Nokia Lumia 630 evaluation: An reasonably priced telephone you possibly can stay with out

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

The Nokia we used to know is not. In late April, the handset maker was lastly folded into Microsoft’s Units and Providers enterprise after greater than six months of courtship. Nokia wasn’t able to be assimilated with out as soon as final hurrah, nevertheless: It introduced a trio of latest units at its new proprietor’s developer convention, Construct. The Finnish firm had all the time tried to cater to each demographic, so it was becoming that its final in-home handsets have been the highest-finish Lumia 930 (a worldwide model of the Icon) and the entry-degree Lumia 630/635.

The 630 and 635, 3G and 4G variants of the identical system, are becoming a member of an already-crowded lineup of reasonably priced Lumias. They’re distinguished considerably by launching with Home windows Telephone eight.1, the newest model of Microsoft’s cellular OS, however within the coming months, different WP8 handsets will catch up. That is if curiosity hasn’t already pushed you to replace manually utilizing the developer-account loophole. The 635 is but to be launched, however for now we’ve got the virtually similar Lumia 630. Aside from providing the most recent software program, then, is the 630 Nokia’s greatest finances gadget? A worthy sendoff for the corporate? A save-the-greatest-’til-final-sort deal? Spoiler’s within the headline.

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Lumia 630 evaluation

70
Nokia

Lumia 630

Execs

  • Enjoyable, colourful design
  • Snug to carry
  • Succesful digital camera
  • Nice battery life

Cons

  • No selfie digital camera
  • No HSPA+
  • Loads of good options on this worth vary

Abstract

The Nokia Lumia 630 is one other reasonably priced Home windows Telephone that’s good to take a look at. It additionally has an excellent digital camera and distinctive battery life, however is lacking a number of primary options like a entrance-dealing with digital camera. With a number of good options in the identical worth vary, you possibly can take it or depart it. 

seventy eight
Nokia

Lumia 635

Execs

  • Playful design, snug to carry
  • Good battery life
  • LTE on a shoestring

Cons

  • No entrance-dealing with digital camera
  • Mediocre show

Abstract

The Lumia 635 is a a lot-wanted addition to Nokia’s reasonably priced handset vary. It has a serviceable digital camera, enjoyable design and good battery life, however most significantly, it is among the best-worth LTE units on the market. 

Hardware

You would be forgiven for complicated the Lumia 630 with the iPhone 5c. They’re comparable in measurement and form, though it might sound a crooked comparability contemplating Nokia’s been doing colourful plastic for for much longer than Apple. Up shut, the 630 is extra like a mash-up of the 620 and 520 that got here earlier than it. Barely bigger than each, it combines the rounded corners of the 620 with the extra sharply tapered again panel of the 520. It is blockier than each, nevertheless, with the flat edges assembly a flat again.

Nokia actually hit a candy spot with the dimensions and weight right here: 129.5 x sixty six.7 x 9.2mm and 134g. These are agreeable numbers for anybody, and with sides that angle inward from the show, it rests properly within the hand. Not one of the sharp edges dig in the place they should not. The construct high quality won’t seem like a lot given nearly all of the handset is roofed in plastic, with a sheet of glass masking the face as the one different materials. It creaks underneath strain, however given its weight and the thickness of polycarbonate that matches snugly to its again, it does not really feel like a toy even when it appears slightly like one.

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

The gadget itself is fairly plain aside from the colourful mass of plastic, although for the second, you solely have the selection of inexperienced, orange or black. You will ultimately have the ability to purchase further shells, and when the Lumia 635 launches, the twin-colour covers we first noticed on the 620 can be making an look. Because the 635 is similar in design, you’ll commandeer these for the 630, too. The again of the system is residence to a small Nokia emblem, rear digital camera lens up prime and tiny loudspeaker grille within the backside proper-hand nook. On the highest and backside edges are the headphone jack and micro-USB charging/knowledge switch port, respectively, and the proper edge carries the quantity rocker and energy button. There isn’t any devoted digital camera shutter key on this system; Microsoft eliminated that requirement in eight.1.

