Sporting the signature Lumia Live Tile interface that allows one to pin applications or webpages to “tiles” on the home screen for easy access, the Lumia 610 is designed for convenience ad ease-of-use. Adding, rearranging or removing tiles is a simple 2-second process – pressing and holding until an option menu pops out. Customising the colour of the background and tiles is possible too.

However, what UrbanWire found was most impressive was the inbuilt People tile, which allows you to add your social media accounts – be it Facebook, Twitter or Windows Live – together, giving a constant, updated feed of all the different platforms on a single stream. Compared with the Iphone, which needs different applications to view the various feeds, the Lumia pulls ahead as a clear winner.

Signature applications such as Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive are also included in the phone, as well as an Xbox Live application that syncs your achievements and avatar from your Xbox at home to the phone through one’s Windows Live ID. UrbanWire tested the applications and was not disappointed with what we found. The Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive applications provided clear and straightforward directions in both 2D and 3D, while the Xbox Live application easily synced and brought up our familiar Xbox avatar and achievements.

The Lumia 610 comes in 4 different colours: black, white and the funky cyan and magenta. Running Windows OS 7.5 and sporting 256MB of RAM, the Lumia 610 is perfectly capable of running several applications like the popular Angry Birds game and the inbuilt Microsoft Office smoothly despite only having a single processer clocking at 800Mhz.

With a 3.7 inch display screen, surfing the web and watching videos on the Nokia Lumia 610 is slightly easier on the eyes than if you’re using an Iphone, which comes with a 3.5 inch screen. However, the Lumia only has 8GB of storage space, and Micro SD cards are not supported, limiting the amount of media you can fit into the phone. For those without extensive music or movie collections (1GB can store around 220 songs), the 8GB will be more than enough space.

The Nokia Music application on the Lumia 610 lets you browse through music online and immediately purchase the desired track, or listen to a 30-second preview of it before purchasing. The Lumia 610 also allows one to listen to music tracks being broadcasted in the nearby vicinity – though they may be free to listen to, one doesn’t have control over which song is broadcasting. Furthermore, only 6 tracks can be skipped every hour, which results in even less control of what one wants to listen to.

One other capability that users might find handy is the flip-to-silence function – it allows one to instantly and intuitively put the phone into silent mode by literally flipping the phone face down.  Another useful feature that UrbanWire tried was Contact Transfer, which transferred all the contacts from my old phone to the Lumia 610 via Bluetooth in under 2 minutes.

Despite heavy usage of 3G web browsing, music, and calls, battery life was better than expected and the Lumia 610 lasted a night (on standby) and the entire day without a need for charging. Nokia touts the phone as having 10.5 hours of talk time, 35 hours of music playback and an impressive 670 hours of standby time before needing to be charged.

The Verdict:

The Lumia 610 is a phone that packs a punch for its specs and price ($379 w/o contract), offering an excellent social networking platform, convenient interface, stylish exterior and good battery life. A worthy pick for anyone who wants a decent smartphone with a sleek design and good features.