Budget Windows Phone mobiles like the Nokia Lumia 610 and ZTE Tania use 256MB of RAM, where previously Windows devices had to use 512MB. The change in policy is part of the new Tango update. However, Microsoft has confirmed that using 256MB leads to a fairly severe restriction of features. These phones will not truly provide the full Windows Phone experience.
Using a phone like the Nokia Lumia 610, you will not be able to run all apps – each has its own set of minimum specs. This could well affect many games, most having been devised with the original hardware guidelines in mind.
Fast app switching, the Windows Phone version of multitasking is limited too. If an app requires more than 90MB of memory, the phone will not be able to keep it “running”, rather shutting it down fully. Background processes are cut down as well, which could hamper the phone’s ability as a social networking and email guru.
Podcast and video subscriptions are also out, and Bing Local Scout, the local attractions finder introduced in Mango, has also been given the boot. HD video playback is gone, and you’ll no longer be able to auto-load content to SkyDrive, a Microsoft cloud storage solution.
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(Tango can image credit: Poundland)
It makes for pretty depressing reading, but the crucial thing to ask is – are budget Android phones any better off? Popular budget Android phones like the Huawei Blaze and Orange San Francisco II chug through some games and can’t hack HD video. We won’t know until we get to review a low-end Windows Phone device properly what the 256MB experience is like.
However, these serious limitations highlight that the £150-plus price of the Nokia Lumia 610 is probably a little too high – especially when previous-gen phones are available at a similar price if you shop hard enough.
What do you think? Does this ruin Windows Phone’s budget abilities?