One other main distinction from different Home windows Telephones might be discovered on the face of the gadget. WP eight.1 not calls for capacitive keys on the bezel, and the Lumia 630 is the primary handset to scrap these in favor of on-display navigation buttons. Certainly, it seems to be plain, with the earpiece and Nokia emblem up prime, show within the middle and a small gap for the mic on the underside edge. The impact is a design that is barely distinctive and rather less cluttered.

Show

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

Like different price range Lumias, the 630 does not have an entire lot of pixels to play with. Its four.5-inch show sports activities the uncommon FWVGA decision (854 x 480), which is actually 800 x 480 with a bit of additional size to accommodate the on-display navigation keys. I’ve by no means cared an excessive amount of about pixel density on reasonably priced handsets (in case your’e curious, the 630 works out to 221 ppi). The Lumia 625 pushed even my tolerance boundaries, however even then, I am extra within the high quality of the panel than the amount of pixels. Alas, the 630 has little to supply in both respect.

Nokia included its ClearBlack know-how into the LCD show; not that the time period actually means something right here. In truth, the show has a stunning shade temperature, with wonderful whites, nevertheless it’s let down by the black vary. They’re virtually pretend, like smothering a lamp with black material and calling it darkness. Alongside the identical strains (however not as noticeable), the show on my gadget is erratically lit alongside the highest edge, with alternating patches of sunshine and darkish as if a row of tiny spotlights was hidden beneath the bezel.

Replace: After posting this assessment, Microsoft/Nokia insisted I might been given a non-remaining system (see the efficiency part for an additional replace), and the second handset I acquired had an improved show. Whereas the standard of the panel was the identical, the set up was considerably higher, all however nullifying the gripe I had with uneven lighting on the highest fringe of the show.

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

Regardless of its failings, the show is guarded nicely by a sheet of Corning’s Gorilla Glass three. Sadly, Nokia appeared unable to afford the ultimate coat, as it’s extremely sticky and a serves as a magnet for all of the oil and dirt you would not consider got here out of your fingertips. Apart from the Xperia SP, it is the worst I’ve seen on this entrance. No matter’s not fairly proper with the glass, it has further unwanted side effects, together with hampering daylight readability. Assuming you’ll be able to truly see by means of the layer of pores and skin on prime of the glass, there is a good serving to of glare that’ll have you ever squinting on the show on a brilliant day. Its reflectiveness considerably reduces viewing angles, too.

Fortunately, the panel can kick out lots of mild, which means the 630 is not utterly ineffective when the solar’s about. Unusually, there isn’t any auto-brightness setting, so it is good that Home windows Telephone eight.1’s new “Motion Middle” provides a fast solution to make modifications. Regardless of these points, the show nonetheless works. That stated, the 630 is certainly not for videophiles. The Lumia 620 got here out nicely over a yr in the past, so the truth that the 630 has a worse panel is disappointing.

Replace: The problems I had with the glass have been principally resolved on the second handset.

Software program

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

The Lumia 630, 635 and 930 are the official Home windows Telephone eight.1 launch units, not that it is exhausting to put in the developer preview of the brand new OS on older fashions. A number of of an important modifications within the newest model have little to do with the fast consumer expertise (assume: wider help for various hardware configurations). In the identical vein, Microsoft’s additionally relaxed its handset design necessities. Capacitive navigation keys and a devoted digital camera button are not obligatory, for instance, and certainly, the 630 has neither.

There are many pre-put in apps on the Lumia 630, however PayPal, Skype and Line are the one ones you’d name bloatware. Along with these, you will discover a slew of apps that combination information, monitor shares, verify the climate, advocate locations to eat and drink, hold you updated on the world of sports activities and so forth. Fortunately, all nonessential apps might be uninstalled if you wish to trim the fats. Nokia and Microsoft have cooked in a few of their very own software program, in fact, like the worldwide satnav app Right here Drive+, and productiveness instruments like Workplace, OneDrive and OneNote.

