The Windows Phone platform is underrated. This is what I have gathered from my experience using the operating system. I first encountered Windows Phone 7 when I was able to get my hands on a Nokia Lumia 800. I found the OS fast, simple and highly intuitive. It didn’t take too long before I was able to familiarize myself with Windows Phone 7. It may not be the most popular OS today, not even the second most popular, but the future can only be brighter with this platform, especially with the upcoming release of Windows 8.
The Nokia Lumia 710 is one of the products of the Nokia-Microsoft tie-up. It is a mid-level phone targeted at the middle to low-income market, an alternative to the more expensive Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 handsets. The Lumia 710 is not the cheapest Lumia as that title goes to the Lumia 610. The Lumia 710 is an attempt by Nokia and Microsoft to reach more users, attempting to balance a good set of features with a low price point. Nokia was able to achieve this with the Lumia 710.
The Lumia 710 is not a Lumia 800 or Lumia 900 in terms of design. The latter represent Nokia’s finest products, showcasing the company’s chops in designing handsets. The Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 successfully married design and functionality, injecting the right materials and the right technology to create distinctively attractive products. The Lumia 710, however, represents Nokia’s ability to make good looking handsets out of lesser quality materials. This is not to say that the Lumia 710 is not well-made. This is simply saying that the Lumia 710 is not in the same league as the Lumia 800 and Lumia 900.
The Nokia Lumia 710 is a good looking device. It will not win in the slimmest phone competition but it’s still decidedly good-looking. The front part of the phone is all glass and the side is adorned with glossy black plastic. The back covered is removable, with a matte finish that’s a welcome, not only because it is not prone to hand prints, it also translates to a better grip for the user.
There are fewer buttons and ports on the Lumia 710 than the ordinary Android smartphone. The power button is located on top, just beside the micro-USB slot. At the right side are the volume rocker and the shutter button for the camera. There are no buttons or slots on the left side and at the bottom of the phone. In front, the only buttons are those located at the lower part of the screen, which are the Menu, Search and Back buttons. At the back of the phone is a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and the speaker grille at the bottom.
One of the best features of the Lumia 710 is the screen. The 3.7-inch display has a 480 x 800 pixel resolution with 252 ppi pixel density. This is good enough to make images and videos pop. And with Nokia’s ClearBlack display technology, the colors are vibrant on the Lumia 710. It has Gorilla Gass protection so you’re assured of a durable display.
In charge of powering the Lumia 710 is a 1.4 GHz Scorpion Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor. It is complemented by 512 of RAM and 8 GB of storage. Here are the rest of the main specs and features of the Nokia Lumia 710.
Nokia Lumia 710 Specifications and Features
- 1.4 GHz Scorpion Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
- Adreno 205 GPU
- 3.7 inches TFT capacitive touchscreen
- 480 x 800 pixels (252 ppi pixel density)
- Corning Gorilla Glass Nokia ClearBlack display
- Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
- 8 GB storage, no card slot
- 512 MB RAM
- Accelerometer, proximity, compass
- HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
- GPS with A-GPS support
- 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash
- HD video capture at 720p@30fps
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- Li-Ion 1300 mAh (BP-3L) Battery
What could disappoint others is the lack of memory expansion slot. That means you’re stuck with 8GB, but this memory size could be huge enough to most. There’s also no front-facing camera, so say goodbye to Skype sessions with your friends.
The star of the Nokia Lumia 710 is the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system. Windows Phone Mango is a testament to how far the Windows Phone platform has evolved. Form the clunky Windows Phone 6.5, the leap to Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 have been huge. The OS looks different, feels different and works different. It is now a true multi-touch operating system with enough features to really compete with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. The features on the upcoming Windows 8 are exciting on paper, and I believe they will be great in actual use. For now, the OS that’s available is Windows Phone 7.5, and to some handsets, the update to Windows Phone 7.8.
Windows Phone obviously has the mobile user in mind. Form the tiles in the Metro UI, to the size of the texts and screen buttons, to the simplicity of the dynamics and functionality, the OS takes into consideration the experience of the user. The Windows Phone OS is one cohesive OS, with fewer complexities than Android, but with the same quickness as iOS. The user experience on Windows Phone is certainly something different, and I can’t help but be excited with future iterations of the OS.
In terms of aesthetics, Windows Pone 7.5 Mango has something to brag about. It looks nice overall, with emphasis on tiles and huge fonts. It is a combination of minimalism and animated transitions and it simply works. All over the OS you’d see white text and white buttons and arrows as shortcuts. What makes the experience unique is the animated transitions from applications, and even the moving background contributes to the experience.
People make issue of the fact that of the current operating systems, Windows Phone lags in terms of available applications. The Windows Marketplace currently has about 200,000 apps, and most of the apps you’ll ever need are already on the platform. So unless there’s an app that’s not on Windows Phone yet and that you can’t live without, you should be fine with Windows Phone.
Performance, Camera, Battery Life
The Nokia Lumia 710 is surprisingly fast. The 1.4GHz processor is one dependable workhorse. It is single-core but it might as well be called double-core with the way it handles apps and multitasking. The phone is zippy, although the OS could have also contributed to the overall speed of the handset. I can imagine the handset being clunky if it were running Android instead of windows Phone OS. With Windows Phone OS, the UI is silky smooth and the transitions and animations are sights to behold. I actually enjoy navigating the UI on Windows Phone OS. Needless to say, the Lumia 710 easily handles popular games like Angry Birds, and even those which are fairly heavy on graphics.
The Nokia Lumia 710 has a 5-megapixel camera. If you’ve used a Nokia handset before, you’d know how good Nokia’s phone cameras are. If there’s one thing Nokia has been really good at, it’s in using good camera systems in its phones, especially in mid to high level handsets. The camera on the Nokia 710 is no exception. For the price of the Lumia 710, the camera is quite good. What I like about the Lumia 710 is that it has a physical shutter button on the side, which becomes a top shutter button when the phone is rotated sideways. Only a few phones have physical shutter buttons.
The camera software is rather simple. The main screen shows buttons on the left which are shortcuts for video/stills toggle, zooming, and settings. The setting s button reveal selections for scenes, white balance, exposure value, ISO, metering, effects, contrast, saturation, focus mode and resolution. It’s about everything you’ll need in a phone camera.
The output is quite good. Colors are just right, and the sharpness is quite admirable for a mid-level phone. Here are sample shots taken with the Nokia Lumia 710.
Battery life on the Lumia 710 is fantastic. The 1300mAh battery lasts more than 24 hours on a single charge. That’s with occasional browsing on Wi-Fi and 3G, video playback, and the occasional mobile gaming.
For the price of P12,500 it’s hard not to recommend the Nokia Lumia 710. For this price point, you’d find it hard to find a handset with the same set of specs and offers the same level of user experience. Get the Lumia 710 if you want to experience Windows Phone OS without having to break your piggy bank.
The Windows Phone OS is not getting into the consciousness of the public faster than it should, but it definitely deserves to be among the choices when people shop for handsets. Android is currently the leader, with iOS closely in the heels, with Windows Phone far behind. With the kind of user experience Windows Phone OS offers, the OS could make the gap closer in the future. I would be happy if this happens.