Nokia Lumia 610 - Ideal For The First-Time Smartphone Owner

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A budget phone that’s mostly a pleasure to use; ideal for the first-time smartphone owner

In the light of Microsoft’s recent announcements, power users might want to hold off until Windows Phone 8 arrives, but there are still some decent WP7 handsets out there. The latest is the Lumia 610, the cheapest in Nokia’s range.

It’s available for free on a $29 plan, or for $200 SIM-free, yet it doesn’t feel cheap. It’s nicely made, with a soft- touch plastic rear, chrome-effect trim and a curvy profile that sits nicely in the hand.

Nokia Lumia 610

Nokia Lumia 610

The same holds true for the screen. With flagship phones now hitting HD resolutions, the Lumia 610 doesn’t leap out, but with 480 x 800 squeezed into 3.7in, it’s perfectly fine. Quality isn’t bad either, with a maximum brightness of 349cd/m2, a contrast ratio of 873:1 and decent viewing angles.

And at this price, WP7 makes a lot of sense. None of the Android competition is as fluid and responsive as the Lumia 610, and there’s also free turn-by-turn navigation with offline maps, courtesy of Nokia Drive.

As a starter device, we’d happily recommend the Nokia Lumia 610: it’s fluid and easy to use, and has a wide selection of features.

As a starter device, we’d happily recommend the Nokia Lumia 610: it’s fluid and easy to use, and has a wide selection of features.

Even the 5-megapixel camera isn’t bad, with a dedicated shutter button and an LED flash. This is fine for casual snaps, but video resolution is limited to 640 x 480. Battery life from the 1300mAh power pack, meanwhile, is respectable, with 50% remaining on the gauge after our 24-hour test.

It’s all good so far, but there are problems. There’s no microSD slot, meaning you’re limited to the phone’s integrated 8GB. The 800MHz CPU and 256MB of RAM (lower than we’re used to seeing on WP7 handsets) mean some apps won’t run, a problem that particularly afflicts games. At the time of writing, neither Angry Birds nor PES 2012 was available for download. The 800MHz processor doesn’t give great browsing performance either, taking a huge 11,319ms in SunSpider.

So it isn’t the sexiest phone on the block, nor the most cutting-edge. As a starter device, however, we’d happily recommend the Nokia Lumia 610: it’s fluid and easy to use, and has a wide selection of features.


·         Price: $200

·         Supplier:

Key specs

·         Single-core 800MHz CPU

·         256MB RAM

·         8GB storage

·         3.7in 480 x 800 LCD

·         Bluetooth

·         802.11bgn Wi-Fi

·         5mp camera

·         GPS

·         1,300mAh Li-ion battery

·         1yr RTB warranty

·         62 x 13 x 119mm (WDH)

·         132g


·         Performance: 4/6

·         Features & design: 4/6

·         Value for money: 6/6

·         Overall: 5/6


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