Thursday, May 09, 2013

The New Nokia Lumia 620


I’ve been using Nokia Lumia 620 for over a month now and certainly it is making me stand out in the crowd among Androids and iOS and BB Oss. The phone is stylish, refreshing, fluid and fast.  It neither too big nor too small and fits neatly into one’s palm and is quite handy.  It comes in five colors and I brought a White One.  Here is a sneak peek into the world of Lumia.

Click to Enlarge Pic for a bigger  and a clearer view...


 The User Interface and Usability
The UI is very much fluid like the Apple’s iPhone, but is quite refreshing than the stale and now boring interface of the iOS.  This Windows Phone, running Windows 8 for Smart Phones is quite fast and you won’t find any of the lag that you encounter in Androids.  Androids are resource hungry and the apps therein demand a lot of RAM, but this Windows 8 runs on this 512 MB pretty smoothly, even with all those apps like Skype, Microsoft Office for Phone etc installed. 
 One of the main criticisms I heard about the Windows Phone was that the windows app store is not evolved enough and one doesn’t find many apps.  It is a myth and I too would disagree with all those who say this because, yeah, of course, this app store is new and is evolving, but you will get all the popular apps here too.  Now, which is better, one Lakh apps with majority of them developed by unknown strangers or a 5000 apps, certified by Microsoft and Nokia themselves. Most of the apps in Windows Store are by famous developers including Nokia and Microsoft themselves.  Now, I am one of those who use hardly more than 10 apps and I get all of mine here to my utmost satisfaction. 
 
Specifications
Lumia 620 runs on a Dual Core 1 Gz Snapdragon S4 Processor and is the latest that is available in the scene.  It has 512 mb RAM and this is more than enough to run the Windows 8 OS and most of the heavy apps that come with it.  The Phone has an internal storage of 8 GB, out of which, after the system installation and necessary windows apps, you get around 4 GB free.  There is a microSD slot that supports upto 64 Gb of external storage.  Apart from these, you get a free 7Gb Cloud Storage via Microsoft SkyDrive. 

Apart from the above, the Phone runs on a Adreno 305 GPU and comes pre-installed with DirectX 10.
 

The Display is of 480x600 resolutions, with ClearBlack technology and is crisp and clear.  The ClearBlack Technology allows for easy readability even in sunlight. 

The main camera is of a 5mp resolution and there is a VGA front facing camera as well facilitating Skype video calling via 3G or Wi-Fi.

Social Integration
One of the outstanding features of this phone is its social integration via the People Hub and the Photo Hub.  The People Hub is the address book and you can integrate this with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google so that all of your contacts therein are instantly sync’d to your address book.  Same goes for the photos Hub and once you sync your phone with these social networks, the photos of your friends etc are easily available as separate albums, depending on their privacy settings.  So the moment, you tap on one of your contacts or your friends, you have access to that persons all other profiles including their status updates on sites like facebook, LinkedIn etc instantly. 
One can configure multiple e-Mail accounts to this phone and the protocol “pushes” the mail as it arrives onto the phone.  All these separate e-mails can then either be lined to one inbox or kept on separate inboxes. 
 
Photos and Camera
The Photos clicked with this phone is pretty sharp and Nokia has brought in a technology to compete with advanced camera phones here.  Here one has the option to download various ‘Lenses’ and these Lenses (basically apps) work with the native camera to shoot various scenarios.  Some of the lenses that come pre-installed are ‘Cinemagraph’ which lets you create animated GIF images, Panorama, and SmartShoot which lets you choose and alter a particular face among a sequence of images.  

Sharing
The Phone has one feature which cannot be found on many of the other handsets of this price range.  This is NFC.  Short for Near Field Communications, it lets you share data, play music over speakers wirelessly and even play videos on NFC enabled TVs, just by tapping the devices together.  This is the future of technology and is already there in this middle segment Smartphone. 

Windows Phone 8 supports Internet Tethering, which means your Phone can be a wi-fi router and can help your friends browse internet on their devices.  It supports upto 8 devices on the go. so while you have a little party in your house, all your friends can have internet access on their devices. Of course, mind your data bills unless you have an unlimited plan and you should have a very fast internet.
 
Audio and Video
The Audio supports Dolby and the sound quality is pretty clear and loud.  Apart from the native Music player, which lets you play music, videos and podcasts, Nokia has also bundled their online Music store Nokia Music along with this phone. The music store app lets you play music too and playing songs on Nokia Music is better option here, as you will get access to Equalizer and various other sound settings. 

Video playback is top-notch and is of 720p HD Playback.  I have already seen movies like ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘Avatar’ on it, and the experience is the best you can get. 


