Nokia Lumia 710

Nokia doesn't cut too many corners in delivering the Lumia 710 on a budget, and the result is a full-featured phone for a fraction of what its competitors are charging.


8.8
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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon


Though most of the focus of Nokia's comeback plan has centred on its top-tier releases, the Lumia 800 and 900, the recently deposed king of mobile phones has other irons in the fire. The Lumia 710 is a cheaper model in the Lumia line, hoping to find customers in the crowd who refuse to pay top dollar for an iPhone.

Design

What's most impressive about the Lumia 710 is how well put together it is. Side by side with the Lumia 800, the differences are obvious. Nokia chooses a collection of sturdy plastic components for the 710 over the more expensive polycarbonate unibody of the 800, but you'd be hard pressed to accuse the cheaper model of looking or feeling cheap. Our review unit is black, but the handset is available in a range of colours, including white and fluoro yellow.

The chassis of our 710 review unit is one-part glossy piano-black plastic, and one-part soft-touch plastic across the battery cover. These two pieces fit firmly together, so there is no obvious seam felt when you run your fingers across the edge. The back of the phone houses a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash, and a large external speaker grille.

(Credit: CBSi)

Though it's not smaller than the display on the 800, the display here is made from a different screen technology. While Nokia saves its superb AMOLED screens for the top-tier models, the 710 sports a 3.7-inch LCD TFT panel with a WVGA resolution. This may sound like a step backwards, and it is, but the screen in the 710 is much better than we tend to see in phones at the lower end of the market. Colours aren't as warm as they could be, and the blacks could be blacker, but the viewing angles on this screen are excellent, and the touchscreen is flawlessly responsive.

Our only minor criticism of this design is that the external buttons — the power and camera keys — don't have a lot of give in them, and can feel a little sticky when pressed. This is more a concern with the camera key than any other, as you use a half-press command to focus before taking a photo, and this is hard to do as a result.

Performance

What is most remarkable about the Lumia 710 is that it has identical hardware to the Lumia 800 under the hood. This means that unlike some budget Android phones, you don't feel restricted at all when using the 710, even though it costs half as much. Basic home-screen navigation is just as buttery smooth, multitasking works as quickly and the 710 is capable of playing even the most intensive 3D games on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

(Credit: CBSi)

Call quality during our tests was excellent, with the earpiece speaker sounding loud enough, even on a busy street. Battery life lasts a solid day to a day and a half, even after playing several hours of our favourite Xbox Live games and with emails being pushed to the phone in the background. Data speeds have been good, too, with apps and web pages downloading within an acceptable time frame. We're not sure whether we saw it reach the 14.4Mbps data-speed limit possible with the hardware in the 710, but it certainly didn't feel too sluggish.

The performance of the web browser is pretty much on par with all other Windows Phone devices that we've seen to date, which is to say it's OK, but far from outstanding. The Internet Explorer browser on the phone diverts all traffic through mobile sites by default, which helps to speed up the browsing experience somewhat, but without Flash this can sometimes feel like a static experience. Also, Microsoft, like Google, takes the opportunity to promote its search engine as often as it can throughout the system, which is frustrating if you'd prefer to use an alternative. We also found that the browser struggled with a number of shortened URLs found in Twitter.

Camera

As with the other physical components of the 710, the camera isn't of the same quality as the 8-megapixel camera in the Lumia 800, but it is well above average for its price range. With a 5-megapixel sensor, auto-focus and an LED flash, the 710 manages what most cameras in low-price smartphones fail to do: take more good photos than bad. We found that the photos we took were often in focus, and with decent colour, although we would have liked them to have been a little warmer.

The only caveat to this is that you have to let the camera focus before taking each photos. Shots we took quickly never turned out well, but those that we took after a moment of preparation were almost all in focus and showing a good level of detail. This returns us to the problem of the handset's sticky buttons, which we mentioned above. Focusing before a photo is essential with the 710, but it can be difficult to achieve.

(Credit: CBSi)

(Credit: CBSi)

(Credit: CBSi)

Features

Lumia 710 customers don't lose out in the software stakes, either, with the full suite of Windows Phone- and Nokia-developed apps at their disposal. Importantly, this includes Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive, two outstanding navigation tools that are both completely free to use. There's also Nokia Music, which, aside from giving access to the Nokia Music Store, also includes a free music-streaming service called Mix Radio, where users can choose radio station-like streams based on genre, era and region.

Microsoft's Windows Phone apps are also included, with full access to Office documents, SkyDrive cloud storage, Xbox Live games and achievements and the Zune media player. If you're looking for even more to do with your phone, you can jump on the Marketplace and browse its 60,000-plus app catalogue, including the new Skype app for Windows Phone.

One small feature that really stands out is the Facebook Chat integration in Windows Phone. While other mobile platforms offer similar services in apps, Microsoft builds it right in to the standard phone-messaging service, so that when you send a message to someone, you have the choice to send it via SMS, Windows Live or Facebook. Often, this means free messages to friends, especially those who live their lives plugged in to Facebook.

Overall

Any way you slice it, the Lumia 710 is a good smartphone, and is excellent value for money. Nokia hasn't cut too many corners in delivering a feature-rich Windows Phone on a budget with performance to rival even the Apple iPhone. Its screen could display richer, deeper colours, and the camera could be easier to use, but these seem like minor quibbles next to everything that is right in this package. In terms of value for money, very few phones come close.



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PoonamS posted a comment   

i bought nokia lumia 710 on march 12, 2012 from mumbai.within 3 months it is creating trouble. it gets hanged up frequently and now there is voice problem. what should we do now?

