The unthinkable happened this week. My cell phone stopped working. My beloved Nokia Lumia 920 finally kicked the bucket and I was left with a decision. Get a new flagship phone or go with something cheaper. Since I’m a fan of the Windows Phone OS and they haven’t released a flagship recently I decided to go with a less expensive device. I ended up picking up a Lumia 635 from Walmart for about $48 without a contract.
This is a phenomenally low price for the device I got. It’s obviously not going to astound with it’s specifications but it performs well especially when considering it’s cost. The processor is modest, it only has 512mb of RAM which limits its multitasking capabilities, and the screen doesn’t have a comparatively high resolution. However it does have nice color reproduction, MicroSD expandable storage, user replaceable battery, and a build quality that feels anything but budget.
That last bit is the part that impresses me the most. Both in it’s styling and material construction the Lumia 635 does not feel cheap. It’s thin with nicely tapered edges and there isn’t any plasticky give like you find with many devices in this price range. It almost reminds me of a tiny little Surface Pro 3 in it’s styling. That’s certainly impressive for a phone this inexpensive.
Initially I planned on using the 635 for a short period of time while I shopped around for a more premium device but now that I’ve used it for a few days I could see myself happily using the device much longer than that. I may just keep it until Microsoft releases it’s new flagships which are rumored to be coming in late Summer.
TL;DR: If you need a $50 phone without a contract you shouldn’t think twice about picking up the Lumia 635. For the money it’s likely the best device available.