Nokia Lumia 610 Hand On: Budget Androids Beware
The Nokia Lumia 610 is the first Windows Phone Tango device; despite Microsoft choosing not to use that brand for lower spec’d Windows Phones. When you first pick up a Lumia 610, it seems to defy its 189 Euros (before taxes) price tag and feels like a fairly premium smartphone. The design is eye catching and the Windows Phone UI feels snappy, you would be hard pressed to say that it was not running on a 1 Ghz+ chip.
Major highlights include:
- 3.7” LCD with a 800 x 480 resolution
- 800 Mhz processor, 256 MB of RAM
- 1300 mAh battery
- Support for 7.2 MBPS HSDPA
- 5 Megapixel Camera
- Comes in Cyan, Black, White and Magenta.
Most budget Android devices on the other hand come with smaller screens that are low resolution. The build quality is nothing to write home about and on 800 Mhz chips, Android isn’t exactly flying. With the Lumia 610, it is this class of devices that Nokia is training its guns on.
The limitation that the lowered spec Windows Phone devices will have to deal with is with regard to background tasks. While apps like Spotify can remain in the background and play music just fine, applications such as Twitter clients that check for notifications every half hour will not be able to. That means that as long as the application you are running supports push notifications, there will be no problem. But if it relies on pull, the developer has some work ahead of him. According to Microsoft, about 95% of the Windows Phone apps will work just fine on lower spec’d devices, and incompatibility issues will mostly be restricted to high end games.
I did play with a Lumia 610 for a little while and Windows Phone Mango was fluid, and all the social network integration was present. This means that a device that cost less than 200 Euros in total, will give you a social networking experience on par with a high-end smartphone in a sleek design with excellent build quality. Not to forget the full Office functionality and Microsoft Exchange support.
While high-end Android devices are certainly forces to reckon with, I have never been a fan of ‘budget’ Android devices that barely get work done. Nokia has a lot going for the Lumia 610, and if they can price it at about the 12,500 INR mark in India, I can certainly see a lot of people being interested. To my eyes, it looks better than the Lumia 710. The Lumia 610 may well and truly put a fork in Android’s mid-segment reign.
Here is my hands on video from the Mobile World Congress:
Disclosure: I attended the Mobile World Congress on Nokia’s invitation.
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