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Nokia Lumia 620 hands on photos and first impressions

The Nokia Lumia 620 is Nokia’s latest attempt to lure the masses with an affordable yet modern smartphone. It replaces the Lumia 610 with Windows Phone 7 that came before it, running Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8 with a host of apps and services courtesy of Nokia.

In the UK you can pick one up for £229 SIM-free or from as little as £21 per month on contract, so it falls nicely into the ‘affordable’ price bracket. When we looked at the spec sheet for the Lumia 620 and compared it to the flagship Lumia 920 and even some Android phones in the same price bracket, we were a little underwhelmed. However, after some time with the phone we think Nokia has struck a perfect balance.

Design-wise the phone follows the general Lumia look but with some differences, most of which are attributed to the snap-on and off colourful shells. Speaking of the shells, they’re absolutely brilliant – vibrant, colourful, smooth and finished with a soft touch for better grip – but they’re tricky to get off, until you learn the knack; press your thumb down on the camera module on the back and pull the shell off from a corner.

The Lumia 620 seems to be the perfect size and shape for all sorts of hands, and with rounded corners and curved edges all round it sits in the palm of your hand nicely without feeling too big or too small.

For a budget phone the screen quality is impressive, with Nokia’s ClearBlack display technology helping to bring deepness to blacks and sharpness to text throughout. Overall the display is very bright and surprisingly sharp, with 3.8-inches feeling small compared to flagship phones these days but still well-sized for typing without your fingers feeling cramped.

With many Android phones now being all about how many cores the processor has or how fast the clock speed is, we’re sure some will discount the Lumia 620 based on its comparatively under-powered dual-core 1GHz chip. However, Windows Phone is a much more lightweight and efficient OS and as such we found overall operation to be snappy and smooth, with the processor coping more than aptly with games and HD video content.

Nokia has carried its right-side button layout across from the Lumia 920 and 820 to this model, which is something we’re thankful of, purely for the physical camera button. All three buttons are well pronounced above the case and feel well-made and responsive, with the camera button taking you directly into the Camera app to snap with that rear 5 megapixel shooter.

Results from the rear camera are impressive and the flash provides ample lighting for low-light shots, but it’s the location of the camera button and overall size and shape that made taking pictures on this phone such a joy – another area we feel Nokia has really struck it right.

Perhaps it’s the interchangeable colourful shells that are bringing back happy memories of our first Nokias but we really like the Lumia 620, and we didn’t expect to. We’ll be giving it a thorough testing and video review very soon, but for the meantime we may have found a new champion budget smartphone.

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