Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 review: First Look

Nokia has finally announced its first Windows Phone 7 handsets, but do these new smartphones light the way or trail the pack? We get a hands-on sneak peek.

The Nokia Drive Windows Phone 7 app on the Nokia Lumia 710.

The Nokia Drive Windows Phone 7 app on the Nokia Lumia 710.

Future Windows Phone 7 apps from Nokia will include an augmented reality app called Live View and a public transportation app that will cover the subway systems of 450 cities, as well as the bus and train networks of 71 cities. Details of these two upcoming apps have yet to be confirmed though.

Both Nokia Drive and Music will also be available on the Lumia 710, a cheaper alternative to the Lumia 800. The two share many of the same specs, but the Lumia 710 has a five-megapixel camera rather than eight-megapixels and has just 8GB of non-expanadable storage rather than 16GB. The 3.7in 800x480 screen is also standard LCD, rather than AMOLED, so contrast won't be as good and colours will be less saturated.

The Nokia Lumia 710.

The Nokia Lumia 710.

It also a noticeably different design it has physical rather than touch sensitive buttons and it's curvier and chunkier, but still fits nicely in the hand. It's also more colourful thanks to a design throwback reminiscent of Nokia phones of yesteryear interchangeable fascias which will come in a variety of colours and textures. Despite the interchangeable covers, the Lumia 710 still feels robust and well made. Like the 800, it uses a micro SIM, first seen in the iPhone 4, rather than a full-sized SIM.

A soft textured blue fascia on the Nokia Lumia 710.

A soft textured blue fascia on the Nokia Lumia 710.

The Nokia Lumia 800 will be available in the next few days, while a UK release date of the Lumia 710 has yet to be confirmed. UK pricing for both models has yet to be confirmed, but it's likely to be very similar to Eurozone pricing. The Lumia 800 will cost 420 ex VAT SIM free, while the 710 will cost substantially less at 270 ex VAT SIM free.

So what are our first impressions?

Verdict

Both of Nokia's new Lumia Windows Phone 7 models look very promising. However, whether the Lumias will be worth choosing over other Windows Phone handsets depends not only on the usual concerns like battery life, but whether Nokia's apps are distinctive and useful enough to set the Lumias apart from similar Samsung and HTC Windows Phones. We'll bring you full reviews as soon as we can.

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