Battery Life and Charging

I still believe one of the most important factors for a smartphone is how it fares in battery life testing. We’re going to revamp the entire testing suite in early 2012, but until then, the 710 gets the 2011 treatment like all other devices to date. Those three corners are a series of page loading tests with the display set as close to 200 nits as we can get it on both WiFi, and cellular data (in this case, WCDMA 3G). In the case of Windows Phone, the lack of an analog slider for brightness does force us to use the “HIgh/Medium/Low” presets instead, which can make comparison a challenge. The third corner of our battery life test is a call time test, where we simply place a call between the device under test and another line, and play music at both ends until the battery dies.

Web Browsing (Cellular 3G - EVDO or WCDMA)
Web Browsing (WiFi)
Cellular Talk Time

Unfortunately, the Lumia 710’s smaller battery doesn’t do it any favors in our battery testing. On cellular data, the Lumia is indeed ahead of the Focus, and right behind the Venue Pro which we also tested on T-Mobile, but still doesn’t last very long by comparison with some of the other major devices. WiFi page loading also shows a strange little departure from the Lumia’s positive performance, though I can’t verify that the Lumia 710 likewise uses a BCM4329. Call time evens out performance between the two Lumias, but I wager again that we’re just seeing the battery size differences between the two at this point.

On a more positive note, the Lumia 710 doesn’t have any of the charging or battery reporting issues that the Lumia 800 had. The 710 charges speedily enough, and doesn’t get stuck in a pre-boot environment - unable to draw current or charge - like I saw the 800 do when deeply discharged. On that note, the 710 also includes the same diagnostics menu which can be accessed by dialing ##634#, and the interesting/realtime current draw display.

Intro and Aesthetics Performance Testing
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  • KTGiang - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    HTC Arrive on Sprint. I use one. Or also known as the HTC HD7 Pro in the rest of the world I believe.
  • Spivonious - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    LG Quantum has one.
  • 3lackdeath - Friday, January 6, 2012 - link

    The LG C900 also has a physical keyboard.
  • RollingCamel - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    In a previous review you had a Mi-One on your benchmarks and , iiirc, you said that you'll post a review of it soon.
  • kavanoz - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    I live in a European country where the carriers are not subsidizing cell phones. Monthly data+voice cost over a period of time is lower compared to a smartphone price so it makes sense to choose between a cheap and expensive phone. There is no 2 year commitment so you should decide if you want to buy a cheap phone and replace it sooner or an expensive one for longer term.

    In the US the price over a 2 year contract (with a data plan) is substantial compared to the subsidized smartphone price. Usually high end phones sell for $200 and the cheapest ones are $50 or less. I don't think $150-$200 is much enough compared to the overall cost over 2 years (less than $10/mo) so I would only buy the high end smartphones. Carriers should introduce discounted monthly data+voice plans for cheaper smartphones.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    The same long term myopia that results in Joe Luser prefering to end up paying more for his phone in higher monthly rates if he doesn't upgrade it every 24 mo on the spot makes paying anything upfront for the phone unattractive. The cash cow of people not upgrading immediately is also why excepting T-Mobile none of the major US carriers offer discounts once your longterm contract is expired and you're no longer paying down a device subsidy.
  • shompa - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    " Microsoft has a great hardware partner in Nokia (arguably one of the best in the business)"

    Nokia does not built these windows phones. Their insane CEO have outsourced it to South Korean companies (probably HTC). At the same time Nokia's own factories are empty. Nokia's strength were that they could build phones cheaper then anybody else. Now they are locked to a predetermined platform by MSFT and outsource the manufacturing. Since they don't even do the OS, what exactly does Nokia do on their phones today?

    BTW. From my knowledge Windows mobile 7.5 is not multi threaded. That is the reason why we only have single core processors. The whole windows platform is played by non/poor multithreading since Windows inception. Google/Apple use *nix. Something that have been multithreaded since late 1960s.

    The fact is that MSFT never have been successful in any business there they have had competition. Still today 94% of MSFT profit comes from Windows/Office. Its only in monopoly business that people accept poor products and insane prices. Somehow Office costs 300 dollars on Windows, while MSFT Office for mac can be bought for 30 dollar. The difference is that MSFT have competition on mac. Even at 30 dollars people don't buy it.

    Only way for MSFT to make Windows Mobile successful is that they do like they did with Xbox. MSFT have to eat huge losses for almost 10 years. MSFT have already started this strategy by giving free Xbox360 consoles to people who buys Lumia phones and spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising.

    I have worked for Nokia. They have a special place in my heart. They will not survive with this insane CEO they have. He needs to be fired as soon as possible and Nokia needs to make good Android phones. MSFT mobile won't be successful.
  • a5cent - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    It sounds like you have personal grievances with Elop, and you're allowing that to cloud your objectivity. Most of your post is ill informed blathering...

