Giving the gift of gab can be expensive with the cost of the phones and their applicable apps if you don’t do your research. Looking around for a budget phone with high-end attributes may seem impossible, but I actually found a fabulous one.
The Nokia Lumia 635 Windows Phone arrived in Canada a few months ago and it’s getting rave reviews. It offers a host of stellar attributes that will make your windows experience smooth and enjoyable. The Lumia 635 is deemed an entry-level smartphone, so it’s great for beginners like me to grasp the technology, or for those who just like uncomplicated things. It’s the first in Canada to be pre-loaded with Windows Phone 8.1, which includes Office Software.
At first glance, it has a glossy body that I find appealing. It’s the perfect size to hold comfortably in your hand, it’s super lightweight and comes in five vibrant colors, black, green, orange, white and yellow. The plastic is quite hardwearing and sturdy, it can easily tolerate a few bumps and bruises, while the strengthened Gorilla Glass 3 will forfend the glass front from getting copious scratches from keys and coins in your pocket. It also has the ClearBlack display so we can view our screen a lot easier in bright daylight.
On the right is the volume and on/lock buttons. On the top is the port for headphones or speakers, at the bottom is the port for recharging. The back has the camera, speaker and antenna’s, so it’s simple to operate and has all the basics. Setting up your tiles, colors and ringtone is also a breeze. The 12 cm (4.5 inches) screen has an 854 x 480-pixel resolution, so the colors and brightness are quite decent. It’s great for working on your social media sites and adequate for viewing movies. You can also customize the background by downloading your favorite image or family photo, plus add your own flavor of color. I really love this feature.
Now to the fun features of this user-friendly slim rockstar. Windows 8.1’s coolest feature is Cortana, a slick voice-activated digital assistant. This feature has to be activated and will require answering a series of questions. Your answers will prompt personalized content from Cortana. All your preferences are saved in a Notebook. I’m still learning to use and tweak this feature.
An awesome feature is the 5-megapixel camera. If you’re familiar with the Nokia phones, you’ll notice on this version that they’ve ditched the camera button, which I personally did not dig. Now you’ll need to download the free Camera app from stores if you don’t already have it on your phone. The camera starts in auto mode or you can simply point at your topic and shoot. It has a pro mode where you can adjust the light, sensitivity, shutter speed and more, including doing some editing. In smart mode, you can take a series of photos, just tap the screen, hold your phone steady, and you’ll get several photos that you can peruse through to either save, or choose the best. You can instantly see the images you’ve taken and can refocus them with one touch. You can also shoot some videos, I thought it captured really clear footage. It’s super easy to save and send any of your photo’s to friends or to your social sites. I can’t wait to take oodles of images during the holiday season.
Another great feature is the Here Drive app, it gives you detailed, street by street GPS satellite navigation. It also knows the speed limits for each road you use and you can set the navigation service to warn you when you’re speeding, with a specific tone. The Here Maps app will show you your current location, save your location to the photos you’ve taken, and get you headed in the right direction. The free MixRadio app is awesome, you can get exposed to some really cool new music. Plus, you can download some songs to your phone for offline listening later.
I confess I’m in the holiday spirit, so I’ve been using the Nokia 635 to groove to some jolly Christmas tunes on Youtube. I’ve also surfed the web for some holiday recipes, did some texting, emailing, sent pictures, viewed some videos, and talked on the phone to see how long the battery would last before having to recharge it. It lasted four days, so I was pretty thrilled with its longevity. I thought the sound was really good too, considering it only has one speaker. If you’re not using earplugs, you’ll want to make sure the speaker is facing up or you’ll have a muffled sound.
The Word Flow shape keyboard is fabulously functional and works like a dream. It requires a lot less tapping, you simply glide your finger from one letter to the next. When you start creating a word, enter the first letter on the keyboard and several word options pop up to choose from. You simply tap on the word you want, and it will be included in your text. I love the fluidity of this feature, it saves so much time and energy, and I’m totally good with that.
The Nokia 635 is one uber-cool smartphone that’s loaded with high-end options, but on a budget. It’s unbelievably affordable. With Christmas just a jingle away, this phone would make a very merry gift! HaPpY HoLiDaYs!