The Nokia Lumia 620 is turning into an enigma. The Windows Phone 8 mid-ranger was launched along with the Lumia 820 and 920 a few months ago and at the time the company said it would be available in February, but there is no sign of the handset in the market as far as we know.

Even our grey market sources don’t seem to know when the phone will be hitting Indian shores. Earlier, we had contacted the company and a Nokia representative said that information on the release of the phone in India will only be revealed later this week. While there is no doubt that Nokia is working hard towards getting Lumia 620 out to the market, there could be any number of reasons for the delay of the phones, including issues with importing the handset.

The Lumia 620

The Lumia 620

Given a choice between an upcoming WP8 handset and an Android one that’s currently available, the choice for most people is quite simple. Android has many more apps and games in the Play Store, whereas Windows Phone 8 is still playing catch up despite having over 1,75,000 apps in its store.

Rumour has it that the Lumia 620 will be priced around the Rs 17,000 mark. At that price, one can have the Sony Xperia J, a good-looking, if slightly underpowered, handset, or even the quad-core Micromax Canvas HD. So does it make sense to wait for the Lumia 620, when these and many more alternatives are readily available? If you are waiting for a reasonably-priced WP8 phone, then it does. And the Lumia 620 does have a good set of specs for a mid-range smartphone.

NFC capable headphones

NFC capable headphones

Let’s start off with the display. The Lumia 620 has a 3.8-inch, 480 x 800 WVGA resolution display with a pixel density of 246ppi. By itself, that’s decent, but the Canvas HD has a 720p, 5-inch display and the Xperia J has a 4-inch display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. Against these two phones, the Lumia 620 seems a tad under-spec'ed.

There’s a 1GHz Snapdragon dual-core processor running under the hood along with 512MB of RAM, everyday tasks like playing games and running apps should go off without a hitch. And HD video playback should go off without hiccups. However, the Xperia J only has single-core 1GHz processor, which is several generations behind the dual Krait cores in the 620. However, other competing handsets have moved beyond just a dual-core and on to quad-core, which is also now an affordable option and not just a powerful one. In the light of this, the Lumia 620 seems a little under-powered, even though we realise its specs sheet does not have much bearing on its performance. In our first impressions of the handset, we had said, “the OS ran just as smoothly as expected.”  If Nokia had kept its word about the release, then the Lumia 620 could have been a best-seller.

In the camera department, Nokia has fairly decent track record The 5-megapixel camera on the Lumia 620 should be a capable performer; however Canvas HD has an 8-megapixel snapper on the back, which as we have seen does deliver good results. However, a 5-megapixel camera fits well for a mid-range smartphone like the 620, while keeping the price down.

Then there is the NFC connectivity in the Lumia 620, which should allow it to play music with just a tap of the phone on an NFC-capable speaker. None of the Lumia's competitors in this range have this feature, so if you are specifically looking for an NFC-capable phone, then it makes sense to hang back for a few weeks for the 620.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Lumia phone without several funky colour options. Here Nokia’s Xpress Cover-like back panels add a touch of pep to the already-colourful Windows Phone 8 interface. But it takes more than colourful panels to attract buyers, ready availability for one.

Available in bright colours

Available in bright colours

One thing is certain, the longer Nokia delays the release of the phone, the more hurt it will cause the company and, of course, the fortunes of Windows Phone in general. Let’s face it. Nokia is the only company that is truly selling the Windows Phone 8 experience hard. While HTC, Huawei and Samsung all have their own handsets, the Lumia range gets the most eyeballs and has the best specs among its peers. Even despite this effort, however, the Lumias are seeing a price drop in the hope of attracting more customers. It really is a shame that the Windows Phone experience, which is generally lag-free and user-friendly hasn't been available on a lower-tier or mid-range phone with good specs, such as the Lumia 620. If it had hit shelves at the promised time, it would have altered the perception that Windows Phone 8 is only for those who can afford the likes of Lumia 820 or 920.

Nokia is also going down Samsung’s route and introducing a Windows Phone 8 handset in all price ranges, just like there was a Galaxy phone for every budget. However, Samsung mastered the game by delivering what they promise and, more often than not, on time. Nokia’s Lumia 620 is still not out, even though it promises a lot, and that could damage Nokia’s fortunes more than they think. We've said it before; the Nokia Lumia 620 could seriously make a difference for Windows Phone 8 smartphones and Nokia in particular (if priced right). It has several things going for it.

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