The Nokia Lumia 625 combined a big screen with 4G LTE support and a low price tag, but it had to cut a few corners in the process, resulting in a low resolution display and a mediocre camera. In many ways the new Nokia Lumia 635 is a similar proposition, as it has a fairly large screen, supports 4G and is likely to carry a reasonable price tag. But what’s changed in this new version? And is it a better option than the Nokia Lumia 625? Read on to find out.
The Nokia Lumia 635 and Lumia 625 are very similar looking phones. Both have brightly coloured plastic shells and both are identically thick at 9.2mm, which means they’re both on the chunky side, but not uncomfortably fat.
The Nokia Lumia 625 is a little bigger overall, with its other dimensions coming in at 133.3 x 72.3, while the Nokia Lumia 635 is 129.5 x 66.7. The Lumia 625 is also a heftier 159g to the Lumia 635’s 134g, but then that can all be explained by the fact that the Lumia 625 has a slightly larger screen.
Size and weight aside there really is very little to choose between the two when it comes to build quality.
The Nokia Lumia 625 has a 4.7 inch 480 x 800 IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 199 pixels per inch. Saying it’s not the sharpest screen on the planet would be an understatement as while it’s perfectly usable it’s definitely on the low resolution side, to the point where we’d have taken a slightly smaller, sharper screen in preference.
The Nokia Lumia 635 has a 4.5 inch 480 x 854 IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 218 pixels per inch. That’s still not super sharp but it’s noticeably crisper than the Lumia 625’s screen, though it’s also slightly smaller.
Size and resolution aside the the Lumia 635 also has an all round superior display. It uses Nokia’s ClearBlack technology to enhance the contrast and reduce reflections and it should be a little stronger than the Lumia 625’s screen too as it uses Gorilla Glass 3, while the Lumia 625 uses Gorilla Glass 2.
The Nokia Lumia 625 has a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 512MB of RAM, while the Nokia Lumia 635 has a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 512MB of RAM, so while the RAM is the same it has twice as many processor cores and should be substantially more powerful overall.
That said despite it's low specs the Lumia 625 rarely struggles to perform, so while the extra power is very welcome it’s not essential.
The Nokia Lumia 625 and the Lumia 635 both have 5 megapixel main cameras. They’re both adequate but certainly on the low end of what you can expect from a smartphone. Surprisingly though the Lumia 625’s camera capabilities are actually better in a couple of ways.
Firstly it can shoot 1080p video at 30fps, while the Nokia Lumia 635 is capped at 720p at 30fps and secondly it has a 0.3 megapixel front facing camera, which isn’t anything to shout about, but the Nokia Lumia 635 doesn’t have a front facing camera at all.
The two handsets have fairly similar battery lives. The Nokia Lumia 625 has a 2000 mAh battery capable of up to 552 hours of standby time or 15 hours and 10 minutes of 3G talk time, while the Nokia Lumia 635 has a slightly smaller 1830 mAh battery with a longer 648 hour standby time but a shorter 14 hours of talk time on 3G.
Right now one of the biggest differences between the two handsets is the operating system, as while the Nokia Lumia 625 is running Windows Phone 8, the Nokia Lumia 635 will launch with Windows Phone 8.1, complete with Cortana, Action Centre and various other small changes, making for a vastly superior experience.
However it’s already been confirmed that the Windows Phone 8.1 update will be coming to all Windows Phone 8 handsets, so eventually the Nokia Lumia 625 will get it too, at which point the two phones should be identical from this perspective.
There’s not much difference in storage between the two handsets. Both have 8GB of onboard memory, which isn’t much, but they both also have a microSD card slot. The slot in the Nokia Lumia 625 supports cards of up to 64GB, while the slot in the Lumia 635 supports cards of up to 128GB, so out of the box there’s no difference, but if you invest in a big enough microSD card the Lumia 635 can have a lot more storage overall.
You might have expected the Nokia Lumia 635 to be better than the Lumia 625 in every conceivable way. After all it’s essentially its successor and is a lot newer, but surprisingly it’s not panned out like that as it actually has a worse video camera and no front facing camera at all. It also has a slightly smaller screen.
However it is better in most other ways. The build quality is much the same but it has a newer version of the operating system, at least for now, it’s more powerful, has more storage potential and a better display overall. It also retains the Lumia 625’s 4G LTE support, so it’s definitely a better phone all things considered.
It’s also likely to carry a similar price tag. Right now the Lumia 625 is available from around £150 SIM free and while no UK price has yet been confirmed for the Lumia 635 it’s likely to cost a similar amount. With that in mind, it’s the obvious choice.
Have you read our Nokia Lumia 625 review?
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