Product Type: Nokia Smartphone
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Lumia 610 - my next step in smartphones
Nokia Lumia 610
Member Name: melinda3536
Nokia Lumia 610
Date: 04/04/13, updated on 25/04/13 (84 review reads)
Advantages: Relatively simple to use, great for social media & general web access.
Disadvantages: Not great for games, proximity detector a bit iffy, camera's a bit disappointing.
The end of my two year contract came around very quickly - my old full-touchscreen Nokia 5230 had served me well, so I was in two minds as to whether to step up to a better phone with my contract or not. I wanted to stay with Nokia as I'd been very happy with the battery life and reliability of my old Nokia, but I wasn't overly keen on having a Windows phone. The whole business of these brightly coloured square tiles with various apps behind them all over the screen didn't appeal. However, the idea of Wi-fi did, as did potentially improving the camera. I finally decided to change in December, having gone through all the options. I stayed on the tariff that I was on with Orange, and started on my journey with my new Nokia 610 Windows phone after a quick tour of it in the shop.
In the box - the usual stuff: clever charger which doubles up as a USB lead, battery, sim, ear buds (three different sizes), NO memory card as it has an unexpandable 8GB integral memory, and various different leaflets whose relevance depends on how far along in the setup process you are when you're handed your phone. The lady in the shop set up the sim and battery for me, and organised the switching over of my old number to the new phone. According to my ruler, the phone measures 63mm at its widest point, 119mm at its longest, and is 12mm deep. Its sides are slightly rounded, and it has a soft rubber-type back. This is the baby of the Lumia family, at the bottom of the current range.
The phone - was a lot easier to navigate and to get used to than I expected. It came with a set pattern of tiles, eight were immediately visible on the full touchscreen, with more available as you learn how to bookmark and pin things - more on this later. The touchscreen itself is a lot more sensitive than my old one, BUT one drawback is that instead of being operable by anything including biro tips, it now requires bare skin to operate it, and it also seems to require soft skin at that. Some of my fingertips are quite tough and the phone won't recognise them as human! I've learnt to get around this but it's not been much fun having to take my gloves off to answer the phone outdoors during this freezing weather. I'll have to look out for some of those gloves that were built to work with iPhones.
One downside to the sensitivity of the screen that I've discovered is that it's very easy to accidentally put someone on hold. It's possible that the proximity detector, which is supposed to disable the screen when you're making a call, is just in the wrong place for me on this phone. Several time now I've touched the screen to my face during a call and found that it's silenced the person at the other end. Needless to say this is extremely annoying and has also been very embarrassing.
The 'desktop' is the second screen that you come to. It locks itself after a set time (which you can alter, mine's set to lock after a minute of idling), so to unlock you just press the centre button on the right side of the phone as it faces you, and you have a 'welcome screen' that you can customise with your own photo if you wish. You slide this image up on the touchscreen to reveal the Windows desktop. I've moved the tiles around on mine a fair bit. You do this by pressing them for a second until they all move a bit, then you can take that one and relocate it with your finger. After a recent software update, you can also customise the size of the tiles too.
There's a phone icon which shows you your call history if you tap it, you can also access your voicemail from the bottom of the screen here, as well as your phonebook. There's a 'speech bubble' icon for text messages, an email 'envelope' which you can use to synch your email accounts if you wish. I don't know if there's a limit to the accounts that you can add as I've only connected my Hotmail account to it. There are also icons for Marketplace, Internet Explorer, Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, and social media. Your pictures and calendar appear as horizontal rectangles across the screen part way down, these can also be moved up and down according to where you'd prefer them for convenience. I've found that this works a lot better than I had expected, which was a relief, and I've unpinned several icons that I wasn't going to use to make room for some other apps and website book marks that are more useful.
The other thing you need to know for navigation is what the little arrow at the top right hand side of the screen takes you to. Pressing this slides the whole desktop to the left to reveal another long vertical list of apps, and here you'll find Alarms, Calculator, Help, Office, Settings and all sorts of other things, including any apps that you may have downloaded to the phone. The front desktop functions are duplicated here, and anything from this list can be pinned to the front page if you wish for easier access. These things all work well, and it's one of those occasions when I thought it would all be to horribly complicated but in fact it's actually pretty useful. It's also worth knowing that if you accidentally delete something from your front desktop, it will still be on this other list, as the other are effectively just bookmarks.
