back to article Hello Moto... It's the Nokia Lumia 630

Nokia’s cheap-as-chips Windows Phone the Lumia 520 finally gave it a hit after years of decline, and the new 630 is itching to take the baton. The timing and the price of the Lumia 520 were spot on. BlackBerry had failed to update its BB7 phones for almost two years, and had nothing new to offer the budget segment of the …


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  1. jason 7

    Very much first world flaws though...

    I think one could survive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very much first world flaws though...

      Clearly a much better camera output on the Nokia - that alone would make it the favourite for many people.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it was Apple...

    Lack of brightness control would be a "feature".

    NO wonder I did not get an orgasm , reading about it.

  3. Robert E A Harvey
    Thumb Up

    "shown the door, preferably from a few floors up"

    Nice. Been reading the BOFH?

  4. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    Looks like a solid...

    Entry right in to the cheap end of the market. This might do more to get people into windows phone than anything else. I wonder if the screen still burns in like the more expensive models?

    Will be interesting to see how this sells compared to low end Driod handsets. I suspect the sales stats will be the most sort after things when it comes to this phone. If I am in town over the weekend I think I will try to see if there are any in the earphone whorehouse.

  5. Cornholio

    Camera button

    I'm dissapointed that there's no camera button. I thought I'd read somewhere that it was a requirement for WinPhone hardware. Oh well.

    1. John P

      Re: Camera button

      MS have relaxed the rules recently, this and allowing an absence of hard nav buttons were two of the bigger changes. They also made WinPho free for phones below a certain size.

      The only gripe I have with that review is that the Live Tiles haven't been deprecated, they're just no longer the only way to get information to the user. These two things are not the same. In certain scenarios, Live Tiles work better than the Notification pulldown and vice versa, so having both is the best of both worlds in my opinion.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Camera button

        Totally agree John. Live Tiles + Notification drop down are complimentary, not either or and make the experience better.

      2. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: Camera button

        Yes exactly, Live Tiles are in no way deprecated.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Camera button

      Requirement removed with version 8.1.

      The same goes for the physical buttons and the back button.

  6. Paul 98

    how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

    I have a SGII that is over 2 years old now, how would this (and other current budget phones) compare to flagships from a few years ago? (I'm not interested in the camera performance)

    1. Zane

      Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

      At least for me that's easy:

      - no automatic brightness

      - takes 20 secs to look up a contact

      - music player WIP

      That sucks, compared to my SGII.

      I'll have another Android, not sure if it will be a Samsung or a Motorola.


      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: takes 20 secs to look up a contact


        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: takes 20 secs to look up a contact

          My GS3 slowed down a lot with 4.2. After about a year the phone took around 10 seconds to get from the home screen to mail or contacts and about the same to get back to the home screen. We have 3 of them at work, all bought at around the same time and all suffered the same problems.

          Rooted them and Cyanogen Mod Android 4.4 installed and they are fast again. But I still prefer my Lumia.

    2. apyule

      Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

      Camera aside they are very similar. The SII is slightly smaller and faster but not by much. The displays are very similar and the SII will have a few more sensors. Add in the camera though and the 630 will be quite a long way behind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

        "SII is slightly smaller and faster "

        Running Android I seriously doubt it is faster in general use.

        "Add in the camera though and the 630 will be quite a long way behind"

        And you mean a long way ahead surely when you add-in the 630 camera - the pictures are clearly much better on the Nokia.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

          No, I'm afraid not. The SII has a far better cameras. There is no contest for the SII front camera given it's missing on the Lumia 630. On paper the SII main camera is better, with higher resolution, LED flash and the ability to record 1080p video. The SII also has less noise and more accurate color reproduction than the Lumia 630. Nokia knew how to make amazing cameras, but they didn't put one in the Lumia 630.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

            Having used both phones, I can tell you that - as the picture on this review also clearly show - the camera and image quality on the 630 are vastly superior.

            As you would know had you bothered to read the article:

            "But it turns in a handsome effort beating the imagery returned by the Motos G and E, even though the G sports an LED flash. That said, the flash is so spludgy, you don’t really want to use it.

            Unlike the Moto E, the Nokia Lumia 630 camera does have the benefit of autofocus and higher resolution video capture – 720p at 30fps."

