Curves in your hand, sturdy build, fluid OS, lovely to look at, dual SIM. The Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM is a budget phone. A budget phone needn’t be quad core or look this good, but thankfully this Lumia is both. Text your friend, call your wife, talk to your boss on Skype. And use Nokia Here Maps even without WiFi or data enabled.

But like every budget phone designed for a price range and level of available features, the Lumia 630 has its limits.

Hands on tour of the Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM


Nokia Lumia 630 Specs - Click to View

Windows Phone 8.1
1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
512 MB RAM, 8GB eMMC, micro SD card slot
4.5” FWVGA display, 854 x 480
ClearBlack LCD, Gorilla Glass 3
3.5G, WLAN and Bluetooth 4 connectivity
5MP Camera w/ HD video recording, no front camera
Removable 1830 mAh Battery
Comes in bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, white and black
SRP Php7,990.00


The Responsive and Clean UI


A friend who’s entrenched in Android or iOS may be both besmitten by the Lumia 630’s fluid, lovely, non-icon-led interface, and bewildered by how to find her way about when she borrows your phone. That’s only natural. One of the key allures of a Windows Phone is the refreshing interface. Unlike Android, which boasts of incredible degrees of customization, but can overwhelm a mere mortal who just wants to text and call, Windows Phone 8.1 is glance-friendly (the smart tiles on the home screen) and intuitive (just takes a few minutes of swiping around to get to know it) and non-overwhelming (because there are no complex-looking icons).


Unboxing: Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM, phone charger, related literature. 

And you won’t need a nerdy friend or your teenage nephew to show you around your own phone (take a few minutes to tap and swipe around, that’s all it takes). The Windows Phone screen forces you to be deliberate in what you put there – text, Viber, use one SIM or the other, Skype, call, upload to Facebook, tweet, Instagram, listen to music, Nokia Here Maps. It is in this context that one of Microsoft’s weaknesses – lack of apps – is a good thing: you can’t have too many apps so you end up using just the good ones and getting more things done.


Punchy Colors, Good Outdoor Visibility, Great Contrast


The Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM on the left, little brother from another mother (forked Android) Nokia X on the right. 

Under direct sunlight (see below), the screen is workable: there’s enough contrast for you to read who texted and what that was about, and then text back.


The display renders colors punchy enough so that pictures and websites look good.


Unless you look too closely, the display of the Lumia 630 is actually OK. That’s the LG G2 on the right. 


Contrast is vital for UI that rely on typography. In this regard, the Lumia 630 delivers. 


Super Comfy Keyboard to Use, Especially When You Type Fast


The Lumia 630 has its own built in “Swiftkey” – one that remembers your words, and displays them as options for auto fill in when you type, and even allows swipe typing. It’s a very accurate keyboard.


Good Rear Camera


One of the best-looking and most encouraging camera tutorials out there. 

With enough daylight ambient light around, you can pull off some great shots. Here, for example, is what my wife and I had for lunch:

  • Nokia-Lumia-630-Sample-01

    Look at the details captured.

  • Nokia-Lumia-630-Sample-02

    Nothing oversaturated.

  • Nokia-Lumia-630-Sample-03

    You might say the Lumia 630 has its own mild auto HDR function that runs in auto.

  • Nokia-Lumia-630-Sample-04

    Shoot and upload.

  • Nokia-Lumia-630-Sample-05

    Good enough as a foody’s phone cam.

  • Samsung Galaxy S4, Xiaomi Mi 3, LG G2

    Left to right: Samsung Galaxy S4, Xiaomi Mi 3, LG G2. Taken in indoor uneven medium to low lighting.

The veteran mobile shooter will detect some softness in the images, but do keep in mind that most people upload pics to Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, all of which crunch your pics anyway. So from the standpoint of enjoying your pics on social media, the resulting images are good enough. As with many budget phones, the rear camera struggles in medium to low lighting conditions. The Lumia 630 has no front camera.


Sturdy Build, Comfy to Hold


Although you just need a finger nail and a quick prying off of the back cover to hotswap the microSD card (or remove the SIMs), the back cover always fits snugly back and provides a deceptively soft and yet hard protective layer. You can sort of tell you can drop this phone and you can pick it up and keep using it, no problem. Just another day in the career of your life.


The curved back of the Lumia 630 and that surface make for easy gripping and comfy holding. We now live in a time when many are told that big iceberg chunky 5.5″ and bigger phablets are the way to go. But when you come from phablets whose wide girth can be intimidating to hold, holding a comfy slender phone that’s just a nice phone is a welcome thing.


Nokia Here Maps


You can thank Nokia for assuming that not everyone can have Internet connection while negotiating an unfamiliar street. You can download Nokia Here updates and use it offline and still find that hidden club or interview venue or party pub. No need to pay extra data charges.


The Verdict

The Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM is a budget phone, or at least the price signals to the buyer that this is a compromise. And as you’ve seen, it’s capable and beautiful – Maps work even with no Internet connection, the camera is pretty decent up to medium to low light indoors, the keyboard is thankfully comfortable for all day use in chatting and texting, and despite being quad core, the battery can hold its own for a whole day’s use if you’re not online all the time. You’ll also have an assuredly sturdy phone.


Since most people in this price point are on Android, it’s not likely for your Lumia 630 to be stolen.

But then the compromises sink in. There’s no selfie camera. At least two Philippine cities are selfie capitals – Makati and Pasig – and yet Microsoft releases a budget phone without a front camera. In the Philippines.

For this price point (P8,000.00), adding a bit more gives you the current best price-to-features-perfect phone. And if you’re really on a budget, there’s this. Do you miss the selfie camera that much? Jasmine Curtis has you covered. So if you’re keen on looking for a main phone on a budget, and you’re used to Android or iOS and their massive app library, a Windows phone may not do.

The Nokia Lumia 630 is a beautiful phone. With trade offs, but beautiful just the same. I love the build quality, the UI’s attention to detail and fluid typographically-driven interface, and even the rear camera. But manufacturers are really improving the quality of phones you can get within your budget.

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