Nokia Lumia 620 announced: a surprisingly capable budget WP8 handset

Nokia have announced the newest member of their Lumia family of Windows Phones. Nope, it’s not another flagship – this time, it’s a low-cost model called the Lumia 620.

The phone, which will be available for $249, is surprisingly capable. The screen is fairly small, at 3.8″ and it isn’t high resolution either at the standard 480 x 800. Inside it’s a slightly better story though; we’ve got a dual-core 1 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor that’s only a bit slower than in the leading models. This is backed with an unknown amount of RAM (likely 512 MB) and 8 GB of internal storage. Thankfully, the latter can be easily upgraded through the use of a micro SD card.

Also unusually for such a low-cost handset, the Lumia 620 includes both rear and front-facing cameras. Neither are likely to take amazing photos or videos (at 5 megapixels and VGA, respectively) but I’m still impressed. Even the previous generation Lumia 800, which was the best Windows Phone 7 device when it launched, didn’t include a front-facer so it is great to see one here.

The phone will be running the full version of the recently released Windows Phone 8 operating system, and will also include all of the same Lumia apps as the more expensive Lumia 820 and 920. Nokia have done well in developing these apps, so to include them with the Lumia 620 makes it a lot more compelling.

The Lumia 620 will be available in seven colours, in typically bold Nokia Lumia colours including a sweet new lime green option. There are interchangeable shells for the device too, although we don’t see any wireless charging ones as we saw as Nokia Lumia 820 accessories. There are both matte and glossy options here; apparently the matte ones are the better option as they feel less cheap in the hand.

As mentioned above, the phone will launch for just $249 (or 190 Euros) early next year – January to be precise. Availability will be limited to the Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern regions to start with, although European availability is expected to follow soon afterwards.

The Lumia 620 definitely makes a strong argument for itself, with decent internals, good software and a nice dash of individuality via the seven colour choices and interchangeable shells. I’m looking forward to seeing other manufacturers produce their own Windows Phone 8 devices at this price point; it looks like we may be seeing a strong response to the many Android handsets that exist at this low-end price point.