Nokia Lumia 710 (preview)

Nokia Lumia 710 preview: An affordable Windows Phone with interchangeable front and back covers

Nokia's Lumia 800 may have attracted most of the attention, but the company has unveiled two Windows Phone devices. The second is the mid-range Lumia 710 which cuts back on a few features in order to obtain a more affordable price point. In a flashback to the Nokia 5110, the Lumia 710 also has swappable rear covers in multiple colours.

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Nokia Lumia 800 preview

The Nokia Lumia 710 is described by the company as a far more affordable smartphone than the high-end Lumia 800, so its obvious there is going to be some cut backs. The first is in the design of the handset — the Lumia 710 has a glossy plastic body compared to the solid, polycarbonate shell of the Lumia 800 and it's thicker at 12.5mm. The Lumia 710 also has physical back, Start and search buttons compared to the capacitive touch keys that adorn the Lumia 800.

The second cut back is the screen. The Lumia 710 has a slightly smaller 3.7in display to the Lumia 800 and it's just a standard TFT panel rather than the AMOLED display of its more expensive brother. It has the same 480x800 resolution and also utilises Nokia's ClearBlack technology that promises better blacks and extra visibility in sunlight, but it's clear the Lumia 710 won't produce the same vibrant colours that the Lumia 800 will.

The Nokia Lumia 710 is powered by 1.4GHz single-core processor, has 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory with no expansion card slot. It has a 5-megapixel camera that doubles as a 720p HD video recorder, but doesn't have Carl Zeiss optics of the Lumia 800 and only has a single LED flash compared to the dual-LED flash on the flagship model.

The Nokia Lumia 710 seems to have borrowed some inspiration from one of Nokia's most popular mobile phones ever, the 5110, by introducing swappable rear covers in multiple colours. The Lumia 710 handset itself comes in black and white variants, but you can choose from black, white, cyan, pink and yellow backplates to mix and match the look of the handset. The five rear covers are available in both matte and glossy variants — this is an interesting proposition that is likely an attempt to quell complaints about fingerprints.

The Nokia Lumia 710 includes Nokia Drive, a free turn-by-turn GPS navigator, Nokia Music, a global music application and ESPN Sports Hub, a sports app which is apparently exclusive to Nokia's Windows Phones. We can't judge until we get our hands on the Lumia 710, but only the Nokia Drive app seems like a worthy and very welcome inclusion. The Lumia 710 also includes a free 25GB of SkyDrive storage, but this is a feature available on all Windows Phones.

Like the Lumia 800, the Nokia Lumia 710 isn't a quad-band 3G device. It supports Optus and Vodafone's 900 and 2100MHz 3G networks, but won't work on Telstra's 850MHz Next G network in Australia. Nokia may produce a separate Lumia 710 that will work on the Next G network, but this remains to be seen.

The Nokia Lumia 710 will launch in various markets before the end of 2011, but it's not expected to hit Australian shores until early 2012. Pricing and Australian-specific availability has yet to be announced.

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Tags smartphonesNokiamobile phonesWindows PhoneNokia Lumia 710

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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