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Evidence points to a Lumia 635 with 1GB of RAM heading to some carriers

The Lumia 635 is nearly a perfect budget phone. It has an excellent display with ClearBlack, a modern design with replaceable covers, and it even handles Windows 10 with ease. However, it does have a few faults, including the lack of a front-facing camera and 1GB of RAM. Indeed, the 512 MB currently found on the Lumia 635 seems antiquated and too little for modern phones.

An early report cited a Lumia 635 with 1GB of RAM on Telenor's website in Hungary. However, it does not take long to find carriers mislabeling devices – even with the wrong OS – to cast some skepticism on the hardware change. However, corroborating evidence has now been found to suggest that indeed, Microsoft is set to fix the Lumia 635 that was previously released under Nokia.

The site has found numerous references to a Lumia 635 with 1GB of RAM on Microsoft's servers that house various ROMs.

Lumia 635 software referencing 1GB versions was found for Movistar in Spain, one for Vodafone in Spain, and one for the Spanish country-variant, suggesting that the Telenor listing in Hungary was not in error.

Previously, Nokia would release a new phone with a new Lumia model number if it had more RAM, much like the Lumia 525. However, Microsoft has increasingly stepped away from releasing devices with 512 MB of RAM due to customer backlash. The drawback with less RAM is the inability to run some big-ticket games, and presumably the forthcoming Windows 10 OS works better with more RAM as well.

Microsoft so far has been quiet about the hardware refresh, although we are reaching out to them for comment. It is not clear how widespread the hardware refresh will go, if accurate, though it is something we will be following closely.


Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • The display is average. Next to my 920, it looks weak. But for the price it's good.
  • Yup... It's the price that makes it a heck of a deal.
  • It looks FANTASTIC for the price!
  • Raise it 10 dollars but give it ffc
  • It needs ffc badly.
  • Why?
  • It's a doggone shame Microsoft would build a modern day smart phone with one gigabyte of memory.
  • A low-budget device with average battery capacity does not need more than 1 GB RAM. If you do some research on this matter, you will find that 1 GB RAM works beautifully on Windows Phone OS 8.1. Do not compare old versions of Android with Windows Phone, they are way different devices. When are you going to complain about iPhone only having 1 GB of RAM? 8-) If you want to know why Android uses 2 and even 3 GB of RAM, it is because there is a need to do that, or at least there was a need before Lollipop (5.0). Why? Because of the Dalvik Java virtual machine. Have you ever run Java runtime (JRE) on an old machine with 256 MB RAM? You will see how sluggish it performs, because a virtual machine means that you run a memory consuming virtual environment, like a sort of computer simulation as a software on top of an operating system, to make the software run the same code on different CPU archs without recompiling into different binaries customised for each CPU. This will indeed make the code run slower on older machines, as well as slow ARM SoC:s. I have read that Android runs Java code with hardware acceleration on chip, but it has indeed not been satisfactory. In any case, while Windows Phone OS runs .NET software which, code-wise, look like Java code, the performance is a LOT better than Java, I'll say. Also, .NET software run really optimal on Windows Phone OS without the overhead and bottleneck performance which defines JRE. Lollipop aims to solve this, however, by, compiling not to bytecode, but rather to make Android apps compile down to Linux ELF binaries rather than just bytecode, in a Just-in-time (JIT) fashion, which is really cool actually, while stil retaining backwards compatibility. In human speak, it means the code will run natively without the Java bottlenecks and awkward RAM hogging, so look forward to seeing your Android phone getting some well-needed performance improvements (big time!) in about 2 years from now. Why not sooner? Because developers are going to take some real long time before they start to care about the few percent market share which makes up Lollipop. As you probably know already, Windows Phone OS 8.1 runs on every Windows 8 device, practically, with a few exceptions here and there, while the latest Lollipop version is unheard of for anything else than high-end phones and new-released mid-rangers. Btw, the low screen resolution of 635 is is not high enough to make it any different in performance, either, to add more RAM. Putting in a higher-end graphics chip on the SoC would make tons of positive difference though if you need games to run smooth like still water, while RAM will not.
  • How did you write a black comment?
