• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

We seemed to wait an awfully long time for Nokia to join the rest of the smartphone manufacturers, but now it’s started it just can’t seem to stop coming up with new Lumia handsets. We liked the Lumia 800, which was a premium model, then there was the budget price Lumia 710, which concentrated on social media. Next comes another budget device, in the shape of the Lumia 610. It looks better than the 710, and still runs on Windows Phone – so how does it fare?


Screen star

The display measures 3.7 inches, which is a decent size for finding your way around the Windows interface. Most-used apps show up on a series of live tiles, which automatically update with new details, streaming photos and so on. It is user friendly for both advanced users and smartphone newbies – it’s the small choice of apps that is a problem, but more of that later.


 The Lumia 710 was rather plasticky, which wasn’t terribly appealing, and its buttons protruded from the body. The Lumia 610, happily, has a chassis consisting of shiny plastic and a metallic-look edge that makes it more attractive than rivals such as the ZTE Tania. It has a white back plate that can be switched with covers of different colours.


The phone is quite neat, despite being on the chunky side, and slides into a bag or pocket easily. It also has a decent heft when you hold it in the hand – especially considering its price. We also like that Nokia has eschewed the physical buttons for touch-sensitive areas for Home, Back and Search. We’d have liked to see the curved glass that features on the Lumia 800, but nevertheless this is a handset that you won’t mind being seen with in public.


Go online


The resolution of the display is 480x800 – and is apparent when surfing the net. While it might not live up to the huge displays of the Samsung Galaxy S III or HTC One X, it was still easy to see text on websites. It looked crisp, and the touchscreen proved responsive, making it a joy to flick through web pages.


It’s a shame that the Lumia 610 fails to offer support for BBC iPlayer and other sites that stream video – YouTube is the exception. Still, you can fill up the 8GB of onboard memory with films and music. HD video looks pretty good on the display, it’s vibrant and clear – about the same as it is on the LG Optimus L7, which costs a hundred quid more. Viewing angles aren’t wide, but then we doubt you’ll want to share your viewing on a screen this small anyway.



Get social


Social media fans can sign in with their Windows Live ID and then your social networks will all be synched automatically. It is possible to sign in manually via the Settings and Accounts menus. The People app is accomplished at aggregating social updates from Twitter, Facebook and so on.


If you don’t want your social networks brought together in this way, it is possible to download each app separately from Windows Marketplace. If you’re used to Apple’s App Store or Google Play, you’ll be disappointed by the lack of choice of apps – still, there’s still 80,000 included, and it is growing all the time – and the good news is Skype has now appeared in the Marketplace. We reckon it will be up there with iOS and Android in about a year. 



Snap happy


The five-megapixel has an LED flash and takes really decent pictures – especially considering the price of the handset. There is a physical camera button that fires up the snapper app and takes a picture – mind you it does seem a bit narrow and rather stiff in use. Push the button and it takes a snap almost instantly – half-press it and auto focus does its thing in about a second.


There aren’t that many features, but it is possible to play with some settings and ISO – light settings need to be altered, if you want interior images to look anything other than dark.



Power shortage

While there aren’t many games to choose from, we found enough to give us some good entertainment. The 800Mhz chip under the hood is okay for handling most apps and your average 2D platform games. But the feeble 256MB of RAM means that more power-hungry 3D titles are a letdown, The 3D bowling game Shuffle Party suffered from some lag and stuttering, so we’re not sure how futureproof this phone will turn out to be; if you’re a big games fan, we’d suggest the likes of the Lumia 800.


One benefit of a lack of power is that battery life is usually improved, but that’s not the case with the Lumia 610. We got a tad over 24 hours out of a full battery when emailing, texting and running a few apps – but media streaming and other power-hungry tasks will drop that considerably.



Which to choose?


As you’ll have realised at the beginning of this review, there are now two Lumia smartphones to choose from at a budget price – so which to go for? Pricewise, they’re about even - the 710 is £170 and there are some decent deals such as £99 on pay-as-you-go until 7 June at Carphone Warehouse. The 610 costs about the same on contract and on pay as you go.


The snappers on both handsets are pretty equal too – as are the screens. But performance-wise the Lumia 710 comes out on top with its 512MB of RAM and 1.4Ghz chip. The Lumia 610 can’t compete with its 256MB of RAM and the 800Mhz processor.


The Lumia 610 wins by a mile when it comes to looks, though, with its touch-sensitive areas and shiny, curvy chassis. But with the 710 now a similar price, and with more power, it is hard to recommend the 610 over it.


Our conclusion


If you want a smartphone with plenty of features, good social networking facilities, and a decent snapper, then there’s plenty to recommend the Lumia 610. It has a sharp display for watching films and surfing the net, but it is limited when it comes to games and apps. It’s hard to recommend the 610 over the 710, even though we prefer the newer phone’s design.



Type of device


Operating System

Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango)





Form factor

Candy bar


Touch Screen

Processor speed




Graphic chipset



February 2012


Coming Soon


Screen size

3.7 inches

Screen type




Display type

16.7 million




Internal storage


Memory card slot




5 megapixels

Secondary camera


Special camera features

Auto-focus, LED flash, face detection, red eye reduction, anti-shake, geo-tagging


3.5mm Jack


Music player

MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA Professional 9 and 10, DRM Playready

Audio recording




FM Radio description

Stereo FM radio


Video recording


Video player

ASF, AVI, WMV, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, 3GPP formats (H.263)

Video calling


Video streaming


Additional Features




Yes and downloadable

Voice control


Voice dailing



Xbox LIVE Hub, Internet Explorer 9 with desktop rendering, Customisable home screen tiles

































Colors (Standard)

Cyan, white, black, magenta

Handsfree speaker phone


Customisable ringtones


What's in the box






Up to 720 hours (WCDMA) and up to 670 hours (GSM)


Up to 630 minutes talktime (GSM) and up to 590 minutes (WCDMA)

Battery life multimedia

Up to 420 minutes video playback and up to 35 hours music playback time


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