Going Further With Ford Road Trips In Nevada, Utah, Arizona & California Mobile Tech For Storm Preparedness Review Roundup

Jul 06

Microsoft Lumia 635 Live Tiles
Microsoft Lumia 635 Windows Phone 8.1

The minimalist design, inexpensive and personalized Lumia 635 is an option for those seeking 4G LTE and a quad-core smartphone. The handy smartphone from Microsoft packs a punch with its 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and Windows Phone 8.1 software. Cortana, the new voice assistant introduced in 8.1, helps schedule alarms, checks the news and navigates with GPS via the included map software. Last year, Microsoft completed the transition of purchasing the Nokia brand and now refers to this product line as the Microsoft Lumia 635. Microsoft sponsored me to keep the Lumia 635 in this review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


My Instagram overview of Microsoft’s @microsoftlumiaus @microsoftlumia Lumia 635. Quad-core CPU, 4G LTE, 4.5″ screen & 1,830 mAh battery that lasts for days. #sponsored #Nokia #Microsoft #Lumia #635 #4GLTE #smartphone #tech #unboxing #overview #video

A video posted by Chris Rauschnot (@24k) on

Microsoft Lumia 635 Quick Unboxing

An extended review for the Lumia 635 made sense. How would only a few weeks reveal quirks in the software or usability after app and firmware updates from Microsoft?

Lumia 635 Unboxing By Bill Cody @VegasBiLL

This budget phone may only cost $129 at an off contract and unlocked price, but its build quality and feature set is usually found with smartphones two times more expensive. With a long lasting 1,830 mAh battery, Cortana intelligent voice assistant, a 4.5” touchscreen and a loud speaker, it’s shaping up to be the device to beat this travel season.

Battery life had taken a turn for the worse when 4G LTE was introduced many years ago. Microsoft made the right decision to put in a long lasting battery in the Lumia 635. With 2.4GHz WiFi, Bluetooth, MIX Radio streaming music and Internet sharing turned on at various times, I was able to get two full days of usage out of the battery.

Some days, the Lumia 635 was used as a phone only with sparse Internet surfing and the battery lasted for days. Microsoft rates the battery at 25 days of standby time, wow.

Microsoft Lumia CTIA 2014 Smartphone Overview

A big reason why the 635 smartphone lasted so long could be that it runs Windows Phone 8.1. At a recent ShowStoppers event during CTIA in Las Vegas, a phone vendor told me that one of their phones that was tested with both Android and Windows Phone 8.1 saw an increase of 40% battery life with the later.

Microsoft has done an excellent job with the included software. I found it to be snappy and stable, even while other devices were using its 4G LTE connection via Internet sharing. Updates to its core software only occurred a few times during my extended term. Other smartphones running Google’s Android seem to always be updating.

Windows Phone 8.1 Overview At The Microsoft BUILD Conference 2014

Less updates saved me from blasting through a significant chunk of the data plan, but WiFi updating is always preferred. Using Cortana, which is based in Microsoft’s AZURE cloud, did not eat a lot of data while transferring information. And because Microsoft’s voice processing is not on the phone, they can make continual upgrades to it that will be accessible immediately.

Microsoft Lumia 635 Cortana
Microsoft Lumia 635 Cortana

Cloud based storage for backing up any modern day smartphone is key for customers. Microsoft includes 15GB of OneDrive storage after creating a free Microsoft account. Set your search page for BING and earn points towards services and gadgets.

Microsoft Lumia 635 Skype and Office
Microsoft Lumia 635 Skype and Office

OneDrive has been invaluable since I have signed up for it over a year ago. They have an app to access photos and documents that are backed up on nearly every device from Android and iOS. Microsoft says that they want to work with all phone makers and carriers to bake Cortana and OneDrive into their offerings.

That is a smart move for Microsoft. Offer up an application protocol or API to developers to include voice search technology for all platforms. Google is already doing this up to a point, but Microsoft seems to be more open about it.

There are a few shortcomings to the Lumia 635. A forward facing camera is missing, there is no flash on the back and its screen is not HD with a resolution of 854×480 and a pixel density of 221 ppi. While this phone may not be marketed to former users of premium smartphones, they may check it out because of its excellent battery life. The camera is able to take 720p HD video and a MicroSD card slot can expand memory up to 128GB.

Microsoft Lumia 635 Front
Microsoft Lumia 635 Front

I am not into the selfie craze, but there are a few folks who are. Microsoft’s camera software makes it easy to take a photo with the 5MP camera on the back. The rear camera will make more of an impression to any selfie library as typical forward facing cams are between 2MP or 3MPs.

It does a fair job of taking photos in medium to low light situations. I have reviewed Lumia’s camera tech before, their image sensors typically score high. I rarely use a flash to take photos and they certainly do not work when trying to get lighting displays during the holidays or fireworks.

Staying connected with a smartphone today means that it must be a personal hub. It comes with Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, A-GLONASS (Europe’s GPS), BeiDou (China’s GPS), 2.4GHz 802.11 B/G/N WiFi and category 3 LTE that supports up to 100 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up. That gives people many ways to connect with third party accessories.

Microsoft used to ship software every few years, now they ship upgrades to user experiences and backend systems on a continuous basis. It is an on-demand world thanks to the cloud. People have come to expect it, which they are delivering with the Lumia 635 and Windows Phone 8.1.

Microsoft Lumia 635 Back
Microsoft Lumia 635 Back

You may be able to find the Lumia 635 at your nearest convenience store as a prepaid option or in a local tech store like BestBuy, your cellular carrier’s store or direct from the Microsoft Store. The Lumia 635 could be your next smartphone of choice for being cost effective.

2 Responses to “Extended Review: Microsoft Lumia 635 Smartphone With 4G LTE”

  1. Review: Affordable NUU Mobile X3 Unlocked Android Smartphone » The Macintosh Wizard And PC Tech Blog Says:

    […] Unlocked phones from alternate brands continue to innovate in emerging and midrange markets. NUU Mobile’s approach to the Dual SIM smartphone market is smart. The form factor of the X3 is similar to other 4.5” smartphones like the Lumia 635. […]

  2. Review: NUU Mobile N5L Unlocked Dual SIM Android Smartphone » The Macintosh Wizard And PC Tech Blog Says:

    […] smartphone market with the N4L for specs and value. The form factor of the N4L reminds me of the Microsoft Lumia 635 but that is where the similarity ends. Its micro USB port is located on the top left, headphone […]