  • You seem to have forgotten mentioning garbage collection, which is also something that Android hasn't been able to do right. But evidence points towards the fact that Google has been working on it, 4.4 and 5.0 have been huge leaps and there is now a whole YouTube playlist dedicated to app developers to improve the performance in their apps, search up Android Performance Patterns. It won't take 2 years because in a few months Lollipop will likely have over 15% of user install base, and as soon as it gains over 25% or so the number of devices running Lollipop will outnumber the total number of active Windows Phones out there. So yes Android has had issues with memory management in the past, but 1GB is good enough for even Android today. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Oscar winner comment
  • Just coming back to this today. I made a mistake in my statement. My intented statement was it's ashame Microsoft build phones with under 1 gigabyte of memory. Sorry, my mistake. I am perfectly fine with a 1 gigbyte phone which I think should have been the minimal in the first place when in the smartphone category. My thoughts were there when typing but came out one word short of my intented statement.
  • Uh genius Nokia did this, regretfully that has been a Nokia flaw for a while. Releasing awesome designed and well built hardware with weakass inner hardware. That pretty much forced people to always have too buy the new hardware. MS is now rebooting and fixing that mistake. What would be awesome is if MS said people that previous version is shit everybody with the 512mb version gets a free upgrade to the 1gb version. Customer love should fall into place.
  • Dude, it's not memory, it's RAM
  • The M in RAM stands for memory. The dude's comment was correct.
  • I know, but he probably thought it was JUST memory, as he thought it wasn't much for a budget phone
  • My Lumia 830 has only 1GB of RAM. I have an Xbox for serious gaming. My phone handles everything that I throw at it just fine.
  • So true. 920 is king! Best speakers on any Nokia WP, best design too.. Wish 920 would work on Tmo.. 925 is not manly enough
  • 920 is a great device, but I have disagree about the speaker. L1520's speaker definitely the best among all Lumia devices.
  • But the phone feels good in hand. You get that premium feel when you hold it in your hand, not like those cheap plastic phones.
  • For my kids. It will be a great upgrade from the L520
  • I wonder if it's just a global version of that Lumia 640, set to be released in Brazil...
  • Why is everyone reporting on this as if it is new? It's embarrassing just how US-centric tech coverage is, 1GB variants have been sold for months.
  • or
  • Okay, that's especially embarrassing.
  • Not embarrassed. Sorry. Also, many of our writers are non-US based, not that you would notice. By the way, the site that originally found this information? They are based out of Spain. So good work there, chief. I really have no idea what point you are trying to make. Lumias sold specific for the Chinese market (mostly band differences) is not the same as the Lumia 635 - standard - getting a hardware revision and going to European carriers as a new device.
  • I really have no idea what point you are trying to make. Lumias sold specific for the Chinese market (mostly band differences) is not the same as the Lumia 635 - standard - getting a hardware revision and going to European carriers as a new device.
    A hardware revision that is defined by a RAM increase, which is already available in shipping variants? So what exactly is new here, again? It sounds like the variants that have been around for months are being expanded to other markets. Both the 635 and 636 are sold in Australia. They are not either-or and the 636/638 are not China-specific. The defensiveness is a little weak, Daniel.
  • Don't worry man. This is the same guy that questioned the Lumia 830  pop up with Snapdragon 400 when WPDang put up his leaked shots. The defensiveness is a more than weak.
  • ^I remembered that like it was yesterday.
  • He is a sook and weak.
  • The point is about the 635 possibly getting a hardware bump but NOT being given a new number like the 636 or 638. It is even posted under rumors. Read all the way to the end of the article. If reading the whole article is too many words for you, go back to the picture books. I swear sometimes people are so quick to run and post a comment when they think they find an error, like a little sister running to mommy to tell on her brother.
  • If it is such then why everyone consider the Lumia 525 as just a hardware upgradation of 520? Isn't that same in case of 635/636?
    I'm asking not arguing with you. Please respond.
  • Variants of it yes, not the exact phone.
  • A 635 with 1GB of RAM is a 636/638. And if you're thinking of bringing up bands, that is a flawed argument because there are plenty of devices that have the same model number but vary in bands based on location/carrier.
  • Why is AngryNil so angry?
  • I thought the whole pitch for Windows Central was that it wouldn't simply regurgigate any bad story/rumour à la WMPU. This is an obvious repost without any thought put into it. I'm very surprised that it came from Dan since he tends to take more care with these things.
  • It's okay to be angry Nil.. Not everyone has the capacity to think for themselves. Why are you trying to reason with sheep :X
  • They are just telling people it looks to be available worldwide soon, take it easy.
  • Mebbe bcuz Hungary doesn't create any smartphones of its own? Stop being a moron.
  • 636/638
  • Yes, Lumias announced for China are the same as phones going to European countries with different model numbers. Or not really.
  • Even India has 638...
  • Whether or not you agree with what people say, the readers of this site are essentially customers. Responding to a customer who innocently points something out with a rude, snarky answer is terrible customer service.
