Nokia Lumia 620 Review

Interface and Functionality:

The Lumia 620 is an affordable phone, but still it runs the latest Windows Phone 8. This is good news as WP8 is well polished around the edges. Microsoft doesn’t allow for any modifications to the user interface, so you get the same consistent and smooth experience with the signature Live Tiles across all phones of all brands. In Windows Phone 8, the tiles come in three sizes - small (the new size), medium and large (a screen-wide rectangle). With the arrival of small tiles in Windows Phone 8, you really can fit much more in the home panel, so while you’d still end up with a long list if you have many games and apps, the situation has improved much over previous versions of the platform. The phone performs well throughout with no hiccups, at pleasing lag-free speeds.

And while Nokia cannot differentiate by changing the looks of Windows Phone 8, it does offer some great added value with signature apps like Nokia Maps and Drive with free offline satellite navigation, and a great music player with free Mix Radio music streaming service. All this comes free, while on other platforms you’d need to pay for something similar.

Adding to that the free Microsoft Office that is baked into all Windows Phone devices, you get a fairly solid app package right out of the box.

Basic functionality is also well covered. What makes Windows Phone stand out is the system-wide deep integration of Facebook and Twitter. Following your friends’ last social updates is effortless in the People hub where both telephony and modern social networking come together. If we had to pick the nits, we’d mention the lack of smart dialing in the contact list as one slight downside.

But even with all those advantages Nokia’s Lumia has, we cannot overlook Windows Phone’s app situation. Microsoft’s operating system brags about having 125,000 apps in its catalog, but the reality of the situation is that many essential apps are missing. Google apps like YouTube and Google Maps are absent, popular services like cloud storage Dropbox don’t have Windows Phone apps, and when it comes to games Microsoft’s platform is way behind Android and iOS.

Processor and Memory:

The Lumia 620 features a fairly solid hardware for its affordable price. With a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor running at 1GHz, Adreno 305 graphics and 512MB of RAM, performance was buttery smooth throughout.

There is still no easy way to benchmark Windows Phone, so we have to resort to browser testing. The Internet Explorer-favorable SunSpider JavaScript benchmark returned a total score of 1,496ms, which is solid and almost on par with even high-end devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III. Clearly, there is a huge gap between the entry-level Lumia and the high-end Galaxy S III, but in the case of JavaScript performance it’s almost gone. If you care about gaming of course, the Lumia 620 will not be able to run the latest shooters and racing titles as a high-end phone. For casual browsing around in the interface though it works perfectly smoothly.

The device comes with 8GB of internal storage that you can expand via microSD by as much as 64GB. The Windows Phone platform itself is fairly heavy taking up nearly 3GB of space, so you are left with just north of 5GB.

Internet and Connectivity:

When it comes to connectivity, the Lumia 620 is well equipped with support for 3G with HSPA at 21.1Mbps, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS.

The phone ships with Internet Explorer 10 which is a fairly solid browser. We found it loaded most pages quickly, but often traditional for-desktop websites slowed it down. It has the standard pinch and double tap controls to zoom in and out, and both worked well. Still, it might be a bit strange at first to have the address bar in the bottom instead of on top, and some slight downsides like having no forward button make us wish the Windows Phone platform offered more choice for browsers.

Near-field communication (NFC) is also on board and you can use this to easily pair compatible accessories like wireless headsets and external speakers. Also, NFC has limited use as a mobile wallet technology.

The device uses a micro SIM card that is neatly housed in a little tray under the battery.

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