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

          Yes, SGS2 IS faster. My SGS2 has Android 4.1.2 IIRC. And the camera app doesn't load for 5 secs like in this slow Lumia.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

      Pretty well. The SII would seem a bit of a dinosaur in comparison - we have an SII here and my other half has the Lumia 620 (last years model) and it runs rings around the SII.

      It depends on what you want to do with the phone / how deeply buried you are in the Google universe. If you have invested heavily in apps for Android or you are a dedicate GMail user, then the Moto E or G would be a better bet.

      If you aren't so tightly bought into the Sauron's kingdom, then the Lumias are a nice alternative.

      I have a SGIII and a Lumia 1020 (company phone and private respectively). The SGIII is now relegated to just being the company phone and company email device, all my apps are on the Lumia.

      I put the developer preview on the 1020 and 8.1 is very nice. I feel it is a nice move forward. The live tiles are still there, the Facebook integration never bothered me, as I don't have an account, so I can't comment on how that has changed in 8.1, although I believe there is now a separate Facebook app.

    4. Hellcat

      Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

      Not sure why you got a downvote for that question - It's perfectly valid.

      I also have a Galaxy SII which I replaced with a Lumia 1020. The main problem I was having with the GSII was the speed of the OS. Just moving from home screen to SMS messages took a few seconds, and it seemed to get slower with every update to the OS and Apps. Of course Jellybean was a long way from Gingerbread, and brought many great features but really demanded higher performing hardware. I would have said stay on Gingerbread to avoid the slow-down but you must stay up-to-date if you want to be able to install and update many apps.

      So this brings onto your question. How does this perform against a GSII? Probably on par with the GSII when both were new. WinPhone seems to get away with much lower hardware and remain zippy. Comparing to the Fully patched GSII I think you would find the Lumia noticeably faster.

      Best plan is to run the 'can I help you Sir' gauntlet and go and try them for yourself alongside your current fondleable, and ignore all the advice here - especially this one.

      1. getHandle

        One word...

        Cyanogen mod. Er, 2 words...

        1. SteveCarr

          Re: One word...

          Or Slimbean - my old SII has trickled down to my wife, and SlimBean has vastly improved battery life and seen a considerable performance boost as well, over the stock Sammy bloated software. That, and it also runs JellyBean, and has enabled connection of Bluetooth 4.0 LE devices as well!

    5. b166er

      Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

      I reckon we'd be pleasantly surprised with either the Moto or Nokia budget phones, but I have 2 SGS2s with extended batteries and I'm inheriting another soon hopefully.

      Should last me 6 years with any luck, before the buttons all wear out on them.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: how does this compare to phones from a few years ago?

      In my opinion SGS2 still completely destroys these cheap phones in every way. It has an awesome camera as well.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No front facing camera

    No sale, useless for Skype.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: No front facing camera

      I skype a lot, but I've never used the front camera on my 1020...

    2. Jim 48
      Thumb Up

      Re: No front facing camera

      Oh, you went there!

      (Have an upvote)

    3. Adam 1

      Re: No front facing camera

      Meh, I have kit kat which is pretty useless for Skype too.

  8. joeW

    Removable battery and SD slot

    Good to see.

    Wonder if there will be any after-market high capacity batteries available for it? A lot of people, myself included, don't give a flying fuck about how thin a phone is if it can go a week between charges.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's far too much blue in the Nokia photo of the plant and space hopper.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, there is an orange cast to the photos from the Moto - probably a poor white balance. The pictures from the Nokia are much better - as it specifically states in the review.

  10. Ol' Grumpy


    Does it still require that 'orrible Zune program be installed to backup photos etc? I quite like Windows Phone but Zune completely killed the experience for me.

    1. hammarbtyp

      Re: Question

      i'm pretty sure that has been dropped, although I agree it was one of the reasons why I did not get a 520

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Question

      They killed off Zune with the release of Windows Phone 8. There is a separate Windows Phone app and application now (also a version for OS X users). Additionally photos can simply be copied off the phone using Windows Explorer.

    3. Hellcat

      Re: Question

      No, that was killed off with Windows phone 7. I agree it was traumatic.

