The Lumia 620 could easily be regarded as one of the cutest smartphones on the shelf. It’s small, colourful, lightweight and looks a little bit like a little toy. It’s got a lot going for it, including a very reasonable price, Rs 14,600. But considering Android also has this price bracket cornered with some pretty impressive, high-spec'd devices, the questions is, will the 620 stand a chance? Read on to find out.
The colour options and interchangeable rear panels on the Lumia 620 made us feel a little nostalgic, taking us back to a time when mobile bodies could simply be replaced and you did not have to bulk up your device with tack-on options. The 620 has a great build quality. Thanks to its smaller size, it’s easy to handle and Nokia has really got the button placements spot on. It won’t really matter if you’re a lefty or a righty in this case. All the keys are on the right of the handset. Starting at the top is the volume rocker followed by the power/sleep button and a camera activation/shutter release at the bottom. The keys are raised to just the right level and are sensitive enough to use without any issues. They’re easy to use with your thumb if you're holding the handset in your right hand and equally easy to manage with your index and middle fingers if it’s in your left.
A hot swap memory card slot
The 620’s shell is also quite hardcore and incorporates polycarbonate into the build materials. This will manage to keep the little handset out of harms way for most part. The microUSB port is placed at the bottom, with the handfree socket built into the cover instead of directly into the body. A 5MP camera with an LED flash is placed at the rear along with a VGA camera located up front near the earpiece. Under the rear panel is a removable 1300 mAh battery, under which you’ll find a little micro SIM card pull out tray. Other than the 8GB of built-in storage, the Lumia 620 also supports 64GB microSD cards via a hot-swap slot.
The 620 features a 3.8-inch touchscreen display with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution and Nokia’s ClearBlack technology that make it comfortable to read in bright outdoor conditions. The colours also tend to be visibly sharper and more prominent with this technology. There’s no conformation on the display’s glass being of the scratch resistant variety, but it did manage to stay unscathed even while jostling around in pockets and backpack slots with some potentially damaging objects.
Well-designed and positioned buttons
There’s really nothing to dislike about the Lumia 620 other than the slightly bulky 11 mm thick body. However, even that aspect is not a deterrent of any kind. Thanks to the weight, curved shell and overall easy-to-use structure, the 620 is one comfortable device that fits squarely in the palm of your hand, any and all pockets and could withstand a fall from at least 3-4 feet without any damage (tried and tested).
Features and Performance
The Lumia 620 runs Windows Phone 8 off of a 1GHz dual-core processor (Snapdragon S4 chipset) coupled with an Adreno 305 GPU and 512MB of RAM. The OS itself offers the same typical user experience as you’d find in the higher-end models, and it does so quite well for most part. Due to the lower RAM configuration, opening some apps does take a little longer than others, but not enough to make you wish you'd spent a whole lot more money for a device with more RAM. The WP8 UI with its Live Tiles and social network integrated phone book worked seamlessly and was as smooth as they come. Traversing through the various features and settings of the OS was a fluid enough task.
Quite a few handy apps to choose from
Seeing as this funky new device just might attract a child’s attention as well, Microsoft’s Kid Corner UI tweak allows you to restrict access to major apps when in the hands of a youngster. This will keep them busy with access to apps and games designed for them, but won’t allow them access to the phone for dialing or other aspects you wish to curtail.
The 620 also proved to be a well-equipped media device. Thanks to Dolby’s Headphone Sound Enhancement technology, the handset provided well-balanced tones with a resounding bass line and slightly sharp but well-managed higher tones. There’s no EQ, presets or support to switch the Dolby system off. It is as it is, and it is good! The video player is capable of reading a few DivX and XviD coded files as well as MP4, even those in full HD. HD files didn’t seem to have any issue during playback other than a little stutter at the very beginning. The display might be small compared to today’s emerging trend, but the ClearBlack screen provides good viewing angles and legibility in all lighting conditions. What’s missing is an FM radio, so you’ll have to suffice with third party apps for online services, if that’s your thing.
A well-equipped media device as well
Nokia has included most connectivity options we’d expect from any standard mobile handset these days, minus a couple of features. The Lumia 620 comes with 3G capabilities, Wi-Fi (dual band), EDGE and GPS with GLONASS for Nokia Drive, Maps and apps like Nokia City Lens, all of which work very well. NFC, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP and, of course, USB 2.0 for PC interfacing and charging are also provided for. What the handset lacks is Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA or a physical port for AV out (MHL) and Wireless charging. With regard to DLNA specifically, Nokia is working on an app called Play To that will support wireless streaming via WLAN. As of now, the app is still in beta testing and will not ship with the device out of the box.
Location-based services from Nokia make a big impression
Syncing email via ActiveSync, POP or IMAP is a cinch and syncing issues with WP8 also seemed to have been ironed out. So just like you would with an Android handset, as soon as you sync an email account or your Nokia account with the device, settings, contacts etc. will flow in. Sharing media to SkyDrive also ensures no loss of data. Although chat apps like WhatsApp are available, Instagram and a few others are yet to make an appearance on the WP8 platform. Of course, you can also set up your MS Xbox account for games and related details. Video calling via Skype is also a feature that could be handy for those who frequent that network.
There’s nothing extra other than the mapping applications that Nokia has thrown in with the Lumia 620 by default. However, there are a few apps stored under the Nokia App Highlights section that have been pre-selected for Nokia Lumia devices. They’re handy apps that will help enhance your WP8 smartphone experience. These include some free games, a few of the top Indian apps, apps for music, and of course, some Nokia exclusives. Other than that standard apps like a calculator, alarm, calendar (with syncing options) etc. are present and accounted for.
Microsoft's One Note and other office features are well designed
A 5 megapixel camera with plenty of features including touch focus is strapped onto the Lumia 620. Other features include a few scene modes, manual and auto white balance options, ISO settings and Nokia’s array of lenses – Cinemagraph, Panorama, Smart Shoot and Bing Vision. Although the camera doesn’t start up as quickly as its higher-end companions, it's not something that will really stand in your way of getting some pretty good shots.
Overall image quality was not too bad, with colours being retained to quite an extent and a little blending in with similar colours nearby.
Great pictures in outdoor conditions
In low light conditions the handset proved to be just as effective as most others. While focus was a bit of a problem, overall image quality was decent, all things considered.
For a Rs 14,000 camera phone, the Lumia manages to offer a pretty good camera. Naturally, in this same range, its Android-powered counterparts are up to 8 megapixels and also have some really great options.
Packing in a 1300 mAh battery, the Lumia 620 almost completed a full loop in our tech2 Loop Test (2 hours talk time, 2 hours video, 2 hours audio, 1 hour audio streaming, 1 hour video streaming) totalling up for 7 hours and about 45 minutes of rigorous use. That's quite impressive considering the price and battery capacity.
The display could have been a tad bigger
The Bottom Line
For Rs 14,600, the Lumia 620 is a superb handset. Sure, it’s a lot smaller than the competition and even the specs don’t quite compare, but what it does offer in terms of UI functionality, superb audio and changeable panels (with an IP54, water and dust resistant option on its way) makes it quite worth that price. If a Windows Phone experience is what you want, and you’re not quite willing to spend too much, it won’t get better than this.
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