Review: Nokia Lumia 620, Budget Windows Phone

Our score: 3/5
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October 2, 2013 2:14 PM
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Published: March 7, 2013 10:32 AM
Updated: March 3, 2014 12:15 PM
By Florence Legrand
Translated by: Hugh Ehreth
The Lumia 620 is Nokia's brand new budget smartphone. Its direct competitor, the HTC 8S.

Inside are a 1 GHz Qualcomm S4 dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM, a 3.8-inch display with 480 x 800 resolution, a 5-Megapixel camera, 8 GB of storage that's expandable up to 64 GB via microSD (the OS takes up about 3 GB of the internal memory, leaving roughly 5 GB for the user) and a 1,300 mAh battery.

Nokia Lumia 620 - back

With a price tag as low as £200 SIM-free, is the Lumia 620 a good ambassador for the Windows Phone 8 brand?

Design & Handling3/5



The Lumia 620 is definitely a Nokia creation. It's solid and well built, and while the overall form doesn't particularly stand out from the crowd, the different coloured, thick plastic shells allow you to customise the look. Don't be fooled by how thick it is; it's still a light and compact phone that fits well in your hand. But in comparison, we'd say the HTC 8S has a more dynamic shape when seen from profile.

Nokia Lumia 620 - profile

The microSD slot is easy to get to and you don't have to remove the battery to reach it.

Display4/5



The 620 has a very good display with relatively accurate colours (Delta E = 4.2), super high screen brightness (537 cd/m²) and contrast (840:1) that's just as good. The viewing angles are nice and wide, more so than on the 8S, which loses contrast in the horizontal angles when you hold the phone landscape-style. The colour temperature is pretty much consistent across the spectrum, helping avoid overtones in any given colour.

Text shows up entirely legible, and the display is sensitive and reacted instantly to our touch commands.

Interface & Navigation4/5



The Lumia 620 boasts the latest version of Windows Phone 8, which has a number of innovations the other operating systems don't have. The UI is practical and easy to use. You can set up the interface how you like it, with your favourite apps on the homescreen in any order.

Nokia Lumia 620 - menu

The Windows Phone 8 interface consists of a homescreen with square or rectangular movable tiles (shown below), which you can resize to one of three sizes. Microsoft calls them 'Live Tiles' because they show information that updates continuously, allowing you to see what's going on (new emails, texts, news, agenda...) without necessarily having to open the app. It's a fact: the interface is more adjustable than ever, designed to be aligned with the 'Modern UI' (a.k.a. Metro) Windows 8 Start Screen. For more details about everything Windows Phone 8 has to offer, check out our article right here.

Nokia Lumia 620 - homescreen

With Microsoft's stable and perfectly integrated operating system and, well, maybe not the best processor and RAM ever, but good enough, the Lumia 620 runs with decent fluidity. The system runs without a hitch and it's generally a responsive phone (opening and loading apps, playing games, etc.).

Multimedia4/5



Nokia Lumia 620 - web browser

The web browser, coupled with the phone's overall technical abilities, makes surfing the net a good overall experience. Most sites load quickly and long web pages scroll smoothly. It does get a bit choppy, however, when you zoom in and out of pages.

Nokia Lumia 620 - multimedia

The headphone jack gives good quality sound. It's relatively loud and there's no distortion whatsoever. If you really want to make the most out of the Lumia 620's audio, you'll want to use a different pair of earphones than the ones that come in the box, because they're pretty mediocre. The built-in speaker does its job, with fairly high volume for a smartphone speaker and no noticeable saturation.
 

If listening to music on smartphones is your thing, you'll need to take advantage of the microSD slot to expand the scanty 5 GB of storage space.

Camera2/5



So, how does the Lumia 620's camera compare to the HTC 8S and Lumia 820's, whose photo snapping abilities we were less than thrilled with? Well, basically it's the same story. Photos turn out overly smoothed on the 620, with considerably reduced sharpness. Instead of detail, you have noise. And lots of it, not just in the dark spots.

In other words, if it's a good WP8 camera you're looking for, then you'd better look elsewhere. Try HTC instead. The 8S is in no way a powerhouse when it comes to the camera function—actually, I'd call it mediocre—but it's better than this! For a really good Windows Phone camera, you have to leave the budget phone arena. We recommend the Lumia 820 and HTC 8X, which cost more, but have better cameras.

Nokia Lumia 620
Nokia Lumia 620

 

The video function is okay. There's practically no choppiness, but the images lack detail and you can't focus while recording.

Battery Life2/5



The Lumia 620 has a teeny, tiny 1,300 mAh battery. It's an odd choice. Considering how thick the phone is, you'd think they could have fit a longer-lasting battery in there. In practice, if you use the phone often and let the live tiles update themselves, the 620 will almost last from morning until night. Almost. That's not much, compared to the competition.
3/5 Nokia Lumia 620 DigitalVersus 2013-03-07 11:32:00

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Overall screen quality
  • Sound quality
  • Windows Phone 8 interface is fun & practical
  • Nokia services

Cons

  • Photo quality
  • Thick body
  • Low battery life

Conclusion

The Lumia 620 has a good screen, a nice user interface, great responsiveness and good sound quality. On the downside, it takes poor quality photos and has low battery life. If you're looking for an inexpensive WP8 phone and these last two points don't deter you, then why not get a Lumia 620. Then again, for a similar price you can get a bigger screen and better camera with the HTC 8S.

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