We’re at Nokia World here in London and were able to spend some time with the Lumia 710, the more affordable of Nokia’s two launch devices for its Windows Phone 7 range.
Another sturdy plastic number, the Lumia 710 is a comfortable 3.7-inches, with rounded edges that give it a cheerful, friendly feel. Its matt plastic chassis isn’t exactly sexy, but it does feel like it can take more than a few knocks.
Not a fan of the colour? The Lumia 710 will have a bunch of exchangeable back covers for that personalized feel. Classic Nokia, right?
A five-megapixel lens sits at the back of this chunky mother (119x62.4x12.5mm), while under the hood it’s actually packing the same beefy processor as the higher-spec Lumia 800 – 1.4GHz. Onboard memory maxes out at 8GB, with no microSD slot – like all Windows phones – for further expansion.
Along the base of the screen are three hard buttons for Back, Home and (Bing) Search. For the spec-spotters, this puts it alongside the LG Optimus 7 as the only Windows Phone 7 devices to eschew touch-sensitive buttons.
This is standard Windows Phone 7 – like Microsoft’s other handset partners, Nokia isn’t allowed to pop a skin or alter the interface flow in any way. So there’s the main home screen with live tiles showing what’s going on in your selected apps. Swipe left to get to the list of all programs.
However, unlike launch mate Lumia 800, the touch-screen on the 710 is actually a tad delayed. It’s only a millisecond maybe, but it does mean this handset doesn’t offer the same incredibly immediate response as other Windows phones. The keyboard is as intuitive as we expect from WP7 though.
We took a few quick snaps with the camera, but were unconvinced by its capability in low light. Clarity was average while colours had a yellow tinge – that said, we were in an abnormally blue-lit room. We’ll have a fuller camera review when we get our hands on a sample.
Like the Lumia 800, free sat nav on Nokia Maps via the Nokia Drive app is a killer feature not available to any other Windows phones.
But perhaps far more compelling is its price – €270, which puts it a couple hundred quid below the average Windows Phone 7 price. It’s still not exactly cheap, but it just could be what Nokia (and Microsoft) need to attract consumers to a smartphone proposition that has yet to win over its market.
Nokia’s ace in the hole was always going to be its ability to offer Windows Phone 7 at a reduced cost, and the Lumia 710 is decent effort for the price. With the same processor as the more expensive Lumia 800 coupled with the same easy OS, the 710 just could be the winning Nokia. Check back soon for our full review.