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Key Features: 4.5-inch screen; Windows Phone 8.1

Manufacturer: Nokia

4G for Everyone

The Lumia 635 is highly likely to be the cheapest 4G Windows Phone handset when it arrives later this year. Its specs aren’t too different to the ones inside the hugely popular Lumia 520 in some respects, but the proliferation of 4G hardware has made it possible to fit 4G into lower-cost hardware like this.

We took a closer look at the phone’s launch ahead of our full review.

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Nokia Lumia 635 – Preview

In most respects, the Nokia Lumia 635 is identical to the Lumia 630. The design style, 95 per cent of the specs and even the colours are the same.

If you want our full impressions on the phone’s hardware, consider reading our Nokia Lumia 630 preview.

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The biggest difference here is that the Lumia 635 has 4G connectivity. If it sells at the right price, this could be the cheapest way to get a 4G phone (depending on the price of phones like the EE Kestrel). This gives the phone the potential to be a real barnstormer.

To separate the phone from its brother the Lumia 630, Nokia has changed the finish style a little. It uses a glossy finish rather than a matte one.

I found the slightly textured matte finish of the non-4G 630 feels a little better, but this glossy style has a lot more visual impact. Like the Lumia 620, Nokia seems to have tried to give the finish a little depth, to make it seem a little classier than a plain old glossy plastic phone.
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The Lumia 635 comes in orange, green and yellow shades as well as the more ordinary black and white colours. Bright orange won’t be everyone’s taste, but it certainly is far more eye-catching than the greys and blacks we normally see in lower-cost phones.

There are some slight whiffs of compromise to the specs, but it’s nothing that should put off the budget buyer too much: there’s no NFC, no front camera and the screen resolution is a bit low. The camera is basic too, and there’s no flash. OK, so maybe some of you will be dissuaded by some of these limitations, but if sold cheap enough this could be a quite disruptive influence among more affordable mobiles.

Nokia Lumia 635

It’s all about how much the 4G chip adds onto the cost – at present we don’t know the Lumia 635 price.

Other low-cost phones of the moment (as of April 2014) include the HTC Desire 601, the Sony Xperia M2 and Nokia’s own Lumia 625. Nokia’s is already the cheapest (£170 SIM-free), but hopefully the Lumia 635 will push the price down even further. Fingers crossed. Here are a few more shots of the phone:

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First Impressions

The Lumia 635 isn’t going to dazzle you with its specs, but its bright colours will surely catch your eye. More importantly, if this manages to be among the cheapest 4G phones of the year, it’ll be an important factor in getting us all connected with super-fast mobile internet.

Next, read our Windows Phone 8.1 features round-up

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