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

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

While the Nokia Lumia 610 is far from a media powerhouse it could also do a lot worse. The speakers on the handset are surprisingly loud, producing an acceptable sound level for both music and video, though it's not brilliant quality and at full volume we noticed some things sounded distorted.

Of course it also has a 3.5mm headphone port and comes bundled with a set of earphones. These earphones are also required to access the built-in FM radio, which auto tunes stations and enables you to bookmark your favourites, although there's no option to record from the radio.

Nokia Lumia 610 review

The radio, along with most of the other media options on the Nokia Lumia 610, is tucked away in its own Music And Video hub, which lives on the home screen. This hub enables you to browse through and listen to any music, videos or podcasts saved to the phone. Music can be purchased from the marketplace, or you can connect the Nokia Lumia 610 to your computer and transfer music, video and image files from there.

As well as the Music And Video hub, there's a separate Nokia Music hub. This has musical mixes such as 'ones to watch' and 'summer hits', which can be streamed over 3G or Wi-Fi, and if you like a song you can tap a button to download it - for a small charge, of course.

You can also create your own offline mixes or enable the software to make personalised mixes based on music that you've downloaded or told it you like. The player itself is straightforward, with options to pause and skip track, as well as a progress bar that you can tap or slide to skip forwards or backwards in a song.

Watching video on the phone isn't too bad. The 3.7-inch screen is a little cramped, so you wouldn't want to use it for a movie marathon, but its size does mean that it's light enough to hold for extended periods without feeling like you're getting a work out, and for YouTube and the like it works well enough. Speaking of YouTube, there's no built-in integration for it or any other media streaming service, other than Nokia's own Nokia Music.

Nokia Lumia 610 review

There is a YouTube app available from the Windows Phone Marketplace, however. The built-in video player controls are similar to the music player, with options to pause, skip to the previous or next video or jump ahead or back within the current one. There's also a button that stretches windowed videos to full screen.

Most of the common audio and video formats work on the phone, including MP3, WAV, MP4 and WMA. One notable omission is MKV, which sadly isn't supported. As is standard with Windows Phone handsets, DLNA support is also absent.

Photos, meanwhile, have their own Pictures hub, which enables you to view and create galleries, make a list of favourite photos and see a list of newly uploaded photos from your various social feeds.

The real problem with media use on the Nokia Lumia 610 is just how little storage it has. At only 8GB (much of which will likely get used up by apps before long), there's not a whole lot of space for music and videos. Ultimately you'll have to either settle for a small selection of favourites or regularly hook it up to a computer and change what's on there, with neither option being ideal.

Despite the dedicated Music And Video hub, this really marks the Nokia Lumia 610 out as a phone where media wasn't a huge priority. It's one of the concessions made to achieve the appealingly low price tag it carries.

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.