Gaming and XBox
The phone has Xbox pre-installed and this lets you play games both online and offline.  Apart from this, Xbox internally has an app called Smartglass which lets you convert your phone to a remote controller, Keyboard and even a mouse which can then be used with your other devices through Bluetooth or NFC. 
 

Some Other useful features Which I found Interesting
In WP 8, you can actually hide your Caller ID while calling a particular person.  By Selecting ‘no one’ in ‘Show My Caller ID to…’ in setting you protect your Privacy. 

The Tiles (I should rather say, Live Tiles), is the most intuitive feature of the phone that makes this truly stand out in the crowd.  Each app can be pinned to the Start Screen and will be a Tile which line up themselves on the start screen and replaces the dour and static Icons of other phone OSs.  These tiles can be expanded and contracted to fit various screen lengths depending upon how you prioritize each tiles for your usage.   These are Live tiles and they keep on updating letting you know whether you have any Facebook updates or any missed calls or even the latest breaking news.  So what the Windows Phone lacks here is a Notification Bar, as all the notifications are thrown to you by individual tiles, rather than a dedicated space for the same.
 
Another smart feature of this phone is the Kids Corner feature, whereby you can create a utility screen, while you handover your phone to kids.  Here, you can choose which all apps. Games, videos or songs that the kids want access to.  All other apps, data etc are then protected with a lock screen password and kids won’t be able to tinker with your files and accidently delete your important data or contact. 

The Microsoft Office comes pre-installed with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.  It also has SkyDrive integrated into it and one can access the complete Office Software on Cloud Office 365 over the net. 

The in-house Nokia apps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps and Nokia Bus and Train are the best you can get in India with these maps and navigations are very well updated for use in India.  The Nokia CityLens is an Augmented  Reality app and the moment you hold your phone up in a particular location, it searches the location and throws you about the nearby restaurants, shopping malls etc.  


One of the most interesting things in this phone can be found the Calculator App.  You get a standard Calculator when you open this app in Portrait Mode, and the moment you swivel the phone to the Landscape Mode, the app automatically changes itself to give you a Scientific Calculator.  It’s a great feature, and I do hope Microsoft works on this more to extend this feature to other apps as well. 

Another Notable feature of this phone is in the design.  The Back panel can be removed quite easily and replaced with one of another hue.  It houses one mini-USB Charging Port in the below and one Stereo Jack on the top.  The Stereo Jack is integrated on to this removable panel, so even if water goes inside this jack the phone is completely safe and all you need to do is replace the back panel which one can buy for 250 odd bucks.  The Music Buttons, the Lock/Power Button and the Camera Shutter is on the right side and is neatly lined up and is easily accessible.

Conclusion
All in all, Lumia 620 is a good phone, at the price that it is available in the market, it is a steal.  This phone is future ready, and the upcoming Windows updates will make this phone more interesting and solid.  And As Bill Gates remarked, it does give the user the Portability of a Smartphone, but also the Richness of a PC with Microsoft Office and Enterprise Mail

End Note :- Many of the my friends are interested in knowing what all apps I am using in my new Phone.  And, for them, here is the list...

E-Reader
Kindle Fire, Dictionary.com, MS PDF Reader
News Magazines
Banking
Movies
Communication & Social Networking
Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, Facebook (Viber is better than Whatsapp, try that)
Infotainment
Wikipedia
Navigation
Exclusive Nokia apps like Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps and CityLens

6 Bouquets And Brickbats:

Anonymous said...

Nicely written!

I like Lumia devices and Windows Phone system. But what some shortcomings? It would also help potential candidates. And the battery life - is good? Thanks!

Concionator
(mail: ...@seznam.cz)

Shaan Menon said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for stopping by. and Thanks for the feedback.

Yes, indeed there are shortcomings, in this phone too, but that happens with every product.

I have decided to pen those as a seperate blog entry, rather than replying it here, so that everyone could read it.

here's the link.

http://shaanmenon.blogspot.in/2013/06/minor-irritants-in-lumia-620.html

(This forms part of my third article on Lumia Series Phones).

Shaan Menon said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for stopping by. and Thanks for the feedback.

Yes, indeed there are shortcomings, in this phone too, but that happens with every product.

I have decided to pen those as a seperate blog entry, rather than replying it here, so that everyone could read it.

here's the link.

http://shaanmenon.blogspot.in/2013/06/minor-irritants-in-lumia-620.html

(This forms part of my third article on Lumia Series Phones).

Julia said...

Nicely written.

I like the phone due to following features:

3.8 inch screen
Windows phone 8 OS
5MP camera
1GHZ dual core processor
8GB Inbuilt Storage
1300 mAh battery

Shaan Menon said...

@Julia,

Thanks for stopping by. Infact, I too, liked the phone for the same reasons!!!

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