Mobile Phones Guide

Nokia Lumia 710 review

Nokia Lumia 710 - Affordable Mango

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Overall rating 7.5/10
Design:
8
Features:
8.5
User-Friendliness:
8
Performance:
6.5
Value:
7
THE GOOD
Exclusive suite of apps (Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Nokia Music)
Good build quality
THE BAD
Poor battery life and imaging quality
Storage not expandable
Not competitive enough


Performance and Conclusion

Performance

As a result of Microsoft's strict hardware criteria for Windows Phone devices, the Nokia Lumia 710 is equipped with the same 1.4GHz single-core processor and 512MB RAM as seen on the Lumia 800. Multitasking and screen transitions were generally snappy, though switching across apps can still be a tad slow.

If you are hoping to see the same AMOLED display found on the Lumia 800 to be on the Lumia 710, you will be disappointed to know that Nokia has opted for a basic TFT LCD display. Putting  both handsets side by side will reveal a distinct difference - the AMOLED screen on the Lumia 800 is brighter and colors seem more vibrant. Nevertheless, the TFT based capacitive touch ClearBlack LCD display of the Lumia 710 is still one of the better ones we've seen on mobile phones. With the Lumia 710 positioned to appeal to the mainstream smartphone buyers, it was only natural that the screen and its capabilities are some of the most likely playing cards used to differentiate high-end and mainstream mobiles these days.

Compared to its higher tiered brother, the Nokia Lumia 710 also gets a downgrade in the imaging department from an 8-megapixel to a 5-megapixel camera sensor. It is also stripped of the Carl Zeiss branded lens and does not have a secondary front facing camera for voice calls. Keeping these in mind, we put the Lumia 710 through our usual camera test, with the results analyzed below. Unfortunately, the results weren't favorable:-


Battery Performance

Windows Phone devices have traditionally returned below average results in our battery tests. The new crop of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango devices also suffer the same fate, hence we had no high expectations on the Lumia 710. To get a better gauge of its battery performance, we tested the Lumia 710 against devices with similar specifications, focusing on its processor and display size as the points of comparison.

On the Windows Phone portfolio, the immediate contenders are the Lumia 800 and HTC Radar. We threw in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S to see how a larger screen and Android OS will fare against the Windows Phone camp (especially since this Android phone still uses a single-core processor).

Our testing methodology involves looping a video with a 480 x 800 pixels resolution under the following conditions:

  • Screen brightness and volume at 100%
     
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections active
     
  • Constant data stream via email and Twitter

Specifications/Device Nokia Lumia 710 Nokia Lumia 800 HTC Radar Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S
Processor
  • Single-core 1.4GHz
  • Single-core 1.4GHz
  • Single-core 1GHz
  • Single-core 1.4GHz
Display Size
  • 3.7-inch
  • 3.7-inch
  • 3.8-inch
  • 4.0-inch
Display Type
  • LCD
  • AMOLED
  • S-LCD
  • LED-backlit LCD
Display Resolution
  • 480 x 800 pixels
  • 480 x 800 pixels
  • 480 x 800 pixels
  • 480 x 854 pixels
Dimensions
  • 119 x 62.4 x 12.5mm
  • 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1mm
  • 120.5 x 61.5 x 10.9mm
  • 125 x 63 x 8.7mm
Weight
  • 125.5g
  • 142g
  • 137g
  • 117g
Battery
  • 1300mAh
  • 1450mAh
  • 1520mAh
  • 1500mAh

Not surprisingly, the Lumia 710 faltered badly in the battery test by registering the lowest battery mileage. It only clocked 204 minutes on a single full charge, which is close to an hour shorter battery lifespan compared to the Lumia 800. Although both devices have the same screen size and processors, the Lumia 800 had a better performance thanks to a slightly larger battery capacity and more power-efficient AMOLED display. Never mind the efficient AMOLED display, if you look at the HTC Radar's S-LCD implementation and registering even higher battery performance even though it has a larger battery capacity and screen size, the Lumia 710 pales in comparison.

Given the fact that our battery test simulates fairly stressful usage conditions, it is likely that you can squeeze a little more uptime from the Nokia Lumia 710 under normal usage conditions. During our day-to-day usage of the Lumia 710, the device barely made it through the day with occasional web surfing and emailing. Do note that actual battery mileage may differ under varying usage conditions.

The final aspect of our benchmarking suite is to establish how worthwhile it is to carry the phone around in our Portability Index. This takes into consideration how well the device balances battery life with its physical aspects. The ratio is obtained by dividing the battery life (in hours) against the combination of its weight (in kg) multiplied by the volume (in m3). This means that a device with a longer battery life, lighter weight and smaller volume will ultimately rank better.

Unfortunately for the Lumia 710, its battery life in our benchmark test was found to be the lowest and its physical aspects aren't better than the competition even though it's not bad on its own. Combining them in our formula further portrays our gripes with the device as it ranked the lowest among the competitors:-

 

Conclusion

Can the Lumia 710 help extend Nokia's reach into the mass market segment and help the company regain some lost grounds? The answer is not a convincing yes but it is still possible. However, competition from the likes of HTC and Samsung are going to give Nokia a tough time.

Despite scoring a few brownie points with its solid build quality and feel, consumers may be hard pressed to choose its all-plastic chassis. To accentuate this point, consider the beautiful unibody metal chassis of the HTC Radar, and the Samsung Omnia W with its combination of plastic and metal materials in its design. From all perspectives, both devices portray a better finish and quality than the Lumia 710. The HTC Radar also has a longer battery life and an overall better imaging capability. When it comes to processor clock speed and screen technology, the crown goes to the Samsung Omnia W as it boasts a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED display and 1.4GHz single-core processor. 

As you can see, the Nokia Lumia 710 faces a tough fight with the other Windows Phone devices in the market. Its exclusive suite of apps (Nokia Music, Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps) may be the only thing that puts the Lumia 710 ahead of the competition. Officially priced at S$505, the Lumia 710 is a decent offering in the mass market segment but it is at risk of being overshadowed by the HTC Radar and Samsung Omnia W. Despite its suggested retail price, a consolation point is its actual store retail price is among the lowest of the Windows Phone devices currently and that could be a consideration for anyone needing an affordable Windows OS based phone to capitalize on its highly touted tiled interface.

In short, the Lumia 710 is a good effort from the Finnish company with several color options to attract the young at heart. On its own, the phone looks and feels good but it starts to pale a tad once you bring out the competition. The differences get more pronounced once you start using these devices as we've found out in various performance aspects. For now, it looks like it will take a while for Nokia to step up its game and match or exceed its competition from an all-round perspective.