Nokia Lumia 710 - Interface

David Gilbert

By David Gilbert



Our Score:


The Windows Phone 7 interface is very much different from the likes of Android and iOS and looks and works almost identically across all devices, independent of the hardware. Indeed because of the strictures Microsoft imposes on manufacturers it means the interface is slick and works very well no matter what handset you buy.

Unlocking the phone, you are faced with the Live Tile interface which aims to put the most important information at your fingertips. Not only is the interface customisable, letting you pin pretty much anything (apps, websites, contacts) to the home page (up to 250 tiles if you must know), but it also brings you notifications within the tiles themselves, letting you know when you’ve got email, missed calls or unread messages.

Nokia Lumia 710 4

This is a much slicker solution than the notification menus in iOS and Android which requires a pull down from the top of the screen in both versions. As we said earlier, swiping left and right is integral to navigating around WP7 and while this is a nice idea, it doesn’t always work. At times you find yourself swiping left when you should be pressing the back button and vice versa. It's not a major inconvenience, but this lack of uniformity can be frustrating.

The WP7 Marketplace currently has around 50,000 apps which is a decent start considering the platform is so young, but compared to the app stores of iOS and Android, it is still miles behind. While most of the major apps are available, there are some notable exceptions such as Dropbox, Instagram, BBC iPlayer and of course Skype. All of these, with the exception of iPlayer are said to be in the works however.

Nokia Lumia 710 5

There are also problems with some of the apps that are available, most notably the official Twitter app, which is just pants in our opinion but without a viable alternative available in the Marketplace, we’re stuck with it. One major positive for the Marketplace however is the ability to try any app before committing to purchase it, albeit in a limited manner, which is a feature that Android and iOS could well do with implementing.

Because this is a Nokia handset, you do get a number of apps which are exclusive (for the moment) to their phones. First up is Nokia Drive, which is a turn-by-turn navigation app which does a decent job of replacing a standalone SatNav. It includes maps of Africa, America, Europe, Asia / Middle East and Australia / New Zealand which can be downloaded prior to setting off on any trip. However the app does lack certain features, most notably traffic updates and multi-waypoint routing – but considering it’s free, we can’t really complain.

Next up is Nokia Music, which is similar in a lot of ways to the main WP7 music app but offers one extra in the shape of Mix Radio, which is an excellent addition. Mix Radio gives you free access to hour-long playlists of a large variety of music genres and recent releases. These can be downloaded while on Wi-Fi for listening while offline and you can store up to four of these offline playlists at any one time on your phone.

While the playlists themselves won’t please any serious music fans out there with them erring on the side of generic, but they do offer a way of instantly having access to a huge library and variety of music you're otherwise unlikely to have. You can skip through any tracks you don’t like, but be warned this is only up to a maximum of six skips per hour, as a result of some “tricky licensing radio rules”, and you can't see what tracks are coming. Also we found that some of the playlists didn’t make much sense, such as finding Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina, in the 70s Rock playlist or The Waterboys in New Releases. But despite these flaws Mix Radio is a big addition to the Lumia range and will help make the 710 stand out against other budget competitors.

Other than Mix Radio, the Nokia Music app gives you access to an MP3 store (with a decent choice of music), your own music of course and a neat feature which uses your location to show what gigs are taking place near you.

Of course the inclusion of a Microsoft Office app is again an area where WP7 stands apart from iOS and Android and for those looking to edit, create or share documents on the go, this might be a big selling point. The app works well on the Lumia 710 as you would expect with the LCD screen making it easy to see text. Third party apps from eBay, ESPN, Sky News, Groupon and Trip Advisor come pre-loaded too.

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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