Nokia and Microsoft are making a big push with Windows Phone 7. Unfortunately, Windows Phone 7 has thus far mostly targeted the higher-end of the mobile space. The dynamic duo seem to be realising that this is not a winning strategy, which is where the Nokia Lumia 710 comes in.
Design and build quality
The Nokia Lumia 710 tries to be as budget as possible in terms of hardware, but without feeling cheap.
On top is a microUSB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and the power/wake button. The volume rocker and hardware camera button are on the right side, while the left side and bottom are bare.
The sides are made of a glossy plastic, though it seemed to be fairly resistant to fingerprints and dust.
The back is also plastic, but it has a soft-touch, rubber finish, which helps when gripping the phone. At the top on the back is the camera with single LED flash.
On the front is a 3.7-inch ClearBlack display. Below that sit the standard Windows Phone 7 buttons (back, home, search), and these are physical buttons and not capacitive touch points. The buttons don’t have a lot of give, which makes them a little difficult to press at times.
As I said before, the Nokia Lumia 710 looks and feels like it was designed and built with a strict budget in mind, but it certainly doesn’t feel cheap.
As with the exterior, the interior was also built on a tight budget. Although Nokia has toned down some bits, there are areas that they have refused to skimp on.
There’s a Qualcomm MSM8255 SoC with a 1.4GHz Scorpion and an Adreno 205 GPU.
For your memory and storage requirements, there’s 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage (with no microSD slot).
It features Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, and HSPA (up to 14.4 Mbps down and 5.76 up).
All of this fits into a 119mm x 62.4mm x 12.5mm package that weighs 125.5g.
Screen and responsiveness
The 3.7-inch ClearBlack display has a resolution of 800×480.
While it doesn’t quite cut it against the high-end panels from Samsung or Apple, it doesn’t do badly in the mid- to low-range of smartphones. Colours were vibrant without falling prey to the over-saturation that some other displays have, though blacks weren’t quite as deep either.
There was little to complain about on the responsiveness side. The Lumia 710 responded to our lightest touches and Windows Phone 7 ran as smooth as we’ve come to expect it to be.
Sound and call quality
Call quality was generally good with few complaints to be had. The built-in speaker performed its job admirably, while the bundled headphones were definitely some of the better ones we’ve come across.
The camera on the Lumia 710 is a little budget, but that’s not to say it’s bad.
The 5MP shooter is capable of taking 2,592×1,944 shots, and 720p video at 30 frames per second. Shots taken with plenty of light available were fine, but when the lights start to dim, pictures fast become grainy and blurry fast.
We had some consistency problems with the Lumia 800’s battery life, but I’m happy to say that the Lumia 710 doesn’t share that particular characteristic.
With light use, the Lumia 710 made it through 3-4 days without a problem, while heavier use saw it last well past the generally accepted single day.
There wasn’t much to say about the software that came with the Lumia 800, and there’s even less to say about it with the 710. The reasoning is simple: what needs to be spoken about, has already been spoken about in the Lumia 800 review.
The Lumia 710 leaves very little to complain about, but on the flip side, it also gives very little to get excited about.
At a price point of below R4,000, the Lumia 710 will be a welcome sight for those yearning for a Windows Phone 7 device on a budget.