Nokia Lumia 610 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, HTC Wildfire S 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. In the Android camp, you might consider the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 or HTC One V. 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.
Features of the Nokia Lumia 610 include:
Nokia Lumia 610 User Reviews
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Average rating from 6 reviews:
Reviewed by james boya from south africa on 10th
Reply by peter from uk on 14th Jan
Reviewed by steve from essex, england on 24th
Reviewed by paul from uk on 2nd Dec 2012
Reviewed by E.Giuntini from U.K. on 20th Oct 2012
Reply by S21 from UK on 21st Oct 2012
Reply by nick from uk on 24th Oct
Reviewed by graham from uk on 24th Jul 2012
Reviewed by Liz from UK on 18th Jul 2012
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