Review: Nokia Lumia 710
Last week the tech scene in the Philippines was all about the pioneer Finnish phone maker, Nokia. Both telcos launched their respective Windows Phone 7.5 powered Nokia Lumia smartphones with big parties, complete with international DJs and celebrities! We’ve already written about the Nokia Lumia 800 (click to read our review) extensively when Nokia UK sent us a review unit for a couple of weeks. For this entry we’ll take a closer look into the Nokia Lumia 710 (click to read unboxing post).
What’s so special about the Nokia Lumia 710? Well it basically has almost the same specs as the Nokia Lumia 800 except for the camera, it comes in a different body, and it’s more affordable. Let’s quickly go over the specifications.
Nokia Lumia 710 Spec Sheet
- 1.4GHz Scorpion CPU
- 512MB RAM
- 8GB Storage
- 3.7-inches display, 480 x 800 pixels (~252 ppi)
- Corning Gorilla Glass
- HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
- 5MP Camera with autofocus and LED Flash
- 720p @ 30FPS Video Recording
- 1300mAh Battery
- Smart Postpaid Plan 1,000 with 450 monthly amortization, total MSF is Php1,450
The Nokia Lumia 710 would make a great first smartphone for a lot of Filipinos because it’s user-friendly, intuitive, and I’m sure a lot of people can still find a special place for Nokia in their hearts (haha). Add to that the fact that Windows Phone 7.5 runs smoothly on the device and you have a pretty solid offering. The apps market still isn’t as developed as iOS or Android but the core services are excellent.
Hardware, Phone Design
To get a good idea of how the Lumia 710 looks like, please check out this short video we made that showcases it in different angles.
As you can see in the video above the Lumia 710 is a rectangular shaped phone which curves and tapers off at the back. The phone feels solid to hold and the back has some sort of matte-like finish which gives it great grip. It’s pretty light as well, tipping in at just 4.6 ounces (129 grams).
At the front you’ll find the 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen. The display itself has 480×800 pixels (~252 ppi) which is definitely okay given the price. Colors are crisp and vibrant but you’ll probably have to pump up brightness to max if you’re under direct sunlight. An added bonus is that the screen is actually Corning Gorilla Glass giving it more durability compared to the usual screens in other phones.
Below the screen are the three main buttons (Back, Menu, and Search) for the Windows Phone. All of the standard controls and ports are on the sides. Note thought that the signature covered micro-USB port and sim-tray from the Nokia Lumia 800 and N9 are no longer present with this model *tear*.
At the back you’ll find the 5MP camera and the speaker grill at the bottom. The back plate is removable and this is where you’ll find the battery and the SIM Card. Note that the storage of the Lumia 710 is non-expandable. There’s no provision for a micro-SD card. This means you’ll have to make do with the 8GB storage that comes with it.
Voice Calls and Messaging
We have no complaints whatsoever with regards to voice calls on the Lumia 710. I think Nokia still has the best call quality among all of the phone manufacturers. I don’t have any scientific or quantitative data to back this claim up but I just always hear people whom I’m talking to better when I’m using the Lumia (compared to my iPhone 4S or Galaxy Note).
When it comes to text messaging the Lumia has a spacious on-screen keyboard for typing. You’ll probably need some time to get used to the location of the keys (and the feeling of texting on a touchscreen if your’e coming from physical QWERTY or alphanumeric) but it becomes very natural after a few days.
Usability: the Windows Phone 7.5 Experience
If you’re upgrading and this will be your first smartphone then you’re in for a treat because transferring your contacts on the Lumia 710 is a painless experience. The Lumia 710 has a built-in app which will allow you to pair it with your old phone (via Bluetooth) and it will automatically transfer all of the people in your contact list into the 710.
Since the Nokia Lumia 710 has almost similar specs to the Nokia Lumia 800 (CPU and RAM), the actual user experience of the OS is very similar. It’s snappy, smooth, and easy to navigate even for first time users. At the very core of the Windows Phone experience is the Metro tile based home screen. Instead of boring app icons in a grid you get “windows” that get populated with relevant images of the app. For example, the People (contacts) tile will show faces of your friends. It’s a very personal and fun way to present applications. Here’s a video which will give you a better idea of what I’m talking about.
You get access to all of the Windows and Nokia applications like XBOX and Microsoft Office (if you’re a heavy user of Outlook then this device is a godsend because it syncs naturally and painlessly). There are also more than 50,000 apps already for Windows and several of the big names like Angry Birds and Amazon Kindle are already there. I’m not saying it’s as competitive already with Android and iOS but the app ecosystem is definitely growing and evolving!
Also I just have to say that the typography and fonts used with the Windows Phone 7.5 OS are all quite superb. Texts are easy to read and very cool to the eyes.
When it comes to the over-all Windows experience it’s definitely a great alternative to iOS and Android. The only real setback is the third party app ecosystem but that should get more developed in time. From what I’ve heard Microsoft is investing a lot in trying to lure more developers to create apps for their platform. If I were them though I’d go after the big fish first.
Pricing, Availability, and Verdict
The Nokia Lumia 710 is currently exclusive to Smart. You can actually get one already today under their Limited Edition Data Plan 1000 (+450 for the Lumia 710). That will come out to paying a monthly service fee of Php1,450. With this package you get the ff: 1GB Data, 500 SMS to all networks, and 500 call minutes to Smart/TNT subscribers.
So what’s our final verdict on the Lumia 710? If you’re still using an entry-level Android smartphone that you’re not really too thrilled about or if you still haven’t upgraded to a smartphone then you might want to seriously consider the Lumia 710. It truly is a nice alternative to iOS/Android and it has so much potential to get even better in the next few months.
Congratulations to Smart and Nokia for the successful launch of the Lumia 710! Looking forward to seeing the entry level Nokia Lumia 610 and the premium Nokia Lumia 900 hit the market in May!