Nokia Lumia 610 Review

Introduction and Design

Until recently, consumers who wanted to get a cheapo smartphone had little other options than a selection of low-end Androids, with a few Symbian and bada offerings also lying around. Yet here came MWC 2012 and the Nokia Lumia 610 was unveiled – an inexpensive representative of the Windows Phone breed. This is a platform known for buttery smooth performance and high user satisfaction ratings, so such a budget offering was more than welcome to the smartphone market.

The modest internals are the cause for the device's price advantage. The processor inside it is a 800MHz single-core accompanied by the measly 256MB or RAM. Nevertheless, the lightweight Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh should run just fine despite the modest hardware, or so does the maker claim. Curious to see how it stands in reality? Then let's give the Nokia Lumia 610 a full-on review treatment.

Box contents:

  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Wired headset with in-ear headphones
  • Replacement rubber tips for the headphones
  • Quick start guide


The Nokia Lumia 610 comes in four different colors: white, black, magenta, and cyan, which is great news for picky users. We have the black one on our hands today – arguably the most boring hue available, yet the smartphone still looks presentable. We have no complaints about the device's build quality as it feels well put together, with attention to detail and without neglecting ergonomics. The back cover, however, could have been made a bit better. Although it sports a soft touch finish, dust and finger smudge stick to it fairly easily.

You can compare the Nokia Lumia 610 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

All buttons on the Nokia Lumia 610 work as expected. The trio of capacitive Windows Phone keys are well positioned so pressing them by accident should be a rare event. On the right side we have the 2-button volume rocker, the lock key, and the 2-stage shutter button. All three provide sufficient feedback, and the shutter key is really comfortable to use.


To no amazement, the display on the Nokia Lumia 610 has a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels, which is the norm for Windows Phone handsets. Spread those dots across 3.7-inches of screen real estate and you get a really decent pixel density of 252 ppi. That is why even small text is clearly legible and graphics look nice and smooth. The display's color reproduction is really good on most occasions, but since it can render a palette of only 65,526 colors, color look dithered when gradients are being drawn. Another issue was that when using the smartphone on a sunny day, at times we had to cover the screen in order to see anything.


The Windows Phone 7.5 “Metro” interface looks more or less like it did last year, with a home screen populated by live tiles and the list of installed applications at a swipe's distance. And that is anything but a bad thing. The platform's appearance is acclaimed for its minimalism and intuitiveness, and we honestly like it as well. And how can we not mention that awesome Windows Phone on-screen keyboard? While doing our Samsung Omnia W review we took an in-depth look at the platform's functionality, so check it out for more information. The Lumia 610 behaves pretty much the same, with only several features like automatic SkyDrive uploads and Bing Local Search omitted to bring the hardware requirements down.

Processor and Memory:

“Smooth as silk!” – This is how we would usually describe the experience of using Windows Phone, but not with the Nokia Lumia 610. The Qualcomm MSM7227 processor and 256MB of RAM combination is pretty weak no matter how you look at it, which is why every day things like switching between apps take time, and navigating through the interface gets choppy every once in a while. But above all, it is sad to see that a number of pretty popular applications and games, such as Tango, Skype, and Angry Birds, are currently unable to run on the device due to its hardware limitations. Thankfully, this issue should be resolved through software updates. We installed a number of less demanding games: Fruit Ninja, Chickens can't fly, and Myth Defense, and all of them were playable.

There are 8 gigabytes of on-board storage, but only 6.21 of them are user-available. Still, for a device of this class, this is an acceptable amount of storage. Keep in mind, however, that a microSD card slot is absent, so there is no way of expanding the phone's storage capacity.


The more an application store grows, the trickier app discovery gets, which is why you will likely use the App Highlights application often. In a nutshell, it aggregates apps and games that Nokia believes you should really check out. Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps are two other great additions to the smartphone's software set. After all, that free offline voice navigation can be quite useful. Detailed maps for over 100 countries and a variety of languages are available for download straight through the app itself. Last but not least, you get Nokia Music, which works a bit like an on-line radio with a good variety of music styles to choose from.

Internet Browser and Connectivity:

Internet Explorer Mobile has a tough time rendering our home page, as well as other relatively heavy web sites. Although scrolling and zooming are smooth, redrawing the actual contents is what takes longer than usual, so surfing the web is less enjoyable as it is on more capable Windows Phone devices. Lighter web pages are rendered just fine, without any noticeable lag. Embedded YouTube videos are playable in full-screen mode.

The Nokia Lumia 610 sports all mandatory connectivity features, such as Wi-Fi b/g/n that can work as a hotspot too, 3G at up to 7.2Mbps, Bluetooth 2.1, and A-GPS. An NFC chip is present on the Lumia 610 NFC model, so those who need the functionality should get that one instead. The microUSB port is used for battery charging and for transferring data to a PC. Unfortunately, the latter is done only with the Zune software since USB mass storage is not supported.


The Nokia Lumia 610 comes with a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, which takes photos of average quality when given best case scenario conditions. Our outdoor shots look acceptable, although fine details are absent. At times, the camera has a hard time setting exposure and white balance accurately, which might lead to overexposed frames or cold-looking colors. When shooting indoors, there is a lot of digital noise present in photos, and the LED flash fails to fill the scene with light entirely. Overall, photos are suitable for uploading to Facebook or perhaps making small prints, but nothing beyond that. Videos seem usable, but they look unimpressive since VGA is the maximum supported resolution, which is relatively low compared to what we are used to.


The default music player gets the job done, although we wish we didn't have to use Zune every time we wanted to throw some music into the smartphone's library. Overall, the app is pretty straightforward to use, with a simple, uncluttered interface and lock screen controls. The video player could play back a 720p video sample of ours, but occasional frame drops were noticeable. VGA videos, on the other hand, played back smoothly.

Call quality and Battery:

We have definitely heard better earpieces than the one on the Lumia 610, but this one gets the job done as well. Voices come through it undistorted, but we wish they were a bit louder. That secondary microphone comes in handy by reducing background noises noticeably, but as a result, our voice sounds quite artificial on the other side of the line.

The phone's 1,300mAh battery should deliver satisfactory results. It is rated for over 7 hours of talk time and should last for over three weeks in stand-by mode.


The Nokia Lumia 610 has both its strengths and weaknesses. On one hand, you should be able to get one for about $250, as long as you do some digging around, which makes it a decent entry-level offering. On the other, you will have to accept the incompatibility of select applications and the occasional software lags caused by the smartphone's modest hardware. Nevertheless, the experience of using an identically priced Android model would likely be similar, which makes the Lumia 610 worthy of checking out if your budget is tight.

However, we would strongly recommend considering the Nokia Lumia 710, which is not affected by any performance issues. The Samsung Omnia W and the HTC Radar could also be great alternatives, as long as you can find them at a good price. Alternatively, we are sure that some of last year's mid-range Android smartphones can be found retailing at a similar price; smartphones such as the Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V or Xperia ray.

OS version: 7.10.8773.98

Nokia Lumia 610 Video Review:


  • Affordable Windows Phone
  • Free offline GPS navigation


  • Performance issues are common
  • Some apps do not run

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

3 Reviews

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