By: Samir Makwana, The Mobile Indian, Mumbai
Last updated : Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 16:37
Nokia Lumia 630 is the Microsoft's sincere effort to offer great Dual SIM management and host of other new features to the Windows Phone platform at a budget price.
Packaged in the attractive Lumia style body
Surprisingly nice battery life for a dual SIM smartphone
Optimized Dual-SIM support for real-world usage
Lack of LED Flash
Just 512 MB RAM struts with premium games, hinders app-to-app switch performance.
Retail package does not include Headset or USB data cable
The Nokia Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone 8.1 based device and also the first Dual-SIM smartphone powered by the Windows Phone platform. It also comes in single SIM version which is priced at Rs 10,500 while the Dual SIM Lumia 630 carries a price tag of Rs 11,500. In terms of hardware, the Lumia 630 may not be able to match against the Dual-SIM Google Android based devices offering large HD display, 1 GB RAM and large battery.
Here we take a closer look at the Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM model.
The Lumia 630 is numerically the true successor of the Lumia 620 but it differs so much in terms of physical design. It does though comes with Lumia series styling with rounded corners, without any edges. However, from the side view, one can easily see the rectangular mono-block design approach taken. The back cover has a flat edge - almost like a smaller rectangular phone standing behind the Lumia 630.
One of the most obvious change is that the capacitive buttons on the front have now eloped and now part of the software interface. At the rear, the Lumia 630 has a 5 megapixel camera in the top center, equidistant from top and both sides. In the right corner is the loud speaker. On the right side of the phone rests the Power/Sleep button just below the Volume Control button. A standard audio port rests on the top of the phone while the micro USB 2.0 port is at the bottom.
The back panel also carries a sticker of instruction citing on how to remove it from the main chassis. Most of the folks would end up leaving smudges on the camera lens. Under the back cover lies the battery with one Micro SIM right next to it and other on the outer size. The memory slot is closer to the camera and on top-left of the battery. In short, battery needs to be removed for placing micro SIM 1 and microSD card.
Lumia 630 feels really comfortable on the palms and can be easily operated with single hand. The Lumia 630 package includes the phone, battery, the charger and the quick start guide. We checked the package twice and even with Nokia India whether something was missing.
Indeed, the Lumia 630 does NOT pack pair of earphones and micro USB data cable in the bundle. We were equally surprised.
Rating for design and feel: 7 out of 10
The Lumia 630 comes with Windows Phone 8.1 operating system aka the Blue update. For the end users, the Windows Phone 8.1 offers several new features than the older version that makes the Windows Phone devices interesting and almost at par with other Android devices. For Nokia Lumia series devices, the Windows Phone 8.1 "Blueâ€ is packaged with other improvements to be labelled as Lumia Cyan update.
Out of many features tagging along Windows Phone 8.1, the one that matter for the Lumia 630 are - Notifications and Action Center, Smart Dual SIM, SensorCore and Swipe Gesture for Keyboard. While most other Windows Phone 8.1 enhancements have been integrated system-wide. Read more about the most essential Windows Phone 8.1 features here.
While the native Windows Phone interface remains the same, there are several system wide improvements. Now users can engage in to screen and tiles customisations. Even the lockscreen can be customised.
Microsoft has included the Action Center that provides single swipe access to the key features. These features are the Quick Settings like options than can be switched on/off and view the array of notifications for your emails, SMS, alarms, social network updates and more. Swipe down gesture reveals the Action Center with the notifications at the bottom and four buttons for Quick Settings. Under the right most button is the All Settings option to basically choose which four buttons will be displayed. One can easily play around to choose four most frequently used settings. The Notifications API have been made available to the developers and thus in near future we can expect all the social networks, and other apps to show in the essential notifications. Action Center reduces the number of steps and scrolling required just to switch on or off a peculiarly frequent feature.
The Lumia 630 also happens to be first Windows Phone platform based Nokia device. Lumia 630 makes a debut with a new Smart Dual SIM feature. Forward your calls between two SIM cards just so that you do not miss out on any important calls. The Smart Dual SIM also offers a toggle switch to be selected before making a call or put a call on hold to talk/make call from other SIM. Do note that the Smart Dual SIM feature has als been promoted as Lumia Dual SIM.
