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  • Reviews - Written by on Monday, April 15, 2013 11:14 - 17 Comments

    Nokia Lumia 620: Review

    lumia-620-1

    review If you’re in the market for a Nokia smartphone at the moment, you’re likely feeling dazzled — by both choice and colour. The Finnish company’s latest low-end opus is the Lumia 620, going for prices as low as $259. But does this lesser model in Nokia’s range sacrifice too much power for its cheaper price? Read on to find out.

    Design
    If you’re familiar with Nokia’s recent design choices on its Lumia handset range, then you won’t be surprised to find many of those same design choices present in the 620. You get the same high-end plastic feel from its case, the same standard Windows Phone operating system buttons, and of course, the same vibrant colour options — the 620 can have white, green, blue, yellow and red case options, and the back case is removable, so you can pick the colour which suits you.

    On the right-hand side of the unit sits the normal three Windows Phone buttons — a volume rocker, an on/off button, and a dedicated camera button, while a micro-USB port on its bottom does charging/synching duties, and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top provides audio. There’s also a small speaker set into the phone’s back, and its camera is, of course, in the normal place. The 620 measures 115.4mm by 61.1mm, and it’s 11mm thick. It weighs 127g.

    All of this is fairly standard. So what’s new here?

    Probably the most comparable model to the 620 is the 610, which went on sale in Australia in mid-2012. In Delimiter’s review of that model, we were pretty positive, seeing the 610 as a well-put-together little unit that was, nevertheless, a little hard to recommend on a pricing basis (given the fact that more powerful Nokia models were available for just a little more).

    The 620 feels like quite an improvement on the 610 in general. We like its colours better, it sits in the hand a little better, and the case feels like it has better build quality in general. The 610 always felt a little cheap, while the 620 actually feels like it has the full Nokia build quality. We think you’ll really like the way the 620 sits in the hand; it’s a comfortable and vibrant phone with great design.

    Features
    As with all entry-level phones, the 620 has quite a few watered down features compared to higher-end models. For starters, its main camera is only five megapixels, and its display size is relatively small by today’s standards, at 3.8″ (although we can’t be too hard on Nokia for this; the popular iPhone 5 has only a slightly larger display at 4″). The 620 has a relatively poor display resolution of 800×480, meaning you get a pixel density of about 246PPI, and its CPU is a dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon S4 model from Qualcomm.

    The model comes with 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage space, and it can take a microSD card of up to 64GB. Predictably, it doesn’t do 4G/LTE, but you will be able to get up to 21.1Mbps speeds out of it through HSDPA, which is supported in Australia in many areas through the major operators. It does have an NFC chip, which is a nice extra, if you can find a way to use it in Australia.

    The other major new feature which the Lumia 620 introduces is Windows Phone 8. Microsoft’s new mobile operating system features a slew of new and long-awaited features, ranging from multi-core CPU support, to a resolution bump (1280×768 or 1280×720 — although the 620 doesn’t support this), the ability to support microSD cards, NFC chip support, Internet Explorer 10, a Wallet feature for storing debit/credit cards, coupons and boarding passes and better maps and directions (through integration of Nokia’s maps feature). Most of these features were already available through Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms, and Windows Phone users have been waiting them for a long time for the Microsoft platform. We’re very glad to see them arrive.

    In addition, as this is a Nokia Windows Phone smartphone, you get the normal customised Nokia apps bundled with it — Nokia Music, Maps, Drive and so on. To our mind, these apps really do give Nokia an advantage over other Windows Phone vendors, given the fact that even Windows Phone 8 is still lacking in some areas compared with iOS and Android.

    Let’s be honest here. If this review was being written only a couple of years ago, all of these features would be awesome. However, in early 2013, with quad-core and even eight-core smartphones on the market with 8 megapixel cameras, LTE support, 5″ 1080P screens and incredible pixel density ratings out there, the 620 just doesn’t shine.

    This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however; as the 620 isn’t designed to compete with the big boys. It’s designed to provide relatively comparable features at a much lower price. And on this benchmark, the 620 succeeds admirably.

    Performance
    To put it bluntly, there’s a lot to like about the 620’s performance.

