- Eric M. Zeman , Phone Scoop
If you're a fan of Microsoft's mobile operating system, the 635 is noteworthy as being the first device in the U.S. to ship with Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana on board
- Jon Mundy , TechRadar
The Nokia Lumia 635 is all about offering 4G connectivity at a low price, and it does that with Nokia's customary entry-level flair.
- Smooth performance during daily tasks
- Good viewing angles and outdoor legibility
- Sturdy and durable build quality
- Low screen resolution
- Significant freeze-ups and stutter for more intensive tasks
- No front camera
The Nokia Lumia 635 bundles entry-level hardware and 4G LTE in an affordable, brightly colored package. Users can easily change the color of their removable back panel to green, orange, yellow, white or black. Despite being priced in the budget range, experts point out that the polycarbonate shell is incredibly sturdy and doesn't creak or flex under pressure.
At 4.5 inches, the display is relatively small when compared to other phones like the OnePlus One but bigger doesn't always mean better. In fact, TechRadar states, "the Nokia Lumia 635's screen is very close to optimal in terms of balance between single-handed usability and widescreen media clarity." While the screen might be high in usability, it unfortunately falls flat in other areas. With a resolution of only 854x480, reviewers note a lack of sharpness in text and images when compared to other similarly priced budget phones. In addition, it does not offer the super sensitive touch display, which means users cannot operate the phone with gloves on. Despite some drawbacks, reviewers are quick to point out that the resolution is perfectly adequate for every day usage and the IPS and ClearBlack technology offers excellent viewing angles and outdoor legibility.
While the internal specs of the Lumia 635 cannot rival flagship phones, it does offer a modest 1.2GHz quad-core processor paired with 512MB of RAM. On paper, the specs seem fairly unimpressive but when actually tested out, reviewers were surprised with its smooth performance when scrolling through menus and opening apps. Unfortunately, they also noticed significant freeze-ups and stutters during more intensive tasks like installing multiple apps or playing graphics-heavy games. Internal storage is also very limited to only 8GB, though there is an expandable microSD slot.
On the back of the phone is a standard 5MP camera. CNET states that, "It's not a phone for the dedicated photographer, but Instagram snaps will be fine." In general, reviewers found picture quality fairly adequate and, due to lack of flash, low light pictures fairly grainy. Unlike many other recent smartphones, the Lumia 635 does not come with a front-facing camera.
Despite some issues, most reviewers would recommend the Nokia Lumia 635. Wired says, "The Nokia Lumia 635 is a solidly built workhorse of a phone…" Slashgear adds, "Nokia…has another winner on their hands on the low end."
Reviews (7.5/10 Avg. rating)
Fast and cheap
Competent little Windows Phone 8.1 mobile with 4G
Overall solid Windows Phone that only makes a few sacrifices to be so affordable
The Lumia 635 might be one of our favorite budget Windows Phones around. It's not as cheap as the Lumia 530 or BLU Win JR, but the display quickly makes up for the price difference. Do consider the Lumia 530 or BLU Win JR if your budget is tight, however we recommend the Lumia 630 over the two if you can afford it.
Already have a high-end Windows Phone like the HTC One M8 or Lumia 1520? The Lumia 635 makes an excellent back-up phone in case your primary device takes a nasty spill. We're also a fan of bringing the Lumia 635 to places we normally wouldn't want to bring our expensiv... Full review
Fluid software experience, compact chassis
A monumentally cheap smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1
The only thing you can judge the Lumia 635 by is whether it reliably delivers on the things it promises and the market it’s aimed at. The Lumia 635 is a decent smartphone for users who aren’t too demanding, with the only real downsides being its rear-facing camera’s lack of flash and those apps that aren’t available on it. For a larger smartphone platform, this wouldn’t be a problem, but the Lumia 635 is a Windows Phone, which already takes its share of knocks for not having as many apps as Android or iPhone. Thankfully, many Windows Phone 8.1 apps are being up... Full review
The budget Windows phone, perfected
Saddest thing about the Lumia 635 is the complete lack of a front-facing camera
A solid little phone, especially when you consider just how inexpensive it is
The Lumia 635 is a good little phone. The hardware is decent, if somewhat boring. It feels solid and the exchangeable covers are a nice option to have. The screen isn't the best ever, but battery life is quite good. The phone does a great job connecting to T-Mobile's LTE 4G network, and voice quality is really good.
Windows Phone 8.1 functioned perfectly on the 635, despite the limited RAM and middling processor. All of the main OS features, including the Cortana virtual assistant, performed exceptionally well. New features — such as Action Center, notifications, the trace... Full review
No Selfies, but a good bargain
The Lumia 635 features a quad-core processor from Qualcomm. It’s a less-powerful version than the ones found in more expensive, high-end smartphones, but I found that it handled various tasks — checking email, browsing the Web, playing casual games and streaming video and music — without problem.
Call quality was also clear as I made several calls around San Francisco using T-Mobile’s network, and I experienced fairly good data speeds. Based on Ookla’s Speedtest app, I averaged download speeds of 9.47 megabits per second and upload speeds of 7.95 Mbp... Full review
Offers a vivid display, snappy performance
No, you don't get a front camera or flash on the back, but the $168 Nokia Lumia 635 is a solid choice for the price. This Windows Phone delivers smooth performance, long battery life and a surprisingly lovely display. The 5-MP camera isn't great, but Nokia's suite of camera apps helps make the best of it.
Prefer Android to Windows Phone? Shoppers should check out the $150 Alcatel One Touch Fierce, which is slimmer and lighter than the Lumia with a brighter display. You'll also benefit from a much bigger app selection. But if you're willing to take Microsoft's user-friendly and fu... Full review
Prices (Where to Buy)
Online Buying Options
Manuals / User Guides
- Nokia Lumia 635 Manual (PDF)
AT&T, Boost Mobile, Cricket, Sprint, T-Mobile, Ting, Virgin MobileReview Sources Have a question?
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