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Nokia Lumia 630 review

Andrew Williams



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Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 630


Our Score:



  • Colourful design
  • Reasonable camera
  • Accessible price


  • Low-res, blocky screen
  • Some apps not available on Windows Phone 8.1
  • No auto brightness screen setting

Key Features

  • 4.5-inch 854 x 480 pixel screen
  • Windows Phone 8.1
  • Snapdragon 400 CPU
  • Manufacturer: Nokia
  • Review Price: £99.99

First reviewed 29th May 2015

What is the Nokia Lumia 630?

Launched in June, 2014, the Nokia Lumia 630 is a likeable low-end phone with a wallet-friendly price tag.

Available SIM-free for just £65, Nokia’s Windows 8.1 handset is one of the cheapest Windows Phones on the market and good value for money, if you can look past its disappointing screen. For a fraction of the price more you can now pick up the successor to the Lumia 630, the Lumia 635, which has added 4G and made some improvements in styling but little else aside.

User reviews for the Lumia 630 have generally been positive, touting excellent value for money and good design. The Lumia 630 faces stiff competition from one of our favourite ever budget handsets though, the Motorola Moto G – that will set you back twice the price.

SEE ALSO: Best Cheap Mobile Phones

Nokia Lumia 630 – Design

As with most of the Nokia Lumia range, the Lumia 630 comes in a bright and colourful plastic shell.

If you’re after something a little more toned down you can get a black Lumia 630, but we imagine most buyers will be attracted to the more vibrant green and orange shades it’s available in.

We got hold of the orange Lumia 630, and it’s a real screaming highlighter-style shade. Our photos can’t really do it justice – it is that bright. The colour continues onto the phone’s buttons too, giving it an assured look that is often missing from cheaper phones.

SEE ALSO: Best Android Phones

Nokia Lumia 630 2

Higher-end Lumias have a more robust and expensive feel, but the Lumia 630 has a good finish for such a budget handset. Texturing has been used in the plastic of the removable back to give it a bit of grip, and avoid the tacky feel of some cheap phones. That said, the 4G edition of this phone, the Lumia 635, does have a glossy, shiny finish, which makes it harder to grip.

One of the best features of the Nokia Lumia 630’s design is that everything is within easy reach. This is a mid-size phone, but Nokia still places the power button on the side rather than the top, meaning it sits right by where your thumb naturally rests (for right-handers at least).

SEE ALSO: Windows Phone 8.1 review

Nokia Lumia 630

With the screen off, the Lumia 630 has some of the design purity of the Moto G – something generally missing from budget ZTE and Huawei rivals. There are no physical soft keys to label (this phone has software soft keys), and as the memory card and microSIM slots sit under the battery cover, there are no on-body trays to deal with. Nokia has also applied a tapering effect to the phone’s lines, providing an added sense of deliberation.

The Lumia 630 is a successful design, only lacking the dense, flex-free feel of the pricier Lumias.

Nokia Lumia 630 1

Nokia Lumia 630 – Screen

The Nokia Lumia 630 has a 4.5-inch screen. This is becoming a norm for budget phones, and while people’s impression of what constitutes a ‘large’ or ‘small’ phone is changing constantly, it offers a pretty great compromise between display size and accessibility.

What do we mean exactly? You can still pull down the notifications menu while holding the Lumia 630 in one hand, but you have enough space to type away accurately using Windows Phone 8.1’s keyboard.

Nokia Lumia 630 7

Display quality is more of a mixed bag.

First, we’ll cover the good bits. Colour is OK for a phone of this price. There is a slight blue-ish-ness to the blacks that makes us think Nokia labelling this a ClearBlack display is pushing it a bit, but for £100 it performs reasonably well.

For the uninitiated, ClearBlack is a stamp Nokia puts on the phones it thinks offer really good displays that provide a vibrant, punchy image. There’s no particular display tech involved (there are both IPS and OLED ClearBlack screens), but it is a generally reliable seal of quality.

What we’re most pleased to see is no sense of the display being recessed far beyond the top layer. Less advanced IPS LCD screen types tend to look a little washed out, partly thanks to being made of a number of discrete layers between which are tiny air gaps. But the Lumia 630’s screen is pretty immediate and vital-looking.

Angled viewing diminishes the brightness a bit, but as with most IPS LCDs, viewing angles are generally very good – there’s no dramatic contrast shift.

Nokia Lumia 630 13

So what’s bad? Resolution.

The Lumia 630 display is 854 x 480 pixels in resolution, which is well below the 2014 standard for budget Android phones. We’d like to see devices of this size use at least 960 x 540 resolutions, if not 720p, as seen in the Moto G – a phone of roughly the same price.

This resolution also marks a step down in sharpness from last year’s budget Nokia Lumias, the excellent Lumia 620 and Lumia 520. Those phones use 800 x 480 resolution screens, but as they are so much smaller they both appear sharper than the Lumia 630. If you're picky about screen quality, you probably won't be 100 per cent happy with this phone.

Nokia Lumia 630 9

SEE ALSO: Windows 10 Review

Windows Phone 8.1 emphasises the resolution issue too. It lets you fit more, smaller Live Tile shortcuts onto your phone’s home screen, showing off quite how blocky the screen appears next to more expensive phones.

