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Nokia Lumia 630 Review

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Interface and Functionality

Windows Phone 8.1 with Nokia’s Cyan is a much more mature operating system. The built-in apps also add a ton of value, and having dual-SIM phones on Windows Phone is great.

The big news about the Lumia 630 is the fact that it is one of the first devices to ship with the brand new Windows Phone 8.1, and with Nokia’s Cyan improvements on top.

Windows Phone 8.1 introduces a host of new features including a drag-down notification center (Action Center) a la Android that is home to all your notifications, but also to four toggles that you can conveniently use to quickly adjust brightness, switch Wi-Fi on or off, etc (you can customize the function of the four toggles from settings). The brightness toggle is particularly useful, since you can quickly change between low, medium, and high brightness levels without needing to go into settings every time. Given that the phone does not support automatic brightness adjustment, this feature is more than welcome. In the Action Center, you can now also see the actual battery percentage, and the date, which is neat. As for notifications, you can swipe them away one by one to discard them, or you can clear them all in bulk.

Windows Phone 8.1 has also gotten plentiful new customization options including the capability to finally have a wallpaper (Start Background) on your home screen. How does it work with all those Live Tiles? In fact, the wallpaper occupies space from the tiles, and scrolls live with them. Not all Live Tiles are transparent, and thus not all show the wallpaper, so it looks a bit like a mosaic, but the effect that is achieved is unusual and we like it.

There is lots of other, smaller improvements like the neat Quiet Hours feature. It is a do-not-disturb option in essence, that can automatically activate in certain hours. It also works with the calendar, and when you’re in a meeting, it’d automatically put your phone into silent mode. Another neat option is “Find My Phone” that will help you locate a phone when you lose it, or wipe your private data off it, if it’s stolen.

On the other hand, you have Nokia Cyan, a host of improvements to Windows Phone exclusive to Nokia. Those include apps like the Nokia Camera, Creative Studio and Storyteller for all Nokia phones, and a few features like Dolby Surround Sound recording available on select phones.

Basic functionality is - needless to say - well covered. Microsoft bundles in a bunch of useful apps - Travel, Sports, Finance, Food & Drinks and News are here, while Nokia also adds value with a rich Weather app. You have a rich phonebook, and the keyboard experience is one of the best out there with well-spaced keys and a reassuring clicky sounds when you type.

We should also say that the Nokia Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone to come with support for dual SIMs. Nokia is offering both a single-SIM and a dual-SIM version (depending on the market). The model we have for review is the single-SIM one, so we could not test the dual SIM functionality, but what we can tell you is that it is a dual-SIM dual-stand-by (DSDS) one (in contrast to dual-SIM dual-active phones, DSDS only has one transceiver and will block the second card, when you’re on a call on the first one).

Processor and Memory

Snapdragon 400 is a snappy chip, but having just 512MB of RAM puts the brakes on an otherwise capable system.

The Lumia 630 runs on the quad-core Snapdragon 400 system chip. This popular chip for affordable devices (the Motorola Moto G runs on the same one) delivers buttery smooth performance on the Lumia 630, with the familiar pleasing fluidity of Windows Phone 8.1.

The chip is built on a 28nm LP process and features four Cortex A7 CPU cores running at up to 1.2GHz, and it comes with 512MB of RAM. The latter is a big limitation for the otherwise very potent Lumia 630 - you cannot feel this limited amount of RAM much in basic daily operations, but if you multitask more or want to play more demanding games, this will definitely be a limitation.

The Adreno 305 GPU takes care of the gaming aspects of things. It’s a graphics chip that runs at up to 450MHz, and will run even more demanding games (again, if the game supports devices with just 512MB of RAM, though).

The Lumia 630 arrives with 8GB of Internal storage, of which around 4GB are available to the end user. That would have been a terribly scarce storage if you could not expand it, but luckily, there is a microSD card slot that you can use with cards of up to 128GB capacity to augment the storage allowance.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Motorola Moto G 17014
Sony Xperia M 11629
Nokia Lumia 630 11282.6
Sunspider
Lower is better
Motorola Moto G 1223.8
Nokia Lumia 630 1464.8
View all

Internet and Connectivity

The new Internet Explorer 11 is a vastly improved browser with tons of new features that make the surfing experience way more enjoyable.

Windows Phone 8.1 ships with the brand new Internet Explorer 11, the latest version of Microsoft’s web browser. It is a huge update to IE for mobile, bringing heaps of new features and catching up with the competition. Windows Phone has been (and still is) very limited in terms of browser choice, and while this time around you don’t get much more in terms of choice, the default option is finally looking good.

