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Nokia Lumia 710 review

David Gilbert



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Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 710


Our Score:



  • Decent screen
  • Slick Windows Phone OS
  • Well built


  • No microSD card slot
  • Poor button ergonomics
  • Poorly stocked app store

Key Features

  • 3.7in TFT LCD 480 x 800 display
  • Windows Phone 7.5
  • 1.4GHz single-core processor with 512MB RAM
  • 8GB storage
  • 5 megapixel camera with 720p video
  • Manufacturer: Nokia
  • Review Price: to be confirmed

If the smartphone world was a teenage Hollywood movie, the Nokia Lumia 710 would be the mousy, bookish girl with glasses who sits at the back of the class, no one speaks to and who has never kissed a boy. The 710’s bigger sister, the Lumia 800 would be the blonde-haired cheerleader, class president, home-coming queen (do they still have those?) who is going out with the quarterback. The question is, like most predictable Hollywood fare, will the quiet, less showy Lumia 710 turn out to be the all-singing, all-dancing star of the Nokia-Windows Phone show? Let’s find out.

In terms of design the Lumia 710 was always going to lose out when compared to the strikingly beautiful Lumia 800. The 800 took Nokia phones in a new direction with a smooth, seamless design coupled with a curved glass screen. Simple, clean and gorgeous.

The 710 on the other hand shows traces of the Finnish company’s history and echoes the design of Symbian phones from a couple of years ago, such as the C7. The 710 features the same size screen as the 800, but instead of the unbroken smooth lines on the former, the 710’s Gorilla Glass front is broken by rather large, and certainly ugly, physical buttons.

These buttons, (back, home and search) are compulsory on all Windows phones but most devices integrate them into the screen as capacitive buttons, or at least use more stylish physical ones. The backlit buttons here are just one large button which actually has a nice action and the three functions are distinct enough not to cause confusion, but it's still not a very elegant solution.

Another issue with the front of the screen is a slight millimetre-high bezel running around the edge of the screen. With Windows Phone 7 utilising a swiping action in almost all its menus, this bezel does nothing to help the smoothness of operation and at times is really irritating.

Nokia Lumia 710 1

The screen surround and part of the side of the phone is made of glossy black plastic (a white version is also available). While we would have preferred the polycarbonate matt plastic like the 800, it doesn’t look too bad. On the rear you’ll find a replaceable plastic cover which was cyan in our review sample. The matt finish is lovely and gave the phone a premium feel you don’t get with the likes of the HTC Radar - this matt finish is much nicer than the glossy white version we first saw.

The phone normally comes with a black or white backplate to match the front, along with two extra ones in the box (cyan, magenta or yellow) and although personalising your phone in this way is not a top priority for most, it’s still a nice extra and in this case adds to the look and feel of the phone. On the back, you’ll find the five megapixel camera along with single LED flash, as well as the phone’s speaker grille.

The phone slopes from front to back meaning the all the sides are slightly angled and this throws up problems for the buttons located there. On the right edge you’ll find a volume rocker up top as well as the required (by Microsoft) physical shutter button for the camera. While these are located sensibly at the top and bottom of the right edge, because of the sloping sides, they are not the easiest to press and on a number of occasions our fingers slipped while trying to press them – especially the volume buttons.

Nokia Lumia 710

On the top you’ll find the power/screen lock button, which is also awkward to press, along with the headphone jack and microUSB port. Unlike the 800, the battery in the 710 is replaceable by simply removing the back cover. Lifting out the battery will give you access to the SIM card slot (the 710 like the 800 uses a micro-SIM). While some people would rather have easier access to the SIM card slot, for most users this won’t be a problem.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


October 26, 2011, 11:34 pm

I really wish you guys would stop bashing on anything that doesn't have dual cores. In real world performance, there's strong evidence that dual core phones are no faster than high end single core CPUs. Yes for high end gaming there's a need for the slight boost but on Windows Phone 7, as this preview constantly states, there is more than enough power.

Can we stop the whole "Mines bigger than yours" please?

Martin Daler

October 27, 2011, 12:26 am

So the Lumia 710 is damned because, despite having some perky software, it wears budget clothes (for a budget phone..?).
But dress it up with the premium clothes you say it lacks (and add 90 to the name) and now it is damned for the software.
I hear your caveats about the price points, but really really it is Catch 22 for Nokia with you guys!