It’s immediately obvious, and one of the most off-putting aspects of the Lumia 630.

Windows Phones have traditionally lagged behind the Android competition in terms of resolution. Once we could blame the software, as previous version of Windows Phone limited the resolutions available to phone manufacturers. But now that Windows Phones use everything from 480 x 800 pixels right up to 1080p, we can only assume it’s a pure cost issue.

The lack of adaptive brightness is another screen complaint. Most phones have an ambient light sensor in their screen surround, letting a mobile tell how bright the screen needs to be for any occasion. Here, you manually pick between ‘low’, ‘medium’ and ‘high’ backlight settings.

Having to flick between these as you move between outdoors and indoors is annoying, and technophobes who don’t realise they can do this may just end up thinking their Lumia 630 is merely indecipherable when used outside. Even at top brightness the phone struggles with a bright, sunny day.

The backlight is also quite inconsistent. There is a slightly dimmed area at the top that appears to be where the downward-firing backlight LEDs live. It's a sign this isn't a top-quality screen.

Nokia has got a few elements of the Lumia 630 display right, but others are way off.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


April 8, 2014, 5:58 pm

ill be getting it and lumias are very nippy.


May 29, 2014, 2:48 pm

The Microsoft product design people have clearly implemented a harmonising aesthetic as part of the nokia merger, this has the same reverse contours of the surface tablets, and straight edges where there were once curves. The same is true for the new 930. The 1520 and 1020 appear to be the last of what I think was great designing by nokia. As a designer myself I can admire my 1020, but have to accept the majority will go for more blingy and less absolutist aesthetics. To my eyes, the new htc one is like a new bmw with alloy wheels, all very nice of course. Hopefully the market will still have room for some awkward yellow Saabs in future-


May 29, 2014, 7:19 pm

Hopefully there will be a fairly quick revision, or launch of a 730. All it really needs is a 1280x768 screen, 1gb ram and a flash. Would buy at Moto G money.


May 29, 2014, 8:14 pm

No Whatsapp? Just a hitch. Its been on Windows Phone for ages along with loads of other good quality apps and will be back shortly. You won't be longing for more apps with Windows Phone and it provides a superb experience on a value for money phone. The 630 is something of a bargain and unless you have high end desires you will love it.

Hugh Bear

May 30, 2014, 7:19 pm

I disagree with this review. {phone_name} is clearly better than the competition at this price of {phone_name.price_range} in {phone_name.market}. Windows 8.1 is the best phone OS - it's the only phone OS that puts the user first.
-Will this do?

Hugh Bear

May 30, 2014, 7:24 pm

Well done. This is EXACTLY how real people talk. Do we work in the same office in Bangalore?

Milo Benz

June 17, 2014, 11:30 am

I also disagree with this review. Two things: the writer assumes "this is a budget phone" so the review is adjusted to that instead of asking "does this particular phone do what its supposed to do?". The second: the review ignores some of Nokia 630's main advantages: Dual SIM, replaceable battery, expandable memory, latest OS, fast performance - all that at a very low price.

In fact, this phone will shock most people. Nokia made excellent hardware (Gorilla 3 screen wrapped in a very pleasant cover that allows access to SIMs, MicroSD, battery) while providing great apps, full MS Office functionality, best maps on the market, FM radio and a great music streaming service, good calendar, email, SMS functionality and all the essential apps one would really need. Battery life is much better then any of the "flagships" out there. Camera is just 5 MP but produces very good shots and even the lack of flash is an afterthought when you see the well balanced, well exposed photos this smartphone takes. And all of this for just US$150. I would say it is quite an achievement.

Nokia and Microsoft could have put in a better rez screen but I am sure all of us prefer longer battery life and that is what Lumia 630 delivers. Also, it would be nice to have a front facing cam for video talks but again, I think most people would rather have a lower price and a sense that if anything "goes wrong" they can just walk into a store and buy a new phone...

The only thing I wish MS did different is not to "disable" a clock that most Lumia phones have when in "off" mode. Doing this is not cool - it is a trace of old, mean MS that is looking to limit what Windows users can and can not do with their machine...

Recommend this phone to anyone who doesn't "have to have" a status symbol.

Mark Adams

July 3, 2014, 6:49 pm

I will upgrade from my nokia 610 to this. My 610 was a refurb is still working great, I never put a case on the phone, and it only has a few knicks in the plastic from drops, no screen protector either and no scratches.....I hope the 630 is just as reliable. It is going to cost me $215 CAD w/ shipping


September 29, 2014, 9:30 pm

Using this phone for the last 2 weeks and have to say its just downright brilliant. I cannot believe the reviewer did not mention the Nokia here maps SAT NAV application that are worth the price of the phone alone, Unlike google map navigation they are simplified fully offline (no caching messing) ideal for roaming with no charges, This reviewer is pro android and very biased. I have seen the Moto G and while it has a lot of great aspects the camera is not as good, it's beaten out the gate with the Nokia Here Sat nav and is a fair bit dearer,


February 25, 2015, 2:23 pm

useless battery-life. have to charge phone twice a day after only three and a half months of usage. i am only texting on apps with the phone, nothing else.

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