As an entry-level device, it is apparent that the premium feel of the Lumia 800 isn’t present on the Lumia 610. Instead, what you get is a predominantly plastic chassis with a metallic strip running along the sides of the phone. Nokia’s expertise in hardware design proved valuable in this case as the Lumia 610 doesn’t feel cheap, and its smooth contours give a very comfortable and assuring grip. The light weight (131.6g) and hand-friendly size (11.95mm profile) make the Lumia 610 reasonably portable.
The Lumia 610 is among the first devices to take advantage of Windows Phone 7.5 tango, which Microsoft specifically optimized to enable its partners to offer devices with lower price points. One such ‘optimization’ was quite obvious: to reduce minimum memory and processor requirements.
As a result, approximately 5% of the apps on Windows Phone Marketplace are not available on Tonga devices. These apps will be flagged and are unable to be downloaded.
To maintain the smooth operation on Tango devices, Microsoft wants developers to code very efficient apps and tune their existing ones in order to not exceed 90MB of memory use. In Windows Phone, apps are typically placed in a dormant state (and preserved in memory) so that when switched back, they resume almost immediately. This however is dependent on the device’s available memory. In the case of the Lumia 610 with its 256 of RAM, an app that consumes more memory is more likely to be terminated.
Despite being equipped with the most basic hardware components, the Lumia 610 breezed through our testing. We were surprised by the smooth page scrolling and every bit of the user interface feels as snappy as its other more powerful Lumia counterparts. The only issue we has was video playback. When attempting to rewind videos of different bitrates, the phone froze and even rebooted itself. It certainly seems that there is an issue related to the different video encoding schemes.
Compared to the Lumia 710, the Lumia 610 is surprisingly the better device, at least in terms of image quality and battery performance. The Lumia 610 sports a 5-megapixel camera sensor with F2.4 aperture, allowing it to capture quite decent images. It also lasted four hours and 53 minutes in our battery test, which is one and a half hours more than the Lumia 710. Normal day-to-day usage saw it lasting about a day.
The Lumia 610 is quite a reasonable choice for first-time smartphone buyers looking for a competent alternative to the iPhone, and the many Android phones, and even more so when coupled with Nokia Music, Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps.