Nokia Lumia 620 review

The Lumia 620 is Nokia's bargain Windows Phone 8 handset, free on contracts that start at around £17 a month. It offers full Windows Phone 8, but there are compromises when compared to higher-end WP8 devices. If you are looking to buy a SIM free Nokia Lumia 620 you can expect to pay around £200 for the device.

Design and build

Measuring 115.4x61.1x11mm and weighing in at 127g the Lumia 620 is a small but chunky handset. Laid flat next to the iPhone 5 and BlackBerry Z10 it looks small, but put your head to the table and you'll realise that every one of those 11 milimetres of thickness adds up. We found that 127g is heavy for a phone with a 3.8in display - when we held the HTC Windows Phone 8S (113g) in one hand and the Lumia 620 in the other the difference was marked. And the HTC - the other 'cheap' Windows Phone - has a slightly larger display.

Look to the thick but curvy and smooth sides of the Lumia 620 and you'll find camera, power and volume buttons. These feel a little cheap, and the response is spongey. At the top is a 3.5mm jack, and the smooth back cover is broken only by a Nokia logo, the rear-facing camera and a tiny speaker. The overall impression is of a cheap and cheerful smartphone for youngsters - robust and colourful, but not to be mistaken for an iPhone.

Hardware and display
As might be expected at the inexpensive end of the market the Nokia Lumia 620 has reasonable but not great specifications. It comes with a 3.8in, TFT touchscreen with a respectable resolution of 800x480. That resolution provides a pixel density of 246ppi, which is decent at this price point. As usual Windows Phone 8 looks great, with decent colour and detail even under natural light. The touchsreen is responsive, but we found the onscreen keyboard irritatingly small to use: it has after all been developed for bigger phones than this.

The Lumia 620 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor and 512MB of RAM. This would be nigh catastrophic on an Android handset, but Windows Phone 8 is gentle on hardware, as we'll discover in the performance section below. You get 8GB of internal storage and the previously mentioned microSD card slot to expand this.

As we mentioned above, Windows Phone 8 requires relatively low-spec hardware to perform well. The top WP8 handsets such as the Nokia Lumia 820 and Nokia Lumia 920 have 1.5GHz dual-core processors and 1GB RAM, so the marginally slower chip and reduced memory shouldn't be much of a problem. It isn't, but general performance is noticeably more sluggish when compared directly to those more expensive phones.

There aren't sufficient apps in the Windows Phone world for us to run our normal benchmarks, but we can measure Javascript performance using the SunSpider test. In this the Lumia 620 was noticably slower than its more expensive brethren, scoring an average of 1440ms as compared to the Lumia 820's 940ms and the 920's 922ms. (For context, the iPhone 5 scored 903ms here, but the far from tardy Nexus 4 is slower still than the Lumia 620 with 1906ms.

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