Saturday, 21 June 2014

Review: Hands-On with the Nokia Lumia 630

| |
Nokia Lumia 630 is the first device to hit the stores with Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. The device was announced by Nokia with its high end brother Lumia 930. While the Lumia 930 still awaits to go in the hands of customers in various regions, we got a Lumia 630 from Nokia Store for review purpose. Believe me or not but I had many request from my colleagues and many of my readers here too. So I decided to get a Lumia 630 for review. Firstly before detailing each section of the device, below is a brief look at the pros and cons of the device.

   PROS:                                                       CONS:

1. Packaged in the attractive                           1. No Front Facing Camera.
    Lumia style body.                                       2. No LED Flash.   
2. Surprisingly nice battery life                       3. 512 MB RAM is a problem.
    for a dual SIM smartphone.                       4. No headset or USB cable
3. Aggressively Priced.                                        included in the retail
4. Impressive Specs.                                            package. 


     OUR RATING: 8/10

The Nokia Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone 8.1 based device and also the first Dual-SIM smartphone powered by the Windows Phone platform. It also comes in single SIM version which is priced at Rs 10,500 while the Dual SIM Lumia 630 carries a price tag of Rs 11,500.

Here we take a closer look at the Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM model.

Design & Physical view:

In terms of design, it follows the same legendary solid design found on Nokia Lumia series. The Lumia 630 is numerically the true successor of the Lumia 620 but it differs so much in terms of physical design. However, from the side view, one can easily see the rectangular mono-block design approach taken. The back cover has a flat edge - almost like a smaller rectangular phone standing behind the Lumia 630.
The most important change one can notice is the absence of camera key. The Lumia 630 has only 2 solid buttons, one for volume controls and the other is the power button. On the rear, the Lumia 630 has a 5 megapixel camera in the top center, equidistant from top and both sides. In the right corner is the loud speaker. A standard audio port rests on the top of the phone while the micro USB 2.0 port is at the bottom. The front glass is protected by third generation Gorilla Glass to protect scratches and falls. Underneath, we have a two micro SIM slots, along with a microSD card slot. The 630 supports cards up to 128GB. Only SIM 2 is hot-swappable while the others aren’t. Lumia 630 feels really comfortable on the palms and can be easily operated with single hand. The Lumia 630 package includes the phone, battery, the charger and the quick start guide. Indeed, the Lumia 630 does NOT pack pair of earphones and micro USB data cable in the bundle.


Nokia Lumia 630 comes pre-loaded with Windows Phone 8.1 with the Cyan firmware update from Nokia. For the end users, the Windows Phone 8.1 offers several new features than the older version that makes the Windows Phone devices interesting and almost at par with other Android devices. We have discussed the features of Windows Phone 8.1 so we will focus here on the exclusive features in Lumia 630. The features exclusive to Lumia 630 are:
  • SensorCore
  • Miracast Support
  • Dual SIM
  • Latest Lumia Cyan firmware from Nokia
  • Imaging Enhancements
Do note that all of these features will come to all the Lumia devices after Lumia Cyan release but many features like SensorCore and Miracast may not support older Lumia devices. The Lumia 630 also happens to be first Windows Phone platform based Nokia device. Lumia 630 makes a debut with a new Smart Dual SIM feature. Forward your calls between two SIM cards just so that you do not miss out on any important calls. The Smart Dual SIM also offers a toggle switch to be selected before making a call or put a call on hold to talk/make call from other SIM. Do note that the Smart Dual SIM feature has also been promoted as Lumia Dual SIM.
The Home Screen shows two separate coloured ties for each SIM - Dialer and SMS. Users can always merge the Phone and Messages tiles to see notifications on a single tile with numerical representation. Interesting bit is that from the Mobile+SIM settings in the Settings app, the user can always define the SIM card to be used for data connection. Not only that, User can also assign name to each SIM card instead of viewing the Operator names on it.
Microsoft and Nokia added an experimental like feature dubbed SensorCore which basically consists of a software layer that collects data from the sensors on the device. The data is basically collected to aid the new Health and Fitness oriented breed of applications set in store to arrive in Windows Phone store.
Only thing missing in the Lumia Cyan is the Cortana, Microsoft's own personal digital assistant. As of now, Microsoft has no plans of making it available for the Indian consumers. Several other improvements like battery Saver mode are worthy and much deserving for those who have been bearing Windows Phone platform since the Windows 7.5 update.
We believe the Lumia Cyan or Windows Phone 8.1 is not a complete update but a stop-gap solution to let you enjoy the most basic and competitively intrinsic features.


Putting Lumia 630 in straight comparison with Lumia 620, we can find many changes in the physical appearance of the device. The Lumia 630 has a 4.5-inch IPS LCD touchscreen display with 480x854 pixel resolution. This display has been constructed using the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect against normal wear-tear. For the display, Nokia has placed its ClearBlack technology to make it least reflective.
Though the physical size of the display has been bumped, something seems really off with the color production of the display. The display of Lumia 630 offers 218 pixels per inch compared to the 246 pixels per inch of Lumia 620. Yet again, we emphasize that bigger display does not necessarily mean better; resolution of the display and the panel are equally important.
Under the 9.2 mm thick chassis, Lumia 630 houses a quad-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 mobile chipset with Adreno 305 GPU for graphics. The quad-core CPU is always a welcome while the native GPU graphics support remains the same as the Lumia 620 - Adreno 305. Hence, do not expect a vast difference in the gaming performance.
By default, the Lumia 630 packs 8 GB on-board storage out of which only about 5 GB is actually available for the users while rest is reserved for the mobile operating system and the updates.
At the rear, it has a 5 megapixel camera but it has neither an LED flash nor a front camera - your dreams of clicking selfies chucked out of the window. Lumia 630 offers FM Radio, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and there are no other fancy sensors other than the accelerometer. The lack of proximity sensor, compass and even ambient light sensor surprised us. Only the makers can justify the call to remove them from the package.
Location based services are powered by the GPS chip with the aid from Assisted-GPS and GLONASS support. There is no NFC or Infrared port and the phone offers microUSB 2.0 support. In the most competitive budget segment, Lumia 630 does not offer any hardware that is out of the ordinary and can make it stand out. Nevertheless, the hardware packed is just enough to get the things done whenever you want it.


