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Nokia Lumia 710 - Performance and Verdict

David Gilbert

By David Gilbert



Our Score:


Like the Lumia 800, the 710 is powered by a 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor which is only single core. And you do notice the lack of an extra core when you compare the performance of the 710 against today’s high-end Android devices or the iPhone 4S. While navigating the WP7 menus is slick and has obviously been optimised to work with single-core processors, when you begin opening a number of apps and trying to switch between them, you do get a noticeable lag. This is not helped by the fact that you only get 512MB of RAM which doesn’t help multitasking any.

Browsing the Internet is relatively pain free with the Internet Explorer app loading webpages quickly and with pinch-to-zoom very smooth and webpages rendering as they should, thanks to hardware graphic acceleration. - though there is no Flash support. The neat and simple interface means you don't waste screen space with unnecessary clutter. The address bar on the bottom of the screen, which doubles as a search bar, and a refresh button are the only on-screen icons.

Looking at the camera, the snapper on the back features a modest five megapixel sensor but does at least have a relatively fast f2.4 wide-angle (28mm) lens which helps a little to make the most of what that sensor can offer. The camera is nothing to write home about but performed decently in most conditions. Outdoor results were okay, but like the 800 dark areas are underexposed. Images tended to come out a little soft which will happen if you fail to hold the phone perfectly steady when pressing the shutter button.

Speaking of which, the physical shutter button is a big bonus point on any phone, and we commend Microsoft making it a prerequisite on any phone - however as we said previously, it's not the most comfortable to press on this phone due to poor ergonomics. Pressing the button at any time, even when the phone is locked, will bring you directly to the camera app. While this is a great feature, it can at times see you taking inside-of-the-pocket pictures inadvertently. There is an option which prevents the shutter key from starting the camera if the proximity sensor is triggered.

Nokia Lumia 710 9

The camera app itself is pretty decent letting you tweak a good range of settings including white balance, contrast, saturation, sharpness and ISO, as well as letting you touch the screen to focus on something which may not be in the centre of the screen. The app processes the pictures very quickly and there is also a wizard to clean up your snaps on the phone before sharing them. All photos will be automatically saved to your 25GB SkyDrive account but this option can be disabled.

Sample Camera Images

One point to note is that the default setting when you get the phone for focus mode is macro and for most pictures this should be changed to normal. The phone is capable of shooting 720p video at 30fps and in our tests, it handled video capture reasonably well considering this is a budget handset. While anything more than gentle panning will cause a bit of blur, the video, even when displayed on a large screen, still looked pretty decent.

Turning to the phone’s ability to handle calls, it performed well in most of the conditions we tested it in. Indoors, voices were clear and we even found that it had a markedly better reception than our iPhone 4 when in the same location. We never had to boost the volume to much to hear the person on the other end, even when they were outdoors. The speaker, located on the back of the phone, is as you would expect pretty poor. While it offers enough volume, the sound coming from it is distorted and pretty tinny.

One of the areas where the Lumia 710 is let down is the battery. While the 1,300mAh battery is replaceable, we barely managed to get a day of moderate use out of it on a full charge. This is a disappointment considering some smartphone batteries are finally getting their act together and giving you up to two full days of use nowadays.

Managing you phone and connecting to a PC is another pain, but one common to all Windows Phone handsets, because you have to use Microsoft’s Zune software in a similar way that iPhone users have to use iTunes. This means that instead of simply dragging and dropping files onto your phone, you have to download the software, install it and use the rather clunky interface if you want to transfer music or movies to your phone. Not good, especially as Zune isn't even the default media player on Windows, unlike the way iTunes is for Macs.

Nokia Lumia 710 7

Finally we come to the question of value, which in a phone of this level is one of the most important considerations. At the time of publishing this review, Nokia had not released official pricing for the Lumia 710 making it difficult to gauge exactly the value score for the handset.

However, it is expected to be priced in or around £250 SIM-free and certain networks are offering it on pre-order for free on a £20-a-month contract but considering you can get the Lumia 800 for free on the same contract, we don’t see this as particularly good value.

This is a phone which will be competing against the likes of the HTC Radar which cost £330 at launch and the soon-to-be-released ZTE Tania which is currently available for pre-order also for £250. We think that if the Lumia 710 does come out at £250 or preferably a bit closer to £200 it represents very good value.


The Nokia Lumia 710 could have been the first budget Windows Phone handset to attract users in large numbers, but the inherent limitations placed on Nokia by Microsoft, along with a couple of poor design choices mean it falls just short of being a great budget handset. However, if Nokia gets the pricing right, it could represent great value for money for those looking to take their first step on the Windows Phone 7 platform.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Camera 7
  • Performance 7
  • Usability 8
  • Value 8
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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