    Yes, the Lumia 800 is manufactured by Compal, based in Taipei City (not HTC). However, I can't understand that this surprises you. Consumer electronics aren't manufactured anywhere outside of Asia these days. Nokia themselves have factories all over the world, including China, and Vietnam. Anyhow, welcome back to planet earth.

    It is not called Windows Mobile. It is called Windows Phone. These are two completely different product lines with no relationship to each other, other than both of them being mobile device operating systems.

    Windows Phone is multi-threaded and always has been. The OS itself is heavily multi-threaded. Windows Phone 7.5 is based on Windows CE 6.5 R3 (real-time OS optimized for low resource environments), which doesn't support multiple CPU cores, which isn't the same thing.

    If MS had never competed successfully against others, they wouldn't exist today. Go ask IBM.

    The rest of your post is either speculation or similarly ridiculously. If you have no idea what you are talking about, then it might be better to remain quiet and not make a fool of yourself.
  • Penti - Friday, January 6, 2012 - link

    While I might not agree with his gripes, Nokia is different from all other handset manufacturers / brands since they own and operate major manufacturing facilities employing tens of thousands themselves. Thus if they choose to continue to outsource the product it effectively means the end of Nokia altogether. It's simply not relating or having anything to do with todays company if all they will do is use a couple of thousand engineers and a couple of thousands sales and support-people and outsource the production of the few million Windows Phone units they will be able to sell.

    Microsoft-thinking has destroyed or set back many companies, it is not some new hate. We are talking about effectively killing and downsizing a company before turning any losses. We are talking about killing the only mobile OS developed outside North America. We are talking about closing production sites. We are talking about a mindset which goes against any European or really any engineering company. Downsizing, and not having long term plans doesn't go well together with engineering. Companies need some direction. Other Scandinavian companies has had similar problems with North Americans or others coming in and simply not giving the tools to do the job. Simply changing to that direction and expecting the company to live on even older S40 tech is wrong for Nokia. We will see when the Finns name Elop the worst person in history. How Microsoft runs their business doesn't translate to all other companies of the world and when ex-Microsoft people believes that there is usually disastrous consequences. It's clearly some kind of coup in some sense and a dramatic change and a decisions not made for the companies welfare. They already had an environment built on Qt/QtMobility on either Symbian or MeeGo which is every bit as powerful as Windows Phone if not more. It's API-complete and a competent C++ framework. Fits better in terms of hardware and software. The core of Nokia shouldn't be trying to sell S40 in smartphone space. But it is turning to that until they realize it isn't possible any how. Nokia will be left as a company that is not good at anything if they go through with it in the direction they seem to have chosen. It will not be an engineering and manufacturing company any way, and what good will a much smaller reminiscence do to their owner? It's truly a much more dramatic shift then say the finish government which approved it would have expected any how. It's not really about Windows Phone being useless it certainly isn't, but Nokia needs to sell hundreds of millions of phones. They will certianly need something others hasn't and target wider array of the market and different markets (countries).

    Android and outsourcing to Android ODM's will lead to the same depletion. Companies need some core competence otherwise they are just selling someone else's product and that doesn't really work that well most disappear in those conditions and the brands consolidate and merge and the market converge. It's why Kindle Fire has more sales then every other android-tablet combined, they bring something of their own to the table. Simply bringing a nameless OEM-product doesn't do much. Many try. It's nothing new that companies give up but most do after major changes to their operations and years of losses.
  • a5cent - Friday, January 6, 2012 - link

    I understand your point (American and European business culture differs and the two are rarely compatible... although they aren't totally incompatible either). I can agree with that.

    I also agree that it isn't a good move for Nokia to outsource production to Compal. But do we know for a fact, that this is intended as a long term solution? I expect that Nokia will move that back in-house again at some point... right now I suspect they aren't selling enough WP devices to make that worthwhile.

    Apart from those two things I rather tend to disagree:

    Samsung has become Asia's most valuable company selling other peoples products (Android devices). Nokia has the same potential.

    Symbian has been failing for a long time. Long before anyone even knew Elop. Nokia never competed in the high-end smartphone space, and their low-end offerings are taking a brutal beating from cheap Android devices. This is what set the stage for Nokia's current situation. Elop is just the guy that was chosen to clean up the mess.

    Making good software and high-end Smartphones was never one of Nokia's/Symbian's core competencies, or at least the worlds markets never thought so. Their engineers are very competent, but they were not developing the right things. MeeGo is also in that category. Neither MeeGo nor WP have a killer-feature (the average Joe couldn't care less who has the best Multitasking). However, WP has the much higher potential to develop such a killer-feature (very tight integration between W8 and WP8 for example)

    I am also a European and would have preferred OS development to stay in Europe. Yet I agree with Elop's decision. I think he is taking a very big risk, but that is still better than staying with MeeGo where I see no route to success at all, and would have lead to Nokia as a whole becoming irrelevant.

    Anyway, all the mistakes leading to this inflection point were made long ago. Now Nokia has no choice but to accept drastic change, and that always hurts.

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