Nokia Lumia 710 review

Julian Prokaza wasn’t overly impressed with Nokia’s first attempt at a Windows Phone 7 smartphone, so will the new entry-level Lumia 710 fare any better than the mid-range Lumia 800?

The screen is still topped by a slice of tough Corning Gorilla Glass (albeit flat, rather than convex) though, and still backed by the same ClearBlack technology that gives enhanced contrast and improved daylight visibility although this tends to make greasy finger marks all the more visible.

More to the point, however, is that the Lumia 710's supposedly lesser display technology doesn't suffer from the fuzzy pixel problem that plagues the Lumia 800 and it has much sharper definition as a result.

Nokia Lumia 710

Cost cutting is probably also the reason for Nokia downgrading the Lumia 710's camera, but while its 5-megapixel sensor with single LED flash and unnamed optics may not match the Lumia 800's 8-megapixel, dual LED flash and Carl Zeiss optics arrangement on paper, the actual photo quality still isn't too far behind not that we were overly impressed by the Lumia 800's photo quality

Nokia hasn't made any obvious changes to Windows Phone 7 on the Lumia 710 and it ships with the same bespoke apps as the Lumia 800. These include the Nokia Drive satnav and Nokia Maps apps, the latter of which is essentially a fancier looking version of WP7's own Maps app.

As is probably obvious, we rather like the Lumia 710 and certainly prefer it to the Lumia 800. What specification reductions there are make little practical difference and the only one of any real consequence is the reduced user storage and even that won't matter to anyone uninterested in carrying lots of audio or video around.

Since it's available for 100 less than the Lumia 800 unlocked and off-contract, the Lumia 710 is a tempting proposition for anyone looking for low-cost alternative to Android and iOS. It's certainly the best value Windows Phone 7 device we've reviewed so far, but then we've yet to see the Lumia 900

Verdict

The Lumia 710 is a solid smartphone that, despite its technically lesser specification, somehow manages to be a better than the Lumia 800. Windows Phone 7 still has some way to go before it can compete with Android and iOS on features, but this is the most convincing marriage of smartphone hardware and Microsoft’s new mobile OS we’ve seen so far.

Operating system: Windows Phone 7 (v7.5 Mango) Processor: Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon (1.4GHz) Storage: 512MB RAM, 8GB user storage Screen: 3.7” (480 x 800) capacitive multi-touch with Corning Gorilla Glass Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP & EDR, microUSB, 3.5mm headphone socket, microSIM card slot Other: Accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, digital compass, AGPS, FM tuner Bands: GSM 900/1800/1900Mhz, HSDPA 900/1900/2100MHz) Camera: 5MP rear with autofocus and LED flash Battery: 1300mAh (Up to 7h 40m talk time, 400h standby) Size: 119 x 62.4 x 12.5mm Weight: 125.5g

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