The Home Screen shows two separate coloured ties for each SIM - Dialer and SMS. Users can always merge the Phone and Messages tiles to see notifications on a single tile with numerical representation. Interesting bit is that from the Mobile+SIM settings in the Settings app, the user can always define the SIM card to be used for data connection. Not only that, User can also assign name to each SIM card instead of viewing the Operator names on it.
The interface does offer Smart Dual SIM option to let you choose call forwarding between the SIM modules. This feature ensures seamless forwarding of call between SIM cards incase one of them is out of coverage area or not reachable. Smart Dual SIM feature is a very crucial and beneficial feature for the Dual SIM configuration using Indian consumers to keep a check on their spendings on each SIM and also stay connected.
Microsoft and Nokia added an experimental like feature dubbed SensorCore which basically consists of a software layer that collects data from the sensors on the device. The data is basically collected to aid the new Health and Fitness oriented breed of applications set in store to arrive in Windows Phone store.
Only thing missing in the Lumia Cyan is the Cortana, Microsoft's own personal digital assistant. As of now, Microsoft has no plans of making it available for the Indian consumers. Several other improvements like battery Saver mode are worthy and much deserving for those who have been bearing Windows Phone platform since the Windows 7.5 update.
We believe the Lumia Cyan or Windows Phone 8.1 is not a complete update but a stop-gap solution to let you enjoy the most basic and competitively intrinsic features.
Rating for software: 8 out of 10
Compared to the Lumia 620, the new Lumia 630 brings several changes on the hardware front. The Lumia 630 has a 4.5-inch IPS LCD touchscreen display with 480x854 pixel resolution. This display has been constructed using the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect against normal wear-tear. For the display, Nokia has placed its ClearBlack technology to make it least reflective.
Though the physical size of the display has been bumped, something seems really off with the color production of the display. The display of Lumia 630 offers 218 pixels per inch compared to the 246 pixels per inch of Lumia 620. Yet again, we emphasize that bigger display does not necessarily mean better; resolution of the display and the panel are equally important.
Under the 9.2 mm thick chassis, Lumia 630 houses a quad-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 mobile chipset with Adreno 305 GPU for graphics. The quad-core CPU is always a welcome while the native GPU graphics support remains the same as the Lumia 620 - Adreno 305. Hence, do not expect a vast difference in the gaming performance.
By default, the Lumia 630 packs 8 GB on-board storage out of which only about 5 GB is actually available for the users while rest is reserved for the mobile operating system and the updates.
At the rear, it has a 5 megapixel camera but it has neither an LED flash nor a front camera - your dreams of clicking selfies chucked out of the window. Lumia 630 offers FM Radio, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and there are no other fancy sensors other than the accelerometer. The lack of proximity sensor, compass and even ambient light sensor surprised us. Only the makers can justify the call to remove them from the package.
Location based services are powered by the GPS chip with the aid from Assisted-GPS and GLONASS support. There is no NFC or Infrared port and the phone offers microUSB 2.0 support. In the most competitive budget segment, Lumia 630 does not offer any hardware that is out of the ordinary and can make it stand out. Nevertheless, the hardware packed is just enough to get the things done whenever you want it.
Rating for hardware: 7 out of 10
Microsoft offers the Xbox Music and Xbox Games app for the users to look for and get content from their favourite artists. Thankfully Nokia has introduced the Nokia MixRadio that brings a totally new user interface for its previous Nokia Music App. Users can enjoy live streaming of free songs with limited skips. Meanwhile those holding Music Unlimited subscriptions get unlimited skips along with access to fresh content for downloads. While the streaming file bit-rate is low, it gets adjusted depending on your data network.
Thankfully, the Windows Phone 8.1 allows moving apps to the SD card, you can always manage the space on your phone memory and SD card for adding more songs as well as videos. Talking about videos, out of the box support for the most popular container files is still far but you can always play the regular .MP4 and .AVI files on the smartphone.
For multimedia, the lack of lossless files support and frequent hiccups with MixRadio did leave us without usual entertainment for a while.
