Q&A: Your questions answered on the Lumia 630

The Lumia 630 became the first handset designed for Windows Phone 8.1 to go on sale last week, following its launch in Asia, and in Brazil (where it will include integrated digital TV support). This week, Microsoft launched the device in the UK, where it will be sold for £89.95 from May 29, and it will soon make its way to many other markets, including continental Europe

Microsoft UK kindly provided us with a Lumia 630 to try out, and we'll be publishing a full review of the affordable handset once we've had a chance to thoroughly put it through its paces.

But before then, we'd love to hear from you if you have any questions about the 630

Just to remind you, the device features a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, along with 512MB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage (plus a microSD slot). A 4.5-inch ClearBlack IPS LCD screen sits up front, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, with FWVGA (854x480px) resolution. 

There's a 5MP rear camera, but no flash, and no front-facing camera either. There's also no hardware camera button, and the familiar trio of Windows Phone hardware buttons (Back, Start, Search) on the front are displayed on-screen on the 630 instead. 

Those are the basic specs, but as we all know, the spec sheet doesn't come close to telling you the whole story about the device, so we invite you to share your questions in the comments below, and we'll do our best to answer them.

Feel free to ask anything you want about the new handset - perhaps you'd like to know how easy it is to use with one hand; or maybe you have a more unusual enquiry, like how easy it is to insert or remove the SIM card; or you may want to know something else about it entirely. 

We'll do our best to answer your questions, and if there's anything we can't answer ourselves, we'll see if we can get an answer for you from Microsoft. And of course, we'll be publishing our full review soon to let you know just how good (or bad) the new entry-level Windows Phone 8.1 handset really is.

So, what would you like to know about the Lumia 630? 

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A huge thank you to everyone that submitted their questions - both here and on Twitter! :D

This Q&A is now closed, but we'll be publishing a full review on the Lumia 630 in the next few days, so stay tuned to Neowin!

i have heard that there is problem with browsing internet using this phone, whats the problem ?? and does this phone gets heated to quickly for usual operations ?? and is this low resolution is noticeable for normal eye sight ??

Edited by gsrsh, May 25 2014, 7:13pm :

I've not had any problems browsing the web on the 630 at all - also not heard about any issues. What problems are you referring to specificially?

The 630 hasn't been unusually hot in normal use either - I've found that my 920 and 925 can get rather warm in use, but no complaints on the 630 on that front.

In normal use, you quickly forget that you're looking at a low-res display. If you look more closely, it's not difficult to see individual pixels. I've been using the 630 with the 'more tiles' Start screen option, but I still find everything quite legible and usable. Nowhere near as sharp as HD resolution of course, but still quite decent.

i want to know if the display of 480 x 854 pixels resolution for 4.5" screen (218ppi) looks weird ?? will it run hd videos without any problem?? and any other usb cable will work with this usb port ??

Edited by gsrsh, May 25 2014, 11:14am :

The bottom 480x54px are effectively dedicated to the on-screen buttons (Back, Start, Search). When you capture a screenshot, its resolution is 480x800px, and the buttons are excluded. Practically speaking, then, the phone has an effective resolution of 480x800px.

When watching full-screen video, the buttons remain on screen http://1drv.ms/1poQzFI so again, this reinforces the notion that the effective resolution for on-screen content is WVGA (since the other 480x54px remain dedicated to the buttons). So there's nothing 'weird' about it really - what you see on the display is exactly the same as you would see on any 480x800px screen, plus the buttons below it.

You *can* watch HD videos on it, but there's not really much point given that the display resolution is well below HD quality. However, I've tried streaming 1080p video from YouTube, watching a 720p MP4 stored on the device, and even streamed the 4K sample video from my Galaxy S5 review from OneDrive, and they've all worked without a problem.

It's a standard microUSB port, so any microUSB cable will work with it.

Hope that helps! :)

We have 710's a 620 and 800 in our family right now. All with flashes. is the camera in the 630 good enough that we should be okay with it not having a flash? Understanding a flash can ruin photos with the bright light, but also allows you to take pictures in darker environments. I know this is very subjective, but can you try to provide some incite or thoughts? Thanks. - Alternatively we can wait for a 730 to be released.

A good question - and it's not one that I'm ready to answer just yet. I'm sure you'll appreciate that the camera needs to be properly tested before I can offer a verdict, but rest assured that that's something that will be extensively covered in our full in-depth review.

I will say that from my very brief usage of the camera so far, the camera on the 630 appears to produce better results than that of the 520, which also has no flash. I'll say no more than that for now! :)

I've noticed on my current Lumia that the ambient light sensor allows for the screen to be less bright than the low manual setting. Since the 620 doesn't have one, did they change the low, medium, high settings to compensate ?

