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Nokia has launched two high end smartphones last year in the U.S., the Lumia 820 and 920. It has gained traction in the U.S and other parts of the world but still there are more people who can’t afford expensive phones at the moment. Thus, the market is not all about high-end specs and expensive smartphones. This is the opportunity that Nokia wants to achieve. Approaching the low-mid range smartphone market will help them gain more share in the market. They have done this with the Lumia 510 but the competition on this price segment is quite tough knowing that there are cheap Android smartphones that people can get with better specs.

The Nokia Lumia 620 is the company’s second budget smartphone and this time they managed to finally bring some high end specs on this price range. This is the coolest smartphone so far with vivid colors to choose from. This devices was announced last year and was released in several markets in February. It is priced at 11, 600 PhP (281USD) or less in other retail outlets. So far, the Lumia 620 has been selling well but there are still a lot of people who are still undecided to #Switch. This review will help you make a decision if this phone is the right one for you.

KEY FEATURES

Design

  • Height: 115.4 mm
  • Width: 61.1 mm
  • Thickness1: 11 mm
  • Weight: 127 g
  • Volume: 76 cm³

Display

  • 3.8 inch screen
  • Display resolution: WVGA (800 x 480) 
  • Nokia ClearBlack LCD
  • Polarization filter

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth 3.0 
  • WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n 
  • Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • HSUPA 5.76 Mbps / HSDPA 21.1 Mbps

Power Management

  • BL-4J battery 1300 mAh
  • Music playback time: 61 h
  • Maximum 2G talk time: 14.6 h
  • Maximum 3G standby time: 330 h
  • Maximum 3G talk time: 9.9 h
  • 36 hours battery endurance rating

Processor and Memory

  • Dual-core 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 
  • RAM: 512 MB 
  •  8 GB Internal memory expandable up to 64gb micro SD slot
  • 7gb free SkyDrive

Other Features

  • HERE Maps, Transit, Lens and Drive+
  • Cinemagraph and Smart Shoot
  • Microsoft Office 360
  • Windows Phone 8

UNBOXING

The Lumia 620 comes in a small standard Nokia packaging with basic accessories included to start your smartphone experience.

Inside the box, you will get:

  • Sales Package: Nokia Lumia 620 with device manual and warranty card
  • Nokia AC-50 MicroUSB Charger
  • Nokia Battery BL-4J 1300 mAh
  • Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-190CD
  • Nokia Stereo Headset WH-108

Watch the Unboxing of the Lumia 620

DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY

The Lumia 620 comes with a new look and design. Contrary to the usual Lumia design, the 620 has a curved edge makes it more handy. This phone weighs at 127 grams at 11mm, it feels bulkier but feels just right when you grip it.

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Nokia has introduced a new design technique on this smartphone. It has interchangeable back shell with a variety of colors to choose from. It has lime, yellow, cyan, magenta, white, orange and black.

In designing the back shell, Nokia used a technique called dual-shot, a way of blending those CMYK colours to make new, exciting ones. For example, the lime back shell of the Lumia 620 is a combination of two colors – Cyan and Yellow. The colors catch different audiences. The yellow, lime, magenta, orange and cyan targets the younger audience such as students, teens and young professionals. For a more sharper and professional look, the black and white back shells are also available.

The build quality of the Lumia 620 is superb. It fits right in the hand and feels solid. Its a bit bulky compare to the Lumia 720 but its just feels right on every angle makes it comfortable to use.

The Lumia 620 has a 3.8 inch LCD screen of WVGA (480 x 800) resolution. Sans the AMOLED, it comes with a Nokia ClearBlack display which provides a great viewing experience. This technology offers great sunlight legibility and viewing angles. So when you are using your phone under the sun, the display doesn’t washes out   – you can still see what’s on the screen.

The display produces a pixel density of 246ppi which provides excellent sharpness and image quality. It doesn’t have a Gorilla glass but the hardened glass that Nokia has put onto this smartphone is pretty tough. I haven’t seen any scratched on its screen on my two weeks of use.

