Summary

Our Score

7/10

User Score

Pros

  • Half-decent autofocus camera
  • Has 4G

Cons

  • Screen not terribly sharp
  • No front camera or flash
  • Pricing not quite aggressive enough

Review Price £130.00

Key Features: 4.5-inch screen; Windows Phone 8.1; 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU

Manufacturer: Nokia

What is the Nokia Lumia 635?

The Nokia Lumia 635 is the 4G version of the Nokia Lumia 630. Most other elements remain the same, except the 635 has a glossy body rather than a matt one. However, it’s a bit more important than that description might suggest.

This phone is part of the new 4G revolution, which is all about bringing 4G phones to people who previously might have dismissed faster mobile internet as just too expensive to consider. The Lumia 635 costs around £120 without a contract, making it pretty easy to buy outright.

Nokia Lumia 635

Nokia Lumia 635 - Design

In several ways the Nokia Lumia 635 is quite a typical budget phone. As it has a 4.5-inch screen, its footprint is smaller than that of most more expensive phones. But at 9.2mm thick it’s not too obsessed with being super-skinny either.

These give the Lumia 635 a similar small-but-chunky feel to phones like the Motorola Moto G and, of course, the Lumia 630. Nokia has added a few nice touches to elevate it above some lesser budget phones, though.

Like other Lumias, the Lumia 635 comes in a few different colours. We’re trying the bright green version, whose larger-than-life shade is far enough removed from real neon lime green to avoid turning of 95 per cent of the population. But it is bright.
Nokia Lumia 635 7

There are also orange and yellow versions, and the more conservative white and black shades. All have a glossy finish, and they use a translucent coloured layer rather than pure block colour in order to give the finish an appearance of depth.

While the finish of the Lumia 635 has that typical glossy plastic feel, this kind of translucent finish stops the phone from seeming too cheap and tacky. Nokia has also made the side buttons a similar shade of green as the rest of the body, once again pushing the phone’s looks above those of cheap and anonymous (generally Android) phones.
Nokia Lumia 635 3

There are a few hardware changes you may notice from Nokia’s older Windows Phones if you’re a long-term fan, though. The camera button has been ditched, as have the hardware soft keys. These used to be part of the hardware requirements of the Windows Phone system, but since Windows Phone 8.1 they’re no longer demanded.

As the contrast and screen resolution of the Lumia 635’s display are less than perfect, the software nav keys do highlight that this is a budget phone a bit. But then the phone isn’t being sold as anything but a budget 4G Windows Phone – of which this is only the second, after the more expensive Nokia Lumia 625.

There aren’t as many cuts here as in the lower-end Lumia 530, though. You get a reasonable 8GB of storage and there’s a microSD card slot under the back cover, which pops off with a quick flick of your thumbnail.

Nokia Lumia 635 23


Nokia Lumia 635 - Connectivity

4G is the most important feature of the Lumia 635, when stacked up against the other low-cost Windows phones. This is certainly not the cheapest 4G phone yet, but it is among the new wave of more accessible 4G devices.

Predictably, most come from the Android stable. The cheapest of the lot (that we’ve reviewed) is the Alcatel One Touch S3 Pop, but we’d recommend stepping up to the thoroughly decent £99 EE Kestrel if the idea of a 4G Android phone also appeals.

 Nokia Lumia 635 5

For now, though, this is the cheapest 4G Windows phone you can get, short of seeking out a second-hand bargain. As the most important UK 4G bands are supported by the Lumia 635, you’ll be able to pick any 4G network here too.

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