Nokia Lumia 710 review

3 Feb 2012

Poor battery life under load and a below par camera undermines an otherwise decent Windows Phone handset

Price when reviewed: 
300inc VAT
4

Nokia’s smartphone travails are well documented, but with estimates that the Lumia 800 has sold over one million units since its November launch, things seem to be looking up. The Finnish manufacturer is now looking to consolidate that success with the Lumia 710.

As with the Lumia 800 (and all Nokia smartphones from here on in) the 710 runs on Windows Phone 7.5; the difference is in the design and the specification. This is a phone for budget-conscious users, and therefore lacks some of the design panache of the 800.

Nokia Lumia 710 - front

It isn’t made from a solid block of plastic; instead, the build is more traditional, with a removable rear panel hiding a 1,300mAh battery and micro-SIM compartment. The screen is flat, without the sumptuous curved edges of the Lumia 800, and in profile it looks a little dumpy. In a world of size zero smartphones, a thickness of 13mm makes it look well behind the curve.

Having said all that, the Lumia 710 is certainly no ugly duckling. As with the Lumia 800, it’s available in a number of eye-catching colour combinations (ours came with black and electric blue rear covers), and details such as the inset Nokia logo and a band of precisely positioned speaker perforations on the back mean it looks far from cheap and nasty.

Nokia Lumia 710 - rear

And although the display isn’t an AMOLED like the Lumia 800’s, it is the same size and resolution – 3.7in and 480 x 800 – and the brightness and contrast is extremely impressive. Measured with our X-Rite colorimeter, the Lumia 710’s maximum brightness registered 501cd/m2, which is right up there with the very best (the Lumia 800 gets only 296cd/m2), and gave a contrast ratio of 982:1. Sit it next to its sibling, and the colours look distinctly less vibrant and saturated, but that’s the full extent of the difference. It’s perfectly fine in every other respect.

In fact, the only real gripe we have with the new Nokia, aside from its slightly low 8GB storage, is the plastic button bar running below the screen, which gives access to the back, Windows and search functions. It feels stiff, requires a rather hard jab before it registers a press, and the seams around its edges were already collecting unsightly bits of fluff after a couple of days. We prefer the touch buttons of the Lumia 800.

Performance & battery life

As a phone, though, the 710 functions flawlessly. Calls come through loud and clear, it has a good loud ring and the speaker has plenty of volume, so it performs well in hands-free mode. Responsiveness, as we’ve come to expect from Windows Phone devices, is also without compromise. The Lumia sports the same 1.4GHz single-core Qualcomm Scorpion processor as found in the Lumia 800, backed up with 512MB RAM, and this is all it needs to provide a super-fluid all-round experience.

Details

Price ex VAT £250
Price inc VAT £300
Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £16.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider www.phones4u.co.uk
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 4

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 8hrs
Standby, quoted 16 days 16hrs

Physical

Dimensions 62 x 13 x 119mm (WDH)
Touchscreen yes

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 512MB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Front-facing camera? no
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 3.7in
Resolution 480 x 800
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Other