For some reason whenever I get a “budget” or “entry level” phone I always expect great things. Somewhere along the line my brain just can’t compute that something that costs about £200 isn’t always going to be astounding. I think it is the various amazing budget devices that we’ve seen in the past. Take the Huawei G300 or the ZTE Blade or the Nokia Lumia 710. All of them have been cheap and cheerful phones that have performed way beyond their cost.
So where does the Lumia 620 fit in then? I really don’t know, it is a great little phone, but with it come some issues. Read on to see why.
- Great build quality
- Great suite of Nokia apps
- Pre-loaded with the Portico update
- Great sound quality
- MicroSD slot
- Removable battery
- Screen is just a little bit too small
- Slight lag at times
- Colourful shells hard to get hold of
The Nokia Lumia has range has had some great looking members in recent years, the original Lumia 800 and recently the Lumia 920 both are great looking phones with streamlined looks. There are also a few ugly ducklings within the family the Lumia 610 and the Lumia 710 both needed to kept hidden away (in my opinion of course). The new Lumia 620 sits somewhere between nice and not so nice.
With the current range of Lumia devices Nokia have opted for removable shells, as seen on the 820 and now on the 620, they advertise these devices with a range of brightly coloured shells and then once again much like the 820 the shells are not available at launch. The line I got from Nokia was “they’re coming soon, we can’t say when”. Someone did however point me to an online retailer who had white and blue in stock.
The shell in itself is quite an interesting thing. Nokia have said they are “Dual Colour” which on some of the brighter ones it is obvious why, but on the black one you get black and clear. In certain lights you can see through parts of the shell, mainly around the edges and near the ports. This effect is the same on the white and blue shells, I really like it. This does sort of make the 620 feel a bit more premium than it is. Having the option to change your shell during the day or every few days is a nice touch, I have got three shells for mine now and I often find myself marvelling at how cool the dual colour effect is.
The shell has the power, camera and volume rocker buttons built in and it also has some strange headphone socket piece built in as well. Apart from the Micro USB port on the bottom and a few microphone holes dotted around the shell is pretty uninterrupted. The buttons themself are the nicer newer buttons as found on the 820 and the 920, the have a much better feel to them compared to the previous generation Lumias and they also feel miles better than my HTC 8X.
Although the Lumia 620 is small, it isn’t really much different in size to the original Lumia 800. The size also means you can comfortably use it one handed, which is a refreshing change for me. The placement of the power button is also in my favourite spot on the right hand side of the device.
The Lumia 620 has a low spec for Windows Phone. But is not at the bottom of the pile though, the Lumia 620 has more internal memory than the HTC 8S and the upcoming Huawei W1 and although the screen may be smaller than it’s nearest competitors, I feel the screen is better than the one on the HTC 8S. With colour, viewing angles and finger print attraction being way better on the Lumia 620.
Here are the specs of the Lumia 620:
- Dimensions – Height 115.4 mm Width 61.1 mm Thickness 11.0 mm
- Weight – 127g
- Display size – 3.8” WVGA 800×480 pixels
- Display height 83.0 mm Display width 50.0 mm
- Display technology – LCD, ClearBlack
- Micro SIM
- 3.5 mm audio connector
- Wireless connectivity – Bluetooth 3.0, Near Field Communication, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n
- RAM – 512MB
- Memory card size – up to 64GB
- Internal memory – 8GB
- HSPA+ (3G)
- Battery model – BL-4J 1300 mAh
- Processor – Snapdragon™ S4 Dual-core 1.0GHz
Stand out features of the spec are the MicroSD slot, the removeable battery, the changeable shells, the decent quality microphone and speakers and the clearblack screen. The Microphone on the 620 also is pretty good at recording concerts, with many people commenting on the distortion free recording if offers.
The Lumia 620 comes running Windows Phone 8 and it also has the Portico update pre-installed which means you get persistent WiFi and a few other tweaks to the Dialler app. The joy of Windows Phone is that lower spec hardware works admirably, without any of the lag you’d expect from a phone with spec like these.
The great thing about Nokia devices is that you get a big pile of exclusive apps, tools and games available to you. Personally I think this gives the Nokia devices an edge over their competitors, with the Lumia 620 it is no different. I was impressed to find the full range of camera lenses available as well.
As the Lumia 620 has a fairly low spec CPU and only 512MB of RAM I was expecting to come across some lag here and there within the system. I didn’t see any lag, yet when comparing it to the HTC 8X I have things definitely looked slower. Playing games wasn’t a problem either and it coped admirably on the more basic games like Angry Birds or Cut the Rope as well as more intensive games like Assassins Creed or Asphalt 5.
I did spot a few display bugs here and there. Such as if you loiter in a messaging thread, the coloured messages seem to have an odd glitch now and again. This could be my phone, a RAM issue or just totally random. I have seen it every day for nearly two weeks now though.
The 8GB internal memory equates to about 5.7GB out of the box and this if coupled with a MicroSD card really negates most of the problems you’d expect from having a smaller internal memory than its more expensive brethren. When I get a device with a MicroSD slot I always think about using it as an MP3 player. With the Lumia 620 I did just that. Listening to music downloaded via Xbox Music or on the SD card was a pleasure, having a graphic equaliser and Dolby enhancements really makes music sound quite good. The speaker on the back of the Lumia is also pretty damn loud. Although being on the back means it gets muffled now and then. I used the Lumia 620 paired up via NFC to my Nokia Play 360 speaker and it sounded great. Streaming music over persistent WiFi was really useful.
You would expect the camera on the Lumia 620 to not be that great, I found it to be a little slow to take the shots but managed quite well in well lit situations, some low light shots and quite good at close up work thanks to a macro option in the settings.
Questions from readers
A few people asked questions after our initial impressions and I’ll answer those here.
Zaid Mahomedy asked, how’s the battery life on the 620. Can you get more than a day usage (with 30min web browsing, 20min on the phone)?
Syncing 3 different email accounts, browsing the web a lot, checking Twitter all day, making calls, checking RSS and publishing articles on here killed the battery by lunchtime easily. I would invest in a spare battery if you’re planning on getting one.
Mujassar Rafay asked, can you tell about the front camera performance during video calls..thanks !
The front camera is pretty basic, I wouldn’t want to run any business or do something important via it. It works but it’s not the nicest experience.
Rahul Nirwan hey, can you tell me about the quality of the headphones you received with 620??? Are they nice or prefer getting new headphones.
The included headphones are just basic ones. I would get a decent pair to maximise the decent sound coming from the Lumia.
The Nokia Lumia 620 is a great little phone, as mentioned several times throughout my review if you add a MicroSD card then it becomes a whole lot more useful.
I do feel that Lumia is a little bit small though, if it was 4” then it would appeal to more people. Yet being smaller will appeal to other people. I guess one device can’t appeal to all.
Seeing various networks take this device on board within days of it being released really shows that it is a mass market appeal device. With the great PAYG pricing it will no doubt find it’s way into many new Windows Phone users hands. I think Nokia are certainly the brand that will take Windows Phone to the mass market.
I think that Nokia have done a great job with the Lumia 620 and for me compared to it’s nearest competition it comes out on top due the Nokia extras, the battery, the shells and the extra memory. Whether HTC or Huawei will respond with better specified entry level devices will remain to be seen.
The last thing I feel I should say is, if you’ve been wanting to try Windows Phone 8 out then this is probably the device for you.