This will be the the third Nokia Lumia device I am reviewing. It is funny when I was offered to do the review, I was thinking, this is a budget phone with specs so low, how can I ever hope to come up with a good review after seeing the best that is Nokia Lumia 900. But, surprised I still am.
It is quite a jarring experience to use a phone that has a lower specification yet perform remarkably well. Some of that can be due to the way Windows Phone 7.5 manage memory which I will explain in detail later. Some of it is also due to the fact that, beneath the exterior facade, the Nokia Lumia 610 is still a solidly built product and will definitely last a long time, or at least, until the next phone upgrade by the users.
Here’s why; take a look at the technical specifications below and pay special attention to the processor and memory.
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Quad-band 3G with 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
- 3.7″ 65K-color LCD capacitive touchscreen of WVGA resolution
- 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, VGA video @30fps
- Windows Phone 7.5 OS (Refresh)
- 800MHz ARM Cortex-A5 CPU, Adreno 200 GPU, 256MB of RAM, Qualcomm MSM7227A chipset
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation
- Digital compass
- 8GB on-board storage
- Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
- Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack; FM Radio with RDS
- microUSB port
- Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and EDR
With 800Mhz and 256MB, you are really testing the limits of how Windows Phone 7.5(and soon Windows Phone 7.8) can perform. From previous write-ups on this site, you will remember that I am also using an Android-based Sony Xperia Arcs S running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Let me tell you something then, the Nokia Lumia 610, to borrow the popular marketing phrase that Microsoft is running right now, completely smoked out that Android device.
I can text faster, I can get to the phonebook faster, I can get to every built-in function faster! Where it lags is when I started to install third party applications like Twitter for Windows Phone and Facebook for Windows Phone. Now, let me get you up to speed on the memory management on the Windows Phone platform in case you forget.
Windows Phone 7.5 do not multi-task. They manage memory by doing what is known as task-switching. All of the memory are used for applications that is currently active. Any of the apps that is in the background is in a suspended state, with certain exceptions, like music playing etc. This is how it is done for the Windows Phone platform.
With the Nokia Lumia 800 and 900, this is not an issue. It becomes an issue with the Nokia Lumia 610; you cannot run many third party apps, even from the Microsoft-acquired Skype. (check out my previous posts on the Nokia Lumia phones http://mhisham.org/?s=lumia )
Lest you think I am putting this phone down, I am not, I am making it easy for you to understand its limitations and how Nokia have ensured that the basic phone usage experience is maximized even within this limitation. For it to be able to perform faster than my Android is a testament to how successful this phone can be as a functioning phone. For users who are just switching to the Windows Phone platform from the feature phones or even previous Nokia phones, they will be surprised with how everything – simply – works.
I wrote this post with the Internet Sharing on the Nokia Lumia 610 turned on. It makes things really simple and great when you are able to access the internet as fast as your service provider allow you. It continues to surprise me how tethering always seems to provide a faster Internet connection than using it on the phone; this experience is across all kinds of phones, so it is not peculiar to the Nokia Lumia 610. If you have a possible explanation, please leave it in the comments.