Nokia Lumia 510 Review: Simple Yet Powerful



It’s been almost two years ago when Nokia shifted its gear to the Windows Phone platform as their main flagship OS. It’s really a tough move because it’s like starting again from scratch but Nokia never faltered to face this challenge. Now, the ‘Lumia’ branding have gained so much traction that became even more popular than the ‘Windows Phone’ brand. For the record, Nokia has grabbed the ‘Top Windows Phone OEM’ away from HTC in just few months.

Nokia is now shifting to Windows Phone 8 to deliver new innovations on a higher level. But of course, Nokia is also focusing on delivering innovative devices to the masses at a lower price point – this is where Nokia Lumia 510 comes into picture.

The Lumia 510 is yet the most affordable Lumia ever which is now priced at PhP 6,990 (169 USD) only. It is the cheapest Microsoft-powered smartphone and also the first to release the Windows Phone 7.8 out of the box on most markets.
The Lumia 510 is an entry-level smartphone but shows no compromise when it comes to performance. With Windows Phone 7.8 on board, it visually bridges the gap onto the more advanced Windows Phone 8. Lumia 510 is a key to reach emerging markets where smartphone demand is just about to grow.

Specs Overview:

  • Data Network: Quad-band 3G with 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA support
  • Display: 4-inch WVGA 800×480,
  • Touch screen technology: Capacitive Multipoint-Touch
  • Weight: 129g
  • Connectivity: GPRS/EDGE, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, GPS/A-GPS, micro-USB, 3.5mm audio connector (AHJ + WP Controls), Dual Transfer Mode, HSDPA/WCDMA
  • Camera: 5-megapixel auto-focus; 2592 x 1944 pixels and video recording in VGA resolution @30fps
  • Video playback codecs: VC-1, H.264/AVC, H.263, MPEG-4
  • Video playback file formats: MP4, WMV, 3GP, 3G2
  • Maximum 3G talk time: 8.4h
  • Maximum 3G standby time: 653.2h
  • Music playback time: 38h
  • Operating System: Windows Phone 7.8 OS
  • Processor: 800 MHz Snapdragon S1 chipset, 256MB of RAM
  • GPU: Adreno 200
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS support with free life time voice guided navigation
  • 4GB of on-board storage with 7GB SkyDrive cloud storage
  • FM Radio with RDS
  • Battery: BP-3L  1300mAh battery
  • Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and EDR (with Bluetooth file transfers)
  • Deep Social Networking Sites (SNS) integration
  • Business apps: Lync (Corporate IM), Excel, Powerpoint, Word, One Note
  • interchangeable back covers in Red, Black, White, Cyan and Yellow


  • Limited 4GB storage (only 2.28GB is available for use)
  • average sunlight legibility
  • no front facing camera
  • some apps incompatibility like Skype, Photosynth and Citylens (other apps require higher RAM)


The Lumia 510 retail package has all the basic things you need to start your new smartphone. It comes with a wired USB charger, micro USB cable, and a Nokia Audio headset with call receive and end button.

The Lumia 510 is 
gorgeously crafted with a 4-inch screen bigger than its old siblings the Lumia 710, 610 and 800. The slimmer chassis makes it feels good in the hand as it only weighs at 129 grams. You won’t notice that you are holding an entry-level device.



The Lumia 510 has a stellar design with vibrant colours in yellow, cyan, red, white and black. The fantastic 4 inch screen gives you a pleasing viewing experience. With its bright colours, sleek design and 4” screen, the Nokia Lumia 510 really stands out on any crowd.

Lumia 510

The entry-level Lumia 510 has somewhat a design similar to the Lumia 610. But this new design feels better to hold and use. As for other entry-level smartphones I’ve seen in the market today, Nokia has made this phone special from the rest. A design which doesn’t look cheap and plasticky despite of its low price point. The Lumia 510 looks solid and sturdy in all angles.

The 4″ screen offers a great viewing experience for over all use especially for browsing the net, watching videos, games and working on your MS Office files. Though it has a bigger dimension, the nicely-rounded back gives it a better grip on most hands plus the smooth, rubbery finish at the back makes it more comfortable.

Taking out the back cover, will let you access the micro SIM card slot and the BP-3L 1300 mAh battery which impressively provides you great battery life even better than the Lumia 800, 610 and 710.


The Nokia Lumia 510 has a standard LCD screen of WVGA resolution. The only downside of this phone is the omission of the AMOLED and the Clear Black display.


AMOLED gives a substancial benefit on most smartphones today. It gives a pleasurable viewing display making the colors more vibrant and crisp. While the Nokia Clear Black display makes it better plus it gives a better sunlight legibility. But since this is a budget friendly smartphone, its forgivable not to have it on the Lumia 510.