    We’ve been making the argument for some time that for almost all applications, CPU performance is ceasing to matter in smartphone-land, and the 620 demonstrates this phenomenon perfectly. This is an entry-level phone at a cheap price that — like other entry level models such as the Kogan Agora — is perfectly capable of pulling off basically anything that you’ll be able to throw at it. Windows Phone games just aren’t a problem, and neither is playing HD video. The audio quality of the 620 is also very decent for a smartphone of this level, and network access speeds are as expected.

    The 620’s camera is also quite decent. We’ve reviewed a few five megapixel smartphones over the past several years, and we’re comfortable saying that the model on the 620 is near the top of the range, if not at the top. Nokia is well-known for the camera quality in its smartphones, and the 620 is no exception. We particularly liked the vivid colours the 620 was able to pick up. Of course, the camera struggles when compared to industry-leading models found on phones such as the iPhone 5, the Lumia 920 and so on, and it’s a rough fight with even the normal eight megapixel shooters found on most every modern smartphone of other persuasions, but that’s to be expected. It was a similar situation with video, but its worth noting here that we liked the 620’s audio pickup capabilities.

    Battery-wise, you’re going to get a pretty decent deal from the 620. Its 1300mAh model will normally last you through two days, and it’ll retain some juice over most of a week if you leave it on your desk unattended. This is better than most battery-sucking smartphones in 2013, so we’re happy to give the 620 a pass mark in this regard. Of note, however, is that the 620 does not support wireless charging as some of Nokia’s other models do.

    Conclusion
    Obviously, obviously, there are better, more powerful smartphones out there — you can get them from Nokia, you can get them from Apple, you can get them from an Android vendor or even another Windows Phone vendor. You know it, we know it, everyone knows it. If you don’t want an entry-level phone, then steer clear of the Lumia 620.

    However, if you are in the market for a colourful smartphone at a very cheap price (online retailer Mobicity has the 620 starting at just $259) that has most of the features and power that much more expensive phones have, then we think you’ll find it very hard to go past the Lumia 620. This is just a great model — powerful, feature-rich and very performant, at a bargain basement price. Even if you’ve never used Windows Phone before, if you’re in the market for an entry level smartphone in Australia, we recommend you check the 620 out. In its category, it’s a winner and an absolute bargain for what you get.

    Other reviews we liked of the Lumia 620: Engadget, PCWorld Australia, CNET.

    Image credit: Nokia

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    17 Comments

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    1. Marcus
      Posted 15/04/2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink |

      MS have perfected the “Lip Stick on a Pig” technique.

      Win8 phones are less a smart phone and more a feature rich appliance.
      Its an adequate replacement for Blackberry I think… painfully limited in capability but perfectly capable of business specific activities.

      • Posted 15/04/2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink |

        ‘painfully limited in capabilities’

        i would like to know what you mean by that and what you think the windows phone fails at doing…

        • Marcus
          Posted 15/04/2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink |

          screen res is a huge limitation, as is the lack of micro SIM support (yes I know that some new models are coming out with microSIM support, but its just an example of how MS released a crippled “Modern” product)

          The grunt of the devices is extremely limited in an overall sense, for the non multi tasking environment of Win7.5/8 its ok… but again they released a crippled product so that you don’t expect too much from it… lowering the bar of the OS does not excuse the associated lowering the bar of the phone in my books.

          The lack of support for many of MS OWN products is shocking, for instance I can sync my oultook Notes via ActiveSync on Android… but not MS’s own product.
          This alone is inexcusable.

          I can go on… but yeah I’m not completely against the product… I think its fine for most business users. But I would go as far as to call it a smart phone in the same sense as other more powerful and capable devices.

          • Posted 15/04/2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink |

            screen res and micro sim are two real bugbears with me:

            if you want to watch something that requires a fantastic screen, why watch it on a smartphone?? also, if you want masses of storage on a portable device, get a tablet…

            not sure what your issue is with the ‘grunt’ of the windows phones (all versions). i have not come across one function that appears slow or clunky or that the phone didn’t appear to handle.

            which ‘products’ are not compatible with windows phone? i understand what you mean about specific ‘features’ of said products, but to say that many of microsoft’s own products are incompatible is just incorrect…

          • jo
            Posted 15/04/2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink |

            MSoft has nothing to do with microSIM support. Its entirely up to the phone manufacturer. Nokia’s first Windows Phone had a microSIM and almost all since. If one of them doesn’t, it was Nokia’s choice not Window Phone’s limitation.

