With the release of Nokia’s Lumia series, the most affordable version ““ the Lumia 610 was somewhat shoved into oblivion as more high end versions such as the 800 and the latest Lumia 900 arrived in the market. While more people are probably awed by the impressive specs of Lumia 800 and 900, others might think twice upon seeing a 27,000+ price tag.
In this regard, the Nokia Lumia 610 is a great alternative. It’s not the fastest of the bunch, and definitely not the most attractive, but it does allow a user to experience a pleasant Windows Phone without having to break the bank.
The Nokia 610 does not look anything like its big brothers, the 800, 900 or even the 710. The front panel shows off curved edges and has the capacitive navigation buttons for Windows: Back, Home and Search.
All the hardware buttons are found on the right side of the device, starting with the Volume controls on top, the Power/Standby button on the middle and the Camera button at the bottom.
The back cover is made of shiny plastic that comes in different colors, including white, magenta, black and cyan. This phone uses microSIM by the way which has a slot located under the battery.
The design does not look and feel as premium as the other phones in its lineup, but it does feel sturdy and is comfortable enough when held. However, I had a minor problem of accidentally hitting the Search key with my palm when I try to move my thumb across the screen.
Display and UI
This was my first time to use a smart phone with a Windows Phone OS. Even with this phone’s humble specs, I totally fell in love with the Windows Phone Mango UI. The minimalist tiled layout is a great design to watch as it flips in between taps. The 800 x 400 resolution in a 3.7″ allowed for a 252 ppi, giving the screen a decent display quality.
Screen legibility is also within acceptable standards, as long as it’s not held under the sun. Being in the said situation affects the display dramatically, making graphics and text look washed out and even invisible even with the brightness settings set to maximum level.
Powered by a single-core 800 MHz processor with only 256 MB RAM, it’s almost impossible not to run into some issues with performance on this phone. Navigating on the phones main menus go smoothly, but run a few apps at the same time and there will be lags. This does not entirely stop the user from accomplishing anything, but it will take just a tiny bit longer than usual.
Browsing websites and running Internet-dependent apps may not always be a satisfying experience with the 610, as there are delays experienced even with a strong Wi-Fi connection. Oh yeah, Windows Phone doesn’t support Flash objects.
Games, however, run fairly okay and no freezing or lags were evident. However, with the limited RAM in this phone, popular games such as Angry Birds and other apps like Skype and Tango are not supported.
The phone has no external storage capacity, but has 8GB internal storage ““ 6.21 of which is available to the user. This may be a deal breaker for most users who plan to store lots of media files or download multiple applications on their phones.
*Note: Bluetooth is available on this phone. However, when I tried to pair my HTC Sensation, the 610 displayed an error saying the device is not supported. I’m not sure if this applies to other non-Nokia handsets.
Making and receiving calls on this phone is a satisfactory experience which should be familiar to long-time Nokia users. Its call volume is loud and clear on good cellular receptions. No dropouts are experienced and the speaker phone works well when activated.
Listening to music using the headphones is all right with the 610, but it’s nothing to be excited about. Using the speakers for playing music is fine in moderate volume, as it tends to sound distorted when set to maximum volume levels.
The Windows Phone OS bundles music and videos in one menu, and the only way to load or transfer media files to or from the phone is by installing Zune in your desktop computer. As an Android user, I missed being able to connect my phone as a USB storage device ““ sadly there is no option for that with this phone.
As a former Nokia user, I expected great photo quality from this phone’s camera, but I was probably expecting too much. The 5-megapixel auto-focus camera (with flash) did its job ““ no more, no less.
One of the best features of the phone, the 1,300mAh battery should last you a day or two with moderate use, and up to 7 hours with heavy use. This is definitely something I’m not used to with my Android phone.
The Nokia Lumia 610 is marketed as a budget handset for those who want to try out Windows Phone. It’s Nokia’s way of offering consumers a chance to experience smart phones even with a tight budget, and at the same time Microsoft’s effort to demonstrate Windows Phone’s ability to run even on modest configurations.
With the refreshing design and user-friendly interface, the Nokia Lumia 610 is great for anyone using a smart phone for the first time. For speed and performance, however, power users should probably consider other options within or slightly above this phone’s price range.
|Nokia Lumia 610 Specs:|
|800MHz Scorpion, Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon|
|Adreno 200 GPU|
|Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango|
|3.7-inch touchscreen display, 480 x 800, 65K colors|
|8 GB storage, 256 MB RAM, no microSD|
|HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps|
|5 MP, 2592Ñ…1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash no front camera|
|VGA video recording @ 30fps|
|Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, EDR|
|Li-Ion 1300 mAh (BP-3L) battery|
|119 x 62 x 12 mm|
|White, Cyan, Magenta, Black|
Editor’s note: This post is contributed by Kim Barloso with some slight revisions by the editor. Kim is the girl behind GirlMeetsDroid. She lives and breathes Android, always tinkering and tweaking her beloved HTC Sensation. If she’s not playing with her Android phone, she pretends to work in front of her PC.