I just got a new Nokia Lumia 510. This is going to be a review of some of the features in it. I think many of these will be similar in other Nokia Lumia phones too as they run Windows 7.8
Out of the Box
The Box comes with the phone, battery, ear phones, plug point charger and the USB cable. My phone came with Windows 7.5 installed in it. I took it to the Nokia Center where they upgraded it to Windows 7.8 for free. This phone uses a Micro-Sim.
- Dimensions – 120.7 x 64.9 x 11.5 mm (129 g)
- Display resolution – 800 x 480 pixels
- Display size – 10.16 cm (4 Inch)
- Battery capacity – 1300 mAh
- Internal Memory – 256 MB and Mass Memory – 4 GB (Not extendable)
- Camera – 5 Megapixels
- Talk time – 8.4 h and Stand by time – 653.2 h
- Available colours – Black, White and Red
The Buttons on the Phone
The Screen has three touch buttons at the bottom.
The first one is the back button. It does what it’s supposed to do and takes you to the previous screen you were looking at. Holding this button for a couple of seconds brings up a menu that shows you the five previous apps you have used and you can click on any off them to go straight to those apps.
The next is the windows button. Clicking on this will take you to the start screen. This is also sort of like ‘Close’ button. Apps can’t be closed in a windows phone, so when you’re in an app you just have to click the windows button to go the the start screen and open a new app. The app that you just came out from may run in the background or be closed based on how much RAM it is using. Not closing an app doesn’t slow down your phone in any way.
The final touch button is the Search button. This takes you to Bing search engine and if you search for something it will list the search results. Clicking on any of the results will open that webpage in the built in Internet Explorer.
There are three other buttons on the side
The first one is a Volume control. This can be used to control the Volume of the Ringer. This also controls the total volume of the phone. So if you’re listening to music, this button will also function as your volume control for that. This can be quite frustrating sometimes because if you reduce the volume while listening to music and forget to increase it later, you may not hear your phone ring when you get a call. Clicking on this brings down a mini music player menu which can play/pause music and skip to the next or previous track. This menu also has the option to put the phone on vibration mode.
The Second button is used to lock/unlock the phone and also to turn on or off the phone. To lock the phone, just click it once. To Unlock you’ll have to click it once and the slide the lock screen wallpaper up on the touch screen. To turn off the phone, click and hold this button for a couple of seconds and an option will show up saying ‘slide down to power off’. Sliding this down will turn of the phone. To turn it back on just hold this button for a couple of seconds when the phone is off.
The Last button is the camera button. This has a few interesting functions. I’ll explain them when I talk about the camera.
The start screen has all your apps. The apps appear as tiles. Some of these tiles are live tiles, meaning they show live information. To open any app you just have to click on the tile. You have the option to re-size the tiles. Windows 7.8 has three sizes. But the largest size is only available for some selected apps (calendar and pictures). To re-size an app just hold down on the tile for two seconds. It will give you the option to either re-size the app or unpin from the start. You can move the apps around and re-arrange your start screen by holding down on a tile and dragging it around. In the settings you can change the theme colour which is basically the colour of the tiles and also set the background to dark (black) or light (white).
The start screen only shows some of the apps that are in your phone. To see all the apps in your phone just slide to the right from the start screen and all apps in your phone are listed here. You can also go to this screen by clicking on the side arrow that appears at the bottom of the start screen if you scroll all the way down. To open an app click its icon. If you press and hold on an icon here for a couple of seconds it’ll show you three options – Pin to start, rate and review and uninstall. If it’s an app you use frequently, it’s best to pin it to the start. There is also a search option at the top left of the screen here.