Internet Explorer’s new options include an incognito mode that does not store browser history, reading mode that leaves only the text of a webpage in a nicely formatted document, and support for unlimited tabs. You also get the option to go back and forward in pages by just swiping left and right, which is neat (but not new - hello, Safari!). Another option that is particularly nice is pinning webpages to the start screen. The pages then appear as live tiles showing you the page in its latest, most up-to-date state.

The browsing experience itself is fairly smooth, and you can scroll around and zoom in and out of pages with almost no lag.

The Lumia 630 does not support 4G LTE connectivity, but it does have speedy HSPA+ download speeds of up to 21Mbps. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, but there is no NFC on board.

29 Comments
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posted on 04 Jun 2014, 03:55

1. BattleBrat (Posts: 1062; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Victor H, could you please be so kind as to contact me. I have an idea for an article

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 03:57

2. eldyagustius (Posts: 125; Member since: 30 Oct 2013)


is BBM preinstalled in this phone?

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 04:48

7. NotAGeek (Posts: 126; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I think that's only for the indonesian market

posted on 20 Jul 2014, 17:20

27. hideyaku89 (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Oct 2011)


no, it's not,, I bought 630 3 dayss a go and there's no BBM preinstaled

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 04:14

3. peace247 (Posts: 79; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)


Ambient light sensor for call...?
I think it is the proximity sensor...

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 05:32

14. billgates (banned) (Posts: 555; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Not in this phone sir.

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 04:14

4. hipnotika (Posts: 289; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)


no flash :(

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 04:23 4

5. andro. (Posts: 1936; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Ive seen this phone on sale with some mobile networks for 130 euros on prepay,its a decent offering for that. Think the review slightly forgets its a budget level smartphone

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 04:57 1

8. boosook (Posts: 946; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


The problem is that it's not so budget level... Nokia set a price which is too high for a phone with so many limitations (512MB of ram, no flash, no front camera, no ambient light sensor and all the other things listed in the CONS section of the review).
It has almost the same price of the Moto G, yet the Moto G is in another league... it has an HD screen, more ram, it's faster (look at the tests) and it's a full-featured smartphone.
The 630 sits between the Moto E and the Moto G, but its price is close to the latter.

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 05:04 1

10. lalalaman (Posts: 309; Member since: 19 Aug 2013)


moto g is much more expensive in my country....around $55 higher than 630

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 05:14 3

11. boosook (Posts: 946; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


IMHO it's worth them! :)

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 05:38 3

15. ihavenoname (Posts: 1334; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


It's DEFINITELY worth it.

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 05:22 1

13. muhsen (Posts: 245; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)


in the Uk, it costs the same as Moto E which is alot worse( S400 vs S200).
While reviewing, they should have considered all countries, not just theirs.

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 06:21 2

17. eldyagustius (Posts: 125; Member since: 30 Oct 2013)


512MB for windows phone is enough if you compared it with android smartphones..

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 06:39 1

18. dr.c33 (Posts: 19; Member since: 31 May 2014)


Ok, I bet you want the Lumia 930 to come with 512 MB of RAM too right? Yes I admit Windows Phone is fluid even with 512 MB of RAM, and Android isn't (but it is far more capable). The point is, you are paying a lot for 512MB of RAM. That's like saying just because WP always runs smooth, L930 should come with the least capable hardware possible and demand a high price.

WP should use its fluidity as an advantage and not as an excuse. Yes, implement 512 MB of RAM is fluid, but cut the price down by at least $50 USD while you are at it.

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 19:55

23. eldyagustius (Posts: 125; Member since: 30 Oct 2013)


I think the lumia 630 is fairly cheap like 520 in my country though it has only 512MB RAM.

posted on 06 Jun 2014, 07:44

24. dr.c33 (Posts: 19; Member since: 31 May 2014)


No it isn't. It's bordering $200. You know what I can get with $200? On the android side, Moto G and Xiaomi 2S and Hongmi Note. On the WP side, I can get the HTC 8X with a 720P screen and slimmer profile. If I just add 50 bucks I can get a L920.

Stop making excuses for this thing they call a "budget" phone.

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 04:28

6. ihavenoname (Posts: 1334; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


I'd say that good device for price. However, eventhough Moto G is slightly more expensive in some regions, I'd still have it all day. It has much better screen, build quality is very good and solid, it has customizable back plates, better OS, as PA said, slightly better camera with flash. But you can't go seriously wrong with either.

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 05:02 2

9. lalalaman (Posts: 309; Member since: 19 Aug 2013)


well dual sim version is $170 in my country whereas Moto G is around $220....that makes both of them great devices for their price range....i wonder why it is expensive in US

Plus nokia should have named that phone Lumia 530,it is nowhere near 6xx series specs....

