Road Test: Nokia Lumia 630
Nokia – now part of Microsoft – may have trouble competing with Apple and Samsung’s f lagship smartphones, but is making a dent in the market for mid-tier devices. The Lumia 630 is Nokia’s latest addition to the budget smartphone family and the only thing about this device to suggest it’s a ‘cheap’ phone is the price tag. A pedigreed thoroughbred might impress your friends, but this is the mutt you picked up on the side of the road that is a trustworthy friend.
For less than a quarter of the price of an iPhone 5S you get a really good 4.5” display, 5MP camera, quad-core processor and impressive battery life. The 630 also has a microSD slot where you can upgrade its 8GB storage g capacity p yy by up to 128GB. Drop p it in the toilet? No probblem. At this price you u can buy another one while out getting a pizza.
The 630 also has dual-SIM support, so you could have two SIM cards from different cellular networks in the same device and choose which one to use when making calls.
More important than the hardware, however, is the Windows Phone operating system, which has had a bumpy ride so far, but is finally starting to look the part when compared to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Window dows Phone used to feel aw awkward, unfinished and unl unloved by app developers. No Now, with version 8.1, it’s loo looking sleek, polished and enj enjoys a well-stocked app sto store. This is all due to the har hard work of Nokia that is now having some 12 000 of its s staff made redundant as a ‘tha ‘thank you’ from Microsoft.
As good as Windows Phone has become, it’s still difficult to recommend it to people who have already invested their time and money in another platform, and herein lies the battle for Microsoft. Once you’ve spent a few hundred rand on apps for your iPhone and configured your mail and other services to work the way you want them it’s not appealing to have to find alternatives and start from scratch on a new platform. This is why being a laggard in mobile is so hard. It’s a battle for hearts and minds.
Microsoft has the right stuff now, but consumers will make the f inal decision. The Lumia 630 is testament to how good – and affordable – cutting-edge mobile technology can be. Nokia’s services for location and music also compete favourably with the best of the best.
When you can get this much phone for less than R2 500 it’s hard to imagine spending more than double that for something that is only a little bit better.
Competition: Motorola Moto G