Performance


CPU Performance

The Snapdragon 400 is in a lot of devices these days, and is starting to appear in quite a few Windows Phones as well, but this is the first Windows Phone 8.1 device with Snapdragon 400 we have tested, so it will be interesting to see how it compares to Android and iOS with the move to quad core. Just to clarify what we are working with here again, it’s a quad-core Cortex A7 CPU paired with Adreno 305 graphics. We’ll also compare it to a Lumia 1020, and a Lumia 620, both of which are running Krait cores (1.5 GHz for the 1020, and 1 GHz for the 620) as we need to know if four A7s at 1.2 GHz are a real upgrade over Krait.

SunSpider 1.0.2 Benchmark  (Chrome/Safari/IE)Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)WebXPRT (Chrome/Safari/IE)BaseMark OS II - OverallBaseMark OS II - SystemBaseMark OS II - MemoryBaseMark OS II - GraphicsBaseMark OS II - Web

Performance is definitely an improvement over the dual-core 1 GHz Krait of the 620, but it’s not spectacular. It’s still slower than the dual-core 1.5 GHz of the 1020. A good comparison though is the Moto G, which is close to the same price, and sports the exact same SoC under the hood. Sunspider is very close between the two, but Kraken and Google Octane are much faster on the Moto G. Windows Phone 8.1 even with IE 11 now still has some work to do to be competitive on Javascript performance. WebXPRT falls into the same situation, with IE just not being as fast as Chrome.

Looking at Basemark II results are a bit closer, with the overall score being close. The Lumia 630 handily beats the Moto G in memory performance, but the Moto G wins the rest of the tests. We’re still looking at a performance deficit for most tasks with Windows Phone 8.1 which is something Microsoft will need to work on going forward.

Windows Phone as an OS has always been very smooth, and this iteration is no different. The 630 is definitely an improvement over last year’s version, but it isn’t going to blow anyone away with its performance.

Graphics Performance

On the graphics side, we generally look at benchmarks which stress the GPU of the device. With Windows Phone, this means Rightware’s Basemark X 1.1. The problem here is that Basemark X requires 1 GB of memory to install, so it won’t run on the 630 with its limited RAM. As stated earlier, this also limits a lot of the gaming apps from being installed. If you play a lot of games, avoid this device.

NAND Performance

Storage performance isn’t likely to be at the top of an engineer’s list when so cost constrained, and it shows with the 630. We’re at a disadvantage with Windows Phone again here because none of the standard storage benchmarks run on this platform. There are several benchmarks available on Windows Phone which do test storage, but they are either very inaccurate or give abstract results. For that reason we’ll look into a storage benchmark of our own for Windows Phone but it’s not available as of yet for this review.

The only numbers I was able to extract off of the 630 was basic file copy speeds. A large file transfer resulted in a sequential write speed of only 7.5 MB/s which isn’t fantastic. Copying small 4 KB files was a very poor 0.03 MB/s. File copies to the device over USB 2 came in at 8.5 MB/s and file copies from the device over USB 2 resulted in 22.5 MB/s. When we get the storage benchmark completed I'll add the numbers for the 630 to bench, but I don't expect it to be very fast.

Hardware Display
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  • hughlle - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    It's a budget phone, with low specs. If the app store can determine that with 512mb of ram it will not be able to play certain games, why should it let you install it? It seems sensible to me that the store should stop you from wasting your time and possibly data allowance downloading something you can't play. Or do you believe it should ahve been spec'd so that it could play every game in the store? It's a budget phone, i'm not sure what you're finding unacceptable about this, and what has 2014 got to do with anything? I can buy a budget laptop that can't play titanfall, i can buy a budget tablet that can't play real racing. Is the issue solely that it will not let you install it, as opposed to just letting you install it to find it doesn't run? Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    I want to upvote you. Reply
  • ColinByers - Monday, September 29, 2014 - link

    Me too, this is a budget phone with a OS that's missing most of the really good apps. I recommend going for some of the top Android phones, it's worth the money. /Colin from http://www.consumertop.com/best-phone-guide/ Reply
  • Malih - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    From what I know:

    - Phones are not laptops, the difference between cheap to game capable laptops is the CPU/GPU, but the only spec that halts game installation is RAM, the GPU/CPU will run most games just fine.

    - Furthermore even the Lumia 525 (which is also a budget phones, released after 625, before 630) started to include 1GB of RAM, but Microsoft seems to be retracting back to 512MB of RAM, puzzling.

    - Thus: a few more dollars (for 1GB of RAM) would enable better experience on this phone, but why aren't they doing that, I feel this is a silly and ancient strategy.
    Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    I have a Lumia 525 and a 920.

    1Gb of Ram really should be the minimum across all Windows Phone devices these days, the light sensor too,
    It's one of my favorite features on my Lumia 920 as I'm outdoors allot, the screen brightens up and the contrast and gamma increases so that sunlight readability is a non-issue.

    However with that said, many games and apps which have a 1Gb Ram version also have a 512Mb version, a-la. - Spartan Assault, so for some users, having 512Mb of Ram is a non-issue.

    If we go farther back though to the Lumia 610 on Windows Phone 7.8... That also has a light sensor, which worked fantastically, just unfortunate that the phone due to having only 256Mb of Ram and a single core processor was slow.
    Reply
  • codecore - Friday, July 25, 2014 - link

    I see that the Chinese versions of these (635 and 638) have 1GB. It'd be nice to get one of these if it were compat with US standards (LTE, etc). Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    Just to be clear I didn't say it was bad the store stops you from installing games you can't run.

    What's bad is it is 2014, and this phone has the same RAM as a Windows Phone 7 device from 2010.

    1 GB of RAM would open this device up to the entire Windows Phone store, so I can't see how that would be a bad thing.
    Reply
  • bhima - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    Its a budget phone yes... but its 2014. I DO expect a budget phone of almost $200 to play every game in the app store because, well, Motorola has already made a phone that can do just that for basically the same money in the Moto G. Reply
  • Notso - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

    I bought the 635 on newegg fo $90. For that price with no contract I think this is a great deal. Reply
  • PsychoPif - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - link

    Great review!
    It's nice to see such a indepth review for a Windows phone. Keep up the good work.
    Reply

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