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March 05, 2013

Nokia Lumia 510 Review

Announced back in October of last year, the Lumia 510 is Nokia’s most affordable Windows Phone handset and probably be the last Lumia to run the Windows Phone 7 OS. Check out our full review of the Nokia Lumia 510 after the break.

nokialumia510

Design and Construction

Let’s start with the obvious, found on the front is the 4-inch capacitive display with a resolution of 480 x 800 surrounded by a glossy plastic bezel. Found below the display are three capacitive buttons and a microphone while above it is the earpiece and the Nokia logo. There are three buttons on the right side – the volume rocker, power/lock button, and dedicated camera button. The left side is devoid of anything except for a slit that helps you remove the backplate. Right on top is the headset jack while at the bottom is the microUSB port. Flip it on its back and you’ll find its soft touch plastic backplate, the 5 megapixel camera and speaker grill.

lumia510_ps

Like most Nokia phones, the Lumia 510 is solidly built. Meaning it feels tight and doesn’t show any signs of creakiness. The Lumia 510 sports a soap shape design similar to the Lumia 610 which allows for a more comfortable grip. Not to mention the 129g heft that gives an impression that it will survive after being thrown on a wall. However, at 11.5mm it feels a bit chunky.

Display

The Lumia 510 sports a regular 4-inch display, meaning it’s not AMOLED and there’s no ClearBlack technology like its other high-end Lumia siblings. There’s no IPS as well so viewing angles are a bit limited. On the good side, colors are vibrant, has a decent outdoor legibility, and the 480 x 800 resolution equates to a pixel density of 233ppi which is very acceptable for a display of this size.

OS, UI and Apps

The unit we received is running Windows Phone 7.5 out of the box. We were excited to upgrade it to WP7.8 to get more functionality but unfortunately the Zune software can’t detect the update. We tried some tricks to force an update but failed. This is probably because the unit we received for review is an engineering unit. So what are we missing from the WP7.8 update? That would be the resizable live tiles, Bluetooth file transfer, new theme colors, new boot screen, Nokia exclusive apps, and an updated system, to name a few.

lumia510_ui

Going back to the basics, the Windows Phone system is centered on the Metro style UI which is clean and simple. The homescreen is occupied by tiles which you can rearrange by holding it down for couple of seconds then dragging to its new location. Swiping to the left brings a list of other applications installed. Navigating the UI is mostly based on vertical scrolling so it’s different from iOS and Android which utilizes horizontal scrolling. In my opinion the WP UI comes second to iOS in terms of user-friendliness. I would also like to note that Windows Phone doesn’t support USB mass storage. So if you want to put in and take out some files from the handset you will have to do it through the Zune software on your PC.

lumia510_ui2

As for apps, the Lumias utilize the Windows Phone Marketplace. It doesn’t have much apps compared to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store but can still provide a wide range of selection. Major social networking apps are here like Facebook and Twitter but we’re yet to see the likes of Instagram and other popular iOS/Android apps on it. One thing we also noticed is that not all apps run perfectly on the Lumia 510 due to its limited RAM. Other than that, you get preloaded Nokia apps such as App Highlights, Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps.

Camera and Multimedia

The Lumia 510 is equipped with a 5 megapixel AF shooter with no LED flash. Although it sports a modest sensor, it actually shoots pretty decent pictures especially in bright conditions. However, colors are a bit washed out and noise are often evident. Still, the images are very usable for uploading to social media sites. Check out more sample photos here.

Lumia510_samplephoto

As for video recording, it can shoot videos of up to 420p resolution. Watch the sample video below:

For its multimedia capabilities, you can access your collection of music and videos by tapping on the Music & Videos tile. The video player can run MP4 and WMV files while its very simple but sleek-looking music player can handle the most common audio files. The speaker can produce clear and crisp sounds but lacks a bit on bass and loudness.

