Nokia Lumia 610 expert review
I have been using the Nokia Lumia 610 over a weekend, and I've been surprised at how smart, snappy and fun it is to use. The single core 800 Mhz processor caused it to slow down a bit sometimes, but the intuitive design and sleek body make this a nice choice for many who want smartphone features without a hefty price tag.
The user-friendly Live Tile interface makes it easy to access your phone's apps and features, or to see updates without opening up lots of widgets. The customisable colours and themes mean that the Nokia Lumia 610 is nicely customisable too.
The Nokia Lumia 610 has a single core 800 Mhz processor, this caused it to stumble sometimes, and also puts certain apps out of reach at present. I couldn’t download Angry Birds, for example, as the RAM capacity was too low.
The look and feel of the Nokia Lumia 610 is one of its main advantages. The matte back panel gives the handset a smooth feel, and it means it won’t slip out of your hand as easily as other handsets might. It’s light on buttons, with volume, screen lock and camera keys on the right hand side, but no other physical buttons on the handset.
The dual-layered Operating System is simple to use; you can add the ‘live tiles’ you use most often to the Start Screen, and all the others are accessible via an arrow in the top right of the screen.
The Nokia Lumia 610 has an attractive 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen, with 480 x 800 resolution. As a Geek Squad Agent, I have not seen any of these with smashed screens so far, which suggests to me the handset must be pretty robust. As mentioned above, the processor isn’t the largest ever, but there is talk of software updates and optimisation, which could address the application issues caused by the restricted RAM.
The battery life on the Lumia 610 pleasantly surprised me. The handset is equipped with a Li-Ion 1300 mAh battery, and over the weekend, while I was regularly checking Facebook, email and using the camera, the battery lasted for a day and a half before needing to recharge. A really good feature on the handset is the battery information panel, which estimates the time remaining before the phone needs recharging. Obviously, this depends on usage and will fluctuate, but it is always helpful to have a ballpark figure.
The camera on the Nokia Lumia 610 is 5MP, with autofocus and an LED flash. There is no front facing camera, which I found a slight disadvantage. The dedicated camera button on the side of the handset means you can shoot straight from the lockscreen, though this was a little sluggish. There are some fun and useful features included, for example geo-tagging and face detection.
In terms of storage, the handset comes with 8GB internal memory; unfortunately this cannot be expanded as there is no microSD card slot. Windows have sought out an intuitive solution for this, in the form of Microsoft SkyDrive, which is a free, cloud-based storage space, with 256GB available for your precious snaps, songs and other media. You can read more about this in our Microsoft SkyDrive review.
The Nokia Lumia 610 comes with a specially adapted version of the 7.5 Windows Operating System, called Tango. The handset is not upgradeable to the new Windows 8 OS, which might frustrate some users of the handset, but it shouldn’t be an issue if you’re just looking for a simple yet stylish device as an introduction to the smartphone market.
Applications for the Nokia Lumia 610,are to be found in the Nokia Marketplace, which comes pre-installed on the phone. In this area, the Nokia Lumia 610 suffers from similar issues to its older Lumia siblings: the 800 and 900. There are significantly fewer apps available for Windows Phone OS than for Android or iPhone at present. This did pose a serious problem for me, as I love using games such as Temple Run, which was not available, and the games that are available seemed much more expensive than their iOS or Android equivalents. This strikes me as a somewhat cyclical issue: with app developers looking for wider utilisation before creating apps for the Windows Phone 7.5 platform, and users waiting for more apps before taking the plunge with a Windows Phone device.
At first I was unsure how I would find the Nokia Lumia 610, after using larger smartphones previously. I was surprised however, and quite enjoyed the neat, compact feel of the handset. The screen was dimmer than I was used to, which posed a few problems in bright sunlight, but on the whole, this was a fun handset to play with. I would definitely recommend the Nokia Lumia 610 to anyone who is put off by the ungainly dimensions and unpredictable battery life of more advanced smartphones, and who doesn't mind sacrificing wider app availability or advanced features.