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Nokia Lumia 620 - Screen, Apps and Games

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

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Nokia Lumia 620

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Nokia Lumia 620 – Screen

It may not miss out on many wireless doodads, but the cost-cutting measures of the Nokia Lumia 620 are clear in its screen specs. There’s no problem with the screen’s relatively diminutive 3.8-inch size, but its resolution of 800 x 480 does seem very basic in 2013. To put this into some context, top-end phones of this year like the Samsung Galaxy S4 will offer more than five times the number of pixels.

Technologically the Nokia Lumia 620 screen may appear dated, but in person its image quality is great. This is down to combination of factors, with Nokia’s ClearBlack “technology” at the forefront. In more expensive Lumia phones, ClearBlack essentially means using a high-quality OLED screen. Here, though, a more traditional LCD panel is used. The ClearBlack instead seems to refer to the use of a reflection-reducing polarisation filter and, quite simply, a high-quality screen panel.

Colours are vivid but natural-looking, contrast is excellent for such an affordable phone and top brightness is searingly-bright when required.

Windows Phone 8 doesn’t give you as much control over the backlight’s brightness as, say, an iPhone or Android mobile. There’s an ambient light sensor (again, occasionally missing from low-cost phones) that can set brightness automatically, or you can set it to “low”, “medium” or “high”. It’s far less flexible than a good old brightness slider.

The pixel paucity is also mitigated by the visual optimisation of Windows Phone 8. Text rendering throughout the system’s interface is carefully managed, ensuring that there’s never a jaggedy edge to be seen. Where you will start to notice the lower resolution is in the web browser, and third-party apps and games.

Nokia Lumia 620 – Windows Phone 8 and Performance

The Windows Phone 8 software that’s at the heart of the Nokia Lumia 620 feels positively luxurious in a budget phone like this. Android has come a long way in its last few iterations, but cheaper Android phones are too often spoiled, visually or performance-wise, by poorly-executed custom user interfaces.

As Windows Phone doesn’t allow manufacturers to fiddle with the core software in any dramatic way, there’s no such nonsense here. The Nokia Lumia 620 flies along, with barely any lag whatsoever - aside from unavoidable pauses during app loading.

Its dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon S4 and 512MB of RAM are, like the phone’s screen resolution, far from cutting edge. But they’re more than enough to make Windows Phone 8 run beaitifully. Let’s not forget, the last generation’s flagship Lumia 800 used a far less powerful single-core processor.

Windows Phone 8 adds features and flexibility not seen in Windows Phone 7, but the basic structure of the system hasn’t changed. There’s a scrolling home screen that you populate with Live Tiles that either occupy a quarter the width of the screen, half of it or the whole thing. One of the new features of Windows Phone 8 is being able to use these smaller quarter-width icons.

Flick right-to-left from this screen and you’re taken to the full apps menu, which arranges all your apps – bar games – into a simple list.

Nokia Lumia 620 – People and Kid’s Corner

Windows Phone 8 is a fairly fully-featured OS. It lets you share your mobile internet connection as a Wi-Fi hotspot, can be set to automatically backup your data to SkyDrive, Microsoft’s Cloud storage solution, and offers full integration of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as all the most popular email providers.

All this information is then weaved-into the Nokia Lumia 620’s People hub. In other phones, this might simply hold your contacts, but in Windows Phone 8 it’s where you go for all your social updates. However, you can also install separate Facebook and Twitter apps if the People hub is too crowded for your liking.

Windows Phone 8’s Kid’s Corner is a newer addition. It lets you setup a kid-friendly area on your phone, where you can ban access to things like email clients and violent games. Sensibly, Microsoft has kept this feature hidden in the Settings menu, to stop it from cluttering up the phones of singletons.

Nokia Lumia 620 – Nokia Maps and Drive

One of the best features of the Nokia Lumia 620 is a Nokia staple, though. Nokia Maps is a great mapping and GPS solution that offers a fantastic USP – being able to download maps for use offline, for free. You don’t have to be in the area of the map to download it, either. Just rifle through the Settings menu and you can pick whole zones to grab.

Nokia Lumia 620

England weighs-in at 238MB, for example. This doesn’t include satellite views, which are available from within the app on the fly, but for those looking for a map that won’t cost them roaming data to access, Nokia Maps is about the best you can get without paying. It works well as an in-car GPS too, using Nokia Drive. Again, this can use pre-downloaded maps to save you a fortune in roaming fees while tearing down a German autobahn.

A slightly more frivolous use of location data is seen in Nokia City Lens. This is an augmented reality app that uses the Nokia Lumia 620’s camera to give you a view of the world overlaid with local restaurants, hotels, transport links and attractions. Never will you look more touristy and mug-able than looking at the world through a phone, but it’s a fun diversion nevertheless.

Nokia Lumia 620 – Microsoft Office

If Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 has a key app-based USP, it has to be Office integration. In the dedicated Office app, you can create Excel spreadsheets and Word documents, as well as edit Powerpoint presentations. Naturally, it’s all linked up to Microsoft’s SkyDrive Cloud storage solution. Embrace SkyDrive and you’ll have a pretty nifty way to read and edit your work documents on-the-go.

Nokia Lumia 620 Office

Like almost all Windows Phone 8 apps, Microsoft Office is laid out in the house style too, never cramming too much information into a page. It’s not as flexible or powerful as a “full” version of Office, but it’s highly usable, and that’s the main thing.

Nokia Lumia 620 – Apps and Games

For all your other app needs, you’ll have to take a trip down to the Windows Store. This is the umbrella under which you’ll find Windows Phone 8’s apps, games and music portals.

Nokia Lumia 620

It’s also where we stumble upon what is probably the Nokia Lumia 620’s greatest problem. Although Windows Phone 8 has gained most of the apps found in the previous Windows Phone 7 platform, the selection is far more limited than what you’ll find in an Android phone or iPhone. Microsoft claims there’s an impressive-sounding 120,000 apps aboard, but app fans will soon find holes in its app selection.

Nokia Lumia 620 1

On the positive side, pricing of Windows apps seems to be improving, with the bottom-rung price of 79p now inhabited by many games that used to cost well over a pound previously.

The relatively limited selection is a particular shame for games, as the Nokia Lumia 620 offers solid integration with Xbox Live, the online service for Xbox 360. You can earn Xbox Live achievement points through games that have been Xbox-certified. These games live in a separate “Xbox” area within the Windows games store, and generally offer the best gaming experiences available on Windows Phone.

At the time of writing there were 135 of these titles. It's enough to keep you busy for a while, but it's a very small selection. And we found that a couple were disappointingly crash-happy, given the amount of certification that's meant to have taken place.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

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.

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

Yak Maharg

May 24, 2013, 2:39 pm

Terrific review Phil - my experience mirrored!

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