Everyone knows that Nokia lost its way with Symbian and their lack of vision for the future of their smartphones – while companies like Google and Apple pushed the boundaries of what smartphones are capable of, Nokia was content to tread the water and go with Symbian, with disastrous results. Now the company has seen the light, and has bounced back with brand new smartphones sporting Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). Their recently released Lumia 710 is one such device, and is aimed at conquering the mid-end market.
Physically, the Lumia 710 looks like a throwback to the phone designs of old, with its rounded corners and chunky frame that measures in at 12.5mm. The Lumia 710’s navigation keys are a stark contrast when compared to its older brother, the Lumia 800, as the former uses actual physical keys as opposed to the latter’s capacitive controls integrated onto the display. Other controls include a volume rocker on the right side and a camera shortcut key located just below that. The USB port, power switch and 3.5mm jack are all located on top of the device. Like the Lumia 800, the Lumia 710 uses micro SIMs instead of full sized SIM cards, something that you’ll need to be aware of when you decide to get one.
The screen is a 3.7-inch capacitive screen capable of 16M colors and has a native resolution of 480 x 800. Under the hood, the Lumia 710 runs a single core 1.4 GHz Scorpion, Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor – a bit dated considering the number of dual-core and quad-core smartphones running around. Additionally, the Lumia 710 also packs a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash which can be accessed even if the device is locked.
Like we said earlier, the Lumia 710 runs Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) OS, with a few key additions. Nokia has found it fit to enhance the Windows Phone experience with three key apps – Nokia Drive, Music and Maps. Nokia Music does exactly what it sounds like – a hub for your music and playlists. Nokia Drive is the included navigation app for the Lumia series of phones, which gives you turn-by-turn navigation right on your Lumia device, which in our case is the Lumia 710. Nokia Maps is the go-to map application for Lumia devices.
Like Android and iOS, WP7 has its own hub for buying and trying apps. While the number of apps available in the Windows Marketplace pales in comparison to what’s available in Android and iOS, the mix of apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace is a good start with most well-known apps like YouTube and Angry Birds.
Nokia’s Lumia series come with the WP7 Mango update already pre-installed, so you won’t have to worry about upgrading it yourself. The Mango update brings a couple of new features to the fore, which includes location aware search and voice recognition.
Using the Lumia 710 is a bit of a change from the usual fare of smartphones that we get, simply because WP7 isn’t what you’d call an OS that’s widely used at this point. After using so many Android devices, I found the simplicity of the WP7 interface was a breath of fresh air, as most of the most commonly used social networking apps like Twitter and Facebook were already integrated into the different tiles that you use, which means you don’t need to open a separate application. Posting a status update to either FB or Twitter is as simple as going to the Me tile (located on the bottom of the live tiles by default) and posting from there. Posting pictures is pretty much the same deal – you can upload the picture you’ve taken to either FB or Twitter (or any other social network you’ve linked to your account) as soon as you press the shutter button, which means far fewer presses on the screen compared to Android.
Performance for the Lumia 710 is good – and even though the device uses a relatively older processor, (the Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor used by the Lumia 710 has been in existence for a while) WP7 is optimized well enough that you really don’t notice a lot of slowdown when using the device. Battery life is about a day – not surprising since the device only uses a relatively small 1300 mAh battery.
Unfortunately, the Achilles heel of the Lumia 710 is the same thing that makes it so desirable: WP7. While WP7 is excellent on its own right, the lack of decently priced apps on the platform is kind of a letdown for potential users who want to migrate to Microsoft’s mobile OS offering. Apps like Instagram and Draw Something still hasn’t managed to make the jump to WP7, and the steep pricing of apps and games for WP7 is a bit of a turnoff, especially considering the relatively cheap apps available on iOS and Android.
The Nokia Lumia 710 ultimately isn’t a bad smartphone. It’s fast enough for most users, and is a device that’s capable of going against more established brands and devices in the category it swims in. The Nokia Lumia 710 is exclusively available to Smart subscribers via their limited edition Plan 1000 with a monthly amortization of Php 450 per month for 24 months.
WP7 is easy to use and learn
Added Nokia services like Drive, Maps and Music
Deep Twitter and Facebook integration
WP7 apps are priced higher than iOS and Android
Killer apps present on Android and iOS not present on WP7
Mediocre battery life
If you’re in the market for a solid, dependable WP7 smartphone, you can’t do worse than a Lumia 710.
- Operating System: Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango)
- CPU: 1.4 GHz Scorpion, Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor
- LCD size: 3.7-inch capacitive screen, 16M colors, 480 x 800 resolution
- Physical Dimensions: 119 x 62.4 x 12.5 mm
- Weight: 125.5 g
- Band: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100