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Nokia Lumia 620 - Music, Video and Battery Life

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Editors choice
Nokia Lumia 620

Summary

Our Score:

9

Nokia Lumia 620 – Music and Video

Both Nokia and Microsoft put their oars in when it comes to the Nokia Lumia 620’s music and video stores. From Microsoft, you’re offered the Xbox Music and the Windows Phone music store, from Nokia the Nokia Music portal.

The standard store fronts of each aren’t desperately interesting, selling albums for around the standard £8, and relayed with the usual Windows Phone 8 gloss. It’s the other parts that are more eye-catching.

Xbox Music is a Spotify-like music streaming service that costs £8.99 a month or £90 for the year, and can be accessed through an Xbox (with an Xbox Live Gold membership) as well as your Lumia 920. That’s a pound cheaper than Spotify.Nokia Lumia 620 3

Nokia Music gives you free access to a series of Mixes, which are effectively playlists of streamed tracks, filtered by genre, date, popularity and so on. Streaming quality is fairly low, but it offers a musical distraction if you’re bored of your own tunes.

The Nokia Lumia 620 also, of course, offers a media player interface for your own music and video files. It's just as slick and smooth and the rest of the Windows Phone 8 software, but codec support is pretty limited. The most popular music formats – MP3 and AAC – are supported, but FLAC is not, and anyone with a store of MKV videos will have to transcode them before they’ll play natively on the Nokia Lumia 620.

Nokia Lumia 620 – Camera

The Nokia Lumia 620 has two cameras. There’s a 5-megapixel sensor on the rear, supported by a single-LED flash, and a basic VGA user-facing camera for video calling.

Neither is going to trouble any high-end smartphone on image quality, but a lack of serious shutter lag and acceptable focusing speed mean the Nokia Lumia 620’s camera usability is far better than many Android phones at the price. Low-cost smartphones often suffer from shutter lag so severe than their cameras are painful to use.

Nokia Lumia 620 4

The Nokia Lumia 620 camera app does not offer a bundle of fun filters and effects off the bat, but Windows Phone 8 does let you use camera modules called Lenses. Smart Shoot and Bing Vision come pre-installed.

Smart Shoot takes a series of photos in reasonably quick succession, letting you pick the one where your subject looks the best (shooting speed is a little slow for this to be truly effective) and Bing Vision is a QR and Barcode scanner.

Useful additional lenses you can download include Nokia exclusives like Panorama and the fun “picture animator” Cinematograph, which captures video and stills simultaneously to let you produce a vid where the majority of the scene stays completely still. Ok, maybe that one is not all that useful, but it is a laugh.

Nokia Lumia 620 4

There are bundles off third-party lenses you can grab too, from useless fluff (the majority) to interesting extras.

Image quality is acceptable at the price, with solid focusing and decent detail for a lower-cost 5-megapixel model, but otherwise unremarkable. Colours are a tad under-saturated and in lower-light conditions, noise and chromatic aberration is prolific. Usability is the key here, though, and the Lumia 620 makes photo-taking quick and enjoyable – the main thing for today’s social networking snappers. Nokia Lumia 620 1

Nokia Lumia 620

Reliable autofocus makes detailed close-ups possible

Nokia Lumia 620 – Calling Quality and Battery Life

A feature that could potentially go unappreciated by some is the noise cancellation that the Lumia 620 employs while you’re taking a call. Using the signal from the two microphones on the phone – one on the bottom edge and one up top – it attempts to remove ambient noise from the phone signal before it reaches whoever you’re calling.

Call quality on your end is unremarkable, though. It’s quite boxy-sounding, lacking both top-end clarity and the robust body of a bassier speaker. Nokia Lumia 620 7

Battery life too is another slightly sore point. The Nokia Lumia 620 uses a 1300mAh battery, and in our experience it needed a charge before the day was out with moderate-to-heavy use. If you’re going to be doing much at all in the way of using apps or playing games, you’ll have to charge every day without a doubt.

Nokia Lumia 620 – Value

So-so call quality, mediocre battery life and app support that lags a way behind Android rivals aren’t enough to turn us off the Nokia Lumia 620. At £150, it is simply such good value, crammed into such a well-designed body, that you can’t help but love the little handset.

