Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: Nokia Lumia 710 - The Young Yet Powerful

Announced back in October last year, the Nokia Lumia 710 is the smaller sibling of the almost similar Nokia Lumia 800. It is primarily aimed to the people who are looking to get their first smartphone without the need of spending out huge sums of money.

The Nokia Lumia 710 is a stylish phone with a very similar looks with the Nokia 603. It's like slapping Windows Phone on that device, then put a bigger screen, upgrade the camera and internals and boom. You've got the Lumia 710.

Nokia Lumia 710 Specifications and Features
3.7-inch LCD screen display with 8000x480 (WVGA) screen resolution @ 252 ppi
Gorilla Glass Display
5 Megapixels autofocus camera with LED flash, f2.4 aperture
720p HD video recording @ 30 fps
1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 processor
8 GB internal memory
512 MB of RAM
1300mAh of battery - BP-3L
7.6 hrs of talk time, 38 hrs of music playback time
GSM / EDGE - 900/1800/1900
3G/HSPA - 900/1900/2100
Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS

What's in the box?
The package includes the phone, of course, the removable battery (you've read that correctly), the USB charger, the in-ear headset, a separate USB cable and the user guides et al. No, it doesn't come with a rubber case.

PART 1: Hardware and Design

The Nokia Lumia 710 feels so nice to hold in your hand. It has curves all over it which makes it really nice for you to hold. If we'll talk about the screen size, it's got the same 3.7-inch LCD screen with the ClearBlack technology with 800x480 resolution, there's the physical mandatory Windows Phone buttons on the buttom, the proximity and light sensor at the top, and the earpiece beside it.

The unit that I got came in with a white bezel around the screen. It is also available in black.

The Nokia Lumia 710 features a removable back cover, which is a good thing because you can easily swap batteries on the run. The unit that I got has a yellow glossy cover and as you would expect, it will be too attractive to fingerprints and smudges. Just to let you know though, there's also some covers with matte finish.

The phone has a 5 Megapixels autofocus camera with a single LED flash, 1300 mAh battery, it uses a micro-SIM, and yes, it doesn't have a microSD card slot. It comes with an 8 GB internal storage to compensate though. There's some nice holes at the bottom which houses the speaker grille. The speaker is at the 'just good' level. It's not as loud as the Asha 302 that we've previously reviewed.

On the side, right side at least - as the left side is completely bare and empty, is the volume rocker, and the two-stage camera shutter key. You can use the camera key to directly open the camera even if the screen is locked. On the top you can find the micro-USB port, the 3.5mm audio port, and the power key which also doubles as a lock switch. A lanyard hole is also present at the lower right part of the device, a very nice addition.

PART 2: Software

The Nokia Lumia 710 runs on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS. It has a beautiful user interface called Metro. The whole thing is so optimized that everything runs so smoothly even without a dual-core or even quad-core processor. Microsoft has done a really great job on it.

Speaking of the OS, Microsoft does not currently allow OEMs to do their own customizations for their devices. They can only differentiate in this aspect by providing their own exclusive set of apps though.

Nokia has the Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, and Nokia Music. Nokia Drive is so far the most amazing navigation app that I've tried ever. It features offline navigation that will surely be useful once you're in a place where there's no mobile service, and it saves you money too! Nokia has more apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace, one of them is the Creative Studio which provides some cool filters that you can use for your photos.

The Windows Phone Marketplace is getting better and better. They now have about 80,000 items in there and it's still counting. By the way, I suggest you to choose United States as the country on your Windows Live account as the Xbox Live titles does not appear on the Philippine Marketplace.

Moving on the the browser, it runs smoothly on the phone although it still lacking some features such as finding texts on web pages, private browsing, etc. The HTML5 support of the browser is also somewhat lacking, it only scores 138 and as such, some HTML5 websites are not working well.

This is just a quick skimming of my whole review about the Windows Phone operating system, you can read the rest here.

PART 3: Camera

The Nokia Lumia 710 has a 5 Megapixels autofocus camera, the base required on a Windows Phone device. It has a single LED flash and f2.4 aperture, which will make snapping photos in darkness slightly better, of course as long as it is set to night mode.

The camera does not have a continuous autofocus, that means you have to half-press the shutter key to focus on the subject, and then fully press it to snap it. You can also tap on the subject on the viewfinder but it will automatically snap it, kinda different on how it works with other phones.




You can view more sample photos on this Flickr photo set. Overall, the Lumia 710's camera takes very good photos provided that you have a proper lighting, but it gets worse when being used in dark environments if you will not use the LED flash and scene settings properly.

PART 4: Conclusion

The Nokia Lumia 710 is way more affordable than the Nokia Lumia 800 but you almost get the same, save for a more premium build, a better camera, and bigger storage. Either way, I would still recommend this smartphone for the first-time buyers. It's like getting iOS on a Samsung Galaxy Y. Go figure. :)

Hardware and Design - 8/10
Software - 7/10
Camera - 7/10

The Nokia Lumia 710 is now available on Smart for only P10,800 (P450 for 24 months) with their Data Plan 1,000. It includes 500 SMS to all networks, 500 minutes of calls to Smart & Talk 'N Text, and 1 GB mobile data. No info yet regarding the pricing for the unlocked version.

Disclosure: Nokia Philippines provided us this review unit.

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how can i get this? i want to get this plan 1k :)

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