Nokia Lumia 610 review

The cheapest Windows Phone available, but does it sacrifice too much?

Nokia Lumia 610
The Windows Phone-touting Nokia Lumia 610 comes in black, white, cyan or magenta

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With a price tag of just £125 on PAYG, the Nokia Lumia 610 is an attractive prospect for anyone on a budget looking for a smartphone.

For general day-to-day use it works just fine, and while it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of, say, its big brother the Nokia Lumia 900, it also retails for a fraction of the price. While the specs list won't set the world on fire, for the money you're getting a whole lot of phone.

We liked

The price is of course the big selling point here, bringing the barrier for entry to the Windows Phone eco system lower than ever. The battery impressed us quite a bit too, easily lasting 24 hours with light-to-middling use. It's also a performance that tops many of the battery-hungry top-end phones.

We've always been fans of the way Windows Phone handles social network integration, and the Nokia Lumia 610 is no exception, combining all of your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates into a single feed.

The build quality, while miles away from the premium highs of the iPhone 4S, is also surprisingly solid. It feels nice in the hand, it's robust and, though made of plastic, it looks quite nice too.

We disliked

One of the concessions made to achieve the low price was to only have 256MB of RAM and this really hurts the handset, because some big ticket apps such as Skype won't work as a result. The Nokia Lumia 610 can also be a bit sluggish at launching apps.

Limiting the handset to 8GB of storage with no room for expansion also hurts it. There are a lot of media options onboard, but with so little space power users might struggle to even fit all of the apps they want on it, let alone music and video as well. This also limits the usefulness of Nokia Drive, because downloading maps will quickly eat up your space.

The screen is a reasonable size for the price, but viewing angles could be better and it's almost impossible to see in bright sunlight. And while it's nice that they included a video camera on such a low-end phone, the footage it shoots isn't going to impress anyone.

Final verdict

The Nokia Lumia 610 is a great addition to the Lumia stable (and to Windows Phone in general), thanks to its incredibly low price tag. While the launch of Windows Phone Tango means that we can expect more budget handsets in the future, for now this is about as cheap as it gets.

But it's not just cheap; it's also quite good value for money. You get almost the complete Windows Phone experience, along with a solid camera, decent build quality and strong battery life.

That said, it's not without its problems, and though at first glance it may seem very impressive, you'll quickly realise why it was so inexpensive once you're struggling for storage space and finding that apps won't run.

For under £130, you'll struggle to find a better proposition (if you've discounted the Nokia Lumia 710 for some reason), and though it makes a lot of sacrifices, as a low-end smartphone it comes recommended. However, until it's cheaper than the 710, we can't recommend it as it's just a poorer phone for more money.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.