Channel 5

Nokia Lumia 620

Monday 04 February 2013


Rating of 5

The basics

With the Nokia Lumia 620, Windows Phone 8 is heading downmarket. No longer just the domain of flagship phones with giant HD screens and pricetags to match, you can now get Microsoft’s latest and greatest on a charming little phone with a 3.8-inch screen that costs just £150. If you’re stuck firmly with pay as you go, is this your next upgrade? Let’s find out.

The good

Cheap phones need cheap materials - but Nokia’s managed to use them to its advantage. The robust Nokia Lumia 620 is a cracking piece of hardware that succeeds because it goes against the flow. It’s not especially thin, so Nokia gave it a curved shape with a flat top that disguises this. It’s made of plastic, so Nokia gives you a range of different, beautifully coloured shells to snap on.

You can tell Nokia’s put some serious thought into the Lumia 620’s design, from the positioning of the power button to the fact that the changeable covers have the headphone jack built into them so it won’t break when you switch. And though the 3.8-inch screen is small, it’s sharp, easy to use one handed, and seems to take up most of the front face because it’s placed so close to the top edge.

The 620’s predecessor, the Lumia 610, sadly ran a crippled version of Windows Phone which couldn’t cope with all apps and games on the Windows store. No such problems for the Nokia Lumia 620, which runs full fat Windows Phone 8, and can do almost anything its bigger brothers, the 820 and 920 can - including video chat via a front facing camera.

Windows Phone’s easy to use live tile screen and People hub meanwhile are a perfect fit for first time smartphone owners, letting you see what your friends are saying and get up to date info without the complications of setting up widgets on an Android homescreen. Nokia’s excellent services on top of this - free satnav with Nokia Drive, free tune streaming with Nokia Music - are the icing on the cake. This is the perfect, no-fuss, My First Smartphone.

Read our full HTC One review here

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The bad

You probably don’t need us to tell you this, but when the price is this low, the camera’s not great. The mediocre five megapixel snapper on the back is a far cry from the amazing PureView sensor on the top of the line Nokia Lumia 920. But you expected that, right? There’s also the issue of apps for Windows Phone 8. While many services are covered in one form or another these days - save for Instagram - Windows Phone isn’t a top priority for many developers - updates are infrequent, ports slow to arrive. It’s not a platform that can do everything, where iOS and Android can be. Let’s put this in context though. If you’re paying this little - and you can bet the cost will fall even further - your options are limited. iPhones don’t come cheap, so that leaves Android - and all those £50 bargain bin Google blowers are garbage, with out of date software, tiny screens and achingly slow processors. By contrast, Windows Phone is a breath of fresh air. We’ve gone over Windows Phone 8’s problems before (Internet Explorer’s fiddly, multi-tasking even more so), but they simply don’t seem to matter on a phone of this size, and a phone of this price. On the dual-core 1GHz processor, Windows Phone never ever stalls, and Microsoft’ proved extremely good at delivering software updates so you can bet the Lumia 620 will stay on the cutting edge for a while, unlike that crusty little Samsung which has never even come close.

The bottom line

It’s rare that a Windows Phone blows us away, but the Nokia Lumia 620’s done it. Put simply, this is the best budget smartphone we’ve ever tested. All of Windows Phone 8’s problems melt away in the face of such a low pricetag. Between the superb build quality and Nokia’s rock solid app suite, this is simply the best option if you want apps without breaking the bank - by a very, very long way. The Nokia Lumia 620 is available to buy now on Three

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Nokia Lumia 620 is tagged with Nokia, lumia 620, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone. Select a tag (Nokia, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (41)

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anyone tested a lumia 800?

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steven marwood

I just bought the Nokia Lumia 800 from Phones4U as a upgrade for £129.99 and its a excellent phone a great start for a Windows/Nokia comeback and a great price for a PAYG mobile defiantly recommend it 4 G's

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Great article to read! My sister just bought this phone with the advice of myself and our dad. She really likes it, and I helped her set it up as I have the HTC 8X. It's a lovely little phone. The screen isn't small for her, she just upgraded from an HTC Wildfire, while I upgraded from the HTC Mozart which has the same 3.8" screen. I'm sick of hearing people bemoan WP8's app store as if MS aren't doing enough to keep up with iOS and Android. Of course they are, they built a PC OS to help ease the process, for goodness sake! Anyway, when testing this phone out it seemed really good, not as good as my HTC 8X of course but that's to be expected. Put simply, WP7 was better for low end handsets than Android counterparts, and now the Lumia 620 with WP8 is even more so.

