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Nokia Lumia 630
£10 off, now £159.99
In stock now
Payments handled securely by Paypal. Credit/debit cards welcome.
Improved 4.5 inch screen
5 megapixel camera with larger sensor
Bright coloured replaceable shells
Link to a Smart TV with DLNA
Background noise cancellation
Read our full Nokia Lumia 630 review >>>
by Mike Leader
The new Nokia Lumia 630 has arrived and the Finnish manufacturers appear to have decided that less is more, with a smaller screen than the Lumia 625 it replaces.
It also comes in a 4G version, labelled the Lumia 635/strong>
The new smaller Lumia 630 isn't an awful lot smaller, with a screen size of 4.5 inches against the 4.7 inches of the Lumia 620. The weight drops significantly by 25 grams to 124g.
At 130 x 67mm the phone is also 5mm narrower and loses 3mm from it's height, but the depth of 9.2mm remains the same while the screen resolution goes up a little from 199 to 218 pixels per inch. But enough number crunching.
Colourful interchangeable panels
Technical details done, the popular strong polycarbonate casing is retained here and again is available in colourful, well, colours! Changeable rear panels, known as shells, are available in black and bright dayglo colours including orange, yellow and green.
White is also available for the less adventurous who want something a little brighter than plain old black. The casing is nicely shaped, curving around the edges, and is comfortable and relatively easy to grip though the back is flat and glossy rather than grippy
New ClearBlack display
Nokia have added their clear black display behind a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen, which makes the IPS type panel both shatterproof and scratch resistant. This new Windows version 8.1 smartphone is a lot better for the changes as the new black panel and extra pixels really do make a big difference.
Windows have listen to what we, the customers, wanted and the result is that the interface is easier to use and for the first time includes an Android and iPhone style drop down notification menu.
You can now choose a background image, like Android's wallpaper, but rather than the tiles sitting over this the wallpaper actually becomes the background of the tile creating a mosaic effect. You can still choose individual colours for any of the tiles too if you wish to do so
Strangely, the screen actually appears to be a lot more than a fifth of an inch smaller in the diagonal, partly because of the optical illusion caused by the fact that the Lumia 625's screen went almost edge to edge.
This will be a moot point to most of you of course, it isn't something you would notice or even realise unless you held the two side by side. The important thing is it is an excellent screen belying the fact that this is an entry level handset
Improved camera - or not?
We're a little puzzled by the camera, which stays at 5 megapixels but has been improved, say Nokia, with a larger quarter inch sensor. This allows more light in which means sharper, brighter pictures and better low light performance.
However we didn't see any noticeable difference over the pictures from the previous model, and pictures, though sharp and clear, appear to have a slight blueish tinge to them. Video recording quality actually drops from 1080p HD to 720p, although the 30 frames per second rate is the same.
Notably the overall quality is still very high particularly for an entry level phone. One missing feature is the dedicated camera button, no doubt to keep costs down but we would have preferred to see one fitted
Plentiful processing power
Alongside the new 4G Nokia Lumia 635 ( which is not a dual sim version as reported elsewhere), this handset runs a 1.2 GHz quad core Qualcomm processor which is more than enough power to keep this phone running smoothly.
Included RAM memory is only 512MB where most Android phones have at least double that amount, but it is important to understand that Windows operating system uses far less memory resources. In otherwords any more than this is not necessary in an entry level phone.
Free 7GB storage and memory card slot included
Internal storage space is set at 8GB which is pretty much the norm at this price point, but Microsoft and Nokia are offering what now seems to be a standard offer of 7GB online cloud storage for free across the Lumia range.
Additionally a memory card slot is built into the phone which accepts memory cards right up to 128GB, a capacity which even some phones costing hundreds of pounds more cannot manage.
While few of you will want to shell out for a memory card of that size, 16GB cards can now be picked up for around a tenner each
Admirable sound and call quality
Music isn't something which Nokia have really touted on this phone but an FM radio with RDS is included alongside the music player and the handsfree speaker is nice and clear, and louder than you might have expected with sound being clear without any distortion.
Sound is exceptionally good when listened to through headphones, and perhaps more essentially, call quality is very good too thanks to the Active Noise Cancellation system which helps to cut out background noise with the help of an additional dedicated microphone
You will find a notable set of connectivity features on the Lumia 630 with Wi-Fi including support for Wi-Fi hotspot.
DLNA is included too, this being a system which allows you to play your music and videos or view your files on another DLNA enabled device such as a smart TV. It is very rare to see this feature on an entry level handset.
It is possible for you to use this phone as a satellite navigation device as GPS is also included with Assisted mode for faster location of satellites.
It also works with the GLONASS satellite system from Russia, while stereo Bluetooth offers you more ways to enjoy your music or movies wirelessly
For an entry level smartphone from a major manufacturer running the latest version of the Windows operating system (v8.1), and with a thoroughly decent feature set inside a well built likeable handset, we are very impressed with the this handset
This is a fantastic introduction to the Windows operating system on a phone, and at a price which will see this handset competing favourably with Android phones such as the Motorola MOTO G.
Top marks have to go to Nokia for producing a phone that looks good and also provides a feelgood factor when you are using it.
Nokia's voice assistant, called Cortana, is now available in the UK and as Microsoft promised it is better than Siri, Apple's iPhone version and Google's Android voice app so it should be worth the wait.
All things considered the Nokia Lumia 630 is an excellent package in a small handset and comes highly recommended.