Android’s becoming the most popular smartphone OS all over the world and it’s of no surprise to its ever-growing fan base. But Nokia’s also trying to play catch up with its reinvented image and selling smartphones running Microsoft Windows Phone. The competition’s heating up not only in the premium category for smartphones, but even the budget range has a lot to offer. Today, we compare three of the more recently released budget smartphones – the Nokia Lumia 610, HTC Desire C and Sony Xperia Tipo.
The OS: The Nokia Lumia 610 runs on Windows Phone 7.5 or Mango, while the Sony Xperia Tipo and HTC Desire C run on Android 4.0. Now, all these models are running on a slightly older version of their respective OS, but we don’t think it would be too much of a concern as they all run quite well. Our only concern is that Android has been designed to run efficiently even on minimalistic hardware unlike Windows Phone, for which Microsoft has set rigorous hardware criteria. Does that make the trimmed down Lumia 610 a little sluggish?
The external features: The Xperia Tipo is a relative letdown, having a very small screen of just 3.2 inches, which we feel is just not enough to be able to enjoy all features of Android. The Desire C is slightly better with a 3.5 inch screen, while the Lumia 610’s 3.7 inch screen is adequate for viewing the tile design of Windows Phone conveniently.
Even in terms of camera, these 3 phones are equipped with only a rear camera. We wish in this age of 3G, phone makers appreciated the importance of a front-facing camera and included it in the standard package within their phones. The Xperia Tipo again loses out in the race, being equipped with a mere 3.2MP rear camera, while the Lumia 610 and Desire C have a respectable 5MP camera in their rear. The Lumia 610 scores extra points for having an LED flash for its camera too.
The internal specifications: As always, this is one of our favorite review categories when comparing devices. Inside the Xperia Tipo is an 800 MHz Snapdragon processor, which gives it a slight edge over the Desire C’s 600 MHz equivalent. Both phones have a decent 512MB RAM, which we feel would just about suffice for basic Android functions. The Lumia 610 also is powered by an 800 MHz ARM Cortex A5 processor, but has only 256MB of RAM.
In terms of storage, the Xperia Tipo gives the user just about 2.5GB of internal memory, while the Desire C has 4GB of internal memory. Both these phones have microSD card slots for additional memory. The Lumia 610 has 8GB of internal storage but doesn’t come with a card slot to expand its memory. So if you think you’re going to need more than 8GB of memory on your phone, look in another direction.
Ironically, the Xperia Tipo with its small screen size has the biggest battery among these 3 phones – 1500 mAh. The Lumia 610 has a 1300 mAh battery, while the Desire C has a 1230 mAh battery, which we doubt will be enough to keep the phone powered all day long, especially when using e-mail or playing games.