            Also, you can have screens up to 1280×768 resolution on Windows Phone. Might not be the 1080p that’s now expected on the 5″ phones but its still pretty good for sub-4.5″ phones. Also I’m not sure if you’re attacking Microsoft on only supporting upto 1280×768 or you still think they only support up to 800×480 but if the support isn’t lifted to 1080p before the end of the year, I’d worry for them and they’d be 1-2 steps behind again.

    2. jo
      Posted 15/04/2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink |

      Not sure why you use Mobicity (are they paying you?, serious question)

      Mobicity is not Australian stock and doesn’t have Nokia’s 2 year standard Australian warranty. Mobileciti is a similar store but its all Australian stock. Harvey Norman is as far as I know the cheapest for this at $248 and oddly enough for the lower-end Nokia Windows Phones (520, 620, 720) Harvey Norman has the best prices. Usual advantage of Mobicity (and Kogan) is they often get the cheapest overseas stock which can’t really be compared to Australian stock which has been priced according to the local market and most people will be purchasing Australian stock at Australian prices, not overseas (vs priced to the respective overseas market the stock is sourced from)

      • Posted 15/04/2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

        Mobicity isn’t paying us anything — if they were it would be disclosed. As for why I use them as a quick price guide, it’s because they’re one of the most popular online stores in Australia for smartphones, probably the most popular, and they’re cheaper than the carriers/Hardly Normal etc.

        • jo
          Posted 15/04/2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink |

          Thanks

          Whilst they’re now probably THE most popular online store, I don’t think its best to use them for comparison simply because its not Australian stock. In my opinion its best to give RRP and highlight the fact the sale price will be lower or give the sale price of an Australian stock (though at least you’re comparing apples with apples unlike Gizmodo who compare RRP with Mobicity’s prices)

    3. The Slav
      Posted 15/04/2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink |

      Hey Renai, you can actually get the 620 for even cheaper from Harvey Norman @ $249.
      http://www.harveynorman.com.au/homepage/nokia-lumia-620-8gb-white-smartphone.html
      Oh, awesome phone BTW. Got one for my mum, she finds it MUCH easier than her last smartphone, an Android.

      • Posted 15/04/2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink |

        Yes but personally I would never recommend buying anything from Harvey Norman.

    4. richard
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink |

      The 520 is coming soon to, supposedly for 229 outright or 179 from telstra prepaid.

      $179 sounds great considering it has the same 1 ghz dual core 8gig storage and 512mb of ram with a 4 inch screen. I’m going to be checking it out just to try out WP8.

      Compared to the Android prepaids it sounds really good especially with phones like the HTC C with its 600mhz single core processor. And while not future proof with its 512mb of ram it’s better than the last gens 610 with only 256mb which ran into problems.

    5. Stephen
      Posted 16/04/2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink |

      What about the calls suggesting that it’s already a failed ecosystem, e.g.

      http://www.zdnet.com/windows-its-over-7000013964/

      While it ties into the desktop predominantly it’s pretty damning of the tablet market and by extension the phones. Yo’d be a brave person to back MS in this round.

      • Douglas
        Posted 18/04/2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink |

        Bear in mind that the article you linked to is written by the same guy who claims that every year is going to be the year that Linux takes over the desktop market and etc.

        Believing anything he says about Microsoft is not a good idea.

    6. Jeff
      Posted 18/04/2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink |

      Does the 620 have wifi hotspot capability – to support tethering a tablet device?

    7. Cody
      Posted 04/05/2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink |

      Hi I’m looking to buy a now smartphone within a budget. Would it be better to take the lumia 620 or the Sony experia J ?
      Thank You

      • Frusted
        Posted 06/05/2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink |

        Hi Cody, apart from the fact I can not make or receive calls without having to put the device on speaker, the unit is a smart and has all the necessary applications for a smart phone – hope you have more luck then Im having

    8. Frusted
      Posted 06/05/2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink |

      Ive had the 620 since February. Since the purchase I can count a total of only 5 calls I’ve been able to make without using the speaker when answering or trying to make a call. Ive have had to send the phone off twice for service, and both times its come back with them telling me there is nothing wrong. They tell me it must be a problem with my SIM. I’ve had the micro SIM replaced by my phone provider 3 times. I have gone through every scenario, surely there must be a technical problem??? HELP??? They now want me to send the phone back for the third time with my SIM – this is totally out of the question!!!




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