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GravityFails's review of the Nokia Lumia 635 / 630 (GSM)

original version, submitted Oct 2, 2014, 3:25 PM:

The Baconing

Everybody knows that one person who, but for a glaring flaw, might be okay to hang out with. Like that guy from college who can burp the alphabet (hey, fun!) but who smells like Junior Mints and sauerkraut (not so fun). Or that girl from your office who brings in donuts every Friday (hey, fun!) but who sits at her desk and screams "MAURY POVICH!" at random intervals throughout the day (freakin' terrifying). The Lumia 635 is one of those people; I like to think it's the girl with the donuts, but I'm not too sure yet.

Windows 8.1 is a great upgrade to Microsoft's mobile operating system. It adds several sorely needed features, including Word Flow, which incorporates swipe typing into the system keyboard, and Cortana, which (who?) is Microsoft's answer to Apple's digital assistant, Siri. Word Flow isn't as good as Swype, as there have been several instances in which I have been unable to teach it to recognize a manually entered word ("Terraria" and "corncob"), and Cortana is still in beta, but overall these are wonderful additions. All donuts so far.

The problem occurs when you wrap these donuts inside a $99 phone. While the quality of the display is fine for this price range, the glass covering the display is a horribly horrific smudge-magnet. I'm generally a clean guy, and I don't have this problem with any other phones, but the display on the 630 is always (no hyperbole there; I do mean always) covered in a layer of grime that mutes the colors and makes tracing your finger over the surface of the screen actively unpleasant. So the 630's two primary instances of user feedback -- sight and touch -- are immediately diminished by its budget-conscious material design. Not a great way to introduce people to your OS.

Overall, the 630 is a good little phone, with solid performance and decent features, but the screen issue is a deal-breaker for me. If an Oscar Meyer-thick layer of screen grease would bother you, too, I suggest searching for alternatives.

edited Oct 3, 2014, 2:14 PM to the current version:

The Baconing

Everybody knows that one person who, but for a glaring flaw, might be okay to hang out with. Like that guy from college who can burp the alphabet (hey, fun!) but who smells like Junior Mints and sauerkraut (not so fun). Or that girl from your office who brings in donuts every Friday (hey, fun!) but who sits at her desk and screams "MAURY POVICH!" at random intervals throughout the day (freakin' terrifying). The Lumia 635 is one of those people; I like to think it's the girl with the donuts, but I'm not too sure yet.

Windows 8.1 is a great upgrade to Microsoft's mobile operating system. It adds several sorely needed features, including Word Flow, which incorporates swipe typing into the system keyboard, and Cortana, which (who?) is Microsoft's answer to Apple's digital assistant, Siri. Word Flow isn't as good as Swype, as there have been several instances in which I have been unable to teach it to recognize a manually entered word ("Terraria" and "corncob"), and Cortana is still in beta, but overall these are wonderful additions. All donuts so far.

The problem occurs when you wrap these donuts inside a $99 phone. While the quality of the display is fine for this price range, the glass covering the display is a horribly horrific smudge-magnet. I'm generally a clean guy, and I don't have this problem with any other phones, but the display on the 635 is always (no hyperbole there; I do mean always) covered in a layer of grime that mutes the colors and makes tracing your finger over the surface of the screen actively unpleasant. So the 635's two primary instances of user feedback -- sight and touch -- are immediately diminished by its budget-conscious material design. Not a great way to introduce people to your OS.

Overall, the 635 is a good little phone, with solid performance and decent features, but the screen issue is a deal-breaker for me. If an Oscar Meyer-thick layer of screen grease would bother you, too, I suggest searching for alternatives.

 

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