Posted by : JAKIR HUSSAIN
Nokia's first windows Phone 8.1 dual-SIM is here but is it anything to shout about?
Window Phone may still stand a distant third to the more popular iOS and Android, but Microsoft continues to work hard on improving its latest version, Windows Phone 8.1 has many new features and tweaks, and represents a much more significant development compared to Windows Phone 8.
Rather than launching 8.1 on an expensive phone to rival the iPhone 5s or Galaxy S5, however, Microsoft has opted for the cheap Nokia Lumia 630. Windows Phone 8.1 will gradually be released to older phones running version 8, but for now only the Lumia 630 comes with it preinstalled. Most of the new features are long overdue equialents of features already found in iOS and Android. Swiping down from the top of the screen reveals the Action Center, where you'll find notification of all your missed calls,text's, unread emails, new social-media updates and other alerts. There are also shortcuts to help you quickly adjust settings such as airplane mode, screen-orientation lock and Bluetooth.
Cartona, for the uninitiated, is the most eye-catching new feature in 8.1. It's a voice-controlled personal assistant that tries to make your life easier using data on your phone and from the internet. It's very similar to Siri on iOS and Android's Google Now. You can ask it to carry out a variety of tasks, from providing directions to a particular address and offering recommendations for local restaurants to dictating texts and dailling your contacts. Unfortunately, Cortana isn't officially available for Indian users yet and there's no specific timeline as to when can we expect it.
The Windows Phone keyboard has always been too cramped for our liking, but there is now an alternative methods to simply tapping individual keys. You can now slide your finger from key to key in a long continuous motion. It's one of our favourite features in Android, although it takes some getting used to. Bing Maps has been replaced by Here Maps, which makes use of geographical data from both Microsoft and Nokia. It's ability to find private and business addresses, while providing accurate and time-saving directions, isn't as good as Google Mpas, but it's alot better than Apple Maps.
8.1 is a great improvement over previous version of Windows Phone, but the Lumia 630 itself is rather humdrum,despite it being available in eye-catching highlighter-like shades of orange, green or yellow. If these are a little too garish for your tastes, you can swap the coloured back cover for a more sedate black or white casing.
The size of the Lumia 630's screen(4.5-inch) makes it a tricky phone to use with one hand- especially if you have small hands. Although reasonably bright, the screen has a disappointingly low resolution of just 854*480 pixels. This makestext look fuzzy, so reading isn't very comfortable.
The camera took reasonably detailed photos in broad daylight, although the focus was on the soft side. It struggled to cope with indoor lighting, however, often misjudging th white balance. Shots in dimly lit situationd were too blurry and there's no flash to use as a last resort.
At 18 hours, battery life wasn't too bad when used for phone calls,photography,GPS and web browsing - but there are other phones that last 24hours. The 630 loaded detailed 3D graphics reasonably well,but it was slower at loading complex websites than similarly specified Andoid phones. We think this is because Intenet Explore is slower than Chrome.
Windows Phone 8.1 is the best version yet of Microsoft's mobile operating system, but the Lumia 630 is a mediocre phone on which to use due to its so-so battery life, flawed camera, low-resolution screen and unimpressive performance. As much as we like Windows Phone, the slightly pricer Motorola Moto G or Xiaomi Mi3 is a higher-quality budget smart phone thanks to its superior hardware, better maps and Android's wider selection of apps.
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