WINDOWS PHONE 8

The Lumia 620 is running on Windows Phone 8 which offers new and exciting features that was missing on Windows Phone 7. Nokia Lumia 620 is powered by a 1.0 GHz dual-core Krait processor paired with an Adreno 305 GPU and 512 MB of RAM. Though its a bit down powered compared to the 920 and 820 still the Lumia 620 runs perfectly smooth, no lags or whatsoever.

The Windows Phone 8 features re-sizable live tiles in three sizes, small (static tile), medium and wide. It makes customization more easier, now you can design your own startscreen in any way you want. You can set apps on bigger tiles depending on your liking, small static tiles are for those that don’t require live feeds.


Messaging and Telephony Messaging on Windows Phone made easier. The qwerty keyboard is easy and comfortable for typing plus it has a predictive text feature which suggests text while you type, thus saves time. Facebook chat is also integrated on the messaging makes is easier for you to get in touch with your online contacts.

Telephony on Lumia 620 is superb. It offered loud and clear in-call sound and signal reception has no any issues. Calls made were loud and crisp. Its Nokia’s trademark in providing great telephony experience without issues on signal and antenna quality People Hub The People Hub on Windows Phone is the most impressive features of this OS. This lets you list of all your contacts from phone numbers, social networking,and many more. It has great options for you to integrate your contacts in one, making it easier for searching.When you add your Facebook account into the hub, it gathers all your Facebook friends which includes their email address, phone numbers, photo and other social networking accounts (if those are added on their Facebook profile). It gives you an easier way to communicate with your contacts seamlessly. You can also see all their status updates on the People Hub.


Rooms and Groups are new features on the Windows Phone 8. They cut through contact clutter so you can stay in touch with the people who matter most—family, friends from the neighborhood, your book club. Rooms are best used to chat and share things with people you invite. Groups lets you stay current with their social updates, or message them all at once. Multitasking and Windows Phone Speech Windows Phone 8 can do multitasking, but unlike the Symbian way, apps not in the foreground are suspended, but multitasking also depends on how the app was developed. You can press the back key to close all the apps till you reach the home screen. To launch the multi-tasking window, you just need to press and hold the back key.


Windows Phone 8 can also be controlled through voice. It can do basic things like making a call, sending an sms, read your messages or open applications. You can also search words or places using your voice just by press and hold the Windows key. Kid’s Corner One of the new features on Windows Phone 8 is the Kid’s Corner. It lets you select apps and contents that your kids can only access, you can also set password to protect it from being accessed. When activated, the Kids corner is accessible by swiping left of the lockscreen. If you’ve secured it, your kids won’t be able to return to your standard lock and home screen without the password.


Kid’s Corner makes your Lumia 620 family-oriented, as it ensures that your kids are safe when they happen to use your phone and play with it. Your child can play the games, listen to the songs, watch the videos, depending on what you put on the Kid’s Corner list. This is also useful not only for kids but also to your friends who wants to use your phone but you want to protect your privacy then you can set this on for them. MS Office 360 Windows Phone 8 also has Office 360 which  is one of the key selling points of Windows Phone. It is very accessible when you need to access or edit your documents when your on the go. It also uses the SkyDrive integration so you can directly upload your files to the cloud or download it to your phone.


Office 360 has the power of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note. It is very handy because you don’t need to access your computer to view your office files. It can read both files saved on Office 2007 and 2003.

Connectivity

Lumia 620 has NFC and Bluetooth function to send and receive files from other devices. This makes things more convenient compared to the Lumia exclusive app on Windows Phone 7.8 called Bluetooth share. With Windows Phone 8, sharing files to other devices works seamlessly and easier.


