With price comes expectations, but we love it when products exceed our expectations. Everyone loves to get more than what they paid for, right? The Nokia Lumia 610 is one of those products that have more value than its pricetag would suggest. Want to know why? Read on to find out.
The Nokia Lumia 610 has a design that is reminiscent of the Lumia 710. It comes with a 3.7 inch TFT LCD display and 800 MHz Snapdragon processor, wrapped in a plastic shell. The sides of the device is shielded in shiny plastic with chrome paint. I fear that the sides will eventually wear down to reveal the unpainted plastic inside, but I've managed to keep the side pristine during my review period.
Below the display are 3 standard Windows Phone buttons - back, Windows, and search. You’ll find a second microphone, headset jack, and a microUSB charging/syncing jack on the top. Volume rockers, sleep button, and the two-step camera shutter buttons are all on the right side. Unlike its premium siblings, the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 900, Lumia 610’s back cover can be taken off for access to the removable battery (BP-3L) and a microSIM card.
Nokia made a big compromise on the display to keep the price down on the Lumia 610. This display lacks the ClearBlack technology found on the Lumia 710, 800, and 900, and the distance between the display panel and the glass is noticeably large. This leads to poor viewing angles and outside visibility. On the other hand, the display still manages to produce accurate colors and bright pictures, so I haven't had any trouble using the device. Texts appear sharp on its 480 x 800 resolution screen with 252 PPI.
The Lumia 610 is the first Windows Phone to come with Windows Phone 7.5 Tango, which is designed to run on 256MB of RAM. Although it comes with half as much RAM as all of the other Windows Phone 7 devices, the Lumia 610 performs gracefully through most tasks. Windows Phone 7 Metro UI is as elegant and responsive as ever on the Lumia 610.
This caught me by surprise. Entry level devices on other platforms - iPhone 3GS and low tier Android phones - are noticeably sluggish compared to higher end devices. On those devices, even the home screen and system apps run frustratingly slower than on top-end devices. This holds back users from using their smartphone platforms to the full potential.
Some heavy third party applications, like the official The Dark Knight Rises app, seemed less responsive than on high end devices, but most applications ran equally as well on the Lumia 610 as they do on other Windows Phone 7 devices.
This is a testament to the Microsoft’s amazing optimization of the Windows Phone 7 platform. Users will be pleasantly surprised by the high-end software experience on the Lumia 610.
The 5 megapixel camera on the Lumia 610 produces great photos that are sharp and full of contrast. Like all Windows Phone 7 devices, the Lumia 610 comes with a two-step shutter button for easy access to the camera app. Autofocus is generally fast and accurate on the Lumia 610. In contrast, the video mode isn't that great. It produces VGA resolution movies at 30fps. We would have liked to see the Lumia 610 shoot videos at at its native resolution (800 x 480) or at 720p HD.
The Nokia Lumia 610 comes with HSPA support and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n radio. It held calls reliably on the TELUS 3G network, and data connection felt solid and fast. WiFi worked very well too. The Lumia 610 is rated at 9 hours and 30 minutes of 3G talk time, and our tests confirmed the rating. In moderate use, the Lumia 610 will easily last 2 days on a single charge.
The Nokia Lumia 610 is a very solid smartphone for any price range. It has a decent hardware design that comes with great software performance. Although it has some characteristics of an entry level phone, the overall experience doesn’t feel cheap at all. The Lumia 610 is one of the best entry level smartphones on the market today. I highly recommend it.
The Lumia 610 can be purchased at TELUS for $0 on contract with any plan and $229.00 with no contract.