    4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Question

      No. Zune went over a year ago, with Win Pho 8.

      I had the Zune software for my WP7 Lumia 710. And it was buggy, slow, ugly, really confusing, didn't look anything like a standard Windoes Vista / 7 app - and generally made iTunes look like the best piece of software in the world. I hope someone at MS danced on its grave.

    5. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Question

      Fortunately, no. My daughter has on old Nokia on WinPho 7.x and we both hate Zune. With WinPho 8.x, you can do pretty much everything through a file browser if you want, though the newer Windows phone software is OK (The Windows 7/8 software will talk to iTunes if you want to enter that level of hell).

    6. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Question

      Zune hasn't been needed since WinPhone 8 launched. Thankfully!

    7. Stacy

      Re: Question

      My 820 wouldn't even connect to Zone. You needed the Windows Phone application to do a phone back up. However, for pictures you just open File Explorer and drag and drop...

      My biggest gripes with the 820 were the screen resolution, the fact that I could not have different volumes for the ringer and music and the fact that my thermostat doesn't have a windows phone app, and they are not planning on making one. And the last is hardly the fault of the phone ;-)

      It's a good phone though, best overall interface of the three main platforms for me. Shame about the above issues I had...

      (typed on a Z1 compact though because of them...)

  11. Captain Scarlet Silver badge


    Having had a large percentage of Nokia Lumia's come back with broken Digitisers I hope its more robust, unsure why but we must apply butter or something to the phone before we give them out.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why that number?

    I don't understand, I thought that Nokia used their numbers as ranges with the 820 succeeding the 800, 925 the 920 and so on, so why isn't this named the Lumia 530?

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Why that number?

      I would think the 630 is the replacement for the 620 and 625... The form matches the 620 better than the 520.

  13. Anonymous Coward 101

    "Well, quite amazingly, Nokia omitted an automatic display brightness control, requiring you to fiddle with the display manually."

    It cannot be! My monocle has just tumbled from my eye socket!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge


      I'm sure that the Lumia 710 (old WP7) didn't have auto display brightness. The 800 had OLED, so it didn't matter, but the 710 was crap outside without setting brightness to full.

      If it did, it wasn't changing things enough, becasue I remember setting mine to full brightness after 2 days. You couldn't put a link to the brightness setting on the main screen like Android, and I couldn't see the menu to do it manually once outside otherwise. Wasn't great for battery life, and was too bright of my reading glasses indoors. But it was £120, and at the time there wasn't an Android to touch it for under £250.

      As for your comment on muting the phone, don't you still just tap the bar at the top of the screen with the battery and signal indicators, then tap on the volume to mute it? And I thought 8.1 was supposed to allow you to pin any setting to the homescreen?

      1. veti Silver badge

        The 710 was from medieval times (well, 2011 anyway). More recent models - including the dirt-cheap Lumia 520 - have excellent automatic display brightness adjustment.

        That's what makes this decision so strange - for no apparent reason, a feature that was popular and working well has been taken out...

  14. Dinky Carter

    Live tiles deprecated in 8.1 ?

    ... er, what?

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Live tiles deprecated in 8.1 ?

      My thoughts exactly. They are still working on my 1020 with 8.1. Although I believe MS want people to start using the notification drop down more.

  15. MrWibble

    No more landfill?

    So from this, and the Moto E review, I get the feeling that all mobes are pretty much good enough for most people - given the only things identified in the reviews are pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of things (slow, low, powered, crap screen, etc that plagued last year's landfill).

    1. Adam 1

      Re: No more landfill?

      I am personally wondering when the time may come whereby phone reviews mention how the phone copes when making or receiving phone calls. That is important to some people.

  16. DaddyHoggy

    A month ago we bought my 12yo a Lumia 620, it last 4 days and then died - refusing to charge, and no PC - not even my Win8 laptop could connect to it in this dead state. Amazon have agreed to take it back and have refunded the cash.

    I've been waiting for reviews of the 630/635 before either buying another 620 or, more probably, a 625.

    In the four days it worked - my 12yo liked the live tiles, she liked the dedicated camera button and the front facing camera...

    We're on 3 as a network provider so if we went for the 625 she'd get 4G where available for no extra cost.