You can also use the NFC feature on the Lumia 620 to pair it on NFC-enabled speakers such as the Nokia JBL speakers. You can also use both Bluetooth and NFC to pair it on capable headsets/headphones. Internet Explorer 10 As far as mobile browsing is concerned, the Windows Phone 8 has the fastest mobile internet browser to date. Powered by Internet Explorer 10, it loads fast even on desktop view. You can even access the Facebook desktop view just like you are using it on your computer.


The Lumia 620 has enough screen size for comfortable browsing experience but a 4-inch screen is still better. It is powered by a dual core 1ghz processor which makes browsing faster than before. You can now open multiple tabs more than six. Internet Explorer 10 is an HTML 5 capable browser which scores 320 out of 500 and 6 bonus points on the html 5 test. Bing Search Windows Phone 8 has a dedicated capacitive key for the Bing search. Bing search offers a convenient way of searching things from the internet without opening your internet browser. It has a Local Scout, which lets you search for various interesting points around you. It has Bing Vision too that works as a QR code reader which is now widely used in different functions. And the Music key is a song recognition feature that gives you track information and artist name of the specific song it recognizes, works like Shazam app.


Bing is pretty impressive because it does all your search needs. When you search for a word, it shows you web entries. If you’re searching for a coffee shop, let’s say for example, Starbucks. Local search will provide you information of nearby Starbucks branches with address and drive through which will launch the Here Drive app. If you swipe it to the left, it will show you images related to Starbucks. Very convenient, fast and informative.

Windows Phone Store

The Windows Phone store is the portal for downloading apps and games on your Lumia device. For the record, the store has a growing number of apps, currenlty at 145,000 apps. Now, the Windows Phone store is also getting more titles that you can only see in iOS and Android devices. Temple Run has made its way to the Windows Phone 8 and the rumored Instagram should also come pretty soon.


The store has a dedicated Nokia Collections where you can get all the exclusive apps for your Lumia device. The store offers various sections such as Apps, Games, Music and Podcasts. You can also rate and submit your feedback on the app that you have downloaded.

NAVIGATION

Nokia has brought their HERE mapping and navigation solutions on the Windows Phone 8 platform. It’s one of the key strenghts of the Lumia 620. HERE Maps offers offline service for you to explore the world at the palm of your hand. You just need to download the maps and you can start exploring cities and locations nearby or anywhere in the world.

HERE Drive+ offers true offline, turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation used for drivers. With turn-by-turn, voice-guided directions and an interface built with drivers in mind, HERE Drive Beta helps you get there safely, even without a data connection. It has true offline, turn-by-turn voice navigation optimized for drivers. With turn-by-turn, voice-guided directions and an interface built with drivers in mind, HERE Drive Beta helps you get there safely, even without a data connection.

There is also HERE Transit which gives you an ease of taking public transportation easier and faster. You can compare routes and even see the walking distances required for each route option. If you’re a time concious person, this app can help you plan your trip concisely and time spent is well estimated. HERE Transit is available in over 670 cities and 50 countries around the world. So if you’re interested to use this app on your Lumia 620, check if your city is covered at www.nokia.com/transport-coverage.

CAMERA AND VIDEO 

Nokia Lumia 620 has a 5 megapixel camera with auto focus and led flash on the back plus a VGA front camera for video calling. The omission of the Carl Zeiss lens on this device is not pretty much a set back. The Lumia 620 is one of the best 5 megapixel shooters we’ve seen. It produces images of 2592 х 1936 pixels resolution with solid quality. Here are some image samples from the Lumia 620. You can click on the photos for full view.


Though there are some noise but there is much resolved detail,  great colors and dynamic range. The Lumia 620 also captures good in macro mode. Overall, the the results are satisfactory for a its price range. The 5 megapixel on the back can capture 720p HD videos on 30 fps. It shows a smooth framerate and great audio capture. The Lumia 620 has dual HAAC micrphones that can capture up to 140 db without distortion. This technology is being used in Nokia 808 Pureview, Lumia 720 and 920. Watch the Lumia 620 video sample:

 

The camera UI is pretty straightforward – you have your viewfinder and controls on the right. On the left you have an arrow that takes you to the images taken with the camera, One thing I like with Windows Phone is the app integration all over the UI.