It sheds virtually all the most serious compromises of its predecessor, the Nokia Lumia 610, to become perhaps the most important Windows Phone 8 device out there. And one of the best budget phones, regardless of platform. Nokia Lumia 620 9

However, nowadays there's one other contender to consider - the Lumia 520. This is a stripped-fown version of the Lumia 620. It doesn't have NFC, a compass or a high-end anti-reflective screen coating. It is a fair bit cheaper, though. We'd still recommend the Lumia 620 if you can afford the extra cash, but it too is a top budget option. For more, read our Lumia 520 vs 620 comparison.

Verdict

The Nokia Lumia 620 is a revelation, showing that budget Windows Phone mobiles don’t have to be riddled with compromises and lack any semblance of personality. Top-notch hardware design, plenty of power and a feature list that betters many Android phones at the price should make this the gateway drug for many who have been unconvinced by Windows Phone to date. Only the existing shortcomings app library shortcomings of Windows Phone 8 hold this phone back.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Camera 7
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8
  • Screen Quality 8
  • Usability 9
  • Value 9
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A World of Paine

February 7, 2013, 9:13 am

The pink, red, green and purple colour scheme is so tasteful.

A World of Paine

February 7, 2013, 9:15 am

Come to think of it the silly little screen makes it look like a child's toy anyway, so why not have a kindergarten paintbox for a colour scheme - it makes perfect sense now.

meerkat82

February 7, 2013, 11:40 am

Excellent review. Excellent phone for someone young - or at least young at heart?
The Nokia comeback continues, but I think I'll go for the Xperia Z, although I am tempted to wait for the rumoured EOS as the camera is so good and the Nokia apps are excellent (maps, radio etc.)

diddler

February 7, 2013, 1:54 pm

If this had been available before Christmas I probably would have got one over the Ace 2, but like all NokSoft stuff it just seems a little too late to the party.

Stan D'Art

February 8, 2013, 9:02 pm

you are the best person to tell us what retard scheme looks like?

Shobin Drogan

February 12, 2013, 4:40 am

Not everyone has mega cash to spend on large screen phones, in any case why would you want a phone the size of texas, needs two hands to operate and drops your pants everytime you walk a LITTLE bit fast? Also, more colours = more suited taste for more people, its called expanding your market and increasing customers, something i suspect someone as idiotic as you would have no idea about.

kupfernigk

February 15, 2013, 1:03 pm

Another Galaxy Note 2 owner trying to justify their buying decision. Seriously, what kind of kick do you get out of trolling?

murali dharan md

February 15, 2013, 2:40 pm

i am waiting for it.......friends shall i get this mobile..... hoe it is just tell me

Potsomeg

February 19, 2013, 3:36 pm

I want a phone that will ring and vibrate for the duration of the ring so I can receive a call. The 620 is the same as the 710, Nokia have learned nothing. Where is the dustbin?

Potsomeg

February 19, 2013, 3:53 pm

I want a phone that will vibrate for the duration of the ringing when set on ring and vibrate.
The 620, I am advised is a repeat of the 710. Also the font size of the numbers is too small as is the 710. Where is the dustbin Nokia you have not listened to past complaints?

Yasser Fernando

February 25, 2013, 5:00 am

The font size of Windows Phone 8 can be adjusted. Oh, you didn't know? You shouldn't comment without searching.

Potsomeg

February 25, 2013, 1:40 pm

I went into o2 and they said that the font size of the numbers in contacts are fixed as on the 710. I will try and confirm with another visit. Have you any comments re the ringing and vibrate at the same time on the 620. I will ask about that again. I have another complaint about the 710, no drafts folder when texting, perhaps that is available with Windows 8. I am a Nokia fan, I have never had a problem with any of their products, just dissapointed with Windows 7.5.

Gary Szendzielarz

February 28, 2013, 3:54 pm

Works fine for me. I have the 620 and quite possibly the best phone I've ever had. The text size is changeable; yes, even for contacts and numbers. No issue at all. Look, if you look for problems, you'll find them. My wife has an iPhone, and we have an iPad. Both have problems - the iPad has serious problems. I wouldn't touch an Apple device with a barge-pole. Android is just a mess, and has WAY too much slow down.