As I used this phone outside on a sunny day, the lack of AMOLED and Clear Black display really makes it difficult to see the the screen and the reflective display is somewhat annoying. But it still remains usable outside or you can also adjust the display brightness to medium or high. I hope that Nokia has given this phone the Clear Black sans the AMOLED.


Lumia 510 is now running on Windows Phone 7.8 which is said to be the last update for the Windows Phone 7 devices. But just recently Microsoft has released a bug fix update for the Windows Phone 7.8 devices. Rumors say that Microsoft is going to release the Windows Blue update that will also run on Windows Phone legacy system.

The Windows Phone 7.8 offers mostly of cosmetic change on the user interface. Now, users can customize their homescreen with re-sizable live tiles and additional accent colors.

The new update also brings Bluetooth Share and Ringtone Maker, an exclusive to Lumia devices. With Bluetooth Share, you can send and receive photos, videos and music files to your Lumia 510 from other devices. The Windows Phone 7.8 also offers a new boot screen showing the new Windows Phone 8 logo. The cosmetic changes on this update, brings closer to the Windows Phone 8 UI.

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The new interface runs smooth on the Lumia 510 and you won’t notice that this phone is an under-powered version of its older brothers. This device runs at 800 Mhz processor and less RAM at only 256 MB. In normal usage, it runs reasonably fast and responsive but there are some delays when opening some of the tiles and applications compared to Lumia 800 and 900.

Multitasking on this phone is a little bit hurt by the lowered hardware specs, making it slower when switching from one application to another. When you launch applications more than 5, it closes the older ones thus you have to open it again. I have also noticed that closing some applications gives a bit of delay on applications which requires a higher RAM. But users on the entry-level smartphone category don’t usually open couple of apps all at the same time. They are not like the ‘power users’ who used to open couple of apps most of the time. So the processing power on this phone is just perfect for users under this category.

The People Hub on Windows Phone is the most impressive features of this OS. This lets you list of all your contacts from phone numbers, social networking,and many more. It has great options for you to integrate your contacts in one, making it easier for searching. When you add your Facebook account into the hub, it gathers all your Facebook friends which includes their email address, phone numbers, photo and other social networking accounts (if those are added on their Facebook profile). It gives you an easier way to communicate with your contacts seamlessly.

Messaging on Windows Phone made easier. The qwerty keyboard is easy and comfortable for typing plus it has a predictive text feature which suggests text while you type, thus saves time. Facebook chat is also integrated on the messaging makes is easuier for you to get in touch with your online contacts Telephony on Lumia 510 is as great as other Nokia phones. Calls made were loud and crisp. Its Nokia’s trademark in providing great telephony experience without issues on signal and antenna.

Lumia 510 also comes with Office Mobile 360 which lets you create and edit Word, Excel, Powerpoint and One Note straight to your phone. It also has option to connect to Sharepoint if you have one. Files can also be uploaded to Skydrive so you can access it on your computer. This productivity app makes Lumia 510 runs ahead of its competitors since this is only a Windows Phone exclusive app for free. With Office 360, you can now work on your files wherever you.

To complete your office experience, you can also setup your email accounts and access it on your Lumia 510. Windows Phone offers wide range of email account options for you. You can add email accounts like Outlook, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Windows Live and Nokia Mail. If your account is not listed, you can also manually add other email accounts that you have via POP or IMAP server setup.


Lumia 510 has a 5MP camera sensor on its back that can capture photos in 2592×1944 pixels. It lacks a front facing camera for video calls and led flash for night shots.

Windows Phone is known to take photos faster than other smartphones. Aside from that you can access the camera quickly by pressing the camera hardware button from the side even the phone is locked. You can either take shots by tapping on the screen or using the camera shutter.

Photos captured on Lumia 510 is pretty impressive compared to its older siblings. There is more resolved detail and accurate colors. It’s a surprise because this phone doesn’t have a Carl Zeiss lens on it. So far its impressive for a low-end smartphone. Of course night shots would be more challenging since it lacks flash. But night mode works when you need it most.

You can click on the photos to view the gallery.

Plus you can use plenty of options on the camera UI to suite your needs.

Lumia 510 has a similar interface to the still camera. You can also use scenes, change contrast, saturation and sharpness level before you shoot your video. Auto focus works great on this mode. Sadly, Lumia 510 can only capture a videos on VGA resolution of 480p which is only good for casual video needs but nothing special. Overall, Lumia 510 has a decent 5Mp camera on its price range.

The Music+Video hub puts the music, videos and FM radio in one place. When you access it, it shows you the , which gives you quick access to the last two things played. It also has all the music and video related apps you have installed for your device for ease of access. FM radio can also be found on this hub. You can set stations as favorites, which you can pin them to the homescreen. FM radio also comes with RDS. The audio output on the Lumia 510 is loud and crisp compared to other Lumia devices like the 610, 710 and 800. Lumia 510 is a great multimedia device.


