Itís been a while since Iíve reviewed a Windows Phone. The last one I managed to get my hands on was the Lumia 1020 - a phone with a fantastic albeit deeply flawed camera.
Anyways, since I last tried Windows Phone, the operating system has been updated to 8.1 but it isnít available on every phone yet - my Lumia 920 is still getting by with an older version though itís possible to update it using the 8.1 developer preview..
Which brings me to the Nokia Lumia 635 that Iím checking out today. Itís my first taste of Windows Phone 8.1 and at $149 or $199, itís Canadaís most affordable LTE Smartphone.
- 4.5Ē 854x480 IPS display with ClearBlack, 221ppi
- Gorilla Glass 3 display
- Quad-core 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC
- 512MB RAM
- 8GB Storage
- LTE (band 2/4/7/17) cat 3
- HSPA 850/AWS/1900/2100
- 5MP autofocus camera (no flash), ľĒ sensor with 720P video capture
- removable 1830mAh battery
- 129.5x 66.7 x 9.2mm
I always say, with less expensive phones, reviews are often about what was left out to get a phone down to itís price point.
left to right: ZTE Grand X (Canadian version), Motorola Moto G, Nokia Lumia 635, Blu Studio 5.0C HD.
While you do get LTE with the 635, you give up a HD display like youíll find on a couple of $150ish Android phones like the ZTE Grand X (review coming soon), Moto G ($180 but on sale for $130 right now), the Blu Studio 5.0C HD ($170ish) etc. Those Android phones I mentioned, also come with 1GB of RAM while the Nokia gets by with 512MB. Then again, theyíre running Android and the Nokia is running Windows Phone so you canít compare them directly. Then thereís the Android vs Windows Phone question.
Since weíre talking about pricing, The Lumia 635 is available on Fido, TELUS and Rogers for $199/200 outright while itís only $150 on Koodo. Go ahead, ask me which one you should buy it from.
The back cover is removable and covers the sides too. It makes for a very solid phone.
Itís covered with a nice matte finish.
I noticed Microsoft has ditched the requirement for a dedicated camera button. I canít say Iím too happy about this because thereís no fast way to launch the camera (correct me if Iím wrong).
Another thing that has changed is that the 635 uses on-screen menu keys. This is a good thing because it makes the 635 easier to handle.
Nothing to see on the left side
power and volume buttons on the right.
MicroUSB on the bottom for charging (note the speaker hole on the back).
Headphone jack on top.
Pay no attention to the super bright display in the picture - the 635 only has 3 brightness settings so I had trouble photographing it. On "low" the 635 screen is too dark to photograph while on "medium" it turned out the way it did in the picture.
While the display is 4.5Ē, it only has a resolution of 854x480 which yields a ppi of around 220 which makes for a gritty looking display. This problem is exacerbated by Windows Phoneís reliance on a lot of skinny fonts. Just to compare, the Motorola Moto G now sells for around $130 Canadian. While the Moto G lacks LTE and a memory card slot, it also has a 4.5Ē screen but has 1280x720 display which is literally, more than double the resolution.
While itís definitely an IPS display, thereís noticeable off angle colour and contrast shift. Blacks arenít particularly deep.
It hasnít been that sunny while I was playing with the 635 so I canít say for certain but outdoors, it seems similar to other phones in its class like the Moto G.