Guest

March 24, 2013, 11:14 am

I own a Galaxy S3 and agree(not with you btw) that there are people who don't want a huge phone, i class mine as that. One that you worry about breaking when its in your jeans pocket and you sit down, incase it flexes and cracks. I listen alot to music through my earphones during the day at work so the phone has to be in my pocket and its annoying having to carefully position it in my trouser pocket to minimise any stress on it and the 3.5mm jack coming out the top. Phones in my eyes have gone past the point of appeal in their size. Big is not best, useability and function is. This is why i'm thinking about this Nokia Lumia 620, it has alot of pro's, tethering is a big one for me, as is overall size(height and width). And i use my phone alot, music, browsing etc, social apps(twitter) and ebay/amazon etc. Quit with the fanboy attitude and add something useful kupfernigk, no-ones here to read lame comments.

Guest

March 24, 2013, 11:18 am

I own a Galaxy S3 and agree(not with you btw) that there are people who
don't want a huge phone, i class mine as that. One that you worry about
breaking when its in your jeans pocket and you sit down, incase it
flexes and cracks. I listen alot to music through my earphones during
the day at work so the phone has to be in my pocket and its annoying
having to carefully position it in my trouser pocket to minimise any
stress on it and the 3.5mm jack coming out the top. Phones in my eyes
have gone past the point of appeal in their size. Big is not best,
useability and function is. This is why i'm thinking about this Nokia
Lumia 620, it has alot of pro's, tethering is a big one for me, as is
overall size(height and width). And i use my phone alot, music, browsing
etc, social apps(twitter) and ebay/amazon etc. Quit with the fanboy
attitude and add something useful kupfernigk, no-ones here to read lame
comments.

Phil

March 30, 2013, 10:12 am

I just bought one on payg on Vodafone for £129.99 plus £10 top up from Carphonewarehouse yesterday. I'm selling my Samsung Galaxy S3, lol. Its just too big and as amazing as it is, its not really suited to what i use a phone for and my work environment.

I've had the Lumia 620 a whole 24hrs now so i can shed a little light on it coming from a top level Android phone.

Took a few hours to set up everything, my accounts, twitter, ebay, emails, facebook and so on. Wifi was simply search, enter password and connected, and has been 100% solid in use(i think it switches off when screen closes and comes on when phone is unlocked). The Nokia Store has everything i need for now, WhatsApp, Twitter, Amazon, Battery monitor, Netflix, TV Catchup, Weather channel, Angry Birds, Flashlight, Ringtone makers, Skype, Speedtest, TuneIn Radio, You Tube, Wiki etc are all on there. With regards to typing, the keyboard(despite looking a bit cramped width-wise) has been very accurate, way more than the gs3 was.
Camera is good old nokia, solid, reliable feel, easy to use, capture shot sound is not intrusive tho screenshot sound is excessively loud!
Internet is good so far too. The only silly small problems i'm having is knowing how to do stuff like setting background for your photo app, and basically knowing where to look for certain things in the Settings etc. Stuff you will always get and eventually learn with a new phone.

Used the Nokia Drive sat nav too, DL'd the whole of UK and various voices and use it in offline mode is brilliant, no data charges anymore! Works fantastically too! So too is the Nokia Music, same thing, DL it over wifi, store up to 4 mixes for free or pay a small fee to allow more to be stored offline at any one time(new release pop, dance chart, most played dance or new releases etc) all for offline use. And the speaker is very good!

Battery dropped 2% in 6 1/2hrs during the night(remember i think wifi is turned off when screen is locked and i have turned off data connection 3g/2g so no data transfer is happening). Battery currently at 41% after 19hrs, 7hrs of that i was non-stop using it after it had charged up fully, that alone would have seriously impacted my gs3 with similar use, screen always on, use included downloading maps, voices and then using sat nav for 30mins, approx 2hrs music playing, general internet use and downloading games/apps, playing them, and using the camera taking pictures and viewing, re-arranging icons, lots of stuff you do with a new phone. Nokia Lumia 620 touchscreen very responsive and clear, it's all great news, tho it will take me a few days to get used to it whereas the GS3 is easy-peasy like ios is to use, but i have no regrets so far.