Lumia 510 is also using the same browser as with other Windows Phone 7.8 – the Internet Explorer 9. So far, IE 9 is the fastest mobile browser that you can get. This browser is HTML 5 capable but no Flash nor Silverlight support. However, the browser performance differs on the Lumia 510 because of its lower RAM and under-powered processor. But  Nokia Lumia 510 browser is a capable performer, it uses its GPU or hardware graphics acceleration to provide better browser rendering.

Internet Explorer 9 has two versions, you can set it to either Mobile or Desktop version (set to mobile by default). In my experience, the Lumia 510 runs perfectly on mobile version. It also runs on desktop version, however, it loads slower since the desktop version fully loads the whole site rendering. For faster browsing experience, just set your browser to mobile version.

Streaming and playing YouTube videos is not a problem, it loads YouTube videos fast and smooth depending on your WiFi or data connection speed. Even videos on Nokia Trailers works perfectly. Lumia 510 supports lower resolution for video playback at 480p (30fps). It can play most of the video formats like H.260, H.264, MP4 and WMV.

Lumia 510 enjoys thousands of apps in the Martketplace. Currently there are 130,000 apps as of January 2013 that you can download for free or purchase it. Though Windows Phone store still behind iOS and Android store in terms of number of apps, you can assure that apps submitted in the store are safe, malware free and with quality. But keep in mind that the downgraded RAM and processor of the Lumia 510 serves as a disadvantage when it comes to apps compatibility. But as a power user, I didn’t feel that there is much apps missed for Lumia 510 except for Skype and Cinemagraph. Aside from apps, Marketplace also offers music, video and games.


XBox Live is the gaming hub of the Windows Phone family. It brings certain features from the Xbox gaming console from accessing your avatar and syncing your achievements. Aside from that, you can also add and invite friends whose also on Xbox live. Most of the games that you have downloaded on your Lumia, especially those Xbox game titles, will be placed on the Xbox Live hub.

I really don’t expect that this phone would play decently considering its under-clocked processor and low RAM value. Surprisingly, this phone can play most of the games that Lumia 800 can. Couple of games I installed on the Lumia 510 loads perfectly and runs smoothly. When I first install the Sims 3, I thought that it will be a different version but then, it was totally the same version played on Lumia 800, for example. It loads fast and no lags at all.

I’ve also tried other games such as Angry Birds, Asphalt 5, Fruit Ninja and Splinter Cell: Conviction. But on the Splinter Cell: Conviction, it plays smooth but sometimes loading time takes a li’l longer. Lumia 510 is expected to have limited apps but most of the apps and games you need works on this smartphone.

Exclusive to Lumia, you will enjoy the free offline navigation via Nokia Drive and see the world via Nokia Maps. Lumia 510 performs impressively and managed to get GPS lock quickly just the same as with other Lumias.

Nokia Maps helps you find places and discover new cities without bringing your big paper maps. You can also read reviews and check guides from Lonely Planet, Qype and Insight Guides.

Nokia Drive
helps you easily plan routes and can give you the fastest and shortest route depends on what you need. Best of all, this works offline meaning you can drive around the city without using data and draining your battery.

Nokia Drive and Maps are one of the best feature you can get on Lumia 510 which are both free and pre-installed. Its a deal that you can’t get with other entry-level smartphones.

Full Video Review of the Nokia Lumia 510


*** All photos and video was captured by Nokia 808 Pureview.


The Nokia Lumia 510 is a trimmed version of Lumia 610 but with a different twist. It offers less to lower down its cost in order to reach lower price points. And that’s how Nokia aims the Lumia 510, connecting more people.

The Nokia Lumia 510 now costs for only PhP 6,990 or USD 169 (suggested retail price). What you’ll get is a full pledge smartphone with full-featured Office suite and free life-time sat-navigation via Nokia Maps, Drive and Transit. Now, with Windows Phone 7.8 update, you can now enjoy features lack from the previous firmware like the Bluetooth Share, Ringtone Maker, Bing daily wallpaper for the lock screen and the new UI from the Windows Phone 8.

Despite of the limited 4GB storage, Lumia 510 also has 7GB free Skydrive cloud storage which you can set automatically to back up your media files in a breeze (data connection needed). The storage size for the Lumia 510 is quite a set back but its enough for your multimedia needs, considering the fact that this phone only shoots at 5MP and VGA videos producing small file size which doesn’t take much of your storage space.


