Nokia Lumia 610 Windows Phone (preview)

Nokia Lumia 610 preview: The Lumia 610 is Nokia's fourth Windows Phone and the entry level model in the series

Nokia is aggressively pushing its Windows Phone strategy and part of the plan is to have a full range of products at all price points. The new Lumia 610 effectively gives the company just that — it's the baby of the Lumia family and will be one of the cheapest Windows Phone devices on the market.

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The Nokia Lumia 610 is a budget smartphone so it obviously doesn't have impressive specifications. It's powered by a modest 800MHz single-core processor, has just 256GB of RAM and only 8GB of internal memory. While many often get caught up in specs (guilty as charged!), users contemplating buying the Lumia 610 simply won't care: as long as the phone is slick and responsive, the speed of the processor and the amount of RAM are simply irrelevant on a phone with a low price tag.

Interestingly, the Lumia 610 is the first Windows Phone to break the previously strict hardware requirements set by Microsoft. When the Windows Phone platform was launched, all phones were required to have at least a 1GHz processor. Microsoft relaxing this requirement for the Lumia 610 can only mean it is confident performance will not suffer as a result.

Part of the reason for these low specs is the new Windows Phone software the Lumia 610 will run, codenamed "Tango". Microsoft has described the software as a project rather than an update — its prime aim is to reduce the cost of Windows Phones. Though its not a traditional update, the Tango software will including some minor additions, such as the ability to attach more than one picture to an MMS message.

The Nokia Lumia 610 won't win any awards for its display, but at 3.7in its larger than the far more expensive iPhone 4S and has a respectable resolution of 800x480 pixels. Compared to most low-end Android phones that often have tiny screens with a low resolution, the Lumia 610 looks like a far more enticing option if you're on a budget.

The Nokia Lumia 610 is constructed from plastic and will be available in white, cyan, magenta and black colours. At 135.5g the phone is relatively light, while a thickness of 12mm should make it comfortable to hold and use.

The Nokia Lumia 610 will be available through Boost Mobile in June for $329. It will be then available through Vodafone and "other retailers" in July.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World

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