Friday, May 25, 2012

Nokia Lumia 610's Tango limitations

Nokia announced the Lumia 610 back at MWC. The handset was supposed usher in a new lower price point for Windows Phone, and to do that, some corners had to be made. Microsoft created a new version of Windows Phone 7 dubbed 'Tango'.

In this update, the OS is optimised to run on an older generation Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC with a 800MHz Scorpion CPU and Adreno 200 GPU (the same one that powered the first generation Windows Phone), and 256MB of RAM - which are the components found inside the Lumia 610. The cut down in specs, particularly the RAM bit, has brought some dramatic compromises to functionality. Background tasks is not enabled with Tango, and fast-app switching has also been excised completely.

Not good. I have already identified a couple of my favourite apps that were unable to run on the Lumia 610, including DoDonPachi Maximum, Sid Meier's Pirates, Angry Birds, Skype and WeatherMaster. Other apps like WeatherFlow would install and run, but you wouldn't be able to use the Live Tile functionality (background tasks is required to update Live Tiles).

With all these features removed, what you have instead here is a device and OS that felt more like a first generation Windows Phone device. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when you consider how important Live Tiles are advertised as a pretty darn important feature of the Windows Phone experience, I do believe that removing such a distinctive feature to be a mistake. On the positive note, the Lumia 610 does feature WiFi tethering/hotspot built-in plus a new flip to silence feature.

With the Lumia 610 going for sale in the first week of June, free on contract priced at £15 a month, the Lumia 610 does sound like a great value. I am however just not convinced by the need of a Tango device, when you consider that in the near future (when Windows Phone 8 Apollo launches), mid to high end WP7 phones like the HTC Radar and Nokia Lumia 800 would see dramatic price cut.

I admire Nokia's commitment to creating a new price point for Windows Phone. After all, despite the drawbacks, the Lumia 610's performance is fantastic when compared to the HTC Wildfire S, an Android device that runs on the same SoC. But is creating two separate Windows Phone 7 ecosystem just to save money on RAM really worth it in the long run? I do not think so.

In fact, Amazon is selling the Lumia 610 at a price slightly north of £200 - which is ridiculous considering you can actually get the full Windows Phone experience on a Lumia 710 for much cheaper! £80 cheaper to be precise, from the Carphone Warehouse.


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Totally unacceptable to cut down on RAM, simply become unusable smartphone. rather don't make it Nokia.

Running every Apps take 58 secs to load. WhatApps is important part of life and totally unsuable.

OctroTalk for Gtalk surfer the same.

In fact all apps surfer the same.

Anonymous said...

Wish I had found this post before buying a 610. I enjoy the phone, but really wish my tiles would update.