Basic phone functions
The phone call app is the first tile in the start screen. Clicking on it takes you the history of calls. Here all your latest incoming and outgoing calls are listed. The numbers have a small ‘phone’ icon next to it, clicking on which will directly call that number. If you click on the number instead, it takes you to a menu that gives you the option to either call that number, text that number or save that number to your Phone. At the bottom of the History menu there are four options. Voice mail – To configure your voice mail, Keypad – To type phone numbers to call, People – which is the contacts list (Phone book) and Search – This only searches through your history of calls and does not search your People app. At the end of the four options there are three dots ‘…’ you will see this in many apps. Clicking on this will bring about extra options or settings available for that particular app.
This is the contacts list. Windows calls this ‘People’, this is because you can pretty much sync all your contacts from Facebook or any Mail account here and manage them all together. You can then sync all your contacts with your Windows Live ID. At the bottom of this app is the ‘+’ option which lets you add a new contact or a new group. There is also the option to import your contacts from your Sim.
This is used to send SMS. This is pretty straight forward. The first screen in the app shows you your messages as threads like most new smartphones. At the bottom is the ‘+’ to send a new message to some one. The settings has the option to get SMS delivery confirmation. This app can also be used for online chat like Facebook chat I’m told, but I haven’t tried that.
Calling and texting used to be the basic functions of a phone, but I’m not sure if you can call that basic anymore. But anyway I’ve listed the other features in the phone below.
There are couple of ways to open the camera app. In the start screen you can click on the camera tile to open the camera. Or you can click and hold camera button at the side of the phone. Clicking and holding the camera button even when the phone is locked will automatically unlock the phone and take you to the camera app. To take a picture there are two ways again. First is to use the camera button at the side. This has to be half clicked to focus and once it’s focused you’ll have to fully press the button to take the photo. The second method is to just tap the screen. You have to tap that portion of the screen which you want to focus. When you tap that portion, the camera will automatically focus that side and take the picture. The pictures taken are saved in the Camera Roll folder in the Pictures app. The Lumia 510 has a 5 Mega pixel camera. The photos taken are pretty good for this range of phones.
At the bottom of the camera app there are some settings that you can use like Scenes, White Balance, Exposure Value, ISO, Metering Mode, Effects, Contrast, Saturation, Focus Mode, Resolution and Flicker Reduction.There are a couple of other settings that you’ll need to be aware of in relation to the camera app. These settings are in the settings app –> applications –> pictures + camera.
- First is ‘Tap screen to take pictures and videos’. Only if this is ‘On’ you can tap the screen to take pictures.
- The Second is ‘Press and hold camera button to wake up the phone’. This has to be ‘On’ if you want to hold the camera button to automatically unlock the phone and take you to the camera app when the phone is locked.
Video mode – this option is also available in the bottom of the camera app. Clicking this will change the camera to video mode. To take/stop a video either tap the screen or click the camera button.
This phone comes with an inbuilt Internet Explorer app. I believe this is IE9. It functions like a standard mobile browser. The settings has the option to add websites to your favourites. You can also pin a particular website to the start menu if you use it that frequently. Websites can be opened in Tabs so you don’t have to close one website to open another.
Music + Videos
This is not the Nokia Music app but the Music + Videos app. I find this app better than the Nokia Music app to play music. You can use this app to play the Songs, Videos and Podcast that you have stored in your phone. It also has an FM radio. You have to connect your ear phone for this to work. The player is nice and the ear phones that came with the phone are actually pretty good. I read somewhere that they weren’t that great, but I found it quite good.
This app is where all the photos and videos are stored. This has a Camera Roll folder where all the photos or videos you’ve taken with the phone are stored. Then there are other folders created by syncing photos and videos from your computer. There is no way to rename these folders in your phone. Whatever name you have for the folder in your computer is the same name it will have here. I found it interesting that there was no option to delete multiple photos on the phone. You’ll have to use the Zune software for this. This can be quite frustrating I think.
I just want to say a bit about this software here because this is used to sync songs, videos, podcast and photos to your Nokia phone. This Software is really easy to use. You have to add songs to your Windows Media Player Library for it to show up in your Zune library. And from here it’s pretty much just drag and drop into your phone. To add photos, my suggestions is to create a folder or folders with the photos you want to sync in the ‘My Pictures’ folder in your computer and then directly drag that folder into your phone. If you have photos in different folders in your PC and then drag each photo into your phone this will create many folders which could be quite messy on the phone.
