When it was released late last year, the Lumia 510 grabbed attention with its relatively low price. However, it has recently received a further fillip by becoming the first Windows Phone device in the country to get the Windows Phone 7.8 update. But just how well does the least powerful of the Lumias handle the update? We take a closer look.
Looks: Simple yet stylish
Nokia has gone with a minimalistic design in the Lumia 510 which has nothing unusual, yet is appealing. Our review unit was black in colour but the handset is also available in red and white colours in the Indian market. The front is dominated by a 4.0-inch display with no physical keys and three soft keys at the bottom for back, home screen and search — standard Windows Phone fare. The back houses a 5.0-megapixel camera and a speaker grille and has a soft touch cover panel with subtle curves that feels very comfortable to hold. Like other Lumias, this one too comes with physical keys for volume rocker, lock screen and camera on the right side, while the headset port is at the top and the charging port is at the bottom. We have seen slimmer handsets, but all said and done, the Lumia 510 is still a looker.
Hardware: Getting the basics
When it comes to hardware, the Lumia 510 has nearly the same spec sheet as the Lumia 610. However, the Lumia 510 has a larger display – 4.0-inches. The device is powered by an 800 MHz Cortex A5 processor with an Adreno 200 GPU and the 256 MB RAM, making this the least powerful of all Lumias in these departments. It comes with 4 GB memory onboard with not more than 2.8 GB available to the user and most importantly, it doesn’t have any expandable memory options, which is really limiting and could be a deal-breaker for many users. Thanks to Windows Phone 7.8, it comes with file sharing support, letting you share, send and receive files over Bluetooth – for us, this is the biggest highlight of the device.
Software: Welcome, Windows Phone 7.8
The Nokia Lumia 510 is the first handset in the Indian market to come with Windows Phone 7.8 running out of the box. And while most newbies would not notice too much difference from other devices running Windows 7.5, there are a few changes beneath the familiar surface. These include customizable homescreen tiles, improved contact sharing, file sharing, 20 new accent theme colours and the Ringtone Maker app. The Live Tiles ensure that you get live updates on your homescreen and you can now also pin your favourite app to the homescreen. The People feature lets you keep in touch with your social networks. This being a Nokia device, comes with Nokia’s apps for navigation (Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps) and Nokia Music with one year of unlimited music downloads. Other pre-installed apps include Zune music and videos, XBOX live games, and MS Office. For additional storage, the device comes with 7 GB of free online storage on Microsoft Sky Drive. For transferring files from/into your PC you will need to use Zune to sync your music and videos, which can be a bit of a hassle, really.
Multimedia: Entertainment encore
On the multimedia front, the Lumia 510 is a steady rather than a spectacular performer. Music is the forte of almost all Nokia handsets, and the 510 does very well here. The device comes with unlimited downloads from the Nokia Music Store for a year and downloading is smooth as the songs come compressed and take less space, a big concern given the Lumia 510’s limited storage. The 4.0-inch display is good enough for viewing videos and we were able to play 720p HD videos with a degree of ease on the device. In the camera department, the 5.0-megapixel snapper took some very decent pictures in well-lit conditions, although its results became increasingly ordinary as the lights dimmed, but then that is a complaint we have with most camera phones. The device can record videos in VGA format. And thanks to its large screen, browsing the Web is a delight.
User Experience: Satisfying
The Lumia 510 is a good option for those who are looking for their first smartphone and want a relatively large display on a tight budget. Yes, it does lag with some apps and is not as buttery smooth as one would expect an ideal Windows Phone to be, but they were never significant enough to really disrupt our user experience. Backed by a 1,300 mAh battery, the device easily lasts for more than a day with normal usage.