Contacts and Facebook - there is a 'contacts transfer' which you can do when you initially set it up. It worked ok for me as I was transferring from another Nokia phone, but I don't know if it works if you're changing brand. If you integrate your Facebook account with the phone (and I have a feeling the same's true of email accounts) all of your contacts from there are automatically added to your address book too. This caught me out when it happened, since I was expecting just to find my normal, old address book under the tab. It took a bit of editing to sort out the duplicates, as quite a lot of my 'domestic' friends are also on Facebook, but it's now all under control and works fine. Thankfully it has a search bar so that you don't have to scroll through everyone.
Battery life - I have to charge it on average every 36 - 48 hours, which is about twice as often as my previous phone, but now that I have a phone with wi-fi, of course, when I'm within range of a connection I'm using this phone far more heavily than I ever did my previous one, particularly checking Facebook, Twitter and my emails. I have also discovered the joys of YouTube on the phone, which is the first time I've ever really used a screen this small to watch anything. It's surprisingly clear, and still very much a novelty. I also use it to play music, although the phone sound is typically tinny without headphones. I sit it with the speaker muffled a bit by a phone sock which takes away some of the white noise, but all of this activity inevitable drains the battery and I usually have to charge it once a day. It hasn't yet died on me, but I've only had it for four months so there's still plenty of time.... Games are also a big drain, though it's worth noting that many of the higher-spec games won't work on here. I've clicked on several of the common games on the app store only to find that they're either not available or not compatible with this model. I've got Doodle-jump, Flowerz and Fruit Ninja installed at the moment, and all three experience some delay during use.
It's worth noting that it is possible to remove the battery from this model. I believe that the higher-end Lumias have integrated batteries that can't be removed, which has resulted in a few returned phones when the phone's locked up. I'm very glad (although I've only had to do it once so far) that it's still possible to take the battery out and re-insert in an emergency re-booting situation!
Camera - it's 5MP, it has a flash (of sorts), and no webcam so just the conventional picture-taking out of the back with the image on screen. You can either tap on the screen on the subject that you want to focus on, or press the camera button on the side of the phone (bottom right) to take a picture. It doesn't always work, and I'm not sure if this is lack of sensitivity, or blindness to the subject on the phone's part. I often have to press it several times to capture an image. I usually take landscape photos, and rarely use it when a flash is required, but when I have used it it's been a very localised illumination and quite a poor result, so it's not the best as an after dark camera. In good light it's ok, but even then, as an upgrade from my old 2MP phone camera, I'm struggling sometimes to see the improvement. It also takes videos, which are ok - the sound capture's not too bad either, it's probably what you'd expect with a phone of this type. Nice as a memento of an occasion but it won't win any prizes.
Media - as I've already suggested, the screen is fine for watching videos on, and is to my eyes very sharp, allowing great detail to be seen, particularly when watching professionally shot things on YouTube like music videos. As far as the music player's concerned, you're best using your own choice of earphones/plugs/buds. I can't use the supplied ear buds as they cause my ears to feel and sound as though they're full of water, so I've pinched my old Sony Discman ear plugs which still work perfectly, and the sound reproduction is good. Media is played and updated via the Zune application, which needs to be installed onto your home PC / laptop when you first connect your phone to it, so that you can synch your pictures, music etc. This annoyed me as I already had Nokia's own Ovi installed for the previous phone, and I had expected this one to use the same application, but no. Nor will it work straight from Windows Media Player, which funnily enough the 5230 did. When it's all installed and it's all connected up though, it does synch everything pretty fast, and it accesses your music and picture files very quickly so that you can drag and drop anything you like into the phone. So I've learnt to tolerate it.
Office - this phone comes with mobile versions of the Microsoft Office applications Word, Excel and OneNote. These are of some usefulness if you have remembered to install and set up SkyDrive (which is part of the whole Hotmail/Outlook package these days) and then upload any documents to it that you might want to work on while you're away from your main computer. It's also handy for making notes that you can upload from your phone and then pick up later on the computer, and also for opening documents that you've been sent via email - up to a point. Its limitations become evident with Excel, however. This may be partly due to the screen just being too small to open a table properly, but I have found that trying to read timetables sent via email just doesn't work. It opens all of the details in the wrong places and can be massively misleading, as I discovered when I checked my daughter's race times and saw her name in a completely different category to the one she should have been in! One quick check on the PC screen and her name is back where it should be. So the excel app could definitely do with some work, or be left out of the package altogether in my opinion. I have downloaded Adobe reader which works just fine for PDFs.
On the whole I'm pretty happy with it, but I don't think I'll be overly sad to upgrade from this in a couple of years' time. There's just something not quite as comfortable about the use of this as there was with my old Symbian Nokia (yes, I really do mean that!).
Summary: For the entry level Lumia, it's pretty decent, a couple of annoying deficiencies though.