Nokia Lumia 620 review: Auxiliary troops
At this point it should be clear that the future of Nokia rides on the success of the Windows Phone 8 platform. The Fins need the second major WP release to work as the Lumia lineup is Nokia's only shot at staying afloat in the long run. Samsung and Apple's onslaught is strong - almost brutal when looking at Samsung's numbers in the Android camp - and a previous go-to manufacturer like Nokia can only have one thing in mind: revenge.
Nokia is the first manufacturer to go all in with Windows Phone, using its mapping and multimedia strengths to help the platform gain momentum. The last quarterly results were certainly encouraging, but we'll have to wait another three months to see if that was actually a blip or a hint of things to come.
Nokia will certainly be hoping that the global launch of the Lumia 620 will help it push more WP smartphones in the first three months of the year, despite the weaker seasonal demand, as It makes the platform more affordable than ever.
Besides, the Lumia 620 holds a less vulnerable position in the midrange market, leaving it to worry about only two rivals - the Huawei W1 and the Windows Phone 8S by HTC. Let's have a look at the colorful Lumia 620's strengths and weaknesses:
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Quad-band 3G with 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
- 3.8" 16M-color ClearBlack LCD display with WVGA resolution
- 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, 720p@30fps video recording
- VGA front-facing camera
- Windows Phone 8 OS
- 1.0 GHz dual-core Krait CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, 512 MB of RAM
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
- GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support
- 8 GB of inbuilt storage, expandable through the microSD card slot (up to 64 GB)
- Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
- Built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- 1300 mAh user-replaceable battery
- microUSB port with file transfers
- Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and EDR
- NFC support
- Full Office Mobile experience
- Great build quality
- Free lifetime voice-guided navigation via Nokia Drive
- Excellent social integration
- Xbox Live integration and Xbox management
- Nokia Music streaming service
- FM Radio
- 7 GB worth of SkyDrive storage
- Attractive price
- WP app catalog falls short of Android and iOS
- No system-wide file manager
- No lockscreen shortcuts
- Removing the back panel is testing
The Lumia 620 is priced at €250 off contract so it's easy on your wallet. It offers Nokia's full-fledged turn-by-turn navigation Drive app, Nokia Music for offline listening to radio mixes, App Highlights for app recommendations, Cinemagraph, the list goes on. And while there are alternatives in the Marketplace, few are as high quality as Nokia's, while Drive+ beta is only available in three countries for WP devices different than Nokia's, meaning the majority of users are on their own in regards to voice navigation.
The Lumia 620 runs on capable hardware as well. The 5 MP camera and microSD card support are a welcome bonus, but it's the dual-core Krait chip and ClearBlack 3.8" display that shine the most, while the colorful and almost unibody-like chassis sets it apart in a crowd.
And finally, we come to the OS itself. Windows Phone 8 is behind on the quality app count but it's quick to catch up and doing a pretty good job of getting developers interested. It's also a breath of fresh air for all those tired of the iOS and Android way of doing things - swipe-able homescreens, folders, notification areas, etc.
To sum it all up, the Lumia 620 has a nice set of assets to woo newcomers and gather back some of the lost momentum for Nokia - there's only the users to convince and the HTC Windows Phone 8S and Huawei W1 to beat. We'll endeavor to see if the Lumia has what it takes - starting with a tour of the hardware.