I must be very honest from the get-go. When I was called to collect this device courtesy of my good friend Rogers (Roger, with an ‘S’), I must say I wasn’t too keen. Everyone who has been talking about the Lumia series was focused on the higher range of Lumias. This is the 810, the 900 and the 920. I especially fancied the Magenta 920. I kept picturing how good it would look on the table as I did PowerPoint presentations. How well it would distract those keen execs. I work with so they wouldn’t notice a typo in my presentation. But this isn’t the 920, it is the 510; the 920’s younger brother.
A Bit of Specs
This phone weighs in at 129 grams. I was surprised at how light it actually felt and was even more surprised to find it had a battery inside. It fits perfectly into my shirt pocket and has a good well rounded feel that doesn’t make you feel like you’re over-stretching your fingers to type on the screen.
The Operating System on this is another winner. It runs on Windows Phone 7.8. Windows Phone 7.8 has those interesting active tiles that keep refreshing on your desktop. The cool thing about this is that you can know that you’ve got a new email, tweet, text message and even refreshed Social Media feeds from Facebook and Twitter even without touching the device. Yep! All this just from the desktop. You know it is cool because you can also customize the desktop to your own liking. Make some interfaces bigger, delete some and then make some smaller. It works very well even on this phone. The 4–inch screen is also impressive. It doesn’t scratch easily. I would advise however that you get yourself a screen guard. You can find one in town for as little as 200 KES.
Another good selling point on this device is its HTML5 browser. HTML5 is the future. Anyone who isn’t building with this in mind is not building for mass. I don’t think you will need to download a separate browser on this device. The one it comes with works well and it renders most websites correctly.
Apps are big on this one. The only way to install an app though is through the market. The one that will impress you most is Nokia Drive which given a turn-by-turn guide to most places that can be found on Nokia Maps. You can also get it in local language. Imagine a map giving the directions to Swahili Dishes in the Nairobi CBD is authentic Swahili. I would definitely get me a piece of that. Nokia also improved Maps. You can now get them offline if you’re on an expensive data plan. Nokia Maps stored offline. Nice.
USSD – What can I say? Do I use USSD? Not that much? I like using SMS for keeping the actual record so the fact that multi-thread USSD didn’t work on this didn’t bother me so much. But USSD is big in Africa and the most common lay-African will want to use USSD for many things like checking and uploading airtime, buying bundles and checking status on traffic and so on. I tried some tweaks that could make this work but at times I couldn’t get past a few stages. It needs a bit of work.
People Card – A People Card in the simplest language is a hub where you can find all info on someone in your phone but in one window. This means that when I check out your profile on the device, it should give me your last Facebook update, your tweets, your email add, your most recent picture, all that. It is perfect for stalking and it makes navigation easier. I can communicate with you on any gateway as long as I have you on my card window.
5 MP Camera – This device has a 5 MP camera. It is ideal for use in well lit situations. I will say situations because most people don’t take pictures of people or things. They take pictures of situations. I didn’t quite fancy how it took pictures in the dark though. Unfortunately there’s no LED at the back to help me work with it at night. This also needs a bit of work.
Summary – I was impressed to learn that it was just a month old in the market having been released in November 2012. The good things about it definitely outweigh the small issues it may have. I should also add that it has an office suite so you can work on the go. It is a good entry level device for those who want something very near what Windows Phone 8 can do but don’t have 60,000 KES to blow. I will recommend this one. You can check more stats on GSM Arena I do believe that you can get one at around 16,900 KES from local Nairobi shops like Midcom and MobiCom in Nairobi CBD.