Nokia Lumia 510 review: Down a gear

GSMArena team, 22 January 2013.

The usual gallery

The Pictures hub change nothing since the Mango update. You can set a single photo as a background for the hub (it used to be the last photo viewed) or you can set it to shuffle different photos.

And of course, the point of hubs is that they are the go-to place to do things, instead of apps. New functionality allows apps to integrate into the Pictures hub, so for example, a photo effects app can make its options available right in the hub. Devs need to enable that into apps however.

The main view of the Pictures hub offers four options - camera roll, albums, date and people. A swipe to the left reveals what's new, which displays your Facebook friends and liked pages' new picture galleries. Another swipe shows your favorites section, where the photos you've faved are displayed.

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Pictures hub

Albums feature the camera roll, the preloaded system pictures and all of your Facebook albums. A flick to the left shows all your pictures sorted by date. You can't assign individual camera roll photos into albums, though.

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Albums • Date • Favorites

The people section is where you can select your friends or closed ones so that their galleries on Facebook get displayed right there in your Pictures hub. It's a nice feature for social network users but will be only an empty section for those that aren't too fond of Facebook.

The camera roll unifies your entire collection of photos and videos, taken with the device, in a grid of 4x5. You cannot change the view of the camera roll. Viewing a photo can be done in either portrait or landscape mode. Zooming in on a photo is done by either double tap or pinch to zoom. We appreciate that the camera roll doesn't downsize pictures and you can enjoy them in full resolution.

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Camera roll • Zooming in on a picture

Windows Phone 7 used to be quite restricted when it came to sharing - it's still not perfect but you can now share pictures and videos too. Sharing options include messaging, email, Facebook, Twitter, the cloud-based SkyDrive or via Bluetooth Share. The long-awaited Bluetooth transfers are here and you can send multimedia content to another device easy and hassle-free.

While uploading photos to Facebook, the OS will detect any untagged faces and allow you to tag them before proceeding with the upload.

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Internet sharing options

The camera roll has a dedicated auto-fix setting, which tries to improve your photo. It's a nice feature but one that produces unrealistic results at times.

The video player is integrated into the Pictures hub. It has a very simple interface - you have fast forward and rewind controls, a time scroll and a video size button that toggles full-screen viewing.

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Video player

The video player doesn't recognize .AVI files - in other words, don't expect DivX or XviD support. However, the Zune software on your computer will automatically convert such files to .MP4 - so, you can watch those formats on the Lumia 510, it's just that the transfer to the device can take quite a while (depending on your computer's capabilities).

It's interesting (and useful) that you can pin individual items to the homescreen - like a song or video, even an FM radio frequency.

Music + Videos is where the fun happens

The media players reside together in the Music & Videos hub, which bears the Zune logo. When you start it, it shows the History, which gives you quick access to the last two things played, or you can go to the full menu and start the music or video player, listen/watch podcasts (both audio and video podcasts are supported), start the FM radio or go to the Marketplace.

The music section is made up of albums, songs, playlists, genres and artists. Videos features all, television, music videos, films and personal - think of them like more of categories you can assign your videos to when synching with Zune. The third section is podcasts where you can store all of your downloaded audio and video podcasts.

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Music + Videos hub

The music has a simple and straightforward interface. You won't have any difficulties using it. However there are some things missing, like an equalizer. Another missing feature is the ability to scrub through a song with your finger - you have to press and hold on the FF/rewind buttons to simply jump back and forth.

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Browsing the music library • Now playing screen

You also get radio and marketplace links in the Music & Videos tile. It doesn't offer the option to listen to online radio stations so you would need to insert the headgear to get reception.

You have the current frequency in very large digits - swiping left and right changes the frequency and a swipe and release automatically searches for the next available station in that direction. You can mark some stations as favorites, which will allow you to pin them to the homescreen. RDS is on board and you can switch between headphones and loudspeaker.

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FM radio

If you have the Zune Music Pass you can stream or even download almost any song that is in the Marketplace. It applies for all Microsoft devices - Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows Phone 7.8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 360.

The Lumia 510 comes with pre-installed TuneIn Radio app which allows you to stream countless of worldwide radio stations to your phone. It has an intuitive interface and can search for local stations by your current location.

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TuneIn Radio app

Rather poor audio output

Unfortunately the Nokia Lumia 510 didn't quite manage to ace our audio output test. The smartphone posted below average results in both tested scenarios and fell significantly short of the Lumia 610 performance.

The frequency response had its extreme bass frequencies cut off with both headphones and an active external equalizer, but was spot on for the rest of the range. The signal-to-noise and dynamic range readings were only average on both occasions, though.

The total harmonic distortion was good with no headphones attached, but worsened quite a lot when we plugged them in, while the intermodulation distortion was rather case in both cases. Stereo crosstalk started off as average, but dropped to below average with a pair of headphones, rounding up an uninspiring overall performance.

And here comes the table so you can see for yourself.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Nokia Lumia 510+0.53, -6.09-79.479.50.029 0.598-75.2
Nokia Lumia 510 (headphones attached)+0.46, -6.06-79.679.80.153 0.581-47.7
Nokia Lumia 610+0.13, -1.26-84.686.60.070 0.286-85.7
Nokia Lumia 610 (headphones attached)+0.18, -0.80-84.686.60.543 0.451-53.0
Nokia Lumia 710+1.94, -2.90-80.980.80.061 1.603-85.7
Nokia Lumia 710 (headphones attached)+2.04, -2.69-83.383.00.061 1.574-54.5
Nokia Lumia 800+0.13, -0.12-87.387.60.011 0.241-87.8
Nokia Lumia 800 (headphones attached)+1.03, -5.90-87.187.90.028 0.567-41.8

Nokia Lumia 510 frequency response
Nokia Lumia 510 frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

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