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Nokia Lumia 610

The Nokia Lumia 610 has been at the centre of a heated discussion these last few weeks – resulting in both positive and negative stories and comments – thanks largely (or no thanks) to the fact that certain apps like Skype and Angry Birds won’t work on it.

The plain and simple truth is this: the Lumia 610 is our most affordable Windows Phone device, bringing the power of the platform to a wide-ranging audience – students, corporate users, soccer mums, tiger mums, and everyone else in between – and to regions where the cost of other models is prohibitive.

But what are you getting when you buy a Lumia 610? In many cases, a better deal than what you can get on other platforms. And let’s also be completely transparent about what you’re not getting.

1.     Fast access to all your information. The signature Live Tiles mean you can see all your notifications, launch apps and surface the information that’s relevant to you really quickly.

2.     Full email support. From Exchange Server, to Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail to a humble local ISP mail account, they’re all fully integrated into the Nokia Lumia and offer the best email experience on a mobile phone.

3.     Social from the start. Plug in your social networking details to have status updates, picture uploads and friends’ details right across the built-in apps on the phone.

4.     Unique location services. Nokia Lumia smartphones come with state-of-the-art Maps, Drive for turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation, and now Public Transport planning available for free.

5.     Nokia entertainment services. Also free: turn your phone into a book with Nokia Reading or stream millions of music tracks from Nokia Mix Radio – which even works offline.

6.     Gorgeous design. The Lumia 610 is a fine looking piece of kit, available in four different colours, and with traditional Nokia build quality.

7.     Good camera – this is a 5-megapixel, autofocus camera, with a large f2.2 aperture and an LED flash for superior performance in lower light. Turn your photos into works of art with the Nokia-exclusive Creative Studio software.

8.     Office connectivity. Getting work done on a Lumia goes way beyond email. Read, write and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations with the Office suite and use SharePoint or SkyDrive for sharing and storage. And if you run a small to mid-sized business, Office 365 gives you secure email and everything you’ll need to that run that business.

9.     More than 80,000 apps from the Windows Phone Marketplace to expand and adapt your Nokia Lumia in almost every direction.

10. What’s the catch? If we’re selling this phone for around a third of the price of Nokia Lumia 900, then there must be something missing, right?

Nokia Lumia 610

The main functional difference is the amount of RAM. (RAM is the ‘working memory’ of the phone, as opposed to the ‘storage memory’ where it keeps your documents, pictures, music and apps). The Nokia Lumia 610 comes with 256MB of RAM rather than the 512MB found on the rest of the family.

What’s the impact of that? Well, when it comes to the regular operation of the phone and all the features we’ve mentioned, none whatsoever.

It’s fast and functional, just like the other Lumias in the family. But more affordable. 

However, the lower RAM means that some third-party apps can’t be used. These are a tiny minority – less than five per cent of the contents of the Marketplace. They include the beta version of Skype available for other phones and a number of the most memory-hungry games, including Angry Birds.

 That’s about it. Your choice depends on your needs and your budget, as always.

If having Angry Birds and Skype is a make-or-break factor in your phone choice, then the Lumia 610 isn’t for you. The next most affordable model is the Nokia Lumia 710, which has the regular 512MB of RAM.

Otherwise, if you want a great, good-looking smartphone with a whole host of unique, valuable features, the Nokia Lumia 610 is a steal for the price.