The Nokia Lumia 610 is available to order now, and is one of the very cheapest ways to get a Windows Phone. But you might want to hold out a bit, as its lower-spec style means it can’t handle many current apps, including Angry Birds.
It was already known that the Lumia 610 wouldn’t be able to take on spec-hungry games, but to hear it can’t hack relatively basic apps like Angry Birds and Skype is disappointing. Why does it miss out? It’s because the Lumia 610 has broken the Windows Phone mould. Where previous-gen devices used 1GHz processors and had 512MB of RAM, the phone has just 256MB of RAM and an 800MHz chip. It’s likely the lack of memory – rather than clock speed – that’s the bottleneck here.
Microsoft had warned that around five per cent of Windows Marketplace apps would not work on low-power devices like the Nokia Lumia 610, but not making sure its biggest hitters work at launch was a bit of a blunder. Rovio is currently working on an edition of Angry Birds that’ll work with these phones, but it’s not available yet.
These “affordable” Windows Phone handsets were made possible by a loosening of restrictions that was part of the Windows Phone 7.5 Tango update. If you want a budget Windows Phone but don’t like the sound of these restrictions, look out for the ZTE Tania – limited mainly by its 4GB internal memory. Or a previous-gen model like the LG Optimus 7.