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Nokia Lumia 610 review

 Review: June 2012  
 

Last updated June 2013

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: The Nokia Lumia 610 is the cheapest Windows smartphone to date. Priced to sell, it nevertheless offers a good smartphone experience, with plenty of built-in apps and good battery life.

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Review

The Nokia Lumia 610 pushes Nokia's range of Windows Phone smartphones further down the price scale towards the budget sector. This is the territory of cut-price Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Ace and HTC Desire C. All of these make compromises that limit the "smart" capabilities, so let's take a look to see if Nokia can avoid these limitations and deliver a true smartphone experience at a budget price.

The Lumia 610 is about the same size as the Lumia 710. It's actually 5mm slimmer but a little heavier, making it feel both slim and solid. Even though it's all plastic, it feels robust. The look may not be premium, but then neither are most Android handsets in this price bracket. First impressions aren't bad at all. It's available in a range of bright colours too.

The screen size is the same as the 710. It's 3.7 inches (bigger than the iPhone!) and with a sharp resolution of 480 x 800. It's just a plain old LCD display though, so it isn't as vibrant as more upmarket phones. Nevertheless for the price it's what we'd expect, and it works well enough.

The 610 runs Windows Phone 7.5 Tango. Tango is a cut-down version of the usual Mango OS, designed specially for entry-level phones with limited hardware. It captures all the essentials of Mango, and runs just as fast, despite the 610 having a much slower processor than the 710 - only 800MHz instead of 1400MHz. Hats off to Microsoft, because Tango doesn't skip a beat.

Tango still supports core apps. That means that you get a good web browser (Internet Explorer 9) with full HTML5 support. You get a very capable navigation suite comprising Bing Maps, Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive, giving you turn-by-turn directions from A to B. The new Nokia Transit extends this to public transport planning. You get a range of Office apps (Excel, Word, Powerpoint, One Note) and a People Hub for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, Chat, SMS, and Groups. You can download more apps too, of course, although not to the same extent as with Android or iOS.

You won't find Skype however, nor will some other popular apps run on the 610 and that's because of RAM. Lack of it. Instead of the usual 512MB, the 610 comes with a measly penny-pinching 256MB. And that means that some apps won't work. "Boo!" we say. That's not so smart for a smartphone.

The camera quality is quite reasonable for this price range - 5 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus - and will take decent snaps in good light. The video capability has been reduced compared with the Lumia 710, so it doesn't shoot at HD quality, just VGA (640 x 480 pixels). There's also no capability for HD video playback - presumably because of the reduced processor and RAM.

The built-in memory is quite generous, at 8GB, although as with all Windows Phone devices there's no microSD card slot. Boo again! But Nokia do offer 25GB of free cloud-based storage called SkyDrive. That's useful if you live in a good 3G reception area.

Connectivity is hard to fault. As well as both quadband GSM and quadband 3G with 7.2Mbps HSDPA, you get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

We're very interested in the battery life of the phone, because the battery life of the Lumia 710 isn't very good at all. The Lumia 610 actually has the same battery, but fear not because with the reduced power requirements of the hardware, the battery life is actually not a problem. You should get 2-3 days between charges if you use it carefully. That's a lot better than most Android smartphones.

We do like the Lumia 610. Bringing the power and fun of Windows Phone into the budget sector is a welcome move, and we're already big fans of Tango! More competition is always a good thing. The phone does a lot for the money. It gives perhaps 80% of the experience of a "real" smartphone, but there are a few limitations. We expected the slow processor to be a problem, but it's not really. Similarly the cheaper LCD display and camera aren't a big issue. But the lack of RAM and memory card could become quite annoying. If you have grand plans for your smartphone, then we'd strongly recommend you spend a bit more on the Lumia 710. But if your app-installing intentions are modest, and you fancy the fun and ease-of-use of Tango, the Lumia 610 looks like a great buy.


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Nokia Lumia 610 user reviews

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Average rating from 7 reviews:

Reviewed by Romeo from Zimbabwe on 20th Nov 2013
its slow
Rating:

Reviewed by james boya from south africa on 10th Jan 2013
Mms is everything U need from any phone but this lumia 610 is useless,rating -0
Rating:

Reply by peter from uk on 14th Jan 2013
MMS is up to the network provider. Don't blame the phone, ask your network provider for details. Besides I have never sent an mms in the past 2 years when I have email-facebook and similar apps to share your pics with friends.

Reviewed by steve from essex, england on 24th Dec 2012
got one of these on PAYG at the EE store in the stratford centre. great phone, but let down by 2 things that lose it a star. the bluetooth connection is rubbish- it won't support connections with either my samsung wave 2, nor my sony xperia neo. & i needed it to do so, to transfer my contacts & wallpaper pics. i had to download the pics from my laptop, which took a lot longer than bluetooth would have. the contacts i was able to transfer via contact transfer- but that uses bluetooth, so why won't it connect to other phones directly, if it will do so via contact transfer? the other thing i don't like is that you can't have a wallpaper as your homescreen like you can with non-windows phones. you only get the wallpaper when you first switch on- once you scroll it up it disappears & doesn't come back until you press the 'on' button after the phone times out. ifb those 2 faults can be corrected, i'll give it 5 stars.
Rating:

Reviewed by paul from uk on 2nd Dec 2012
Really useful, very reliable and easy to use mobile. For the price it is just excellent. If you add that you get a free tomtom app from nokia which works better than tomtom this price is close to bargain. I can't recommend enough for the price. It's not in the same league as the other Nokia Lumias hence the price but I can recommend it to anyone. Also windows phone is so easy to pick up and also doesn't have viruses like you get in Android cause of the close ecosystem.
Rating:

Reviewed by E.Giuntini from U.K. on 20th Oct 2012
Got a Lumia 610 2wks ago as it seemed to have everything I wanted. WRONG. It will not let me send mms, and emails dont seem to take attachments, and yet it is supposed to. What is the problem
Rating:

Reply by S21 from UK on 21st Oct 2012
Ask your network provider about mms settings.

Reply by nick from uk on 24th Oct 2012
To send an email with an attachment is very simple. Write an email, then press the little paper clip which will allow you to select the picture and send the document. If you have word documents then more efficient via skydrive. Save the document in skydrive and then sent the link, as documents can be large. But I believe the new update in November will create more flexibility with attachments. Easiest mobile to use for me, won't use any android for sure again.

Reviewed by graham from uk on 24th Jul 2012
Probably the best mobile at this price range, if you exclude the slightly more expensive lumia 710. Just awesome for the price, nothing comes close
Rating:

Reviewed by Liz from UK on 18th Jul 2012
You should be aware that this phone doesn't support mms, so doesn't send or receive pictures in message, even though it says it does on website.
I am returning mine within the 14 days, ok apart from that
Rating:


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