Sunday, 18 May 2014

Nokia Lumia 630: First phone to run Windows 8.1

Nokia has unveiled its range of Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones.

The Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 were announced by Nokia during the first keynote at Microsoft's Build 2014 conference. The Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 are identically phones on the outside, but have a few slight variations internally. The Lumia 630 series as a whole is meant to be an inexpensive handset for emerging markets. The Lumia 630 is either a single-SIM or dual-SIM model. While the Lumia 635 is a single-SIM phone, but has 4G/LTE connectivity that the Lumia 630 omits. Other than that, the Lumia 630s are packing the same specs on the inside and out.

Up front is a 4.5-inch display where you'll spend most of your time interacting with the Lumia 630/635. It's not full HD, but it is still a high quality display. You get an IPS ClearBlack display running at a 854 x 480 resolution. Inside is a Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor running at 1.2 GHz.

The Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 are packing 512 MB of RAM in the memory department. You also get 8 GB of internal storage, but can expand that space with a MicroSD card.

The Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 feel relatively nice in the hand but don't fell premium. Both of them are affordable phones with Nokia stating that the 630 costs around $169 and the 635 at $189.

There are a few other changes which are different from other. The Lumia 630 is the first phone to run Windows phone 8.1 and has the distinction of being the first device to feature on-screen buttons on a Windows phone. Moreover, it is the first Lumia phone that is available in a dual-SIM avatar. In that vein, the Lumia 630 - despite being run-of-the-mill - could usher a change.

Windows 8.1 has some cool new features. The keyboard now supports shape writing (similar to Swype). You can set an image of your choice as the start screen background (it shows through the tiles). Pull down from the top of the screen to see the Action Center, sort of like the notification bar in Android. Microsoft's digital assistant Cortana, another feature of 8.1, is US-only for now.

4.5-inch (854 x 480 pixels) Clear Black IPS LCD, 1.2Ghz quad core Qualcomm processor, 512MB RAM, 8GB + micro SD (up to 128GB), FM, A-GPS, WiFi, BT 4.0, 1,830mAh battery, 134 grams

Good: Pre-loaded with Windows 8.1, interchangeable back panel in bright colours, nice display, built to last

Bad: No front camera, does not record 1080p video (max 720p), 512MB RAM is limiting but no lag on windows 8.1, low screen resolution

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