The Nokia Lumia 610 is a budget phone built on Windows Phone 7.5 with Snapdragon S1 processors clocked at just 800MHz and 256MB of RAM. Overall, those specs make previous Lumias with their S2 chips, 512MB and 1.4GHz clock speeds which look almost futuristic. The question is, can WP really come this cheap and survive intact? Read on and you’ll find out.
Nokia Lumia 610 Hardware
The price of the Lumia 610 buys you a decent looking handset. The design is quiet good which has nothing in common with the appearance of the Nokia Lumia 800. The shape and size is much like that of the Nokia Lumia 710
All the corners and edges are gently rounded to offset the handset’s 12mm midriff. The Nokia Lumia 610 comes with a 1,300mAh battery and a micro SIM slot, but with no expandable storage. This leaves you with 6.21GB of usable space. That’s the same as the Lumia 710, but if you can’t imagine life without at least 16GB, then budget Androids with microSD slots are the options to look.
All the hardware buttons are down the right hand side of the chrome edge, you get a volume rocker, then the power / standby button in the middle, and finally a camera button at the very bottom. Along the top edge, you have the 3.5 mm headphone jack. Beside the jack sits the micro-USB port for charging and syncing. On the rear cover, you can see the 5 megapixel camera and small LED flash, plus the speaker grill at the bottom.
The 480 x 800 resolution is fine for the 3.7 inch screen size, and overall we can at least say this display gets the job done without any major issues. The Lumia 610 capacitive navigation buttons for the primary Windows Phone functions: Back, Home and Search. This is a departure from the 710, which uses hardware navigation buttons, and whether that’s a good thing will depend on personal preference. So notch up one more small, but significant, win for the Lumia 610.
Performance, battery life and reception
Surprisingly, the Lumia 610 ‘s 800MHz processor delivers a mostly smooth Windows Phone experience, even though it is noticeably slower than the 710 during basic navigation. With WP Bench awarding the Lumia 610 a score of just 54 which is far below the 710. The low specs don’t really matter until you reach the Marketplace and discover that your phone doesn’t have enough memory to run every app you might want.
Nevertheless, with the Lumia 710 selling for perhaps only a smidgen more than the Lumia 610, and coming as it does with a full complement of 512MB RAM, this poses a serious dilemma. You may not need Skype especially since the Lumia 610 has no front facing camera.
|Lumia 610||Lumia 710||Lumia 800||Titan|
With Lumia 610 the Call quality was flawless and HSPA data speeds were as fast and stable as with any other non-HSPA+ phone. The SunSpider test for browsing speed gave the Lumia 610 a time of 11,434ms, an appalling score. Overall, the browsing experience doesn’t destroy the Nokia Lumia 610′s credibility, but it underscores, yet again, that the Lumia 710 delivers a lot more power for similar money.
As you can tell from the table above, battery life was remarkable. With moderate to heavy usage, there’d rarely be less than 50 percent of battery juice remaining at the end of the day , a major benefit from the weak processor.
While the weakness of the processor is disguised by the OS, it comes right to the fore as soon as you press the dedicated camera button. Doing so brings up the camera, once there, you can either tap the screen once to set focus and take the shot (by far the fastest option), or you can press the camera button halfway to lock focus (but not exposure) and then fully take the shot. If the camera button also locked exposure, it’d make a lot more sense, but frankly that’s the least of our worries.
Images are hard to focus consistently and are slightly washed out just like those from the Lumia 710. The Lumia 610 also lacks in processor hungry features like a panorama mode. Video is smooth and autofocus does its job, but the resulting footage is only VGA. Once again, the 710 wins hands down, delivering crisp 1280 x 720 video.
Fortunately, as we have mentioned, the processor handles Windows Phone Mango admirably, which means that all the fundamental benefits of that OS apply here. The UI is easy to understand, with just two home screens: the main one containing the live tiles that you’re free to pin and organize as you like, and the second containing an alphabetical list of all your apps.
The Nokia Lumia 610 comes with a recent version of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango that can handle wireless tethering, allowing you to share a cellular data connection with other devices via WiFi. Also, as with previous versions, if you hook the phone up to your dash or audio system over Bluetooth, it will if you choose to interrupt your music if you receive an SMS and even read the SMS out to you. It requires no set up and works well, although responding using WP’s cloud-based speech recognition is more hit and miss.
On a more expensive proposition, the weak camera, capped RAM and slow browsing performance on this device would be deal-breakers. On the Lumia 610, however, they’re things you can learn to live with. The handset delivers a stunning OS, good phone functionality and a healthy battery life all packaged within an acceptable design. It never once feels like a dumbphone trying to play smart, it’s smart to its core and will deliver all the communication and productivity benefits that you could want in this category.
The only factor that precludes a wholehearted recommendation is actually the Nokia Lumia 710. A much quicker processor and 720p video recording.