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nokia lumia 630 official

The Nokia Lumia 630 is one of the most affordable smartphones around right now – it costs just £90, putting it neck and neck with the Android-powered Motorola Moto E.

So what do you get for your money? Let’s take a look.

First impressions and design

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Like the rest of the Lumia range, the 630 is very bright and colourful, with a matte plastic case. Its back actually pops off, so you can slot in a SIM card and replace the battery should you wish.

The matte finish isn’t quite as premium as the iPhone 5C’s gloss, but the handset feels very well put together, and like it should cost much more than its ridiculously low price tag.

It’s essentially the same device as last year’s wallet-friendly Lumia 520, but slightly bigger, and running slightly newer software. Speaking of which…

Software

nokia lumia 630 review 1

The Lumia 630 runs Windows Phone 8.1, which is the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile OS. It brings with it a host of features that have so far been missing.

Action Centre lets you pull down from the top of the screen to see notifications and settings, just as you would on Android and iOS.

You can also keep tabs on your usage thanks to the Battery Saver app, Data Sense, and Storage Sense.

Seeing as Nokia is now owned by Microsoft, services like mobile Office and SkyDrive now come as standard, along with Nokia stalwarts like Here Maps, Here Drive+ and MixRadio.

You also get Xbox Music and Video apps.

The Windows Phone Store still has fewer apps than Google Play and Apple’s App Store, but it’s a lot better than it was.

It has most of the big names like Spotify and Instagram, but be prepared to wait for the latest releases compared to your Android- and iOS-toting brethren.

Features

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The bad news is Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-style digital assistant, hasn’t launched in the UK yet.

The good news is that the 630 doesn’t scrimp too much elsewhere. The 5-megapixel camera takes bright pictures with plenty of contrast, though the lack of flash is a bit disappointing.

You do still get full control over settings like white balance and ISO though.

Mid-range offerings like the HTC Desire 610 have been going selfie-mad of late, but the Nokia Lumia 630 doesn’t have a front-facing camera, so you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way and turn it back on yourself. That, or shoot into a mirror.

There’s no 4G either, unlike the new and improved Moto G (though that does cost about £60 more than the Lumia 630).

Usability

nokia lumia 630 detail

Obviously for £90, you’re not getting top-of-the-range performance. The Lumia 630 is fine for everyday tasks like web browsing, but it does occasionally struggle with games and HD video.

Likewise, the speakers go pretty loud, but soon start to distort.

The quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4 chip coupled with a measly 512MB of RAM isn’t anywhere near as fast as rivals. The same price Moto E, for example, has a slightly lower-specced processor, but 1GB of RAM, which makes all the difference.

The screen, though slightly bigger, is also less sharp, with 221ppi compared to the Moto E’s 256. It does look a little grainy, so isn’t ideal for watching videos or browsing photographs.

Verdict

The Lumia 630 is great value for money. It has its compromises, but then for £90 you’ve got to expect that.

The Moto E is the better buy, with more apps and faster performance. But if you want a slightly bigger screen and are a fan of the Windows Phone OS, the Lumia 630 is a fantastic buy.

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