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Yeah this is a great phone, but just try and buy one in the UK that isn't black/white, no chance. Nokia ALWAYS make there phones impossible to get hold of, no wonder there not making much money at the moment. I'd love this phone in green, have the money here waiting for Nokia, but it seems they just don't want my money. FOR GODS SAKE NOKIA PUT THE PHONES YOU MAKE IN SHOPS SO WE CAN BUY THEM!!!!!

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Justin M. Salvato

My one complaint about this review is this sentence: " It’s not a platform that can do everything, where iOS and Android can be." Windows Phone CAN indeed do what iOS and Android can. In some cases more so. Just because some apps are missing from the ecosystem, does not mean it can't do what the other platforms can. Simply put: If you want a slick, clean, modern, integrated smartphone experience, which includes the Microsoft ecosystem including Office, get a Windows Phone. If you want an dull, disjointed, antiquated experience, get an iPhone. If you want something that looks like the iPhone experience, but is FAR superior to iOS, get Android. P.S. it is ugly as sin though...

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Ashley, calm down dear. The cases are replaceable so all you to do is buy the colour you want.....

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Oliver, if you can't fing a phone in a desired color, you can always buy a silicone cover to it. Easier to hold grip and there are multiple colors to choose from

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Switch to windows phone, u will love it. My Lumia 800 is the phone I recomend to anyone who wants a solid phone with no problem. Welldone Windows & Nokia

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"This is the best budget smartphone we’ve ever tested”.

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Duncan Farthing

Totally agree with Justin M. Salvato how can you say this is not a platform you are able to do anything on? not sure what your basing that statement on? as a developer who has a little ios experience and plenty of .net experience i can't tell you the opposit is in fact true and there is currently an army of very skilled .net developers who dont yet realise how easy they will find developing really juicy apps for windows phones! as a platform for app developement windows phone is streets ahead. when you comparing apples xcode to visual studio Microsoft is decades ahead! tis a great bottom end phone and the 820 is an awesome top end phone, 920 borders on specialist if you ask me, 820 goes far enought for most.

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Thanks Dave, when my wife stepped into a Vodafone store they only had baby blue or white - she also wanted GREEN :-)! The thing I mostly like about WP is the great 'New Phone' set-up experience. Both my wife and I are due for upgrades and I know it will be as simple as typing in our Hotmail accounts to get all contact, calendar and emails straight back to the phone. I know getting the apps back will be a bit of a pain, but to be quite frank ~80% of the apps I have currently are never used so will consider it a form of 'spring cleaning'! Another great tip for anyone sharing their lives with another person is to have a single 'house' Hotmail account added to each phone in the family where all the shared contacts and appointments go (no more: honey I told you I was playing golf this weekend!).

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Sara Pass

I'm loving my 620. It does everything I want quick and easy, especially loving the free sat nav and windows screen and hubs, could do with s couple of apps I used to have on my I phone but nothing I can't cope without. Brilliant

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I have the Nokia Lumia 920 and i love this phone. The Nokia Lumia 620 is not so smart

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Does anyone know where I can buy the different colour shells from? I'm looking at getting this phone soon :)

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I brought a nokia lumia 620 from o2 for £119 with a free cover. tried another sim card and the phone is unlocked. amazing phone..

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I love it

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Autrika, try ebay. U will find a whole bunch of them on there

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just got this in place of my old wildfire s,this is a great phone for the money.

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My Lumia 920 is the best phone I ever had....Superb hardware coupled with a very innovative OS.

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rey pathan

my nokia Lumia 920 is very fastet interenet browes nice and the lumia cameara was a very beautiful phtos click to nokia lumia 920 and picture face changing to the phots nice softwer and windows 8 a very quickly and nice touch nokia lumia chating with freinds a very injoy nokia lumia 920 a best of a nokia other phone so down money was ke other people a shoping to nokia lumia 920 nokia lumia a nice beautiful camere and nice apps nice windows 8 fast 1gb ram nokia lumia my favourite mobile phones my nokia lumia phone best

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Michelle Sewe

I look forward to owning a Nokia Lumia 620 soon

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I got my 620 today unfortunately my old sim doesn't fit. Living in deep rural I so wanted to use it for my best now gat to wait to buy a new sim and swap. Otherwise this is a good phone looking forward to friendship with nokia.

