Review: Nokia Lumia 710
Mango for the masses.
Great build quality; Sleek and fluid UI; Excellent social networking integration; Free voice-guided sat nav; Great camera.
Lack of USB mass storage mode; Can't share files over Bluetooth; Storage restricted to 8 GB; No front camera.
While the Lumia 800 battles it out for the top spot, its younger sibling the Lumia 710 is up against a horde of budget Androids. Despite the price difference between these two Lumias, the 710's specs are nothing short of impressive. But does it have what it takes to attract the masses?
Design And Build Quality
The retail package contains the phone, a charger, USB cable, and a pair of earphones. The handset measures 4.7" (l) x 2.5" (w) x 0.5" (d) and weighs 126 grammes. The device looks similar to its distant cousin from the Symbian family, the Nokia 603. The gadget's front is covered by glass, while the back sports a matte finish. Unlike most Windows Phone handsets though, the keys are tactile rather than capacitive.
Thanks to its Gorilla Glass and good quality plastic, the phone can withstand a lot of abuse. I know this for a fact since I actually tried scratching it with keys and other metallic objects. Overall, Nokia has done a great job in the design and build quality department.
The phone's 3.7" screen has pixel dimensions of 480x800. Being a ClearBlack display, its sunlight legibility is good. However, the screen is no match for AMOLEDs, and the uninspiring blacks are evidence of that fact. Overall, it's not bad for the price, but the Lumia 800's brilliant display has forced me to raise my expectations.
Nokia has been pretty generous in throwing in a 1.4 GHz CPU and Adreno 205 GPU. Other bells and whistles include a 5 MP camera, 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 1300 mAh battery. For no clear reason though, the phone has a micro-SIM slot.
UI And Applications
The phone runs WP 7.5 (Mango), and I can never tire of praising its beauty. The UI is fluid and innovative, while the attention to detail is unbelievable. The Live Tile homescreen can be swiped to the left to access the list of apps and settings. Additionally, the task switcher can be brought up with a long press of the Back button.
Since the phone packs in the same chipset and software as that of its elder sibling, there's almost no difference between the performance of the two. Hence, for more details, feel free to refer to the Lumia 800's review.
Coming to the native apps, the mobile version of IE9 is blazing fast, while the Xbox LIVE integration is top-notch. The exclusive Nokia Drive provides offline voice-guided navigation, and the phone's GPS performance further sweetens the deal. For app addicts, the Marketplace has more than 60k apps, with the number growing at a rapid pace.
The gadget's sound quality is great, and thankfully, Nokia has given a decent pair of in-ear monitors. Podcasts and FM radio are duly covered as well. However, the equaliser settings are missing. The phone can play 720p MP4 and WMV videos effortlessly, but DivX and XviD files are a no-go. Other WP7 restrictions such as the lack of mass storage mode (using the device as a USB drive) and Bluetooth file sharing cause the usual annoyance. Additionally, the lack of a memory card slot means you're stuck with the phone's 8 GB storage.
The onboard 5 MP snapper has a single LED flash to keep it company. The camera is fast, and a physical shutter button adds to the usability. The resulting snaps reproduce natural colours well, and contain a good amount of detail. What's more, noise levels are also kept under control.
The Lumia 710 can record 720p video at 30 fps in the MP4 format. However, its frame rate can drop as low as 25 fps in low light. In most situations though, the recorded clips offer smooth playback. Additionally, the colour reproduction and level of detail are quite pleasing. On the flipside though, its continuous auto-focus mechanism can be annoying during close-range recordings.
Telephony And Messaging
The People Hub packs in support for Facebook, Windows Live, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Set your FB chat status to Available, and all your chat messages will land directly in your Messaging Hub. No third-party app on rival platforms can match this experience. What's more, the keypad is very accurate. In short, if you're addicted to social networks, WP is the platform for you.
Finally, as expected from Nokia, network reception, Wi-Fi range, and call quality were excellent during testing.
Battery And Verdict
The 1300 mAh battery managed to keep the device up for about 7 hours. with all connectivity options turned on. The performance is not good for a Nokia phone, but still better than most Androids.
The Lumia 710 has a beautiful and fluid UI. Its specs are better than those of competing Androids. The phone excels in the music playback and camera departments. What's more, Nokia Drive gives it an edge over the competition.
On the other hand, despite the handset's great performance, its average display is a letdown. The 710 would have been a killer gadget had Nokia shipped it with an AMOLED screen. Overall though, at the price tag of Rs 15,500, it's still better than most Androids. For those willing to spend an additional two grand, I recommend the Samsung Omnia W.
Design And Build Quality: 4/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
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