I’ve all the time been a fan of Home windows Telephone’s Stay Tile UI, when it comes to each seems and performance. Within the newest OS launch, now you can set a background picture for this house display, which is actually invisible. Tiles for most of the inventory apps, nevertheless, act as a clear window, which is a pleasant visible contact that additionally permits for deeper personalization. Moreover, you’ll be able to add one other column of Reside Tiles to the house display by shrinking their footprint, however I discovered that greater was higher on the 630’s four.5-inch show. The keyboard now helps swipe-based mostly typing, and apps could be put in to SD playing cards for the primary time — an necessary change for handsets with out a lot inner storage. WP eight.1 additionally grants customers higher entry to their storage with a brand new file supervisor out there on the app retailer.

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

The large modifications in Home windows Telephone eight.1 are the addition of a notification drawer and the digital assistant, Cortana. By way of the Motion Middle, because it’s referred to as, you view notifications and entry them inside their respective apps, as you’d anticipate. There are additionally 4 slots to customise with fast entry to settings (WiFi, and so forth.) and apps, just like the digital camera. It is definitely a welcome addition to Home windows Telephone, nevertheless it nonetheless looks like a poor imitation of the identical function on Android. Cortana is not alleged to be obtainable within the UK till later this yr, however you possibly can entry it by altering your area and language settings to trick the telephone into considering it is American. As soon as Cortana was up and operating, I spent a couple of minutes asking it foolish questions and some extra testing the bounds of its contextual responses. Since then, I have been utilizing it simply as a lot as I do another voice-managed assistant: By no means.

General, I am underwhelmed by Home windows Telephone eight.1. If something, the brand new model highlights how behind different cellular platforms it nonetheless is. Some actually easy issues nonetheless do not work the best way they need to. The display-timeout setting, for instance, will ignore most apps, resulting in irritating conditions the place the telephone locks up and kills the present course of since you weren’t paying consideration for 30 seconds. Additionally, the automated time setting is as damaged because it’s ever been, so you will should set it manually (and once more each time you run out of battery). Seeing as e mail syncing is linked with the interior clock, you will cease receiving new messages if the time is about incorrectly. Even in terms of the larger new options, Cortana and a notification middle don’t an excellent OS make.

Digital camera

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

There’s not a lot to say concerning the entrance-dealing with digital camera on the Lumia 630 as a result of, as with the 520, there is not one. The one digital camera is a modest 5 megapixels with no companion flash. Fortunately, Nokia is aware of a factor or two about imaging, and the 630’s digital camera is certainly one of its redeeming options. You have got two choices with regards to inventory digital camera apps, and never a lot separates them. Microsoft’s providing masses up immediately, with regular digital camera, video and a low-decision burst-seize mode to select from. It’s also possible to choose totally different Lenses straight from the viewfinder, however all of the finer settings like white stability and publicity compensation are buried within the full menu.

In distinction, these settings are accessible from the viewfinder in Nokia’s digital camera app, albeit utilizing a small, fiddly toolbar. Lenses, however, are discovered within the deeper menu, and Nokia’s app takes a number of seconds in addition up, so not the only option for opportunistic photographs. The burst-seize mode of Microsoft’s app is changed by “Sensible Sequence,” which is kind of the identical factor, however with the choice to pick your favourite photographs after the very fact.

Gallery | 18 Photographs
Lumia 630 pattern photographs

On full auto, the 5MP digital camera does its greatest work in sunny circumstances. No shock there. Shade temperature is spot-on and the focal vary is broad. I’ve additionally nothing to complain about on the subject of focus and shutter speeds, though manually tapping to concentrate on totally different areas of the viewfinder was typically required to get the right publicity. As lighting circumstances worsened, I used to be impressed by how the digital camera held up. I did discover that footage tended to undertake the hue of synthetic lighting, so the auto-white stability setting is not nearly as good because it could possibly be. I might say higher a picture look the identical because it does by means of the human eye, nevertheless, than one which’s been crudely adjusted. Low-mild efficiency is best than I anticipated, too, with snaps popping out significantly lighter than you’d assume they might.

Video efficiency at 720p is far the identical, though audio high quality is not a spotlight. The digital camera is my favourite factor concerning the Lumia 630, primarily as a result of it is above acceptable contemplating the worth level. I am solely speaking concerning the regular digital camera modes, as nicely, so there’s much more enjoyable available with Nokia’s additional Lenses, reminiscent of Cinemagraph, Blink and Refocus.

