Nokia Lumia 610 more powerful than first gen Windows Phones, but crippled by low memory

Silverlight MVP , András Velvárt, also developer of the Surfcube 3D browser, has posted somewhat of a disection of the performance of the Nokia Lumia 610.

He notes the device performs nicely  as long as you are using the native features of the operating system but that things change dramatically when you start third party applications. At this point, you may notice that some applications take forever to load, and for more complicated apps, you will experience glitchy scrollings, blankings, slow response time and even occasional freezes for a second.

His investigations found the CPU was surprisingly powerful, with performance on par with the LG Optimus 7 first gen Widows Phone, despite the 20% slower processor.  The GPU was even more so, and he notes the Lumia 610 not just matches, but seriously outperforms the first generation Optimus 7, delivering almost twice as many frames per second under heavy load.

Things are not however so rosy when it comes to RAM, with only 60 MB actual memory available for applications, with the other 30 MB being used via paging, which is of course a lot slower.

When paging happens between two screens, all the user sees is some delay between the screens. But when it happens while you are still on one screen, the app seems to freeze and does not react to user input. This usually takes about a second, which is more than enough to cause frustration in the user.

He summarizes:

The Lumia 610 is a surprisingly powerful device that easily matches the first generation Windows Phones and even outperforms them when it comes to graphics. However, the lack of memory kills the joy – a slightly more complicated app can easily find itself being swapped out, resulting in slow app launches, responsivity issues and temporary freezes due to paging. Despite the fairly powerful GPU and CPU, it takes significant developer effort to match the user experience of apps when compared to first generation devices – if at all possible.

Read the tests in full detail at Dotneteers here.