    I like the idea of being able to install apps on the microSD card and all my spare cards are Class 10, so there's no extra outlay there if we went for the 630...

    Decisions, decisions...

    I was kind of hoping there'd be something to definitely push me back to the 625 or make the 630 the clear choice but there's not... I suspect cost will be the big driver, sub-100 v c. 140 for a sim-free 625 (since the 12yo is "going halves" with her own savings) - may be a wait a few weeks and see if the cost of the 625 comes down a bit more once the 630/635 hits the market properly...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      My understanding is the 625 only has 256Mb RAM instead of 512 on the 530 (and on higher-end previous-gen Lumias). This can be a big deal as many apps may not run... on my cheap WP7.5 phone Skype wouldn't run for this reason.

      So if this is the case, RAM might be the clear thing you need to inform a decision.

  17. Gene Cash Silver badge

    That's ok, auto brightness doesn't really work on Android either

    On the last 3 Android phones I've had, "auto brightness" meant "MAX BRIGHT unless you're in bed at night with the lights off, at which point it backs off to 50% brightness" and these were phones where 0%-20% was perfectly readable in the office under the standard fluorescent lights.

    I got fed up enough to write an app that simply toggled between max dim for indoors and max bright for outdoors.

  18. JDX Gold badge

    Bit worried by 8.1

    I had WP7.5 and then upgraded to 7.8 on a cheap 610 which is sort of the predecessor to the 520. I just traded up to a 1020 running WP8 and the UI is essentially the same, which is a good thing as I really like it.

    I was looking forward to upgrading to 8.1 when it gets a general release but it just sounds... bad. Easy muting and the people hub are the things I use most!

    1. Random Bit

      Re: Bit worried by 8.1

      I really like the win 8.1 update – scratched a lot of itches for me.

      Volumes are split between:

      ringer and notifications

      media and apps

      plus additional ones for any connected hardware – such as Bluetooth.

      Muting is the same via the volume keys, with an additional easy access volume settings screen opened by the down arrow visible when using the volume key.

      People hub has changed – more contact centric rather than ‘whats new’ social media.

      630 has 512 Ram – but some apps/games require more than this, but they are a very small minority, although still a pain if that is the app you must have. It is less than an issue than with android.

      In my view 8.1 is a joy. Before I regarded it as a subpar phone operating system with some interesting bits. Now it more than competes against its rivals. Yes, there are still a few niggles, but it my view it is the most intuitive.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Bit worried by 8.1

        Thanks for the review. If genuine WP users think it's an improvement I'll probably like it.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Bit worried by 8.1

        I agree, to a certain extent, with Random Bit.

        8.1 is a big leap forward and brings in a few missing features (such as the separate volume controls and the drop down notice area). But I already found that, despite those deficits, it was still a contender. Having free iPhones and Android devices at work that I could have used, I still bought a Lumia 1020 for myself.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Automatic brightness control is garbage

    ... on all the Windows Phones and Android phones I've ever used. The screen brightness is updated in almost real-time in very granulated steps, so if you angle the phones a few degrees towards or away from a window, or a small cloud passes by overhead, the screen brightness changes a tiny amount 1-2 seconds later. The result is that the screen is constantly flickering a little bit which I find impossibly distracting and makes it look like something suffering from faulty power electronics. I guess you get used to this (my friends with these phones have) but no thanks, not for me.

    The correct way to do automatic brightness is how Apple has always done it in iOS. In bright sunlight, brightness goes to 100%. In a very dark room, brightness goes down to nearly 0%. Otherwise it's at whatever default the user set it to in the control panel. Result is that it works exactly as you would want if you were to control it manually and there's never any annoying/distracting flicker.

  20. Gerhard den Hollander


    What is the deal with whatsapp?

    Last I heard you had to pay for whatsapp on winpho?

    That got followed by someone telling me whatsapp was dropped for winpho 8.1?

    Kids these days use whatsapp more than anything else on their phone

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: whatsapp?

      Is it not to do with WA being bought out?

    2. hoverboy

      Re: whatsapp?