Efficiency and battery life

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

Like earlier, decrease-finish Lumias, the 630’s spec sheet is not any trump card, however a minimum of it is working with the present era of Qualcomm chips. That might be a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon four hundred, to be actual, paired with a miserly 512MB of RAM and 8GB of inner storage. Discovering sufficient area for all of your apps and media is not any hassle, because the handset’s microSD slot helps playing cards of as much as 128GB — and keep in mind that WP eight.1 now permits apps to be put in onto expandable storage. That Snapdragon four hundred SoC is by far the stand-out spec from that choice, and I’ve seen it ace efficiency exams on a number of Android smartphones of late, such because the Moto G and UK-solely EE Kestrel.

I discover myself questioning its place contained in the Lumia 630, although. One of many execs of Home windows Telephone as a platform is that it isn’t useful resource hungry, which has meant Nokia might produce telephones just like the Lumia 520 and 620 at such compelling worth factors with out sacrificing a lot in the best way of consumer expertise. The Lumia 630, as you’d think about, feels simply as slick as both of these handsets do. Popping out and in of menus or core apps occurs as quick as you’d ever want it to, however it’s the lack of enchancment in efficiency that stands out.

The distinction in app-loading speeds on the 630, in contrast with older Lumias, is negligible. Solely whenever you put them aspect by aspect to check the disparity will you discover the 630 is a millisecond faster. Asphalt eight: Airborne is likely one of the most graphically intensive cellular video games on any platform, however the issue is that it is scaled to be pleasant to all Home windows Telephone hardware. On Android handsets with a quad-core Snapdragon four hundred, you possibly can see how succesful the chipset is by pumping up the graphics settings to max. You possibly can’t change such settings on the Home windows Telephone model, however even at a low visible commonplace, I skilled dropped frames and jittery music. I can not keep in mind the final time I observed a telephone’s temperature rising, aside from when utilizing the 630. Something you’d contemplate hardware-intensive, from gaming to streaming video, shortly drove the thermostat as much as alarming ranges.

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

Having been impressed with the identical SoC on Android units, I think about it is a case of poor optimization. Whereas the processor improve does not appear to have made a lot of an impression on efficiency, it is a burden on the 630’s 1,830mAh battery. With pretty average use, I might barely get via half a day on a cost. If you wish to do one thing a bit of extra processor-intensive than checking your emails, be ready to observe the cost soften away earlier than your eyes. Once I wasn’t out or utilizing the handset, it was completely on cost. That is no approach to stay. Annoyingly, the battery indicator is deceptive, too — the icon may have you consider you could have round three quarters left, however when you look within the notification tray, you will discover it hovering simply above 50 %.

Replace: After posting this evaluation, Microsoft/Nokia insisted I might been given a non-last system, as evidenced by extreme battery life points I skilled. Testing a second handset has confirmed as a lot, and the 630 truly has above common battery life. Even with comparatively frequent use, together with shopping, taking footage, sending e-mail and streaming music, it has been good for a full day and half of the subsequent. Utilizing the battery saver function solely added to the longevity. I’ve additionally observed the display is barely improved on the second unit, which you’ll be able to learn extra about within the show part.

Web Explorer is your window to the online, and it isn’t the quickest cellular browser. No matter your connection, websites can take a superb few seconds to tug up (they load utterly, fairly than piecemeal). After they’ve loaded, the one different curiosity is a few tiling, which could be brought on by quickly zooming out and in. For connections, you’ve got received WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and HSDPA 3G (21.1 Mbps max obtain speeds). WiFi connects shortly, however does not maintain a persistently robust pairing, no less than in response to the sign icon. The velocity and accuracy of GPS location is great, and a pleasant companion to Home windows Telephone’s wonderful mapping choices.

