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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nokia Lumia 630 - Unboxing and First Impressions


Nokia Lumia 630

The is a new smartphone from Microsoft Mobile which runs Windows Phone 8.1 alongside the flagship Nokia Lumia 930. As you may already know, Windows Phone 8.1 is the latest version of Microsoft's mobile OS, which introduces the digital voice assistant Cortana and the Action Center to manage with notifications along with several other features and enhancements. I recently got the opportunity to check out the Lumia 630 and these are my first impressions.

The Lumia 630 is an entry level smartphone, aimed to usher in a new generation of Windows Phone users. It is available as a single SIM ($159) and a dual SIM model ($169) meant to suite the needs of different users around the world. Those who prefer LTE connectivity to pick up the almost identical Nokia Lumia 635, which brings LTE connectivity to entry level smartphone users.

With the Lumia 630, Microsoft has used more colorful packaging, which represents the various colors the device is available. While our trial unit was in plain black, you could also pick up your Lumia 630 in green, orange, yellow or white.

The content of the package is quite minimal, likely due to the affordable price attached to the device. You will get a power cable, which isn't slip into a USB cable and adapter as we are used to seeing. Additionally the packaging will also contain the removable (1830 mAh) battery and the quick user guide to help you navigate through Windows Phone.

Without the battery inserted, the device feels quite light and flimpsy. Microsoft has provided instruction on the back cover, showing us how easy it is to remove it. Once you have your battery, SIM card and memory card (if required) inserted, you will be ready to power up your device. I have to note that the phone felt much sturdier once the battery was inserted giving the device the right amount of weight to feel solid in my hand.

You will have to run through the setup wizard the first time you power up the Lumia 630. Connect to your Wi-Fi network, sign into your Microsoft Account and you will soon be ready to enjoy your brand new Windows Phone.

One of the things you will notice is that the Lumia 630 doesn't have hardware navigation keys. Much like modern Android smartphones, Microsoft has built software keys to navigate you through the OS. With the Nokia Lumia 520 for example, the navigation keys were not illuminated like more expensive devices, making it hard to see what you were pressing in a dark room. Fortunately this is no longer an issue by moving to software keys.

Another missing element on this entry level device is the dedicated camera key. Lumia 630 users will now have to rely on the camera Live Tile or camera app to launch their cameras. While this isnt hard to accomplish, I hope Microsoft eventually includes a camera gesture into their lockscreen to make accessing the camera easier.

As an entry level device, the Lumia 630 has only one 5 megapixel camera located on its rear. There is no front camera for video calls, though Nokia GlamMe can be used by those who want to capture those selfies.

The Lumia 630 has a 4.5 inch IPS ClearBlack display with a resolution of 854 by 480 pixels and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 with 512MB of RAM. While many of us may be concerned by the low amount of RAM, I have to point out that the Windows Phone platform has been optimized to runs smoothly on 512MB and I didn't face any sort of lag or stuttering during my initial tests.

I will continue to test out the Lumia 630 and you can check out all the details about Nokia's affordable Windows Phone 8.1 device in my Nokia Lumia 630 Review.

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