The Nokia Lumia 630 is available in three different model versions: single SIM, dual SIM, and LTE. The latter is the Lumia 635 - it sounds like a separate phone but the only difference is 4G network support. Here's the list of supported bands by model:

  • Quad-band GSM (across all models)
  • Dual-band 3G with 21 Mbps HSDPA (Lumia 630, Lumia 630 Dual-SIM)
  • Tri-band 3G with 42 Mbps HSDPA (Lumia 635)
  • Tri-band LTE Cat3 with 100 Mbps download (Lumia 635)
If you opt for the dual-SIM Lumia 630 model, you'll get two microSIM beds with dual stand-by. Of course, once you're in a call on one of the cards, the other SIM becomes inactive.
The rest of the connectivity features available across all models include single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with GLONASS, and an FM radio with RDS. There is a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data connections. Mass storage mode is supported for access to the phone's built-in memory and microSD card.
There is no TV-out functionality under any form - neither wired, nor wireless. Also currently, there are no Windows Phones that support USB On-the-go, so that's missing, too.


The phone does not have a dedicated camera key to capture images. Yet another decision that leaves us clueless because the lately launched Lumia 525 offers the same.
Nokia camera app is the native camera app and integrates the software lens - Cinematograph. Other lenses can be easily downloaded from the Windows Phone Store. The Nokia camera app brings in the Pro Cam features to fiddle with the Sliders for adjusting the focus, exposure, aperture and other settings. Considering the price, the camera performs really well outdoors with ample lighting. However, the quality quickly drops with low lights and ambient lighting indoors.
The lack of LED flash clearly makes your phone unusable post dawn for decent quality images.


The Lumia Cyan indeed feels wee bit faster and optimised for the hardware. However, we did face some lags while switching between applications such as switching between Email and Twitter app. Meanwhile the native User Interface is as snappy as ever. While games such as Asphalt were easily playable on the phone, it did not offer the visual punch and graphics feel - probably because it has the same Adreno 305 GPU chip.
In terms of voice call, the clarity was as intact as other budget Lumia devices. However, we did find the Loud Speaker lacking the punch and bass for enjoying music. Quite possible because we are used to the loudness and clarity lacking loudspeaker units.
One can easily glorify the Live Tiles with a wallpaper like background image to appear different and also try out the different Tiles arrangements. Yet again, Windows Phone platform is catching up with the most popularly used mobile applications and games which get announced for other two platforms first. Those who wish to try out a game or new app every second day, will not be happy with the pace of such developments.

Battery Life:

One of the biggest concern of the dual-SIM configuration offering smartphones is the battery life. For Lumia 630, Nokia has packaged 1830 mAh Lithium-Ion battery in a removable mode. That means, if you are a heavy user, you can buy an extra battery to keep your phone number active.
The Lumia 630 is capable of lasting half a day on call, but this is possible only if the clever ear-sensing tech inside the screen has detected your ear and has turned itself off. Since the phone doesn't come with a proximity sensor the display doesn't go off unless you touch it with your face or you turned it off manually. If the screen is kept on during your calls, you should probably expect significantly lower talk time.
Using the phone on the single SIM mode certainly offered longer run time compared to the dual-SIM mode. The phone had some battery juice even after watching three two-hour long movies back to back. For those who bank on the phone to watch videos when bored, should totally add this to their checklist.
The Nokia Lumia 630 turned out quite the poor stand-by performer. Instead of the promised 600 hours, our unit lasted about 200-210. And we've tested it three times just to be sure. In the end, acknowledging the low stand-by score, the Lumia 630's overall endurance rating came at 55 hours. It is an average endurance and means your phone will last 2 days and 7 hours if used it daily for an hour of video playback, calling over a 3G network and web browsing.

Final Words:

The Lumia 630 has the same winning combo as the Lumia 520 that sold in millions: a simple, yet durable design, a good balance of features at a bargain price. We wouldn't be surprised to see it repeat the feat of the former and become the Lumia line's next rising star.
Nokia has done a good job designing the Lumia 630 - the boxy design of the Ashas and X-series looks neat, the right blend of fresh and familiar. You can choose between a wide range of paintjobs for the exchangeable rear covers.
Nokia Lumia 630 certainly brings the best possible Dual SIM management experience on the Windows Phone platform. For those who clearly want a device that gets their work done, sends messages, let you post on social networks, and enjoy music - this is the device for you with a promising battery life. However, if you love trying out latest games and always updated with new apps released for other platforms, kindly evaluate other options.
Nokia Lumia 630 is possibly the company's best Dual SIM device as yet that offers great battery life.


Post a Comment

Social Icons

Follow   Me on Twitter