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Nokia Lumia 710 review, decent smartphone at a decent price

This year is a make-or-break year for the Windows Phone platform. Other brands were not quite successful with this mobile platform from Microsoft and it’s now up to Nokia to show them how things are done with the release of their line of Lumia phones.

The Nokia Lumia 710 sits smack in the middle of the pack of Lumia’s offering you quality specs at a friendly price suitable for college students or young professionals. It has the power of the Lumia 800 while using regular materials found on the Lumia 610, making it a nice in-betweener smartphone.
Check out our review of the Lumia 710 to see how Nokia tries to attract new savvy smartphone owners to the Windows Phone platform.


The Nokia Lumia 710 derived its design from the Symbian-toting Nokia 600 with a curved edges on a chunky form that would feel right on your hands. It’s shell is made of plastic that contributes to its light weight (125.5g).
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The front sports an all Gorilla Glass, fingerprint-magnet screen with 3.7-inch dedicated to its TFT display, and a piece of strip bearing a button bar for the Back, Home, and Search functionalities that feels a bit stiff to press. Holding the back button brings up the task screen which shows you up to five running apps.
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The top side belongs to the tiny Power/Sleep button, the 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB port for charging and data transfer. Right side has the volume control and the dedicated camera button. Left and bottom side are void of any buttons or ports.
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The back panel has a smooth rubbery finish for added grip and houses the 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, and the speaker grill at the bottom. Prying it open from a catch on the left side reveals a removable battery and the microSIM slot. Unfortunately, just like any WP7 phones, no microSD slot can be found here.

Display and UI

The Lumia 710 sports a 3.7-inch (800 x 480 resolution) TFT display with Nokia’s ClearBlack Technology for deeper blacks, a nice solution for non-AMOLED displays. Other than the good blacks, the display is just ordinary for its screen size but the viewing angle is wider than the usual. I personally like this display for the phone rather than the over-saturated colors of AMOLED displays.

The phone runs on Windows Phone 7.5 (still Mango) and if you haven’t seen or used it yet, it’s a really easy UI to learn for first-time smartphone users. It looks really mice and classy as well. The metro UI has a boxy look filled with huge text that’s easy on the eyes. Not much customization can be done with the theme other than changing the colors.
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The lockscreen shows basic info aside from time and date such as upcoming calendar events, and unread messages and mails.
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The main screen is filled with tiles of apps and features you commonly use. These tiles are customizable, you can rearrange, delete or add new shortcuts when you download new apps. And if the app supports it, you can readily view updates from within its tile.
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Swiping to the right of the main screen you will then see every phone features and apps displayed in a list. A lot of scrolling is required if you have plenty of apps already although you can also do a search if needed.
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Another nice feature with the UI is the integration of your social network accounts into its basic apps. For example in the People (or Contacts) app, you can also get a glance of your Facebook wall for the latest status updates. The Messaging app not only shows your SMS conversations but also chat threads and friends who are available online for a chat. The Me tile allows you to quickly post a message, check-in, or set a status update to a number of your registered social network accounts.


Powering the Nokia Lumia 710 is the same single-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor found on the Nokia Lumia 800 along with 512MB RAM. It may not be as jaw-dropping as the quad-core phones popping up these days but believe me, it’s pretty capable in handling all this phone is set to do without any hiccups.
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Whether it’s playing games downloaded from the Marketplace, watching a video, or just browsing with Internet Explorer, you really won’t notice any performance issues at all. I downloaded a heavy game, Civilization, and there was no lag in-game and loading screens didn’t take too long.

Standard HSDPA runs its mobile internet needs although there’s no option to use the phone as a WiFi hotspot even if this Mango update already supports it. Speaking of WiFi, it turns itself off when the phone enters sleep mode and there’s no option to bypass this unless the phone’s connected to a power source or you set screen timeout to “never”.

Nokia’s phones are known for having really good reception and call quality and the Lumia 710 is no different. Same goes with the audio quality blasting from its above-average speakers.
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Web browsing is done via Internet Explorer 9 which is as quick as mobile browsers can get. Unfortunately, no Flash support here, not even Microsoft’s Silverlight. But it’s still capable for your regular browsing needs.

Apps and Features

First thing you do when you get a new smarpthone is to register your accounts. Being a Windows Phone, the Lumia 710 is heavily integrated to your Windows Live account which will tie in your Hotmail, Xbox LIVE, SkyDrive, and MSN Messenger to the phone. You can still however, add Yahoo! and Google and pull data such as contacts and calendar from those accounts.
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For social networking, only Twitter and LinkedIn are pre-installed in the phone. Facebook and Foursquare requires a separate download from the Marketplace and these apps are customized to suit the theme of WP7 which looks really nice and different from iOS and Android.

What you’ll definitely get out of Nokia-based Window Phones are the added useful Nokia apps that’s already been a staple on their Symbian devices. You’ll get Nokia Drive and Nokia map for convenient and decent offline navigation.
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Then there are some apps and games available at the Marketplace and Nokia store so you’ll be getting more than what other WP7 phones has to offer. Still, app and game listing is not as comprehensive as on the Android and iOS.

Skype was recently introduced to WP7 and the Lumia 710 can run it despite not having a front-facing camera. It will utilize the rear-camera for video-chat instead so only one person can see the other while Skyp-ing.
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SkyDrive is Microsoft’s cloud service and the mobile app (requires download) is also integrated with the phone’s functions. You can upload photos straight to your SkyDrive account from the camera or launch and edit documents into the pre-installed Microsoft Office mobile app.
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The Microsoft Office mobile app lets you create or edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files and makes sure that everything is retained and compatible to the desktop version which you can pull from your SkyDrive.
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All downloaded games are stored in the Xbox Live tile so you don’t have to search for it from the app list. All games in the Marketplace seem to have a trial version so you can check whether it’s worth the price you’ll be paying.
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