phones, and makes the Lumia 630 much faster than it ought to be, for the money. On the downside, the onboard RAM is a miserly 512MB.

The built-in storage is 8GB, which is typical for an entry-level phone, and there's a microSD slot, which can accept memory cards up to 128GB. You also get 7GB of OneDrive cloud storage for free, so we have no complaints about the memory available for apps and data.

Windows Phone 8.1

Like all Lumia phones, the 630 runs the Windows Phone 8 operating system (8.1 Cyan), which we find very user-friendly, especially for smartphone novices. There's still a relative lack of third party apps, but the official apps are all of high quality. Pre-installed apps include Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and Adobe Reader. You also get powerful apps for email and instant messaging and a wide range of call management features.

Internet Explorer 11 is the web browser, and social media is fully integrated, with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp all here.

The excellent HERE Maps works with the aGPS/GLONASS positioning to get your location sorted, and HERE Drive / HERE Transit will show you the way to go, whether you're travelling by car or public transport.

5 megapixel camera with HD video

The rear-facing camera has a 5 megapixel sensor and is equipped with autofocus, but no LED flash. It's not a high-end camera, but is more than sufficient for an entry-level product. It can record 720p HD video too. However, there's no front-facing camera, so selfies are a no-no.

Connectivity

This is a 3G phone with HSPA enabling download speeds up to a maximum of 21.1 Mbps. It also has quadband support for GSM networks.

For fast data access, the phone has Wi-Fi (b/g/n), and it's also equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, USB and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There is no NFC support.

Battery life

The 1830mAh battery is larger than previous entry-level Lumia models, but only average when compared with budget Android phones. It'll struggle to deliver more than about 8-10 hours of continuous use, although casual users might get a free days between charges.

Conclusion

Team Android has been releasing some powerful phones in the under-£100 price range this year, so it's good to see Windows Phone 8 rising to the challenge with a bargain phone that doesn't cut too many corners. This is certainly the best WP8 smartphone you can buy for the price, and apart from its budget styling and the lack of a front-facing camera, it's a good all-rounder. However, unless you're a WP8 fan or a technophobe, we'd recommend choosing one of the outstanding budget Android phones that have been released recently, such as the Motorola Moto G or EE Kestrel.

The Nokia Lumia 635 costs a little extra, but is the same phone with 4G added. The new Microsoft Lumia 535 is definitely worth a look too.


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Nokia Lumia 630 user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 6 reviews:

Reviewed by peter from England on 22nd Nov 2015
No problems with this phone at all, in fact some of my mates with i phones are quite surprised at its functionality. Some people complaining on here about MMS problems, just use WhattsApp, it's free for god's sake!! good battery life of about 2-3 days depending on use. Motion data built in which is a good function and the maps are very accurate. All in all I will have another of these.
Rating:

Reviewed by Erick from United Kingdom on 10th Nov 2015
A bargain device which has an enormous amount of technology for the money to stay connected.
Rating:

Reviewed by Arun from india on 20th Nov 2014
Yes its definitely hard to use for a few days.once u get a hang of it its a very nice phone.
Rating:

Reviewed by User of lumia 630 from wastern cape on 3rd Nov 2014
This is the worst phone ever it everytime tells me to set up my family even though its already set up
Rating:

Reviewed by kase from United kingdom on 5th Oct 2014
Nokia Lumia 630 is not like iPhone where you can view the mms so easily so is not good
Rating:

Reviewed by gatergirl from USA on 7th Sep 2014
This phone is like a pretty woman...great looks but not interested in working too hard. I cannot get nor send MMS texts. They have taken something so simple and made it a major headache. I'm getting tired of trying to figure out how to fix it.
In this day and age texting and sharing images is too critical for this hiccup to be minor.
Rating:

Reply by jrap330 from USA on 6th Jan 2015
If you have trouble with MMS it could be the APN (Access Point Name)- settings...SIM chip not doing it automatically...call your provider or do a internet search. And if MMS and texting is important in "this day and age" please go back to schools...seeing pictures should never be more important the other functionality. MMS did not exist until a few years ago and NOTHING regarding networking is simple.


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