I’m a huge hater of itunes because it automatically transfers purchases and doesn’t let me just sync just the things I want at a time. Like if I want to just sync an app, it will start syncing some album I recently added to my music library even though at that point of time I don’t want to sync any music. So when I used the Zune, it was a pleasant surprise as to how easy it was to sync things.
Opening the app has a day view. It shows you your schedule for the day. At the bottom are options to add a new appointment or view the monthly calendar. I think there is no option to sync any other calendar like your Goolge Calendar or something.
The mail app has the option to add your Windows Live Account, Outlook Mail, Yahoo Mail, Google Mail or other such accounts. This app is also quite standard. You can read mails, send new mails, reply to mails, view folders etc. In the Yahoo Mail account I checked there is no option add folders, but you can move mails to already existing folders.
Nokia drive and Nokia maps
I haven’t had the chance to use these apps much. But one of the coolest features in this is that you can download the map. For example I’ve downloaded the Tamil Nadu map. Once downloaded you don’t need the internet while using it. You just need to set the destination location and there is either a 2D or 3D drive type map showing you how to get there.
This phone has an Office app. This is quite limited. But you can create new Word, Excel or PowerPoint files. You can edit them. This is connected to your SkyDrive so you can sync documents from your PC and edit them on your phone or create documents on your phone and then later edit them in your PC
Microsoft has it’s own Marketplace for Windows Phone apps. Apps are quite limited I should say when compared to IOS or Android. But I’m sure it will pick up or so I hope. Some of the apps I’ve installed from the MarketPlace are
- Whatsapp – It’s quite slow not sure why. On my android phone ironically my whatsapp is faster than my messaging. But in this phone Whatsapp takes a long time to load
- Bible(YouVersion) – It is only available when online. There is no option to download any offline versions. That’s quite disappointing
- Evernote – This is not bad. Most basic features from Evernote in IOS and Android are here too
- YouTube – This app is a joke because this is just a link that takes you to the mobile version of YouTube in the Internet Explorer.
- TuneIn Radio – Nice app to listen to online Radio
- SkyDrive – You can store files in the cloud using this
There are some other inbuilt apps that I didn’t really talk about like Alarms, App Highlights, Bluetooth Share, Calculator, Contacts Transfer, Games, Maps (Microsoft), Nokia Music and Ringtone Maker.
My Thoughts on Windows 7.8 and Nokia Lumia 510
I’m summarizing as Windows/Nokia because I think if there are Pros and Cons both Microsoft and Nokia are somewhat equally responsible for that. This is an entry level phone for Touch Screen Smartphones so it should be graded based on that and not in comparison with flagship model phones
On the Positive side
- Overall it’s a great phone for this price
- The UI is very smooth. There is no feeling of any lag and the apps open quite fast.
- The Camera is good when pictures are taken in well lighted places
- The Keyboard feels really good to type on due to the larger screen size I think
- Music/Photo managing is quite simple and easy
- Nokia drive can be used without the internet
- The screen size is perfect. Any bigger than this would have been quite annoying. I had a look at the Nokia 920 last week in the Nokia store. It’s too big in my opinion!
On the Negative side
- Apps are quite limited in the Microsoft MarketPlace
- Skype cannot be used because it only has 256 MB RAM (But my Android phone with lesser RAM has Skype!!)
- Can’t delete multiple photos
- No extendable storage. Only about 2GB of the 4GB built in storage is usable
- No Auto Rotation Lock. Annoying if you’re lying down sideways in your bed
- The Ringer Volume and the Media Volume is the same.
Windows 8.1 is currently out, do check out what’s new in Windows 8.1
Please leave a comment if you find the information here useful and do check out my personal blog if you have the time!!