The Nokia Lumia 610

The closest rival of the Lumia 510 is the Lumia 610 which offers almost the same specs but only differs in storage, camera section and screen size. Lumia 610 has a bigger storage of 8GB plus a led flash on its camera. However, Lumia 510 has no led flash, less storage but has bigger screen, better build quality and design, longer battery life and more powerful loudspeaker, louder than the Lumia 800, 710 and 610. Best of all, Lumia 510 is way cheaper than the 610, let’s you save PhP 3,000 (USD 74).


The Nokia Lumia 510

So if you’re asking yourself if Lumia 510 fits for you? Lumia 510 is not for a power user. It is for people who wants to experience a full pledged smartphone but doesn’t want to spend more money.

If you want a decent smartphone with great looking design, features that you can use for office or school, with great social integration and browser to access the world, decent camera for point and shoot, bigger display for your viewing needs, plus Nokia Drive with offline sat-navigation app that you can use on your travel for free, apps and games for your pleasure, great battery life plus a very affordable price – you can never go wrong with the Nokia Lumia 510, it’s Simple yet Powerful.


About Author

Editor-in-Chief Loves Photography, Music, Symbian, Windows Phone and Sushi Follow him on Twitter , Google+ and Instagram For comments and feedback, send your email to

  • Bala

    Wasted your time in reviewing lumia 510 since 520 is going to be launched somewhere in the second week of april. Buying lumia 510 is just a waste of money . And moreover the citylens app you listed here doesnt work with lumia 510. I agree its simple but not the later

  • Hello Bala,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    Lumia 510 is never a waste of money. Its one of the best selling Windows phone since it was released.

    You have to consider that every person has its own preference and choice, Lumia 510 might not be powerful for you but it doesn’t mean that its mediocre. If you are a power user then Lumia 510 is not for you, just like what I’ve stated on my review. I, myself, is a poweruser but I’ve had a good time using the Lumia 510. Of course, if you are using an entry-level smartphone considering its price, you should not expect things that you can only get from a high end device. Each smartphone has its own category and Lumia 510 is not listed as a high end smartphone.

    Yes, 520 is near, but it doesn’t mean that 510 has no room at all. 520 and 510 wont be at the same price boat so people who have less budget, can still go for the 510.

    I have friends who went on getting Lumia 800 instead of 620, despite of me telling them to get the 620 since the price difference is not that big… they love the 800 design and they dont care much of the apps… or processor cores.. they still bought the lumia 800.

    Each Lumia has a place for each of us, even if Lumia Windows Phone 8 is around now, each of us has its own choice. The review I did is for people who bought the Lumia 510 and those who are planning to get it.

    Thanks for dropping by:) Hope to get a 520 test device soon.

  • does Lumia 510 supports city lens? my 510 does not.

  • Yes. whats happening? mine works

  • Bala

    no city lens will not work with devices like 510 and 610 because of 256mb ram

  • Nope its working … cinemagraph is the one which is not working but an update will be released soon to make in run on low ram lumia

  • Rumalline Qwertio

    You know all those Lumnias are exactly the same. When I will see real Nokia spirit with MeeGo or Meltemi or Sailfish? When? THAT is THE question…

  • Anurag Sarkar

    I have just updated my lumia 510 to 7.8 but there is nothing changes so much

  • Hi what do you mean? 🙂
    you didnt get the resizable live tiles, bing daily wallpaper, bt share, ringtone maker and other stuff?

  • Charles

    Thanks for this review, it’s very informative and I will hopefully be getting the lumia 510 soon

  • Ur welcome and thanks for dropping by!

  • Eric

    I am using Nokia Lumia 510 and it rocks!! amazing!!!! cinemagraph, Panorama, fluid and fast using Internet Explorer. youtube, all of the stuffs that I need..=)BUETOOTH IS WORKING GREAT after the update, Ringtone maker, I even installed Discovery Network and National geographic and the videos are fast and fluid!=)CNN, TuneIn..and the camera=) Its simple yet powerful though its 256 Ram!!!

  • Hi RV! Is there a possibility than I can screen capture on my lumia 510? How did you do that?

  • its a tricky thing, u need to devunlock your phone, have a dev account first and then install homebrewed app called Screen Capture….

  • Nico

    Great review!!!
    Keep it up:)

  • Thanks mate!

  • Here Lens should be working now for Lumia 510

  • Rema Sah

    Fix to “Nokia Lumia 3g/4g not working”

    Watch solution at following youtube video:

  • sidmeier23

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Sus

    Thank you for this review. how can i get offline games for my Lumia 510. This is my first windows Phone, i want to understand how it works. Any help will be appreciated

  • Hello Susan,

    Glad you switched to Lumia though I’m surprised that the 510 still ships in your country… There are a lot of offline games especially those made by Gameloft.

    Sims 3
    Plants vs. Zombies
    Splinter Cell

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