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 05:21 4

12. muhsen (Posts: 245; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)


that's weird, Gsmarena has named the 630 as one of the best 5mpx shooters and PA says it's middling ????!! PA camera reviews have always been questionable (iphones taking the lead sometimes against the likes of Sony Xperia flagships). so I would go for Gsmarena words.http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_lumia_630-review-1080p8.php
Also, most competitors phones mentioned r totally wrong to be placed here or priced wrong. The moto G for example costs 150 pounds in the UK while the 630 price is 90-110 pounds, that's a big difference specially when u know that moto G doesn't have an Sd slot while the 630 does. The Galaxy Grand is of a totally different category and costs double the price of the 630, I don't understand how it's mentioned here. The moto E ,which is worse than the 630, costs the same, and PA forgets to mention that 630 has a S400 processor while the moto E has S200 processor which is alot worse.
All in all, PA fails miserably in reviews, better stick to news. For readers, Gsmarena review for this phone is thorough, fair and not out of reality as this one is, so consider it more than this review when buying ( this goes for all Gsmarena reviews actually).http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_lumia_630-review-1080.php

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 05:46 1

16. Super3310 (Posts: 60; Member since: 06 May 2014)


I agree with u

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 08:16 1

19. jojon (Posts: 72; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)


agree entirely muhsen

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 08:23 2

20. sbw44 (Posts: 384; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)


Exactly! most reviews of the 630 mentions it has a great camera, one saying its camera is so good that you would think its from a phone that's twice as much. trustedreviews says "But image quality is a fair bit better than, say the Motorola Moto G and Moto E. You can create some nice-looking photos, if not ones you can successfully crop into."

So when it comes to camera's never and I mean NEVER thrust PA! They have no idea to use cameras!

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 10:17

21. sgodsell (Posts: 1072; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Then there are others that can take the moto g camera and make it come out looking so much better then the 630. Also the moto g has a fast focus camera. The 630 does not. In fact the moto g camera can be used to take slow motion videos. Oh and it has a camera flash. All of which the 630 does not have.
In truth the 630 and the moto g should not be compared. The moto g is superior to any lumia 5xx, 6xx, 7xxx devices. The moto e is comparable to the lumia 630.

posted on 15 Jul 2014, 22:27

26. Leandrop (Posts: 7; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)


Are you kidding me? I have a Lumia 720 wich sports PureView lens and it is by far better than Moto G on the camera level. Besides Moto G is really hard to use outside, unusable under direct sunlight. You can use Lumia 630 outside with no problems at all and even though it lacks a flash it manages to take pretty good images. I am not saying 630 is superior but here in Argentina Moto G is not as cheap as everyone thinks ( 2600 argentinian pesos in a two year contract or almost usd $305) while Lumia 630 will cost much less (aproximately 1600 argentinian pesos - usd $188 in a two year contract as well).

So, yes. Lumia 630 is not at the same price point as Moto G. Actually, Moto G is quite expensive costing as much as Nexus 4 in Argentina.

posted on 04 Jun 2014, 11:50 3

22. Mohammad_Abu-Shukur (Posts: 20; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)


1 thing to say
going to get it
:D

posted on 18 Jun 2014, 07:49

25. MikiSam (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Jun 2014)


Price varies per market and in Thailand, I bought this phone for US$150, no contract. Regardless of the price tho, I feel this phone is a major surprise. It is fast, offers tons of great features and actually beats all smartphones in some areas (it set a World Guinness Record for fastest keyboard). But over all, the combination of its features is excellent. The PROs:
- wonderful keyboard with unique MS swipe technology
- Gorilla 3 screen wrapped in pleasant plastic
- fast performance, good battery life
- expandable memory up to 128GB
- replaceable battery
- lifetime offline HERE maps - better then Google, Apple or Blackberry maps
- good camera with realistic colored and good exposed shots
- two SIMs
- all that for US$150 (!)

The CONs:
- lack of flash (is a minor inconvenience)
- no headphones in the box
- disabled time feature on locked screen that most Lumias have

I am very happy with this phone.

posted on 3 days ago, 11:46

28. nuna12 (Posts: 3; Member since: 16 Aug 2014)


This is even more important now that Microsoft plans to drop Nokia’s feature phones and focus solely on Windows Phone.

posted on 3 days ago, 11:46

29. nuna12 (Posts: 3; Member since: 16 Aug 2014)


During our testing, we were lucky to get through a full 24 hours without getting nagged about "critically low" battery levels.

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Nokia Lumia 630

Nokia Lumia 630

OS: Windows Phone 8.1
view full specs
Display4.5 inches, 480 x 854 pixels (218 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7 processor
512 MB RAM
Size5.10 x 2.63 x 0.36 inches
(129.5 x 66.7 x 9.2 mm)
4.73 oz  (134 g)
Battery1830 mAh, 16.4 hours talk time

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