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Nokia Lumia 610 can double as Wi-Fi hot spot

The low-end Windows Phone handset can act as a hot spot for other devices, a feature now missing from but destined for its 710 and 800 counterparts.

Nokia's Lumia 610 offers Wi-Fi tethering out of the box.
Nokia's Lumia 610 offers Wi-Fi tethering out of the box. Kent German/CNET

Owners of Nokia's Lumia 610 can use their phone as a hot spot to provide Wi-Fi coverage for up to five different devices.

Nokia's Lumia 610 Web site specifically lists that feature under the Sharing and Internet category. The feature pages for the Lumia 710 and the 800 don't yet make any mention of hot-spot capability.

But sit tight, Lumia owners. A Nokia spokesman confirmed to CNET that the company will add hot-spot functionality to the 710 and 800 in a future software update.

Nokia's Web site doesn't yet provide details on the Lumia 900, which is expected to debut in the U.S. on April 22 through AT&T. But the 900 will also offer built-in hot-spot access for up to five devices. A Nokia product manager confirmed that news in January, explaining that the 900 will come with Wi-Fi tethering out of the box with the right AT&T data plan.

Both Nokia and Microsoft are fighting to make a dent in the smartphone market and can use every available advantage. With more customers using phones, tablets, and other laptops to hop online, the ability to offer a Wi-Fi hot spot no longer seems to be an option but a necessity.