  • I don't find that unusual. I think everyone knows about Daniel and his snarky back talk. Hey, sometimes some people deserve it but it's for the most part uncalled for. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yeah rubino does this flat out. I'm tipping because he cant in real life. Hides behind this site and editorial tools. Rudest asshole I've ever seen in comments and that's saying a lot. No offence Daniel but your a prick.... Do u even lift? Lol
  • I think people aren't necessarily making fun of the article, but are confused why they would make a 636/638 AND a 635 1GB. Why wouldn't they just bring the 636 here? It's just a bit confusing. 
  • 1 gig one this phone for the same price would be a good move. 512 was at times was cause for some disappointment.
  • A little over a year ago people on this site were throwing rocks at Android for requiring 1GB RAM for optimal use. Now it is looking more and more like W10 will also require 1GB to run well. :) 1GB variant seems like a good thing though.
  • More low end who gives a f
  • Majority of the WP user base, hate to burst your bubble.
  • Oh I know but damn something high end would be great hopefully the m9 will launch with android and WP same time
  • Well, when you don't even sell any flagships, non-flagships are all customers can buy. Bah dum, tssh!
  • Majority of Android mobile base also so it is smart. Everybody knows low end androids suck ass. MS is showing hey Android users we have a full fledge OS that works excellent on the low end. ALSO when a high end device comes out you really will not have to learn anything new. It is mostly hardware upgrade,and apps run faster.
  • But how many low end do we need?
  • Majority of WP users don't have a flagship to even buy, so yeah, most WP users would be low-mid range users.
  • But note that with Microsoft's acquisition and 'go cheap' strategy MSFT has ceded even more ground to Apple and Samsung. I am pro Microsoft bit this is pathetic. Microsoft needs to show innovation to compete and I just don't think Belfiore knows how to compete in this space.
  • Seriously, lol.
  • Then you must forget about the HTC mogul,touch diamond series,Raphael etc
    HTC is the longest running windows oem
    They made 46 phones that ran wm starting in 2002
    This does not include WP
    HTC is definitely the best phone partner ms has ever seen
    F nokia Nokia flooded the market with far too many devices that no one can keep up with or tell apart hell even Daniel messed up here in the comments but really how the hell could any one keep up you don't need 50 phones you need high mid low that's it
  • Oh you sad moron...
  • Well at least you provided insight.
  • HTC HD7 is the phone that put WP7 in the papers... HD2 and HD7 were spectacular!
  • The HD2 was something special as one of the first 1GHz WM devices but the HD7 was a piece of poo, poor screen, poor camera, rebooting issues. The poster boy for WP7 was the Samsung Focus in the U.S. and the Omnia 7 in Europe. The Trophy and Mozart were two more crap devices from them.
  • Omnia 7, yeaaah .. I recall seeing that device somewhere on the internet back in the days, being impressed about the design of both hardware and the OS. Glad I waited for WP8, however. Bit of a shame about th non-upgradability of WP7 since it was more or less Windows CE/Windows Mobile 7 with a new user interface, while WP8 is an NT kernel.
  • Now this needs a ffc as a 6xx device. On another note, think ANY ffc's will get a flash?
  • A flash on ffc is a disaster dude. Not anytime soon.
  • Why? Can't be worse than some flashes on cheap phones now. At least you know average arm distance versus the main cameras target. #selfiegeneration
  • 1GB version has been around for sometime. Guess WP world is slow on news these days.
  • Not branded as a Lumia 635, no.
  • Seriously? :(
    I am disappoint son. L
  • I'm not one to normally tell professionals they are wrong, but read the RAM specification on Microsoft Mobile (Global).
    "RAM⁴: 512 MB or 1 GB ... ⁴Varies in selected markets."
  • How will this beat Lumia 535. Lets see
  • ANY new device beat 535 considering the shameful bug in touchscreen.
  • Get your shit in gear and get us a 1250 replacement. Enough of this low end crap.
  • What are the specs of a 1250? I've. Seen the 92X/930 the 1320 and 1520... You must have someone on the inside that knows about ,1250?!?!?
  • I don't know. But at the same time what is a one word sentence consisting of "I've"? If you're going to call me out on a typo, "get your shit in gear" first.
  • Lost in translation 1250?
  • Isn't it obvious? He is coming from the future ,chill out people!
  • You mean 1520 ri8!!???
  • Honestly and some people will agree: 1GB RAM should now be the standard for budget phones like the L635! 512MB is done in my opinion. It's time manufacturers started using more capacity.
  • That's exactly what Microsoft had been doing for the last few months.