Now with Windows Phone 8, they introduced Lenses. If you got apps that is made for photo editing, those apps will be made available under Lenses within the camera UI options. The camera app on Windows Phone offers extensive settings, ranging from scenes and effects to white balance, contrast, saturation, sharpness and ISO.

MULTIMEDIA

Photo hub

This is also one of the feature we like most. Obviously, this is where your photos are located but its not all about that. Photo hub is an all in one photo section where you can also access your friend’s albums shared via Facebook. You can also see here photos posted on their wall. Images on the Photo hub is arrange according to Camera roll, Albums, Date and People.


You can also access all your imaging apps on this hub without going to the menu and search for those apps. Camera roll includes all photos and videos captured by the Lumia 620 camera. Scrolling and panning of images are very smooth and fast.

Music+Videos

Music and Videos are stored on the same location. You can access your favorite song list and videos in one, including apps related to music and videos such as Nokia Music and Nokia Trailers. So no need for you to search for it in the menu – very convenient.


The video player supports additional codecs such as XviD, DivX and MP4 videos up to full HD resolution. Unlike in Nokia Belle OS, the Windows Phone 8 still doesn’t support .mkv videos and no support for subtitle.


“Pinning” of certain apps and photos are widely supported in the Windows Phone 8 also includes videos. You can pin your favorite video to your startscreen so you can easily access it.


The music and videos hub is pretty simple and straightforward. Windows Phone 8 now has a dedicated audio settings which include the Equalizers and Dolby Headphone. These features were missing on the Windows Phone 7 and good thing that Microsoft has manged to deliver it this time. The equalizers and Dolby headphone support gives you a better audio experience on the Lumia 620 but these options would only work with the headphones on. The Lumia 620 has a pretty good sets of speakers, enough not to miss any calls or sms sent to you. Compared to the Lumia 800, the 620 speakers are way louder and crisper.

GAMING

The Lumia 620 has a quite powerful specs for gaming. The dual core processor, Adreno 305 GPU and a 512MB of RAM will help you find a decent gaming experience. The only limitation is the amount of RAM on this phone. There are some games such as Modern Combat 4 and Temple Run won’t play on this device because they require a gig of RAM. Of course, the app developer can also make versions for the 512 RAM devices but it will take time. Being an entry-level fighter, it is forgiving that it has lesser RAM to cut the cost and differentiate.


There are plenty of games now in the Windows Phone store including those Xbox live titles. You can make your own Xbox live account on your Lumia 620 and create your own avatar, track down your achievements. Here, you can add users from the Xbox community, see their profiles, achievements and avatars. Whenever you open the Games hub, you can always see your live avatar, watch it moves without the need of data connection. Gaming experience on the Lumia 620 is satisfying, the games run fast and smooth.

Other Lumia Exclusives

Here City Lens is an augmented reality app which entirely a new way to reveal what’s around you. This app uses your phone’s camera display to reveal the best shops, restaurants, and points of interest as virtual signs overlaid on the buildings right in front of you and you instantly see what’s there – amazing isn’t it? This is one of Nokia’s greatest app innovation on a smartphone, exclusive only for Lumia devices.

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So the next time you look for shops, restaurants, hotels and other establishments nearby, no need to look for Maps nor search in Bing, just fire up your Nokia City Lens on you Lumia 510 and you can instantly see where you need to go. It shows you the real world with the places you’re looking for. Plus it also shows you the contact numbers, address location and directions for your convenience. This app makes your Lumia 620 stands out from the rest.

Cinemagraph is a magical blend of photo and movie-like animation, creating pictures that seem almost alive. Take a photo, landscape or portrait, and helpful on-screen assistance lets you easily select the animated area of your picture to create your very own cinemagraph. 

