The newest, and most affordable, addition to Nokia’s range of Windows Phones was announced in February at Mobile World Congress, with the company signalling its clear intentions to compete aggressively at the lower echelons of the smartphone market, which have so far been dominated by Android.
Almost two months later, Nokia has announced that the Lumia 610 is finally ready to go on sale. The cheap and cheerful new handset will first launch in the Philippines next week, before sales begin across other parts of Asia – including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam – over the following few weeks.
Nokia has also confirmed that the 610 will be made available in other regions before the end of June, though it has so far not elaborated on which regions it plans to target with the new device.
The handset will be running Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh (known also by its development codename, ‘Tango’). The latest version of the OS has been specifically optimised to run on low-end hardware, and while much of the Windows Phone experience will continue to run flawlessly, Microsoft has admitted that devices with 256MB of RAM – which includes the Lumia 610 – will see some OS limitations, compared with higher-spec handsets.
Initially, the Lumia 610 will be available in black, cyan, magenta and white, with an off-contract price of around €189 EUR (around $250 USD / £155 GBP) before taxes or discounts. Expect that price to fall quickly though; the Lumia 710, for example, has seen aggressive discounting in some European markets, with prices in the UK already undercutting Nokia's suggested price for the Lumia 610.
Nokia also announced earlier this month that it would make an additional version of the Lumia 610 with integrated NFC features, making it the first Windows Phone to support NFC.