Why Lumia 630 Is A Right Balance Of Budget And Performance

Nokia’s Lumia 6xx series have been most confusing for me and it seems Nokia was confused too. It started with Lumia 620, grew bigger with Lumia 625 and smaller again with Lumia 630. Model numbers don’t show any relation between two phones as a successor or predecessor. Anyone would believe that Lumia 630 is an upgrade to the previous Lumia 625 because numbers say so. It indeed is an upgrade but in a compact package and sans some features you’d expected from a successor.

Design:

Lumia 630 looks just like any other monoblock touchscreen phone. It’s a bare minimum design. No bells and whistles or anything facny anywhere. Build quality is typical Nokia. It has solid look and feel. I found its dimensions perfect for my needs. It fits perfectly in palms and single handed use isn’t “task”. Nokia sure has expertise in designing the phones and it shows with Lumia 630. There’s really nothing that I can complain about it. It’s back has near perfect grip, keys and ports are placed just as they should be. By the way, Lumia 630 uses on-screen keys so the physical ones are gone.

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Lumia 630 hosts everything else under its removable back panel. There’s a 1830 mAh battery underneath, along with a microSIM and microSD card slots. There’s a 5MP AF camera on the back sans the flash. Nokia shouldn’t have skipped the flash at this price point. It would have been a nice addition. Its lack could be a dealbreaker for some and that includes me too.

Hardware, Performance and Battery:

Lumia 630 was the first Windows Phone device to use the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC which has a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 512MB RAM. Windows Phone is generally easy even on the low-end hardware. We’ve seen it performing well in the past on Lumia 520. But frankly speaking, I did notice lag and little bit stuttering on Lumia 630. It was especially evident while surfing the web. IE11 would often become unstable while loading sites rich with multi-media content. I faced similar issues in the Facebook app too. More than the hardware itself, Windows Phone needs some refinement.

Lumia 630’s display was no doubt excellent. It’s just a LCD unit but Nokia’s ClearBlack tech makes it a lot better. Especially in sunlight, it remains completely usable and readable. Plus you can tune the display to your liking including color saturation using different color profiles and custom ones.

I’m also used to get decent battery life from Windows Phone handsets but Lumia 630 turned out to be an exception. Even with my moderate usage, I struggled to get more than 12 hours on a single charge. Since it was my daily driver for couple of weeks, I used it everywhere, on my commute, with 3G and hooking it to WiFi when available. I’d generally use it for emails (two accounts), SNS services, calling but almost zero multimedia usage. You can say I’m a boring person…lol.

Camera:

On paper, Lumia 630 has a 5MP AF camera and as I told you already, there’s no flash. On the software side, it’s equipped with Nokia’s Lumia Denim update and Lumia Camera and both bring imaging enhancements to the table. I tested its camera with the previous version of Lumia Camera which was utterly slow in terms of launch time.

In real world performance, Lumia 630 produced images with just average quality. Passable for 5MP standards. There was a slight purple tint as well in some photos.

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Connectivity:

Lumia 630 is a single SIM phone but in some markets like India, there’s dual SIM variant present too. It doesn’t have 4G LTE but if that is what you want, pick up Lumia 635. It’s exactly the same phone with added 4G LTE connectivity. There ain’t bells and whistles like NFC but that definitely isn’t a deal-breaker.

Conclusion:

If you’re a first time smartphone buyer and looking for a cheap smartphone with a decent value for money, Lumia 630 deserves your attention. Lumia 630 would fit the bill, literally. This phone is available in practically every continent. Your carrier may not be selling it but you can always get one on Amazon but just make sure its compatible with the network frequencies your carrier uses otherwise you’ll be left with poor 2G connctivity.

In the USA, carriers are instead selling the Lumia 635, 4G varaiant of Lumia 630, which you can grab for as low as $60 (AT&T) while in the U.K. it’s available for £0 with new contract on O2 or Orange or £70 on Vodafone. Those living in India can get it for just $102 (INR ,6500). There’s a dual SIM version which is available in India for $126 (INR 8K). For around ~$20 or ~INR 1K more, Indians can get Lumia 535 which has 1GB RAM and flash for camera but keep in mind though, you’ll be trading Snapdragon 400 for lower Snapdragon 200.

You can always find cheap Android phones but there would be barely any which will have a good bang for bucks as Lumia 630. The best VFM Android phone, Moto G too costs $180. Sure it is better in practically every area but if your budget is tight then Lumia 630 makes for a serious option. In India however, Lumia 630 has stiff competition. It has to compete with Android One handsets, Xiaomi and Micromax’s Yureka, a recent addition and all are available within the price range of $100 to $150 and offer eqaul or better features.

To sum it up, Lumia 630 is strong option for first timers. It may not be your obvious choice depending on what you want from a phone. If you’re getting a better deal at this price mark, get it over Lumia 630. Would I buy one? No, I need a better feature set. Would I recommend this? Absolutely. Will you regret buying this phone? Absolutely not.