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Compact, vibrant, and lots of fun: our Nokia Lumia 620 hands-on

Adam Fraser Published by Adam Fraser Mon, Feb 4

Compact, vibrant, and lots of fun: our Nokia Lumia 620 hands-on

0
1248

Adam Fraser Published by Adam Fraser Mon, Feb 4

This time last week, I was lucky enough to take delivery of the new Nokia Lumia 620 – Nokia’s latest, and most affordable, Windows Phone 8 smartphone.

Since then, I’ve been using it on a daily basis and putting it through some real-world tests.

Like a kid on Christmas morning, I grabbed the delivery bag, tore it open and glanced at the contents – a blue box with the words “Nokia Lumia 620” printed on it.

Nokia-Lumia-620_colour-range_front

Hardware and design

In addition to this, I found three shells (back covers) hiding in the bottom of the bag; one glossy lime (dual-shot made of yellow and cyan), one glossy orange (dual-shot made of yellow and magenta), one matte cyan, and one matte frosty white. Worth noting that you only get one of these shells inbox, the others have to be bought separately. I got all of them as a special delivery from Helsinki!

Dual-shot is the term we’re using to describe the blending of our CMYK palette to create new and exciting colours. For example, for the glossy lime we used a yellow polycarbonate base colour and overlaid it with a transparent cyan one. From the front, you’ll see a double layer of colours, but from any other angle, all you can see is a vibrant, luscious lime colour.

Comparing the weight with my Nokia Lumia 800, the Lumia 620 feels lighter, but not in a cheap way. It feels solid and heavy enough to fit snugly into the palm of my hand while the smooth back and rounded edges give the whole phone a comfortable feel.

Nokia-Lumia-620_colour-range_backs

The 3.8″ TFT WVGA ClearBlack display produces some vivid colours, equally on par with the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820. Plus, the screen can be used with gloves on – very handy for this time of year or for those living in colder countries. Correction: this feature is not actually supported on the Lumia 620, though I was able to achieve it.

From the start, it’s clear to see that the Nokia Lumia 620 is a fun, almost-youthful smartphone, thanks to the new colour range.

After popping in my Micro SIM card, a spare 8GB Micro SD card (supports up to 64GB) and the 1300mAh battery, I clipped on the lime shell – it just happened to match the jumper I was wearing that day – and powered it on.

Software

As is usual with any new phone, there’s a brief process of selecting times and dates, as well as the option to sign in to your Microsoft account, something you’ll need if you want to purchase any of the over 125,000 apps or games available on the Windows Phone Store.

Nokia-Lumia-620_Dual-Shot

Then it’s probably a good idea to head into the settings and then ‘email+accounts’ to setup any email accounts you may have, and to sign into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Sina Weibo. Or none, if you’re not using them, of course.

With the boring necessaries out of the way, the first thing you’ll want to do is personalise the Start screen, even if it’s just to change the colour theme and the accent colour. It seemed only natural to change the default theme from cyan to lime, considering I opted for the lime green shell.

Once I’d made some more adjustments to my Start screen – resizing Live Tiles, adding email tiles, and moving tiles around – it was time to delve into the Windows Phone Store to download some great games and apps.

I made sure I covered the basic, and essential, as far as I’m concerned, apps/games; Cinemagraph, Creative Studio, 4th & Mayor, Weather Flow, Draw Something and Angry Birds.

Right now, I’m loving the Cinemagraph app. Here’s my first attempt, down a dark alley:

Steam

Cinemagraphs have got me thinking about photos in a completely different way. Rather than seeing a single, static scene, I now look at something and see the animation potential.

OK, so Cinemagraphs don’t take full advantage of the 5MP camera, because the saved format is a GIF, but it produces some interesting results.

However, the 5-megapixel camera does take a great photo, as you can see below. The tube lighting in the office wasn’t ideal, so I auto fixed it using the built-in tools with just a click.

Shells_taken-with-Nokia-Lumia-620

Performance

You’d be mistaken in thinking that because a device has 512MB of RAM, it would run slowly and you’d experience a certain amount of lag. However, this isn’t the case.

The dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon CPU does a fantastic job at keeping everything running as smooth as any other – more expensive – smartphone.

Nokia-Lumia-620-DOF

In terms of battery performance, I easily get a full day out of it, with a fair amount of usage. As I’m still in the honeymoon phase, where I’m still trying to find new things with it, I’d expect the battery to run down considerably quicker. But it doesn’t.

The official stats for talk time, using GSM or WCDMA, are up to 14.6 hours and 9.9 hours respectively. As for standby time, it’s up to 330 hours.

If you’re into your music, you’ll be happy to know that the Nokia Lumia 620 plays it loud; at about 100db we believe. Perfect for listening to you favourite bands using Nokia Music.

As a big fan of NFC, I’m delighted to be able to finally have that technology in my pocket, in an affordable, attractive, fully functional package as the Lumia 620.

What do you think of the Nokia Lumia 620? Join in the discussion below, to let us know.

Note: This article was first headlined as a ‘review’, obviously, it’s more of a hands-on account of Adam’s experiences and the headline has been changed to reflect that.

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