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Nokia Lumia 620 hands-on: $249 for Windows Phone 8 (video)

Nokia Lumia 620 hands-on: $249 for Windows Phone 8 (video)
Mat Smith
Mat Smith|@thatmatsmith|December 6, 2012 7:21 AM

Surprising a few of us, Nokia yesterday revealed a brand new Windows Phone 8 device, the 3.8-inch Lumia 620, in an explosion of colors. As its naming convention goes, and at just $249 contract-free, this is the cheapest device running Microsoft's newly christened mobile OS so far. But with a WVGA screen, and only a 5-megapixel camera, is there enough bang for your buck, however? We'd argue yes -- and we're looking forward to see how the final model fares early next year. Our first impressions, a hands-on video and a tour of all seven color options are right after the break.

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Nokia has a good eye for hardware colors and the Lumia 620 offers the most shades yet -- seven in total. We're enraptured with both the lime green and what can only be described as high-vis vest orange. There's no carrier specifics yet for which colors are going where, but we've heard there's been a surprising amount of interest in the UK for this smaller Windows Phone. The covers apparently get their eye-catching look from their "dual-shot color" shells, with several of the cases a mix of either two colors or a white base and gently tinted outer layer. The covers are unified, but the composition leaves an attractive color trim on some of the more lively colors. Check the hands-on video for a tour of all the glossy and matte finishes.

While the phone's thickness is comparable to the Lumia 920, the smaller dimensions felt more comfortable in our hands. It feels similar to the Galaxy S III mini and we had no issues toying with the OS and flinging Live Tiles around the homescreen. Thankfully, the phone isn't underspecced on power, with a dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus offering more than enough for the generally processor friendly Windows Phone interface. We've been assured that Nokia's camera software additions (burst shot and the like) will arrive intact with some new local app content also likely to arrive alongside the new handset. There's both a removable battery and storage expansion through microSD (up to a possible 64GB) with 8GB of built-in storage there to begin with.

Nokia Lumia 620 handson $249 for Windows Phone 8

During our brief time with the device (these are prototypes and so didn't represent how the final models will arrive software-wise), we were hard pressed to discern much of a performance difference between this and the Lumia 820. Both phones have the same WVGA (800 x 480) display, although the 620's smaller screen made the relatively weedy resolution less of an issue. Admittedly, the camera sensor on the cheaper entrant clocks in at five megapixels and there doesn't seem to be a contactless charging case for the Lumia 620 either, but the strongly priced handset could do very well on entry-level contracts -- we'll see when the device lands in Europe Q1 2013.

Nokia Lumia 620 hands-on: $249 for Windows Phone 8 (video)