Nokia Lumia 610 brings Windows Phone to the masses

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Nokia officially announced the Lumia 610, a budget Windows Phone handset, at Mobile World Congress Sunday. The phone's hardware is pretty bare-bones, but it will lead the charge for the updated, low-end-optimized Windows Phone OS that Microsoft hopes will help it conquer new territory like China.

The Lumia 610 has a 3.7-inch 480×800 screen, only 256MB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and an 800MHz processor. The phone also has a 5-megapixel camera and a shiny plastic bezel, and is set to debut in Europe for only €189 ($254) off-contract in the second quarter of this year.

Nokia is dabbling a bit in the app market for Windows Phone: alongside its new Lumia phone, Nokia has also introduced two new apps that will be available to the entire Lumia line. Public Transport provides directions for mass transit systems and lets users pin destinations to their home screens (for instance, personal security concerns aside, your own address so you can always get quick directions home). The second app, Reading, is a simple e-book reader and store for ePub and PDF files.