The Lumia 630 is the first Lumia device with dual SIM functionality. It is also the first Lumia to come with the final consumer version of Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft’s shiny new mobile operating system. Like the Lumia 620 and 520 before it, the Lumia 630 is targeted at the low budget range. But it comes with a few hardware and software bumps.
Attractive body build; Good (but not great) battery life, depending on usage; Perfect for working with office documents
Most popular 3rd-party apps not preinstalled; No bundled earphones; Camera app tends to lag
Ignoring its curved edges and distinguishing matte body finish, the Lumia 630 could easily be mistaken for the Lumia 520 or Lumia 620. So what’s new?
Specs – A few spec bumps for the Lumia 630; a 1.2 GHz Sapdragon Quad-core processor, 4.5-inch display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 128 GB memory card support. At 134 g, the Lumia 630 is also slightly heavier than both.
Buttons – The usual volume and power controls are where they should be but, unlike its predecessors, the Lumia 630 has no dedicated camera button. Weird choice by
Nokia Microsoft. The omission most likely has to do with cost considerations. At 27k, the Lumia 630 costs far less than the Lumia 520 (34k) and 620 (36k) did when they launched. Add to the fact that there are also no physical navigation buttons on the Lumia 630 – they’ve all been converted to software buttons – it’s easy to see why it costs far less.
The Lumia 630 comes preloaded with the latest Windows Phone 8.1 OS. That’s not much of an advantage considering both the Lumia 620 and 520 are eligible to be updated. But it’s always nice not to have to expend data on updates. I will touch on some of the key new features on Windows 8.1 later in the review.
Let’s get on with the review proper
Performance and Apps
Performance is okay, for a budget smartphone. However, the Lumia 630 does tend to lag every so often, particularly when you try to launch the camera app or you’re switching between apps. I can live with the lag in switching apps, but I can’t stand the frequent delay in launching the camera.
I find it quite odd that the only 3rd-party apps pre-installed on the Lumia 630 are Facebook and Line. Instead, there are a bunch of Nokisoft apps preintsalled; some of the more popular ones like Office, Skype and One Drive; a few unpopular, but actually very useful ones, like Nokia Cinemagraph (GIF creator) and Bing Health & Fitness. But they’re mostly apps that almost no one uses.
Ironically, some of the more useful Microsoft apps are not preinstalled. For example, Files, the File Manager that’s supposed to be one of the highlights of WP 8.1, is not preinstalled. Needless to say, if you’re big on third-party apps, you will burn a lot of data setting up the Lumia 630.
I ran 3 tests on the battery. Please follow the links below for details
Intensive Everyday Usage – 6 hours to 10%
Endurance Test – 5 hours to 0% (high screen brightness). 10 hours to 0% (medium brightness)
For a smartphone with a small 1830 mAh battery, these results are not bad. And Battery Saver mode is a beast. You can use it to prevent some apps from running in the background when you’re not using. This amounts to a lot of battery savings. But even without setting which apps are allowed or not, Battery Saver does a good job of saving you lots of juice. I recommend you set it to activate only when the battery is low.
The Lumia 630 has dual SIM functionality. On the homescreen, you will find 2 sets of icons (messaging and calls) for SIM 1 and SIM 2. It might take some getting used to.
You could actually do with one set of icons, as there is a persistent toggle, with which you can switch to whichever SIM you want to call or text with on both the calls and messaging interface.
It’s a 5 MP camera with autofocus but no flash. If you’re expecting Lumia 1020 performance, you will be disappointed. The camera is okay for social media updates(which is what most of us use them for anyway), especially in good lighting conditions. Low light performance is poor though. Here are some samples in different lighting conditions:
[click on images to view full resolution]
Same shot as above, but in low light
Windows Phone 8.1
If you’ve used any of the older Lumia devices, you’ve pretty much used Windows 8.1, save for a couple key new features. Jesse Oguns already has a detailed review of what’s new on Windows Phone 8.1. I should probably mention that you won’t get to use the voice-assistant, Cortana as it is not officially available in Nigeria.
I find some of the new features interesting, particularly Action Centre. It’s nice that I can now access all my notifications in one place, even from the lockscreen. I no longer have to leap for my Windows Phone whenever I hear an alert, for fear of missing a notification, or having to scroll through tiles to find which app has a notification. It’s also nice that I don’t have to dig into settings to perform basic toogles like Wi-Fi on/off.
However, like I said when I gave my first impressions, I feel like Action Centre is inconsistent with the whole Windows Phone design language. I feel like Action Centre would have fit better if you had to swipe sideways to access it. It’s more intuitive that way. We already swipe right to get our list of apps, why can’t we swipe left for Action Centre? It doesn’t help that Action Centre is still missing a few basic features like the ability to turn off mobile data from right within it. You still have to dig into settings for that.
I also like that you can now sync Google Calendar entries with the WP Calendar app. Internet Explorer looks to have improved massively. At least, I no longer find it unbearable to use. The ability to install all apps on your memory card is a really big deal. There’s also the unanimously cool swyping-based Word Flow keyboard. I’m not particularly a fan of swyping, ever since SwiftKey made it popular on Android, so I’m not the best to judge its efficiency of Windows Phone.
The Lumia 630 is a good device for its price (27k). If you are on a tight budget and you must have a Lumia device with dual SIM functionality, look no further than the Lumia 630.
The ability to install all apps on memory card means you won’t suffer from most memory issues common with Android phones in its price range. Of course if you are an app junkie, you probably want to check that all your favourite apps (or their worthy alternatives) are available on the Windows Phone store before taking the leap. If you are not satisfied with the apps you find there, I recommend investing in some quality budget Android smartphones like the LG L90 Dual or Gionee E3. If you must get a Nokia, the Nokia X2, due for release in July, supports Android apps too.