Audio high quality can also be value a point out. By means of headphones, the vary is best than fairly a number of smartphones, however that is let down by sort of a vapid, medical tone to the sound. Beneath the polycarbonate shell of the 630 sits an abnormally giant loudspeaker that pumps via an abnormally small grille. Realistically, that is for making palms-free calls, not getting the social gathering began. It is simply unusual that audio high quality via this speaker is definitely higher with the case off. Reverberations inside the duvet give a higher sense of bass, however actually it is simply distortion from the grille bottleneck.

The 4G Lumia 635

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

The Lumia 635 is virtually similar to the 630, however with the important thing addition on an LTE radio. Whereas the 630 did not rise above what Nokia had already achieved with earlier price range handsets, the 635 is a way more welcome addition to the vary. The one different reasonably priced, 4G gadget Nokia has to supply is the Lumia 625, launched final yr. The handset had numerous flaws — notably its giant, low-decision show — and solely simply crept into a suitable worth vary. It was a missed alternative after the extremely regarded 620 had earned Nokia some cred, and the higher-executed Lumia 635 is a superb instance of what the 625 ought to have been.

The Lumia 635 hardware differs from that of the 630 in a few methods. There’s the LTE radio, in fact, which has minimal impression on general battery life in comparison with its 3G counterpart. With average to frequent use, the 635 runs out of fuel a couple of hours sooner than the 630 does beneath the identical circumstances, however by this level you are properly into day two anyway, so we’re coping with a comparatively negligible margin. In any other case, it is simply the fashion of the polycarbonate again covers that distinguishes the 2 variants. The 630’s have a matte impact, whereas the 635’s have the glossier “twin-shot” type of shell we first noticed on the 620, the place clear plastic is layered over a coloured base to offer the shell a visible depth. These give the telephone much more character, although all matte and shiny covers can be utilized on each the 630 and 635, leaving loads of choices in hue and texture.

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

With LTE, the 635 is a way more engaging handset for US carriers to vary than the 3G 630. Availability continues to be restricted, however you should purchase a 635 locked to AT&T for solely $one hundred (off-contract), which seems to be by far one of the best worth 4G handset it provides. It is the identical story at T-Cellular, despite the fact that a tool locked to that community is nearly a 3rd costlier at $129 (from Microsoft’s retailer; it is $168 direct from T-Cellular). I might often seek advice from the benchmark of reasonably priced 4G telephones at this level, the Moto G LTE, nevertheless it’s in a special league at $219 (unlocked from Motorola; no service offers exist presently).

The state of affairs is barely totally different within the UK, thoughts you, the place competitors is fiercer. Each the Moto G LTE and Lumia 635 might be had without spending a dime throughout numerous carriers on probably the most primary 4G contacts. Unlocked, the price of the Moto hovers simply over £one hundred fifty, making the Lumia solely barely cheaper at £137. Pay-as-you-go worth, nevertheless, favors the 635 extra closely and Telephones 4u is presently asking for £one hundred ten and your selection of any community (notice solely Carphone Warehouse comes near that at £one hundred thirty). The Moto G LTE, then again, will set you again £one hundred fifty (simply shy of the unlocked worth) until you’re taking Tesco Cellular’s supply of £one hundred thirty five.

The ultimate name on which reasonably priced telephone is the perfect is absolutely right down to price range and choice. In the event you dig Home windows Telephone, particularly after the current eight.1 improve, then the 635 is a discount at £one hundred ten on pay-as-you-go. The EE Kestrel is much more of a steal at £ninety nine if Android’s extra your factor, although that does restrict your service selection considerably. These glad to open their pockets a bit wider may need to go for the Moto G LTE as an alternative, one thing I might advocate for the upper-decision show and higher digital camera alone. The essential factor is there isn’t any fallacious reply, and Nokia and Microsoft lastly have the strong, low-value 4G choice the 625 struggled to be.

The competitors

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

Usually this part can be about evaluating the smartphone to what else is on the market. This time, although, it is an train in proving why there isn’t any want for the Lumia 630. Let’s begin with the worth. We all know the 630 and 635 are anticipated to value underneath $200 within the US, with the only-SIM 630 stated to be $159, assuming it’s going to even launch there — the 635 will certainly have some presence on T-Cellular, probably in July if every little thing performs out as deliberate.

