Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 710 review: An admirable, if chunky entry-level Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Decent display
  • Nokia Drive app

Cons

  • 8GB memory with no expansion
  • No Internet tethering feature
  • Chunky design

Bottom Line

Nokia's Lumia 710 doesn't offer anything remarkable, but a slick user experience at a very competitive price makes it great value for money. At under $400, the Lumia 710 is a much better option than most lower-end Android phones.

Would you buy this?

Slick software not without flaws

If you've used a Windows Phone before, you'll know what to expect from the Nokia Lumia 710. The software is modern looking, user friendly and smooth. There is barely any lag during general use. Applications open swiftly with no delay. As Windows Phone devices are almost identical when it comes to software, you can read our full review of the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system here.

Despite many positive aspects, both the Windows Phone platform and the Lumia 710 have a few disadvantages. The browser is noticeably slower than most of its competitors. The Lumia 710 only has 8GB of internal storage with no memory card slot. There is no Internet tethering feature. We find many apps in the Windows Marketplace comparatively more expensive than iOS and Android apps, while the number of apps is significantly lower than both Apple and Google's platforms, respectively.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Windows Phone platform is the reliance on Microsoft's Zune software for file management. While the same criticism can be aimed at the iPhone and iTunes combination, at least Apple has iCloud to fall back on. Windows Phone has no such backup option that will save important content like your messages, call logs, settings and app data. Thankfully, Microsoft's SkyDrive service does work well for documents and photos and $11.99 per month for an unlimited ZunePass subscription is a nice option if you regularly listen to music on your phone.

As Windows Phones are all very similar, vendor-included apps are the main differentiators between devices. The Lumia 710 comes with Nokia Drive, a free turn-by-turn GPS navigator. The app is completely free and allows you to install street maps in your region. Once installed, you can use the map without the need for a mobile Internet connection. The Australian map we downloaded was a 200MB file, while the English UK voice was 4.1MB. The app is basic, but it's easy to use and quite effective. The map screen is a little small, but since you mainly listen to directions and not look at the screen while you're driving, this is a minor issue. We'd also like to see a walking mode added to the software.

Nokia Music and Nokia Maps are other apps that come preloaded on the Lumia 710. We particularly like the MX Radio feature in the music app that allows you to listen to free music streams sorted by genre.

Average camera, good battery life

There's no front-facing camera on the Nokia Lumia 710, which will annoy those who enjoy taking photos of themselves. The rear 5-megapixel camera has an LED flash but takes largely unremarkable photos. We love how the camera app opens within three seconds if you hold down the camera button from the lock screen (a standard feature in all Windows Phones) but camera itself produces photos with plenty of image noise.

The Nokia Lumia 710's battery life is pretty pleasing. We managed a full day of use during testing, which puts it ahead of many other smartphones on the market. If you're a heavy user you'll more than likely need to charge the phone before the end of the day, but most users will be pleased with the battery performance.

The Nokia Lumia 710 is available through Optus and Virgin Mobile in Australia, while JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith Electronics sell an 850MHz version (that works on Telstra's Next G network) outright and unlocked.

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