I think its a "revolutionary" (sarcasm) new feature due to the "C" letter nokia-specific update. What the well informed people say, its a brightness customization feature at the same place where the color profiles can also be tuned.

Indeed, this was one of the first things I noticed too. On the Lumia 630, things are a bit different. http://1drv.ms/1nhbspp

The Windows Phone OS features the standard Brightness settings page - here, you choose your "default brightness".

Separately, with the new Lumia Cyan firmware, under Display > Brightness Profile, there are three sliders to adjust brightness further. Despite there being three sliders, only one of them (the one that you've chosen as your "default brightness" setting in the OS) is available to adjust at any time. Regardless of which slider is active, you can still adjust it all the way to the absolute minimum or maximum that the display is capable of.

(The brightness sliders will also be coming to other Lumia devices with the Cyan firmware update.)

Microsoft are remaining tight-lipped about that! I've asked a few times, but all they'll say is that announcements will be made in respective markets "in due course", "in the months ahead", etc.

Is miracast working from this device? Is there RTM version of 8.1 in it? How is the new tracking feature working (when you use endomodo, it should not require powered device to track you) as Elop stated... (not sure how is the feature called)

Jérémie Melchior asked on Twitter for screenshots of the Project My Screen feature on the 630 - thought it would be helpful to post here for anyone else that might be interested. http://1drv.ms/1jwYKPI

The top two screenshots are from the Lumia 920 (which doesn't have Miracast support), while the lower two are from the 630 (which does).

Key differences are that the 630 actively seeks a wireless connection when you launch Project My Screen; and the new 'fix' button in Advanced settings to help resolve any connectivity issues with a wireless display.

Does it have a built in FM Radio ( also do you need the headphones plugged in for it to work) and what`s the reception like? I like to take my back up phone when i`m on a long fishing session so having a radio and half decent battery life when it`s being used is important...

It does have built-in FM Radio but, sadly, you do need the headphones plugged in to get it to work. http://1drv.ms/Sn4JfM

I've tried it, albeit briefly, using the headphones from my Lumia 520, and it works pretty well. I tested it on three very different stations: LBC 97.3 (leading London talk-radio station); Classic FM (playing Pachelbel's Canon in D major); and Absolute Radio (playing Stereophonics). As you'd expect of FM radio, the audio quality was hardly flawless, but it was pretty decent.

I did find that it was unable to lock on to one or two stations, but again this is a symptom of FM radio usage anywhere, and not necessarily an issue with the device. I'll have a chance to test this more thoroughly in the days ahead though.

Anybody willing to comment something useful into this topic:
-what is the exact build number for the WP8.1 Operating system running on the phone?

I want to see if that the developer preview update released last week has the same build number as the one running on this device, or the 630 has a newer version running?

The question could be offbeat. But, I want to know: "Will L630/930 be upgradeable to the next version of Windows Phone?" As it's rumored to come sometime in Spring 2015 or later.

The question is important because many of us don't invest their hard-earned money into a smartphone every year.

The answer to that question as it now stands is 'yes'. Microsoft has promised that it would support all devices with updates for 36 months from their launch http://www.neowin.net/news/win...tended-from-18-to-36-months

However, all updates remain subject to carrier approval - so if you buy the device from a carrier, they may drag their feet or simply not approve an update at all. Best to buy an off-contract device from an independent retailer to avoid this nonsense (and of course, there's always the Preview for Developers program to bypass this, although it may, technically, void your device warranty to use it).

Yes, but that's because these are standalone apps now, not tied to the OS - that means Microsoft updates them independently of its OS updates.

I'm going to say "yes." I had no problem with my HTC Trophy, nor am I having problems with my Lumia 520. However, the selection of games is small, there aren't too many graphically intensive games out for WP, and if the 630 is like the 520 you may find many games are "not available" for the device, even though they most probably will run (for instance, you can install Temple Run and Temple Run 2, but Temple Run Brave and Temple Run Oz you cannot).

As Darrian says, 512MB is adequate for most games. I've not encountered any issues with gameplay yet (although I've only had the device for 48 hours as I write this). And as Darrian also mentions, certain games won't be available to install (you'll see them on the Store, but with a note saying that certain features are not compatible with your device, and preventing you from downloading).

gcaw said,
The build that's shipping on the Lumia 630 is actually slightly behind the latest DevPreview update. The 630 comes with OS version 8.10.12359, whereas the most recent DevPreview build (that I've got installed on my other devices) is 8.10.12382. Is it as snappy as 8 used to be?

I tweeted a pic showing this yesterday, if you're interested: https://twitter.com/gcaweir/st.../469209321184956418/photo/1

How stable is it compared to the dev preview? Does the firmware updates in Cyan take care of common issues people are facing with the dev preview?