      No, Whatsapp is free when you install it. I think after a year you're supposed to pay £1 per year but so far I've not had to. It has been temporarily withdrawn from the store because it does not work correctly with the new notifications. The wisdom is that it will be re-released, patched, in time for the official general release of 8.1. Whatsapp is a pretty sloppily coded app, or at least, badly ported. It took a couple of years for them to stop using a horrible kludge (tricking the OS into thinking it was streaming music) so that it could respond 'real time' to received messages.

  21. A Butler

    Its a windows phone so the has to have a headline downer

    God what an insignificant "flaw" in an otherwise what seems a super budget phone. Removal battery, 128GB Micro SD slot, apps installable on SD, new windows 8.1 .....

    I suppose we should appreciate the fact that the camera in the Moto E being so dire is acknowledged.

    So make a call reviewer, which phone is better, where is the famous out of 10 score for both!

  22. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Just don't rely on Verizon to help sell them.

    I went to my local "Verizon HQ" store (supposedly the main regional store with the largest selection, most knowledgeable staff, most services, etc) and asked to be shown the most recent Lumia of the moment. This was either one or two models ago (I can't remember which one), and while Verizon assured me whole heartedly over the phone that there would be a staff member there "fully versed in the product", it slammed face-first into the wall of Reality once I arrived.

    Not only was the staff member (a manager) unfamiliar with the phone, they were unable to navigate the menus to find the features I had *specificly* asked the phone rep about. After nearly an hour of them fat fingering & fumbling about, they put it down & tried to steer me to another device. I'd gone there to purchase the new $180 Lumia WP8 flagship, and they tried to steer me to a $200 Feature phone instead. Because they could find the buttons on the higher priced crappy phone.

    This from a Regional HQ & a manager about a supposedly smokingly awesome SmartPhone.

    So if you want to sell gazillions of them, don't count on Verizon to help do it. They'll swear up & down on the phone that they can show you all the phone's details, but they'll end up trying to sell you something more expensive, with fewer features, from a competing manufacturer.

    Way to go Verizon. Not only did you NOT make a sale that day from a customer with cash in hand, but you convinced me to seriously consider not renewing my contract when it ends in July...

    I hear T-Mobile has sales staff that actually TRY to sell the customer the phone the customer asked to preview.


    Seriously, how damned hard is it to find the Accessibility Options when the *Manager* of the Only Authorized Carrier, with access to the tech sheet, user manual, & Marketing materials on hand with a few mouse clicks, can't get the bloody thing to work? MS claims WP8 has a Screen Reader Environment, and is "fully accessible to the Blind & visually impaired", but as far as Verizon could tell, it couldn't make a simple phone call...

    Brilliant move Verizon. I wonder how many Lumia's you didn't sell because you were too incompetent?

  23. Kar98

    Live Tiles are very much alive

    The notification center is in _addition_ to the live tiles, and the quickly access often used settings.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even if you're into Windows phones, why buy one now?

    Windows Phone 9 will be out next year. And that means your little WP8 phone will be obsolete before your 2-year contract is up. It will be a WP7.8 vs WP8 situation all over again.

    There is no point in getting a phone without a little future proofing on the software side. Not even if it is a cheaper phone at a lower price point.

    1. Andy Hards

      Re: Even if you're into Windows phones, why buy one now?

      Because some people need a phone NOW, and not next year.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Even if you're into Windows phones, why buy one now?

        You can get something that's not a Windows phone NOW, if you didn't know.

  25. Sarah Davis

    on the other hand :)

    the 620 does have a LED flash, and a front-facing camera,..

  26. Tsung

    Where is it sub £100?

    The reviews suggest it's going to be released at £90 RRP, the website (Nokia & m$) have it priced at £129. So what has happened here? I have two cynical theories.

    1. Nokia lied about the price to the reviewers; they review the phone based on the fact it is a £90 phone and it get's rave reviews. Nokia releases the phone at the true price of £130.

    2. Nokia did intend to release at £90 RRP but when the phone got excellent reviews they decided to add another £40 to the price.

    Before anyone says VAT to me, the RRP doesn't include VAT, thats rubbish. £90 + VAT (@20%) = £108. That's a long way from the £129 actual price.

    Anyways, the review should be revisited based on the new RRP of £129. It might still be excellent value for money, or it might now not be so great against one of the competition.

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