We know the Nokia Lumia 610 is one of the more affordable Windows Phone handsets in the market today, but is it really worth? Well, it is. And it isn’t. Confused? Read on as I explain.
Well, it’s cheap. Don’t get me wrong, I mean that in a good way. Price does play a big factor in the retail of phones, and if there’s one thing that’ll help move Lumia 610 units off store shelves, it’s its price. But most important of all, it feels pretty solid, even if it’s plastic all over.
It’s surprisingly durable as well. I never bought a case or screen protector for it – largely thanks to the fact that there are none available – and yet there are no visible scratches on it, despite being lugged around in pockets where various items (i.e. coins, pens, USB drives) could have easily damaged it.
But the true star that makes the Nokia Lumia 610 (and any other Lumia for that matter) shine is Nokia Drive, Espoo’s Windows Phone navigation. It not only comes with offline support (goodbye data charges, hello anytime navigation), it’s also kept up-to-date to include new streets too.
HTC Sensation (left) and the Nokia Lumia 610 (right) displaying the map of the same location (the marked location is the Cavite Institute): More streets are displayed in Nokia Drive
I discovered this in a recent out of town trip and made a wrong turn somewhere in Tagaytay. While Google Maps was showing I was traveling in the middle of nowhere, Nokia Drive, on the other, gave a good and accurate depiction of my location thanks to its updated maps.
The display only supports 65k colors. It’s not that obvious via the Metro UI, but when you’ve grown accustomed to the current norm – 16M colors – you’ll slowly notice there’s something amiss with the Lumia 610′s display, especially when viewing high-quality photos. Due to the color limitation, graduation in color transitions becomes very evident.
Notice how the colors in the background of the photo on the Lumia 610 (left) are segmented, the one on the HTC Sensation (right) isn’t
Speaking of photos, I wouldn’t rely on its 5-megapixel cam for indoor shots (sans flash). It’s decent for outdoor shots, but definitely not for indoors. Here are some sample shots (outdoor – left, semi-indoor/under a tent – center, indoor – right) for your perusal:
Also, there’s no expansion slot for additional memory, and you need a microSIM to use this Lumia, or any other Lumia for that matter.
Its 256MB RAM shouldn’t actually be a deal-breaker since it didn’t seriously affect performance, but unfortunately, it became a major stumbling block with apps. A number of apps, including Skype and Photosynth, require more than 256MB of RAM to run. Thus, leaving the Lumia 610 out in the cold.
And let’s not forget Micorsoft’ big bombshell, no Windows Phone 8 for existing Windows Phone handsets. But then again, this affects all existing Windows Phone users, not just Lumia 610 users.
That said, I’ll still give the Lumia 610 a thumb up. Thumb, not thumbs, ’cause it’s just one. Its saving grace is really its price. Performance is decent, but its limitations seriously hinder you from getting the most from Windows Phone.
If you want to enjoy the complete Windows Phone experience, a Windows Phone with at least 1GB of RAM is the way to go. But after Microsoft’s big Windows Phone 8 announcement, I sure wouldnt blame you if you’re now feeling iffy on blowing some serious wad on a new phone whose upgrade path is now in limbo.
This is where the Lumia 610 enters the picture. It fills your need for Windows Phone without breaking the bank.
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