Few minor things i don't like. Camera lense glass??? is flush with the back cover so be careful putting it down. Speaker is easily covered up and almost silences the phone if covered with a finger etc! The 'send' icon if using Nokia's people hub(for twitter, facebook etc) is placed directly below the space bar on the keyboard and is EASILY pressed by accident, but use the official apps from the Nokia Store and keyboard 'send' icon is in a different position-icon is still same height below the space bar but further over to the left. Like i said, minor niggles. Shame no FM radio, but tbh this phone is stonking value, i can't wait to get the yucky lime green case for it! Very very recommended phone, once your micro sd(mines 32Gb) and micro sim is in(its horridly fiddly and cheap feeling how both are designed to be installed) and the battery is in, its all positive from then on!

Phil

March 30, 2013, 10:34 am

Go to 'Settings', 'ease of access' and increase 'text size' to as large or small as you want it, i checked this and it enlarges my contacts details including their number so i don't understand your complaint??? Main contacts list in the Peoples Hub is in large letters, tap on a contact and it has the contacts name across the top of the screen in CAPITALS, the rest below is in lower case, the number is in the same font colour as your tiles(mine are orange atm,), Just tap on contact name and then tap on the number to call it.

Phil

March 30, 2013, 10:42 am

I can't see a drafts folder, but if you type a message, them jump out and do other stuff, when you go back in to messages its there still, ready to be completed or deleted. Same as a draft is tbh, I think your nit-picking tho, would something that minor stop you from purchasing what is an excellent phone? You just need to go buy one and use it, thats what i did, i doubt anyone will be unimpressed with it after paying just £130!

Phil

March 30, 2013, 10:47 am

Give it a rest, the only time its any use when vibrating is when its on your person, either in a pocket or in your hand, if its not then thats why the phone rings and the vibrating stops. Its common sense. Why the heck would you want your phone to vibrate non-stop when its 10ft or more away?????? Your the only one commenting negative things and you don't even own the phone.......

Potsomeg

March 30, 2013, 2:28 pm

Thanks for your view,I work in a noisy enviroment, if on ring and vibrate I can't hear the ring, miss the single vibrate and consequently the call. I do not want to keep changing from vibrate only to ring and semi vibrate. The staff at o2, CPWH. and phones4u think it is odd. I do own a 620 and you were right about the font it can be made larger which was not possible with the 710 or if it was I never found out how to change. The rest of the phone is fine and good value. If you read other forums I am not alone, a lot of users are complaining. Nokia just need to make a change and have the same feature as Apple, it is a phone after all and Nokia are supposed to be connecting people!!!

Khairil Ashraf samsudin

April 22, 2013, 3:05 pm

i love this phone! when i buy this i was like, what the heck, this can be my 2nd phone backing up my 4s but then again, i found myselft staring at this phone more than my 4s!! lol im starting to fall in love with windows all over again, good job nokia and microsoft

Khairil Ashraf samsudin

April 22, 2013, 3:06 pm

i dont find thise little screen a bother anyway, it makes perfectly fit in my hands for single hand usage on messaging

Ce'Annda Brown

May 17, 2013, 6:25 pm

can you have the instagram app on this phone?

deepak

May 19, 2013, 8:12 am

i want to purchase a phone . can anyone help me ... which phone is better ?

Yak Maharg

May 24, 2013, 2:37 pm

I have had the 620 now for about 3 weeks. I gave up (finally) on my Blackberry Bold as at 50 something that kind of screen is now way too small! I needed a big screen - not a big phone. As someone who bought a Nokia 8210 way back in the last century, I really appreciate how quality, compactness and design all combine to create a work of art - especially where mobile phones are concerned. I would just endorse (rather than repeat everything) that Phil says. This is a budget phone that more than adequately does with ease what most phones are required to do. I worried a little at the outset because all the review site kept banging on about rubbish battery life. Well for me this just hasn't materialised. I use the settings to my advantage as I did with my Blackberry. If you don't need a function at the moment - TURN IT OFF. If you don't need data updates whilst you are asleep - TURN IT OFF. If you don't need the brightest screen setting there is use medium or low (Low is just fine for me). Use the battery saver for as long as it doesn't interfere with your use of phone functions. The last couple of nights my phone charge was the same percentage on waking as it was the previous night - even using the ALARM function. It makes a great alarm and the RINGTONE app lets you create alarms to your hearts content. I don't usually go on so much about techy stuff but this phone is just brill. Don't forget to protect it with a decent cover - I bought a Fruit Salad side flip case in Yellow from Nillkin as they seem to be the only manufacturers (IN THE WORLD) that offer this type of ULTrA-THIN case. Enjoy

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