 

skdreams posted a comment   
Australia

I had a look at one of these. Being an Android user, 710 felt extremely limited in features and usability. Also the "Bing" search is annoying at best. I am not sure how these Nokia windows phones are getting such rave reviews because I don't get it. Nokia Drive and Nokia maps are both useless as compared to Google Maps and Navigation. Camera was mediocre as expected. Tiles screen looks good from far but when using it, its pretty cumbersome. Overall, not a phone or OS which I could give up my android for. Even the budget Android phones which you can pick up for less than $100 are far more functional than this. I sincerely hope though that Windows Phone OS progresses further and becomes one of the market leaders, we certainly don't want a duopoly in Mobile OS market.

 

ChrisH5 posted a comment   

so my question is should i go from my iphone 3GS to the nokia lumia 710 now that my contract has expired? I don't want to go over the $29 month price so should i keep my iphone 3GS and have it a plan of this price or is it worth the changover to the lumia 710 for the same price? I have heard that the apps available are pretty poor for the lumia

chris

 

aaardvaark posted a comment   
Australia

I'm not up on technology situation, but from reading it seems this doesn't work with 3G 850MHz. Isn't that what Telstra's biggest coverage network uses? How useful is this phone if you want to use the full Telstra coverage?

 

AlexV1 posted a comment   
Australia

I think the real issue is how will Microsoft and Nokia get the public excited about windows Phone ... It's WP7 has been out for a fair while now and i don't really see any traction with..
Also, I still don't see why it took Nokia so long to release two handsets.
Other issues are the lack of upgradability to Apollo , generally pretty old hardware ( in comparison to Android's offerings ) and that i think people still feel rather burnt by Microsoft after Windows Vista and Windows Mobile 6..

 

DeaksD posted a comment   
Australia

ive had mine for over a month and im very happy with it
few little improvements could be the camera speed and maybe the nokia drive should offer walking mode apart from that phone works great nokia is due for a come back and at this price range not much out there that offers all these features and quality like the nokia lumia 710
my deciding point between the 800 and 710 was the fact that the battery is easily taken out should i need to carry a spare

 

PeteL posted a comment   
Australia

Im currently on my way to getting a lumia 800, and, as an ios user, i cant work out everyones problem with WP7. i really enjoy it, the experience is really different and fluid, and, Nokia just keeps pushing out great software for it (drive updates, that photo studio, mix radio, etc).
just one mans opinion though.

 

Will1505 posted a reply   

Agreed, I was a blackberry person and recently moved to android. I played with the 800 for about two minutes in a JBHIFI shop and my mouth dropped. Runs like a rocket, text input was spot on and the screen was stunning. Until the app support improves (windows phone 8 will hopefully fix that), i'll stay with android, but it is tempting

 

trebor83 posted a comment   
Australia

Joe, you must be close to the only reviewer left in the techworld that hasn't decided that, now that Nokia are presenting some good handsets running it, Windows Phone 7 simply isn't good enough anymore and all of these phones must be marked down purely for that reason.

 

Joseph Hanlon posted a reply   
Australia

It really depends on how you use your smartphone and, in my opinion, most people could get good use out of this phone.

Why do you say that Windows Phone isn't good enough? Do you mean apps or specific features?

 

trebor83 posted a reply   
Australia

I don't think that it isn't good enough it just seems to have been the over whelming view put forth by most of the writers that I have read reviewing both the Lumia 900 and Titan 2 in the last few weeks.

Somehow in the first 3 months of this year WP7 apparently went from being a good OS, if not "as good" as Android or iOS, to being horrible in any number of ways, or so it seems.

 

Pining posted a reply   
Australia

.....So you are saying that it is not good enough and you're backing it up with evidence of other people have said it is not good enough.

Your comments would indicate you haven't even used it, you are just basing your opinion on articles read by you.

From what I have read, your opinion is, Horrible in any number of ways!"

 

trebor83 posted a reply   
Australia

Except for the first line of my second post, which clearly reads "I don't think its not good enough".

I actua

 

trebor83 posted a reply   
Australia

lly (don't know what happened there...) have used it, at least as much as you can without owning one, and really like WP7. If I knew that it was going to get updated to WP8 at the end of the year I would probably have gotten a Lumia 800 already. Given that it looks like it isn't, and since my current contract doesn't run out til the end of the year, I'll be waiting for WP8 and the new range of handsets from Nokia, HTC and Samsung before making the switch from Android.

Actually I was trying (apparently in a poorly implemented ironic fashion) to make a comment about it being refreshing to see a review for a Windows Phone that hasn't immediately deducted 2 points for the OS and a "poor ecosystem", whatever that means, and had been intending to commend Joe for it if he replied to my second message (so I'll do it now, Good job Joe)

And I was hoping to get an opinion on why it is that the rest of the tech-world seems to have turned on WP7 in the first part of this year. Though it seems, and I can certainly accept, that it may be bad form for a reviewer to comment on other peoples reviews and opinions. Just thought it was worth a try.

So in summary:
Windows Phone 7, Good.
Good job Joe.
Still going to wait for Windows 8 and new range of handsets.

 

DhawaL posted a reply   

the crappy interface, the outdated preferences, and Microsoft's good for nothing tech support.




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User Reviews / Comments  Nokia Lumia 710

  • PoonamS

    PoonamS

    "i bought nokia lumia 710 on march 12, 2012 from mumbai.within 3 months it is creating trouble. it gets hanged up frequently and now there is voice problem. what should we do now?"

  • skdreams

    skdreams

    "I had a look at one of these. Being an Android user, 710 felt extremely limited in features and usability. Also the "Bing" search is annoying at best. I am not sure how these Nokia windows phones a..."

  • ChrisH5

    ChrisH5

    "so my question is should i go from my iphone 3GS to the nokia lumia 710 now that my contract has expired? I don't want to go over the $29 month price so should i keep my iphone 3GS and have it a pl..."

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