  • But sucks for everyone with 512 mb devices in the 5xx 6xx and 7xx range. Like my poor Lumia 635 with 512 Mb of ram. Microsoft's fault for not going 1 GB of ram minimum from the get go.
  • It was Nokia's fault not Microsoft's.
  • Nope, you have no idea do you? WP8 hardware platform was designed with 512MB in mind.
  • Judging from the times that lumia 630/635 randomly crashes ,then I don't think that WP8.1 is ''designed'' for 512mb ram devices, they are just supported.
  • never had any crash, even with windows 10
  • Seems like you may have a defective 635. No crashes on Win8.1. As for the "sucks for everyone" comment, it's kind of hard to jump back three years in history and condemn all the 512mb devices... They work just fine on 8.1, and mostly were priced so that people saved money and got a good experience. I think you might argue about some of the mid range phones that only had 512... 7xxx series for example. I think it really should have been only low end, like 6xx and down.
  • This likely means they're not liking w10 performance on 512mb devices so far.
  • Bingo
  • Or it won't do good when final version is released
  • Aaah... disagree. My 635 screen colors look WAY better than my 920, only in resolution its weaker. My 635 performs on par of a tad faster, also. ​
  • Likely difference between AMOLED vs. LCD (on the 920). I don't disagree, but people have their preferences between the two screen types.
  • 635 is not AMOLED though.
  • Ah, I stand corrected.
  • Pretty much impossible to keep straight at this point. ;-)
  • I wanted to get the 735 due to AMOLED and 1GB RAM, but it's way overpriced compared to Moto G with similar hardware. So I ended up getting the 635 for $68. Great deal.
  • I got the 735 for £129 on payg upgrade and got a free fitbit with it. Best value phone I have ever bought. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Ditto. Comparing the L735 to the Moto G... very similar specs, but the camera on the L735 is super. Check out the Motorola forums and see how angry users are with Moto regarding the camera. L735 has no real rivals at the price point (around £150 on PAYG in the UK.)
  • I remember how beautiful the screen was on my old Samsung Focus.
  • Agreed! My Focus is still the best screen I've ever owned. Too bad the 735 was grossly overpriced, I want to get back into AMOLED's perfect blacks.
  • You're talking crazy ;) Lumia 920 is far superior. Protip: Try viewing color gradients on 635, and on 920.
  • Well you know, it's an opinion and like all opinions it's subjective. But I have compared my 920 and 635 side by side and every single time I prefer the color on the 635. There's no need to view color gradients on the 635 because I don't regularly encounter color gradients: you're looking for a problem with the 635 if you do that. Instead, I just opened the same apps to show the same content on both the 920 and the 635: most of the time, the 635 opened up app faster and colors looked deeper. Resolution and framerate obviously win on the 920 though.
  • Beautiful phone.
  • I sure hope its talking about what will be called the 638 instead of a "635 with 1 GB" or something like that. Maybe its a descriptor.
  • They should go with the New 635. I'm sure no one will be confused by that.
  • Don't be silly it will be the 635.1. That's how versioning works.
  • This is likely just the 1GB 635. Microsoft Mobile Global already specifies that the RAM in the 635 varies by market.
  • a much much better "nearly perfect budget phone" imho is the HTC 8x, selling new on ebay for 100 bucks or less. I picked one up for my 13-year old. Specs compare to and in some cases exceed the Lumia 925. It doesn't do LTE on T-mo, but does 4G, which is pretty fast on T-mo. I used the developer preview to put 8.1 on it and will put 10 on it when it's released. I thought it was a heck of a deal.
  • Used is irrelevant. Also battery life is much better on 635. You can get a lightly used 920 for around $100 on eBay. Much better IMHO.
  • How is the performance, without the proper firmware for 8.1?  
  • You only miss out on T-Mobile exclusive things like Wi-Fi calling. Otherwise, it's snappy.
  • It is! When I snagged my 925 new for $160 the 8x was $175 used.. Was kinda of hard to justify the 8x
    $100 is excellent, though GNexus might be a good option too idk
  • The Galaxy Nexus has a 3 hour battery life lol. It's in no way an option.
  • I hope it comes Microsoft Branded like those Valentines day commercials
  • The disconnect: and those who sell;   Redmond, we have aproblem! Make up your mind....   Sad to know that the 630 might be on the wrong end of W10 on the RAM side. With W10 you cannot end calls just, because the screen remains black...
  • A lumia 635(like the 638 w/o 4G) with 1gb RAM and a front facing camera (maybe 3.2mp) and a rear LED flash would make this phone the best budget phone. The Clearblack display with Snapdragon 400 makes it very good on the processing and display end. Just need that ram and a ffc
  • Just picked up a 635 for w10fp tech preview and it is much better than I thought it would be. 1gb ram would make it even better.
