The Nokia Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone device to ship with Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. Not just that, it is also the very first Windows Phone device to sport a dual SIM configuration. As a result, the phone already has a strong use case in the developing market world where people tend to use two different SIMs for work and personal life. The Nokia Lumia 630, in theory is a successor to the Lumia 620, but there are spots where the device has actually regressed. We were extremely excited about reviewing the device, because it is also the first Windows Phone device launched post the whole Nokia and Microsoft deal being made official.
So, does the Nokia Lumia 630 justify the Rs 10,500 price tag it bears? Let’s find out in the review of the Nokia Lumia 630 done in a crucial point format where we look at the five most important pillars that you must consider in case you are interested in picking up the smartphone
Design and Build Quality
The Design of the Nokia Lumia 630 is very much from the same book of artistry as the other Lumia devices or the recent Nokia X devices. The smartphone is made entirely out of plastic, but does not feel cheap or ugly. The rectangular profile of the phone has slightly curved edges making the phone an easy fit in the hand. There back shell of the device is interchangeable, so you can totally let yourself loose on your color preference. We got the green variant for our review and we actually liked the soft matte back that Nokia has gone with. This ensures that the device has a very decent grip and does not pick up smudges easily. With 134 grams weight, the phone is not feather light, but it is not dumbbell heavy either, add in a thickness of about 11 mm and a height of 115.4 mm, and you can easily use the device with just one hand. The bezels on the side of the phone are pretty distracting and we do wonder if Nokia could have slightly reduced them and packed a larger display within the same chassis.
The sides of the device have a slightly angular plane which adds to the overall ergonomics. Overall, the design of the Nokia Lumia 630 is practical even though its the same candybar boring form factor that just about every single smartphone is sporting today apart from a handpicked few. To know more details about the design of the Nokia Lumia 630, please check out our photo gallery post of the Nokia Lumia 630.
Screen and Touch Responsiveness
The screen on the Nokia Lumia 630 sports a 4.5 inch WVGA display giving it a PPI of 228. The device does bring Nokia’s Clear Black technology which means the colors are sharp and vivid. Viewing angles are excellent on the phone while the outdoor visibility was average. However, if you are used to a 720 P panel, you are not going to like this display much as pixelation is very evident. Not just that, the front of the device is a fingerprint magnet and for some strange reason, call it due to the humidity of Mumbai that we did not have a great experience while scrolling on the phone. The friction was too much and overall it means more and more smudges on the display. There is no proximity or ambient sensor on the device, as a result you are stuck with just three options when it comes to brightness levels, namely high, medium and low, though you can manually set these in the brightness profile. Nokia does make do without the proximity sensor though with technology which is embedded in the touch panels to turn the display off when you are making a call. However, this only really works when you literally stick the phone to your ears.
The touchscreen is responsive and well calibrated. You have new on screen buttons on the Lumia 630 too. You can select how you want the navigation bar to look like. It can be set to always dark which means a dark black strip will be forever present on your device or match the background or the accent color of your tiles. The buttons overall are very responsive and we had no problem getting used to them. These buttons do rotate in case you have the orientation lock disabled when you turn the phone from portrait to landscape mode when within a supported app.
Software and apps on board
The Nokia Lumia 630 is powered by Windows Phone 8.1, the latest and greatest version of Windows Phone OS. While we really like the update, the recent announcements of Android L and iOS 8 have left Microsoft playing catch up once again. Some of the new features such as Cortana, Action Center, Multi Channel Volume Settings, new background settings etc are really neat but already a few steps behind the competition. There are a ton of Nokia apps here such as Mixradio, Nokia Pro Cam, Nokia Refocus, inbuilt Office, One Note that really function well. While the app ecosystem still lags a few steps behind the big guns like Android and iOS, it is improving all the time. While you may not find every application here, you are bound to find at least a decent alternative to the app you are looking for.
We have always been a fan of the WP UI and it is no different here. It is well optimised and there are no major stutters when you walk around the OS. Lack of front facing camera means apps like Skype have a limited use, though we did enjoy the tight integration of Skype with the main caller window allowing us to make easy voice calls over skype. The new keyboard is really good and accurate. The new flow typing works very well too thanks to a fantastic predictor. You have a neat Bing Health and Fitness app built in which counts the number of steps you take with the phone thanks to a SensorCore built in which records data from the motion sensors in low power mode. The entertainment side of things sees, XBox Music and XBox Videos introduced which allows you to play local files, stream music as well as buy music depending upon your location. Windows Phone 8.1 allows you to also sync your XBox 360/One and Windows 8.1 game data so that in case the same title is available on PC or Console as your mobile, you will be able to carry on right where you left off.
To know more about Windows Phone 8.1, do checkout our detailed post dedicate to the platform right here.
The Nokia Lumia 630 features a 5 MP camera on the rear with no LED flash or front facing snapper. The camera performance overall is painfully average and nothing like the Lumia devices we have seen in the past. There is no dedicated shutter key here and it does look like camera has been the biggest victim of cost cutting in the Lumia 630. The camera is able to take some reasonable shots in broad daylight and bright conditions, but struggles in anything other than that. Color reproduction is average and picture quality is again not the greatest thanks to just a 5 MP camera. The camera produces a lot of noise, and although you do can make use of manual controls such as ISO settings, shutter speed, exposure etc to frame a good shot, it just takes too much of an effort.
Do check out our detailed take on the camera as well as plenty of sample shots that we took using the device right here
Day to Day Performances
The day to day performances of the Lumia 630 are fine. It is not a phone that will blow things out of the water, and at the price point, you would be daft to expect it to. It does everything you throw at it it well. The speakers are loud, the call quality is fine without being spectacular and the battery easily lasts over a day thanks to the removable 1850 mAh battery. In fact, we were able to get around 36 hours out of the phone easily with regular usage. We really like the way Nokia has implemented Dual SIM here. The Lumia 630 has an Dual SIM standby mode, as a result if you are using one SIM for a call, the other cannot be used. The way around this is Smart Dual SIM feature where if you activate, the calls are directly transferred to your active SIM so that you do not miss the call. You have two apps each for texts and calls for the two SIMs making sure you are not lost. The contacts are color coded too to avoid confusion. You can make call using any of the two dialers, by simply pressing the toggle switch.
The Lumia 630 is not a device for high end gaming. The 512 MB RAM really restricts the sort of games you can play. However, basic arcade games are not a problem and we did not notice any major heating issues either. Video playback in 720 P was fine with occasional frame drops, but that is expected. Due to the limitations of the resolution of the display, you cannot watch anything beyond 720 P videos. The audio quality from our high end ATH ANC 23 headphones with Fiio E6 amps was rather good, and we much recommend you get a good pair of headphones if you want to enjoy good music here.
The Nokia Lumia 630 is more of a Rahul Dravid of budget smartphones than being the Sachin Tendulkar. It is not spectacular, but highly reliable. If you can live with the Windows Phone OS, you will not have a problem with picking this device. With the right bargaining skills, you can pick the phone for about Rs 9,500 in the open market and at that price point, it is a fine choice if you are looking for something different and more colorful. While we still recommend the Moto E as the champion in the under Rs 10,000 category, the Lumia 630 easily makes the all star team.