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Nokia Lumia 620 review

  • Nokia Lumia 620
  • Nokia Lumia 620
  • Nokia Lumia 620

Verdict:

Fun, well-designed and great value on prepay - it’s a Budget Buy Windows Phone 8 handset

Review Date: 31 Jan 2013

Price when reviewed: £216

Buy it now for: £122
(see more store prices)

Supplier: http://www.handtec.co.uk

Reviewed By: Chris Finnamore

Our Rating 5 stars out of 5

User Rating 4 stars out of 5

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The Lumia 620 is Nokia's lower-end Windows Phone 8 handset. It's an unashamedly fun-seeking phone, which comes in a wide variety of colours and has swappable snap-on gloss and matt covers to let you personalise your mobile further; Nokia lent us magenta, yellow, white, blue and glossy luminous green to try.

In terms of specifications, it's similar to the HTC Windows Phone 8S, which is almost the same price SIM-free - although the 8S is more expensive on prepay, at £210 on O2 rather than £150.

Both have a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM and an 800x480 screen, although Nokia's model is 3.8 inches across the diagonal rather than 4 inches. While we had no complaints about HTC's display, the Lumia 620's is definitely superior; it's significantly brighter with more saturated, vibrant colours, helped by its ClearBlack screen coating.

We've liked the design of all Nokia's Windows Phone handsets, and the Lumia 620 is no exception. Understandably considering its price, it's not as beautifully made as the Nokia Lumia 920, but the clip-on plastic cover feels strong and the colour, according to Nokia, is 'inherent' - meaning it won't scratch off.

As we found with the HTC 8S, the phone's 1GHz processor, as opposed to the 1.5GHz model in the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920, does affect how Windows Phone 8 runs. There can be a very slight stutter when flicking between screens of apps, and the apps sometimes don’t open with such a snap. The operating system is still smoother than that of almost any Android phone, though, and you'd have to be as picky as we are to notice the difference. The phone completed our Sunspider JavaScript benchmark in 1,431ms, which is average for a phone of this price and far off the incredibly quick 900ms of the Lumia 820 and 920. The handset also has a small 1,300mAh battery, which leads to a just-acceptable score in our video playback test of 6h 16m.

Nokia Lumia 620

There will be plenty of snap-on covers to choose from

Nokia is keen to stress the added value you get with its Windows Phone 8 handsets as opposed to those from other manufacturers, and it has a point. The free apps bundled with the Lumia range include Nokia Drive, which is a turn-by-turn navigation program with free offline maps, Nokia Music, which gives you a wide selection of free music playlists which you can even play offline, and fun extras such as the augmented-reality City Lens city guide. These free apps are genuinely useful, and HTC's bundled extras pale into insignificance beside them. However, when buying a Windows Phone 8 handset you must be aware that you still won't have access to the vast app libraries available to iPhone and Android owners, and will miss out on important apps such as iPlayer and Spotify.

Nokia Lumia 620

We liked the Lumia 620's indoor photos, but outdoor shots showed a lack of detail

One aspect where Nokia falls behind the competition is in its camera. The Lumia 620 has a 5-megpixel sensor with an LED flash, but we found its quality disappointing. Outdoor shots displayed a lack of detail borne of excessive noise reduction, and were far inferior to those of the HTC 8S. Indoor photos were better, though; we found it easy to capture steady shots under low indoor lighting, and while some details were smudged due to noise reduction, we'd rather have that than excessively grainy photos. There's also a front-facing camera for Skype video calls, which worked fine for voice calls.

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