  • It definitely need 1 GB of RAM.
  • Why?
  • RAM is so cheap these days I dont understand why OEMs are releasing anything with less that 1gb ram and 16gb storage. I kind of wish Microsoft would have made windows 10 require 1gb for all new devices just to force them to stop skimping on memory.
  • Storage isn't cheap :)
  • Upgrading from 512mb to 1gb RAM costs a couple of dollars in extra components and manufacturing costs today. There is no reason not to include 1gb or more RAM in every new phone
  • Does anybody know where to get that cover for the 630 in the picture?
  • Then what about Lumia 638 it is same Lumia 635 with 1 gb ram, it's already available in China from last 8 months and in India from last 2 months.
  • Can someone please explain the price difference between 512mb, 1gb, 2gb or even 3gb? I know all the modern android phones run 3gb so its not too expensive, right? (and I know why they run high RAM, so please hold of on your android hater comments). But what I don't understand is why microsoft/nokia were releasing phones with such low RAM unless it was so cheap compared to anything else. Surely it cant be THAT much cheaper?
  • You don't need to worry. All WPs run smooth as butter even on 512mb ram. You won't notice the difference between a 512mb and 1 Gb WP device in real time. But in Android, which is a power hungry OS, prone to excessive ram requirements, a performance difference between a 512mb/1gb and 2gb device is very noticeable. Try using a 512mb Android device, takes 5 sec to open the dialler :P
  • Nonsense. My 1020 stutters and lags with 2gb.
  • Lol Microsoft "fixing" something Nokia did. Irony is dead.
  • Nokia screwed up. A lot. Since N97 back in 2008/2009, if anyone remembers. There was a reason the devices and services division was losing money. Last year Nokia screwed up the Lumia Icon, a phone plagued by hardware problems. There is a lot to fix for Microsoft...
  • I liked the old naming conventions better: N95-2 (8GB)
  • As if there is not enough confusion about the ms - Nokia phones in this price range? Ms does not make it easy for themselves to position their phones in the market. I lost track a while ago about all the phones in the under 200 dollar price range. and I try to keep up!
  • Microsoft is cleaing out it's Nokia Lumia brand Windows smart phones because they know Nokia will be able to sell their Nokia Name brand of smart phones and devices in 2016. Microsoft wants no brand name device conficts with anyone. next we will see the rebranding of the Nokia Lumia 920,925, 928, 930, 1020, 1520. so look for at least 5 new Microsoft brand Lumia smart phones throughout 2015. we see proably 3 midrangers an 2 flagships to replace the nokia Lumia 1020 41 megapixel smart phone and the big guy the Nokia lumia 1520 
  • It's about time really, the 6 series has been left out in the RAM race so far.
  • I don't think Nokia is allowed to make smartphones for a few years yet.
  • This is Microsoft creating the phones, so it's possible that it will be named Microsoft Lumia 630.
  • It's not only possible it I certain as Microsoft are not allowed to keep using the Nokia name. Nokia still exist as a separate company, they just cant make smartphones for about 10 years.
  • So, can I just trade on my Lumia 630 to hey one of these? :)
  • Polish Orange offers both variants of 635, recently added 1GB. Though currently 1GB version is out of stock in online shop.
  • glad to know that Naviplus is still working well :)
  • Wasn't this rumored a while ago add the Lumia 638?
  • The 638 isn't rumoured. It exists and has been sold since last year
  • The Microsoft Mobile Global website already had the Lumia 635 coming in both 512MB and 1GB RAM variants, which "Varies in selected markets.". Been listed like that for at least a month (because I was looking for the 1GB version in January and having a hard time with it. 512MB RAM is one of the things keeping me away from the 635). It clearly exists, only now are we seeing signs that it might actually be sold by a carrier
  • This could be that Microsoft branded Lumia from the recent TV ad. It was pretty much the same as the old 635, but with Microsoft's logo and slightly different colours
  • Why no FFC at this price point. This is disapointing.
  • 1gb is not a big deal, unless u add front cam!
    No cam, not big difference to me......wont buy it either.
  • If everything people want get added to the 635 it will be called......the 830!! Ill add my wishlist. I want a notification flash. Id also like an extra start screen added in for pining stuff. It could be to the left of start prime. Hey most androids have 7 screens.
  • Why? Another cheap phone derivation. There are almost 100 different versions of the same cheap phone.
  • It is confirmed. The website shows 512 or 1 GB variant now for selected markets