GADGET WATCH: Lumia 610

Microsoft has been hitting back in a big way with its Windows Phone software, but so far the software hasn’t been able to sell a huge number of handsets.

Can the budget offering Lumia 610 get more people on board?

Hardware and Features

The device measures 119mm long, 62mm wide and 12mm thick, and weighs only 132 grams. Inside, the device is powered by a single-core 800 Mhz processor, with 256MB of RAM. It features 8GB of in-built storage.

Battery life is claimed to be 6.5 hours, with 24.2 days of stand-by time, while the device features a USB 2.0 port, microUSB, along with the ability to charge via USB as well.

The device features a 5 megapixel camera, and video recording capabilities as well, but only at 640×480.

What’s the consensus?

It’s important to remember this is a budget device, catering for the lower-priced market and not the high-end enterprise user. That having been said, over at TechRadar, the publication notes the make of the device is “reassuringly sturdy” with a solid back cover and a nice weight.

“This all serves to give the Nokia Lumia 610 a feeling of surprisingly high quality for such a cheap phone. Especially when compared, for example, to the substantially more expensive Samsung Galaxy S2, which has none of the density or solidity to it that the Nokia Lumia 610 has.”

It’s a good start for the device, but over at CNET the publication notes the display – with a 3.7-inch screen and 480×800 resolution – is just “average”.

“It’s not the best display I’ve ever clapped eyes on, but to get the phone to market at such a low price, sacrifices are inevitable.” The lower resolution means the Lumia 610 won’t look as good as some other high-end smartphones.

At The Verge, the phone was given a run-down and the publication found that while the processor is only 800Mhz, it was able to power the Windows Phone software with ease. Apps could be changed quickly, and switching between hubs was fast as well.

It’s a good sign that Microsoft has worked on the software to make sure it works on such a low-end phone. However, there have been some sacrifices.

“Perhaps the biggest change is that some processor-intensive apps that have specific memory requirements will not work on the Lumia 610. Skype, Angry Birds, Tango, and others refuse to install from the Marketplace — they show a warning message about the low memory on the Lumia 610.”

Microsoft is claiming 6.5 hours of battery life, but The Verge says you’ll be able to get a day of moderate use.

“I have used a variety of Windows Phones and most struggle to last a full day of high use so I was impressed to see such a high amount of battery life left at the end of an average day. I’d doubt this will last you an entire weekend away, but it’s certainly sufficient for more than a day away from a charger.”

There are signs all over the device that it’s targeted to the budget market. As CNET points out, the camera is “washed out and drab”, with only one lens on the back – no face-fronting camera is available on this model.

“The camera software is curiously lacking in creature comforts, with no face tracking or panoramic shooting mode. On the upside, the dedicated camera button enables you to fire up the camera quickly and lends a tactile experience to taking pictures.”

Who’s it for?

This is clearly a budget model. It’s not a high-end smartphone for enterprise customers, and is more for the user who’s after a cheap plan, or maybe a pre-paid alternative.

If you just want something that does the job, then this is a good choice, with a fairly decent screen and a fast processor. But don’t expect any bells or whistles.

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