Cinemagraph

The result is really amusing. This is a new way of keeping your precious moments more alive and dynamic. Cinemagraph allows you to share on your favourite social media sites like Twitter and Facebook using the memories.nokia.com site.

These apps are just one of the many Lumia exclusives that you can get from the Windows Phone store like the Nokia Trailers, Nokia Music, Smart Shoot, Nokia Play To, etc.

FINAL WORDS

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The Lumia 620 has established a new standard on what an entry-level smartphones should be. It balances both power, design and price. Lumia 620 provides a great web browser experience and a well integrated social media features. It is also running on the latest version of the Windows Phone 8, the same exact version that you can get on more expensive Lumias like the 920 or 820. For a low priced smartphone sporting the latest version of its OS makes is more compelling – its really a steal.

The Nokia Lumia 620 is only priced at 11, 600 PhP (281USD) (suggested retail price). Though this is cheaper than other Lumia running on Windows Phone 8, this device is a solid smartphone. It offers a wide range of features that you can also get on a high end smartphone. Lumia 620 is a device with great workmanship, decent performance and impressive software. With its loud colors, superb quality, decent camera, fast browser, office productivity suite integrated, and hundred thousands of app. It delivers real-world performance as good as other Windows Phones that cost more than double – this phone is really hard to ignore.

The Lumia 620 is a beautiful looking device and the addition of NFC, expandable memory and Nokia’s own exclusive apps makes this a must-consider smartphone for anyone looking to get their first smartphone or upgrade from an older device. The audio quality is crisp and clean through the Dolby Headphone Sound Enhancement and the unrivaled screen quality via ClearBlack display.

Nokia Lumia 620’s closest rival is also on its own den – the recently released Lumia 720 and 520. In terms of features, the Lumia 720 has a bigger screen, a 6.7-megapixel camera with a F/1.9 aperture for capturing great images in low light without flash, has a slimmer and lighter profile plus a 1.3 megapixel, 720p, wide-angle front camera compared to the VGA front camera on the 620. The Lumia 720 has a unibody design while the 620 has an interchangeable back shells. But in terms of processing power, both runs on the same chipset and RAM value. The Lumia 720 is priced at 14, 590 PhP or 354 USD.

lumia720520The arrival of the Lumia 520 took away the title of the ‘Most Affordable Lumia’ ever from the 620. What you can get with the 520 is a bigger screen. But Nokia cuts some of the feature like the front camera, the led flash and the ClearBlack display to reach a lower price margin. Specs and feature wise, Lumia 620 still offers more but you need to pay more bucks. The Lumia 520 is only 7,990 PhP in the Philippines and its US variant Lumia 521 with LTE is only 150 USD via T-Mobile.

The availability of the Lumia 620 plays an important role to new “switchers”, who don’t have a single knowledge of what a Windows Phone is. Now, that the Windows Phone is becoming more capable, its about time that more and more people will be able to experience it. Reaching lower price points will help Nokia to finally recover its lost territory.

It’s been a while when Nokia has chosen Windows Phone to be their smartphone flagship OS and some of you thought that Nokia has chosen a wrong path. But now, it has become more clearer to everyone that Windows Phone has a lot of potential. Its the balance of what you can get with iOS and Android, and its even better when combined with Nokia’s innovation and technology. Windows Phone and Nokia assures people that they will have a solid smartphone, with an industry-leading design, quality camera, clear telephony, software support, exclusive apps, great battery life, free of malware, and more color options for each of us.

In a world filled with gigantic smartphones, Nokia still believes that there is a market for consumers who are looking for pocketabilityNokia is not making phones for everyone but for each of us – Lumia 620 is here to give people more option at a more affordable price without sacrificing quality, power and features.

The Nokia Lumia 620 – Truly, a Power in Your Pocket.

**Thank you to Nokia Philippines for lending us this phone.