Performance, Benchmarks and Battery Life

Although powered by a single-core processor clocked at 800MHz and 256MB of RAM, the Windows Phone OS delivered a smooth UI experience as expected. Animations are fluid but transitions are slow. Sometimes it would take a full second before it responds to commands like launching an app, returning to the previous app, or going back to the homescreen. Other than that, everything works fine. On benchmarks, the Lumia 510 got a speed test score of 53.3 on WP Bench which is not really impressive.

lumia510_bm

As for battery life, the Lumia 510’s 1,300mAh battery seems below average but it was able to last for more than a day when we’re using it for WiFi internet browsing, an hour on mobile data, browsing SNS, and moderate texting and calling.

Conclusion

To conclude, the Nokia Lumia 510 is a very capable and solidly built WP smartphone. It can handle basic tasks properly but is somehow limited by the WP7.5 OS. Even with the improvements brought by the 7.8 update it is nothing compared to Windows Phone 8 which it won’t get. Its main disadvantage is that it came late into the game when people have already decided to wait for Nokia’s WP8 devices.

So is the affordable SRP of Php7,290 enough to convince you to purchase a Lumia 510? That depends. If you really want to buy a Windows Phone device right away, have a limited budget and don’t mind the limitations of WP7, then by all means get the Lumia 510. It can surely handle most of your basic needs. Otherwise, save a few more bucks and get a WP8 handset instead.

lumia510_rear

Nokia Lumia 510 specs:
4″ TFT capacitive display (480 x 800 pixels) 233ppi
Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon 800 MHz Cortex-A5
Adreno 200 GPU
256 MB RAM
4GB of internal storage (no microSD support)
5 MP, 2596?1948 pixels, autofocus
HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1
Stereo FM radio
GPS with A-GPS support
Li-Ion 1300 mAh battery
Microsoft Windows Phone 7.8
120.7 x 64.9 x 11.5 mm
129 g

What we liked about it:
* Solid build
* Affordable price tag
* Above average display density
* Simple and clean UI
* Animations are smooth
* Good battery life

What we didn’t like about it:
* Body is a bit chunky
* Limited display viewing angles
* Low RAM
* No microSD card support
* No USB mass storage support
* No front-facing camera
* No LED flash
* No WP8 path upgrade

Nokia Lumia 510 launched

11 Responses to “Nokia Lumia 510 Review”

  1. Rupert says:

    Sobrang baba na ng RAM nito. I suggest to save more money nalang than to buy this phone. You can buy better phones near 7k-10k range.

  2. Benny Montenegro says:

    The NOKIA LUMIA 520 I think is the best alternative for this with the same price range.

  3. Ram says:

    Might just consider the lumia 520 instead.

  4. Dan_md says:

    Simply put, DO NOT BUY this phone. The specs are inferior and The OS is outdated. Windows Phone 7 or 7.8 is not compatible with the newer apps for Windows Phone 8.

  5. Tekatbp says:

    Nah, Lumia 520 is just around the corner with possibility of windows blue upgrade!

    BTW, win nokia asha 206 by clicking my name

  6. Anon says:

    Nice affordable phone for WP/Nokia fans but you can buy a decent 1ghz+ dual core droid at about the same price.

  7. Kevin says:

    Buy the Lumia 620 instead. I have one and it’s well worth the price. 10800 only in Nokia stores.

  8. lawrence says:

    Maybe they pulled-out the 7.8 update because of the 7.8 bug until it’s sorted out.

    http://blog.gsmarena.com/microsoft-acknowledges-the-live-tile-issues-with-the-windows-phone-7-8/

  9. Kinny says:

    I just call text and seldom browse so this suits my needs. I wanted a capacitive touch screen phone with good resolution and battery life so this is perfect for me. Price is great and quality is good.

  10. geek1621 says:

    @Kinny
    men, WP7 is out. WP8 is the latest. lumia 520 carries a windows 8 OS so why picking up 510?

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