I am unsure the place the worth of the 630 was misplaced in translation, however Nokia’s UK press launch that pre-empted the gadget’s launch stated it might be out there for £ninety unlocked. In actuality, the most cost effective you will get it for is £ninety nine on a locked, pay-as-you-go foundation. SIM-free, that rises to £109 from one retailer, and Microsoft’s even promoting the handset by means of its on-line retailer for an insulting £129. Final yr’s Lumia 620 might have a lesser processor, nevertheless it’s a greater telephone in each different respect. Additionally, given its age, it is comparable on worth at £one hundred on pay-as-you-go or £one hundred ten unlocked. Even the Lumia 520 is a greater choice at £60 on pay-as-you-go or £eighty five unlocked.

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

In case you’re lifeless-set on Home windows Telephone, the Lumia 630 is not the suitable determination. That is when you would even think about any of the handsets I’ve talked about over reasonably priced Android choices from the likes of Motorola. The superb Moto G is £one hundred ten on pay-as-you-go or £one hundred thirty unlocked, whereas the Moto E is even cheaper at £seventy nine on pay-as-you-go or £89 unlocked. Higher handsets, higher cellular platform — higher overlook concerning the Lumia 630.

The Lumia 635 can be extra related when it launches, because of that LTE radio, and the one different reasonably priced Lumia with 4G is the miserable 625. I dread to assume what a 4G radio will do to the already-poor battery life, and the 635 will nonetheless should face off towards the LTE model of the Moto G (not but launched). Until Microsoft intends to provide the 635 away totally free, I do not see my opinion being any totally different with the addition of LTE.

Wrap-up

Nokia Lumia 630 review: An affordable phone you can live without

I can not assist however really feel that the Lumia 630 was thrown collectively to be a Home windows Telephone eight.1 demo gadget, after which somebody determined it was appropriate for a retail launch. I could not disagree extra. Overlook that Microsoft nonetheless has come catching as much as do earlier than its cellular OS is taken into account on par with others; the hardware itself is missing. The show is poor, and even the glass overlaying it’s lacking no matter coating most different handsets need to repel fingertip grime. There isn’t any noticeable efficiency enchancment over earlier finances Lumia units regardless of a more moderen, extra succesful chipset, and battery life is nothing in need of atrocious. It is even lacking fundamentals like a entrance-dealing with digital camera or HSPA+ 3G radio.

To its credit score, the 5-megapixel digital camera is best than you may suspect, and it has the Lumia line’s signature enjoyable, colourful stylings. If the handset value much less, I might in all probability really feel in a different way about its shortcomings, however the fact is there are higher and comparable telephones obtainable for much less. I’ve no selection however to challenge a stern warning to keep away from it, as there are a number of engaging and extra reasonably priced options.

Replace: After spending time with a second assessment unit, my opinion of the Lumia 630 has improved. Battery life is definitely one of many handset’s robust factors, and the show set up is far tighter on the second evaluation unit. Mixed with a good 5-megapixel digital camera, it isn’t a nasty package deal. That stated, the 630 continues to be lacking primary elements like a entrance-dealing with digital camera and HSPA+ 3G radio, and there are many good options at decrease or comparable costs.

Daniel Orren and Edgar Alvarez contributed to this evaluate.

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<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/nokia/lumia/630/”> Nokia Lumia 630 </a>

  • Key specs
  • <a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/nokia/lumia/630/” title=”Nokia Lumia 630 critiques” goal=”_blank”> Evaluations eight </a>
  • Costs
  • Discussions
  • Sort Smartphone
  • Working system Home windows Telephone
  • Display measurement four.5 inches
  • Inner reminiscence eight GB
  • Digital camera Sure
  • Introduced 2014-04-02

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7.fourcommon consumer score
  • Reception and name high quality 7.5
  • Show 7.5
  • Battery life eight.three
  • Digital camera 6
  • Ease of use eight
  • Design and type issue eight.three
  • Portability (measurement / weight) eight.eight
  • Media help 7.eight
  • Sturdiness eight.three
  • Ecosystem (apps, equipment, and so forth.) 6.eight

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