Completely stable so far. Which 'common issues' are you referring to? I can look into specific ones, but I can't check everything - there's only so many hours in the day! :D

gcaw said,
Completely stable so far. Which 'common issues' are you referring to? I can look into specific ones, but I can't check everything - there's only so many hours in the day! :D
Well, some people are not getting WiFi unless they do a factory reset and sometimes you get sound in just one earpiece after recieving a notification while music is playing. Issues in internet explorer like 505 error and videos crashing if you seek with a "decode error" and some videos that used to play just fine on 8.0 just won't play. Just all around slow and clunky compared to 8.0. Too many loading screens, even on the Start Screen. On 8.0, pressing the Windows button would immediately take you to the start screen instantly. Now, it takes a few seconds and sometimes even the start screen crashes and takes me back to the app i was in.

Thanks for that - I'll run through those:

- WiFi working flawlessly.
- I haven't encountered the earpiece/audio problem you described so far.
- No unusual errors in IE so far.
- No video playback issues so far.
- I'm seeing far fewer 'loading' screens on the 630 than I have on the 520, 920, 925 and 1520 with DevPreview installed.
- I know exactly the issue you describe with the Start screen taking time to load on DevPreview (I've found it particularly infuriating on my 920). I haven't encountered this problem at all so far on the 630, but rest assured that I'm keeping a very close eye on that!

I don't think Microsoft would approve of me performing that test - but I'll see if they have any info regarding the handset's durability :)

Maybe you can punt them along to Microsoft's reps:

- About how many charge/discharge cycles do the batteries handle before they reach 50% of the initial capacity?
- Are the colors used for the bodies vulnerable to fading over time?
- Who decided how round the corners should be?
- Where are you guys hiding all those Surface Minis? :ninja:

And for the reviewer, what aspect of the phone do you think Microsoft should most advertise? Avoid mentioning?

Edited by zhangm, May 22 2014, 1:04am :

I'll see if I can get you an answer on the first question, but experience has taught me that the answers to your following questions will be something along the lines of:

- We're confident that you'll be happy with the colour of your device for a long, long time to come
- We have a large design and engineering team that extensively researches the optimum design for this kind of device
- Who told you about this? We'll kill them!

Some questions just aren't worth asking, because you know instinctively that the answers will be less than satisfactory...

The things that have really stood out to me about the 630 so far are the cost, the build quality and the performance (of such a low-cost device). But I think the OS is the star of the show - all the new exciting features of WP8.1 are available in a device *this* cheap, which is pretty cool.

Well, I say "all" the features; that's not quite true, since the hardware limits certain functionality. No light sensor - so no automatic brightness management; no compass, so no HERE City Lens; only 512MB of RAM, so certain apps won't install; no front-facing camera, so no video calling... etc.

There's plenty for Microsoft to share in its marketing of the device, and of course, it should avoid mentioning those things that are missing!

Differences are about the design
Size : 4.5" for 630 and 4" for 520
Display : 630 have clear back display gorilla glass 3 and / 520 no
processor : quad core 1.2 Ghz for 630 / dual core 1.0 Ghz for 520

titi-henry has got you covered there! Also bears repeating that the 630 has 512MB (like the 520, but less than the newer 525).

1. Can you post the full version number (RM-###)?

2. And does it work on North American networks (which ones)?

3. With the camera button gone, can you no longer launch camera directly before unlocking?

4. Can you stack it on top of a 520 for size comparison?

5. no ambient light sensor!

3. You can add "camera" to the drop down menu, but it does not seem to be possible to launch it from the lock screen. You can use the kids corner, but that's no luckier than unlocking the phone

1. The specific model that Microsoft UK provided us with is RM-976_1115.

2. This specific model supports GSM bands 850/900/1800/1900; you can check out exactly which networks support those bands here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L..._the_Americas#United_States .

3. You can add it to the Action Center shortcut buttons, but contrary to what zicoz says, you CAN launch it from the lockscreen. This was actually set up as one of the default buttons on the Action Center, out of the box.

4. The 520 is very dark, and the 630 is very bright, so not the perfect pic, I'm afraid, but I hope it gives you an idea of what you wanted to see! http://1drv.ms/1ntG1Uv

5. Correct!

LOL! Great question! :D Sadly, that's one test we won't be able to perform - but I'll see if I can get you an answer from Microsoft on that... ;)

No front camera on the 630 sadly, so you'll have to look further up the Lumia range for that. Perhaps you could shop around for a good deal on the 620 or 720?

Bit early for me to answer that one, having only had it for 48 hours so far. I'll do my best to give you some more details on that in the review, once I've had time to test the battery out a bit more thoroughly! Sounds like zicoz has you covered there for now! :)