Rating for multimedia: 7 out of 10
Nokia has offered the dual-SIM configuration support in this device along with Dual-Standby function. The latter means that a user does not have to open the phone's back panel in order to switch between SIM modules. The SIM slots can hold in micro SIM modules. One of the SIM card slot supports HSPA+ network for faster mobile web experience. Other connectivity options include WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) connectivity and the new WiFi Sense feature that automatically connects with the WiFi networks to conserve mobile data. Also, one can easily share the WiFi credentials with other contacts on Facebook, Skype or Outlook. With that the WiFi network gets shared with the user in guest mode. When enabled, the WiFi quickly connects to the local networks and indeed is very helpful to save those costly megabytes part of the mobile data pack.
Microsoft kept its promise by implementing best possible dual-SIM implementation across the system. Whether it was Messaging (SMS) or Dialing numbers, the user interface showed the colour classified distinction between the SIM cards used.
Like most smartphones at this price point, it offers 3G network support.
Rating for connectivity: 8 out of 10
Shutterbugs will now notice the one thing we deliberately not mention in the design section. The phone does not have a dedicated camera key to capture images. Yet another decision that leaves us clueless because the lately launched Lumia 525 offers the same.
Nokia camera app is the native camera app and integrates the software lens - Cinematograph. Other lenses can be easily downloaded from the Windows Phone Store. The Nokia camera app brings in the Pro Cam features to fiddle with the Sliders for adjusting the focus, exposure, aperture and other settings. Considering the price, the camera performs really well outdoors with ample lighting. However, the quality quickly drops with low lights and ambient lighting indoors.
The lack of LED flash clearly makes your phone unusable post dawn for decent quality images.
Rating for camera: 6 out of 10
The new Windows Phone 8.1 does not offer support for several cosmetic benchmark testing suites. However, we managed to get overall feel. The Lumia Cyan indeed feels wee bit faster and optimised for the hardware. However, we did face some lags while switching between applications such as switching between Email and Twitter app. Meanwhile the native User Interface is as snappy as ever. While games such as Asphalt were easily playable on the phone, it did not offer the visual punch and graphics feel - probably because it has the same Adreno 305 GPU chip.
In terms of voice call, the clarity was as intact as other budget Lumia devices. However, we did find the Loud Speaker lacking the punch and bass for enjoying music. Quite possible because we are used to the loudness and clarity lacking loudspeaker units.
One can easily glorify the Live Tiles with a wallpaper like background image to appear different and also try out the different Tiles arrangements. Yet again, Windows Phone platform is catching up with the most popularly used mobile applications and games which get announced for other two platforms first. Those who wish to try out a game or new app every second day, will not be happy with the pace of such developments.
Rating for performance: 7.5 out of 10
One of the biggest concern of the dual-SIM configuration offering smartphones is the battery life. For Lumia 630, Nokia has packaged 1830 mAh Lithium-Ion battery in a removable mode. That means, if you are a heavy user, you can buy an extra battery to keep your phone number active. The built-in 1830 mAh battery does provide a decent run time. We managed to squeeze out a day and almost a half of other day from the Lumia 630. The built-in battery saver mode was utilised optimally to enjoy this kind of battery. In return, the brightness and background data was given up as the stakes.
Using the phone on the single SIM mode certainly offered longer run time compared to the dual-SIM mode. The phone had some battery juice even after watching three two-hour long movies back to back. For those who bank on the phone to watch videos when bored, should totally add this to their checklist.
Rating for battery performance: 9 out of 10
Microsoft and Nokia have made a very bold move by introducing a major stop-gap update along with essential Dual SIM configuration with Lumia 630. The Dual SIM Lumia 630 being sold for Rs 11,500 will certainly make the users think twice for simple reason - Lumia 525 is priced closely. Not forget the popular Moto G (8 GB) and other Indian make handsets to compete with. Nokia Lumia 630 certainly brings the best possible Dual SIM management experience on the Windows Phone platform. For those who clearly want a device that gets their work done, sends messages, let you post on social networks, and enjoy music - this is the device for you with a promising battery life. However, if you love trying out latest games and always updated with new apps released for other platforms, kindly evaluate other options. Nokia Lumia 630 is possibly the company's best Dual SIM device as yet that offers great battery life.