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BongaS just take the sim to a phone shop and have it cut?

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Well hi guyz today i just want to say that i have been using nokia lumia 620 for two month well it's a very good phone awesome as you can see it's cheaper than all phones love it i want you to buy this phone

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Sean in Dubai

Have had the phone for a month, traded in an old Blackberry Bold that I inherited when I started my new job. Excellent phone, battery life is good (and you can buy spares - there's a thought Apple), set up easy (have personal and Exchange emails on it) and does exactly what I need. Sim free cost about £100 over here. Best investment I have made kit wise for a long time. So impressed with it that I am thinking about upgrading already - not because the phone is bad but it's so good I think the higher spec models could well be iPone killers...

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Michael Donnelly

Bought the Nokia 620 around a month a go and it's a great little phone, can't fault it. Been a big music fan, I really love the free music on Nokia Music. I use Bluetooth between my phone and my Boombox and it sounds amazing. For the price a cracking little phone.

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yash jain

This cell sucks!!! Restarts automatically! Have been using this cell for a fortnight now!! At times irritating.! Thank god its under warranty!!

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VERY SLOW TO RESPOND has no-one noticed this? or is tapping the same thing up to 8 TIMES the normal? Only had this one day & can see it is excellent in features at this price level but SO ANNOYING in it ignoring your first tap the amount of times the wrong screen appears when you had no intention of going there is maddening allow it a few seconds to catch up says the Virgin Media tech 14 days to use & or give up a bit too clever for it's own good, more memory or speed needed?

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I love my lumia 620, i've just switched from Samsung galaxy s5670 fit to this, and I do not miss the android at all. The only thing that was better about android was the range of apps, but windows phone will get an improved variety of apps as it becomes more popular, and they do already have a lot. It is far easier to get used to and use and more intuitive than the android, which is a massive bonus! Also, nokia are very reliable and always have been! :)

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Get the phone! 1,get all the updates before u do anything else!! 2,be prepared too inject 13 differant accounts and passwords 3,Enjoy! Great phone, No file manager tho! Just don't get that one! peace n love 😆

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can i read epub files on the 620?

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Fantastic handset from Nokia, I would personally say we preferred it more than iPhone though its fraction of its price even on Pay As You Go! We tested Windows Phone 8 on Nokia Lumia 620 for number of months before upgrading all our iPhones to Nokia Lumia 925 and must say that it was impressive that Nokia offered so many features working with Windows Phone 8, yes not many apps and yes you have to learn new things due to the ecosystem change however worth it! This is one of the ones that comes with Nokia’s Here Drive Plus which is offline map for almost any country. I never thought to be excited again for updates like we were in the old days on the iPhone to see what else new is coming out. Would recommend this to anyone who wants all in one within a small budget, the only downside has to be the standard size screen though the size is same as iPhone 4S however Windows Phone looks so much better on bigger screen.

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Dominic Foley

Hi all, I can't make my mind up! Nokia 620 or Huawei Ascend W1... Please advise!

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If you spend £400-600 on an iphone, when this fantastic piece of kit is available for a fraction of the price, you're insane!

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Buy one! It's fantastic! And it also makes the Apple iPhone look so overpriced, it's a joke!

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I have owned a Lumia 620 for a couple of months now and love it. Fitted a 32GB Class 10 microSD card and used Nokia's Storage Check app so that I could save all my offline Nokia maps onto the SD (you need to download this app from the web via your PC, save it to the root of the SD card and then install it from there). There are currently more than 160,000 apps in the Windows Store, which is more than enough for me. I can't imagine wading through more than 1,000,000 in either Apple's App Store or Google's Play Store!! For me the battery life is fine. I use it as a smart TELEPHONE so, even with 3G, wifi and Bluetooth enabled all day every day (I switch it to Flight Mode when I go to bed), I easily manage more than 2 days between charges. If I wanted to play games, watch videos and stream music whilst out and about I would have bought a tablet!!

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Aditya Vishwakarma

In the next episode can you please test a lenovo phone like lenovo P780

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