October 27, 2011, 2:46 am

Have you ever considered whether it's you with the agenda? I would love nothing more than for Nokia to get back in the game. Sadly they seem to be continuing to, well, wobble. Indeed I wonder whether they may have messed things up royally by going the route they have - having finally got some good hands on time with the N9 today, it was that handset that excited me far more than either of these.

Likewise, at least on the face of it, Symbian only needed a few basics tweaked to make it a competent OS. These eventually came in the most recent updates but now Nokia has turned its back on the platform.

In fact it seems pretty clear to me that it's Nokia you should be narked at, not us.


October 27, 2011, 2:53 am

We don't bash on about it, so long as the phone doesn't purport to be a premium handset (as in the case of the 710). However, dual-core chips do offer noticeable performance advantage (yes, we were sceptics too until we actually used some of them) with little discernible downside so too right we come to expect it on top-end phones.

That said, had the 800 proved totally to be free of pauses and stutter in use, we would've said so. However, as we point out, it was surprisingly slow at loading some apps, and switching between apps could be quite tardy too. It wasn't appalling, but neither was it
'fault' free.

Martin Daler

October 27, 2011, 2:19 pm

Sure I do Ed, but then I'm just the devil's advocate, you are the trusted reviewer. So I can be forgiven an 'agenda', you have to hold to a higher standard. It must be difficult to be at once both passionate about the subject and dispassionate in the review.


October 27, 2011, 2:36 pm

The worrying thing is that Nokia have had a long time to come up with something fresh and this is the best they can do? I agree with Ed, Nokia should be blamed. These guys used to make amazing phones and now they just seem happy to be following the pack, albeit quite a few steps behind everyone. Poor showing.


January 30, 2012, 5:10 pm

As I have commented before the main problem with these phone is lack of app support. I have an omnia 7 which is great for work, exchange, hotmail, office apps.

But the list that you posted of missing apps is nowhere near long enough! No iplayer as you said, no alternative browsers, and if anyone creates an app for anything serious WP7 support seems to be at the bottom of their list!

I am going android or iphone next!


January 30, 2012, 5:13 pm

Re the 710 "puporting to be a premium handset". I'd be interested to know people see the price bands of premium vs other band presumably mid range and budget. For smartphones i tend to think of £350+ as being premium, Lumia 800, Iphone, Galaxy II, Nexus etx and £200 - £350 as mid range with £200 and below being Budget (ZTE / San Francisco etc). I can't really see the 710 as a premium phone at £270.


January 30, 2012, 5:41 pm

As well as the Dual Core gubbins being un-necessary (at this time, the platform doesn't need it as the performance on a single core is more than on a par with it's n core bretherin); the platform doesn't support expandable storage so I really don't see it being a negative. If there was support for it, but the device didn't have it, then sure, mark it as a negative. Do you (I havent' read so am just asking) mark down the iPhones because a lack of expandable storage?

The lack of apps is becoming less of an issue as the bulk of the apps for the general public is probably getting closer to parity. (clearly there's still a long way to go mind).

Martin Daler

January 30, 2012, 8:57 pm

"What Do You Think?"
I think I've read this review before. Has it been re-released today?


January 30, 2012, 9:35 pm

From an alternative perspective, I actually really like this phone and I think it offers a lot for the money. I can understand the criticisms, but for those interested in the 710 it is worth trying. Windows Phone does divide opinions.

Harking back to an earlier discussion, we are certainly aware of the dangers is comparing specs on phones with different platforms and we actually passionate about it. In fact we wrote a feature about this very topic in October:


David Gilbert

January 30, 2012, 9:44 pm

Hi Martin, this is the full review of the phone which has gone up today. what was previously up on the site was a hands-on preview following our limited time with the phone at Nokia World last November.

David Gilbert

January 30, 2012, 9:49 pm

I can't say that I agree with you regarding the performance of this phone compared to the dual-core phones such as the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S II. This phone is noticeably slower in my opinion, especially when you have a number of apps open.

The face the iPhone's don't have expandable storage is certainly a negative and whether it's the default of the platform or handset maker, the end result is the same, meaning users are stuck with 8GB (or in fact just 6.2 usable storage)

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