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Nokia Lumia 710 review

Verdict

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

Review Date: 3 Feb 2012

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: Free, on a £16.00 per month, 24 months contract.

Buy it now for: £260
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
4 stars out of 6

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.

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User comments

The battery does sound like a problem but with a removeable back cover it can be swapped out. A bigger concern is the 8gb of space with no micro sd slot. If it had USB host mode it might not be as big a concern.

Camera is a big disappointment. Guess I'll be holding out for the rumoured last symbian device (rumoured to be the replacement for the N8).

By JamesD29 on 6 Feb 2012

Price is right

The best price I've seen so far is £200 payg on O2. Combined with a Giffgaff payg sim with £10 bundle and over 24 months you then have a free phone, 250 mins, ultd texts and unltd data for effective monthly cost of £18.33 a month.

Your benchmark compared it to iPhone 4S and latest dual-core Android phones. I think would have been more informative to compare it to iPhone 3GS and Samsung Galaxy Ace given the price.

By TheBigM72 on 6 Feb 2012

Budget

It is supposed to be the budget phone, so TheBigM72 has a point.

Reviews, here in Germany, said the the screen was actually better than the AMOLED display on the 800 tests - the 800 had a faint yellow tinge, the 710 had more accuracy. And in general, it faired well, some are saying that it fits better in the hand than the 800 (because it is more curved and doesn't "cut into the hand").

The only negative was the button strip, as PC Pro commented on.

My htc Sensation only has an 8GB microSD card installed and it hasn't been a problem, yet.

Likewise, my 16GB htc Mozart has always had over 8GB free and my iPhone 3GS 32GB barely came over 12GB.

By big_D on 6 Feb 2012

'Note that this is with emails set to be delivered “As they arrive”, from a single Gmail account, with an hour of audio playback, 50MB of downloads and a half hour phone call carried out during the test period. With the PC Pro Exchange account, plus Twitter and Facebook added to the mix, we only just about managed to eke a full day's use out of the Lumia 710.'

Shocking.

Had the battery not lasted, you might have had to do some work.

By Lacrobat on 6 Feb 2012

Damning with faint praise

OK first I'm biased. I'm a WP early adopter and I've an HTC HD7. Given that I have nearly filled the 16GB of fixed memory on that, I tend to agree that 8GB is a bit stingy! Especially as I'm not a big consumer of music 'on the go'.

Other than that you do (as TheBigM72 observed) appear to be comparing it with other makers' top of the range 'phones. Isn't this a bit unfair, given its relatively low price?

By wittgenfrog on 6 Feb 2012

@Lacrobat

That IS work for these guys. Some people get all the fun :-)

John

By JohnHo1 on 6 Feb 2012

£16.00 per month...

I think this phone should have received a much higher rating. Obviously it’s difficult to judge without having seen the phone, but from the review it looks like a fantastic piece of kit taking into account the price. OK, it’s not perfect, but you comparing it to devices costing twice as much on a contract.
I would be more interested in how it compares with other phones in the same price category.

By aa111 on 6 Feb 2012

free text messaging

Go to www.textme4free.com and text message for free all over.SAVES YOU MONEY AND COMES IN HANDY WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF MINUTES.Let your friends and family know about this.ITS A REALLY COOL LINK!!!!

By chela on 6 Feb 2012

I don't know whether this phone deserves a better score or not because the article doesn't really provide any comparison with phones at a similar price range.

I don't really want a comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S 2 or the newest iPhone, or even the previous Nokia W7 phone - these all cost substantially more.

By longn on 6 Feb 2012

Review reads better than the scoreline

I wasn't expecting to see so many positive things written about this given the scores it received.

As someone who's not sure whether he wants to continue handing over £500 every 2 years for a contract free iPhone, this is an interesting device indeed. You just think back to where we were 5 or 10 years ago and realise what good value it is!

Now if we could somehow get a smartphone that's as slim and with the same battery life as a 6310i I will be first in line.

By SirRoderickSpode on 6 Feb 2012

Not exactly a budget phone

If MS/Nokia are to reach a crtitcal mass in the smartphone market they need to have a full range of products at all price levels. Samsung have it cracked with the Galaxy range, with models available from £100 upwards and an increasing spec as you move up the range. Nokia is trying to make an impact at the top end and are unlikely to do so without models at all levels.

By ianhay2 on 8 Feb 2012

Connectivity

I've had the Lumia 800 since early December (coming from a much hated HTC HD2) and it has been a revelation - it works superbly a phone, for texting and for email, my main concerns, and pretty well for the Internet, which , face up to it, is never going to be a stunning experience n any mobile. Other "nice to have" services - the radio and camera - are OK too. Battery life is not a huge concern once you get used to charging up every night.
The big let down, which I am sure applies to the 710 also, is connectivity to the desktop.
I am probably a bit slow to catch on to how to do things, but I really miss the plug in and synchronise method of the older windows phones. Now I run two Outlook diaries (one synchronises in the cloud, the other struggles to keep up) while my contacts, which synchronised the first time I connected, I now have to update by hand.

Microsoft and Nokia have done a great job in their new venture, but why did they have to jettison almost the only part of the old windows mobile system that actually worked?

By PeterMcIntyre1 on 9 Feb 2012

Value for money

How does a Windows smartphone with this kind of spec, free from £16 a month, get only 3 star value rating?

I checked online, you can get 500 mins, 5000 text and 1GB data for £17 a month + 39.99 up front for the phone. How is that not 5-star value?

By drslothy on 9 Feb 2012

still poor auto focus

It appears Nokia Do not understand consumers as regards auto focus,I have an E-7-00 and it has no auto focus which prevents,apps like mobile tag from working, it seems the WS phones sill have the same problem.I will be giving them a miss until Nokia wake up,or update their step backwards regarding camera design.

By philhind on 9 Feb 2012

Lumia 800

I have one and so does my wife, we both love it though I also miss being able to just drag stuff to it...Exchange accounts work great though.

By Ip_pete4646e21a2 on 9 Feb 2012

Great value smartphone!

I don't think the price of this phone has been properly taken into consideration - you can get it from as little as £150 (see HUKD). Why compare it to phones costing over 3 times as much? PCPro is showing biased results here, mostly pro-Android, anti-WP7.

By Chris_M on 11 Feb 2012

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