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Nokia Lumia 710 Review

 

Nokia Lumia 710 Review

 
Page 1 of 1

If the Nokia Lumia 800 didn't totally blow us away, the Nokia Lumia 710 positively disappoints upon first look. Its styling is thoroughly uninspiring with the plastic build shining through in its mediocrity. It's not just that the phone is so obviously plastic but that there's a lack of finesse to how the different design elements have been integrated.

In fairness, we spent most of our time with the white version with a white backplate. You can also get a black fronted one which will no doubt hide the various holes and dark blemishes that disturb the sleekness of the front. Meanwhile the alternative backplates are also available in matt and soft touch finishes which we think have a bit more class.

While the styling of the Nokia Lumia 710 may not win us over, its general ergonomics make a better fist of things. The simple curved back feels great in the hand and, because of being built around a modest-sized 3.7in screen, it doesn't stretch the limits of your fingertips to hold it.

Most of the buttons are also sensibly placed and have a decent enough action so you know when you've pressed them. They're no perfect, though. The power/lock button is on the top edge, where it's a bit of a stretch to reach, and because you can't activate the screen from the buttons under the screen you do have to use this button every time you access the phone. Also, those controls under the display are all integrated into a single raised shiny plastic strip. This wasn't overtly difficult to use but neither did it strike us as the best button implementation we've ever encountered.

Round the back there's a 5 megapixel camera with accompanying LED flash. As its specs suggest, it isn't a barnstormer but it's a perfectly competent little snapper, and having a shutter button on the right edge of the phone makes taking snaps that bit easier. In the bright lights of the auditorium it was difficult to assess how potent the single LED was.

The Nokia Lumia 710's display becomes quite dull when viewed from an angle. Turn the phone on and the mediocrity continues with a decent but unexciting LCD display. It packs in 480 x 800 pixels, which is plenty, and gets bright enough for most everyday use. But, it pales in comparison to the Nokia Lumia 800's AMOLED screen when it comes to visual punch and its viewing angles are only okay. Again, on reflection, our impression may have been tainted slightly by the dazzling white surrounding the screen.

So far, then, the Nokia Lumia 710 hasn't fared all that well but where it begins to turn our frowns upside down is in its performance. The screen is finished in glass and is nice and responsive to touch gestures, while the 1.4GHz processor keeps things moving along swiftly. The result is a phone that never leaves you frustrated as it pauses to have a think.

You may notice we were unimpressed at the very same processor's performance on the Nokia Lumia 800 but that was in the context of a premium phone coming up against dual-core competitors. The Lumia 710 is a more budget handset and as such its performance is impressive.

Helping here is the Windows Phone interface, which has never been anything less than fast, intuitive and sleek, even if it isn't quite the most feature rich OS going. Nokia has also added the same unique features as on the Lumia 800. So you get Nokia Maps (free offline mapping), Nokia Drive (free turn by turn navigation) and Nokia Music (another streaming and download music service) with Mix Radio.

Maps and Music aren't the most compelling extras but Nokia Drive is a boon, as proper turn by turn sat nav apps that are actually decent can be quite expensive. Mix Radio is also an interesting extra as it allows you to access hundreds of genre-defined playlists of tracks for streaming to your phone, without payment or advertising interruptions. You can just listen to the stream or download up to an hour of the 'station' for listening to when you're disconnected. You don't know what's coming or have any other control over the system but it's free uninterrupted music, which is potentially very cool.

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