Yesterday we took a look at the flagship of Nokia’s Lumia series - the Lumia 800. Today we’re looking at its younger and more entry-level sibling, the Lumia 710. Though the specs are lighter weight and the device isn’t a flagship, Nokia’s expectations for the device are no less high then they were for the Lumia 800, and there’s a lot riding on the 710.

Superficially, the Lumia 710 and 800 are very different. While the 800 is based on the N9’s design with a unibody polymer construction, the 710 is a more traditional device form factor with battery door and removable battery. In the size and weight department, the 710 is actually taller, thicker, and wider than the 800, though more than a half ounce lighter. No doubt some of this is to accommodate the removable battery and door, however it’s surprising how the 710 manages to be larger in almost every way.

The front of the Lumia 710 is one flat and continuous piece of Gorilla Glass. The Windows Phone buttons are of the physical sort, though they are really one continuous plastic button with three pressure sensitive areas that click in. I found using this continuous button somewhat disconcerting at first but easy enough to use after a day or so. The buttons are backlit like they should be, as well.

The only downside to this arrangement is that because the buttons jut out so much, they become the surface that ends up coplanar with a table or desk when the phone is placed face down. As a result, they do pick up scratches if you aren’t careful.

Just below this is a small gap where the primary microphone is located, and at the very top are the usual culprits (earpiece, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor). I don’t believe the glass display has an oleophobic coating either. There’s a small gap in-between the glass edge and plastic around it where dust can gather as well, but it isn’t a hugely big deal.

The Lumia 710 is ringed with a glossy plastic lip that thankfully isn’t chrome but still shows ample fingerprints. At the top and bottom, this lip gets thicker, whereas on the sides it serves primarily for the battery door to snap into. The battery door is a relatively typical black matte soft touch material (I should note that there are multiple body + battery door color combinations of Lumia 710 that will arrive) which doesn’t show fingerprints, thankfully.

The battery door clips onto the right side (where the buttons are) and snaps into place on the left. Nokia thoughtfully also lines the inside region with foam to minimize flex between the door and battery, and also seal out dust that always manages to get inside on other devices. You can also tell that Nokia has been at this for a long while, since there’s no unnecessary extra piece of transparent plastic between the camera module and the battery door.

Nokia’s removable battery is on the smaller side for phones lately at just 4.81 Whr. We’ll talk more about battery performance in the next section, however. The battery compartment is also where the Lumia 710’s microSIM port is, which slides in face down and is held in place by an installed battery. There’s a window at the top where you can get a fingernail inside and push the SIM out. With the backside off, you can also pick out the 710’s cellular antenna (at the bottom) and WLAN/BT antenna (top left) which are pretty standard fare.

On the backside is the 5 MP camera and single LED flash, and just below the flash is the port for the 710’s second microphone. At the very bottom is the speakerphone grille, though only the thin notch in the bottom right actually goes through to the backside.

Next are the buttons - the Lumia 710 places the standby/power button at the very top right, and and the volume rocker and camera buttons in their usual places on the right side. My only complaint is with the camera button. The button is two-step, yet the first detent (for focus and exposure) is impossible to feel on our 710 review unit. Only the second stage which captures is clicky enough to actually be felt.

Just like the Lumia 800, the 710 features a microUSB port and headset jack on the very top. At the very bottom is a cell phone charm/hand strap port.

Physical Comparison
  HTC Sensation Samsung Focus S Nokia Lumia 800 Nokia Lumia 710
Height 126.3 mm (4.97") 126.1 mm (4.96") 116.5 mm (4.59") 119.0 mm (4.69")
Width 65.5 mm (2.58") 66.8 mm (2.63") 61.2 mm (2.41") 62.4 mm (2.46")
Depth 11.6 mm (0.46") 8.5 mm (0.33") 12.1 mm (0.48") 12.5 mm (0.49")
Weight 148 g (5.22 oz) 125 g (3.9 oz) 142 g (5.0 oz) 125.5 g (4.4 oz)
CPU 1.2 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon MSM8260 1.4 GHz Single Core Snapdragon MSM8255 1.4 GHz Single Core Snapdragon MSM8255 1.4 GHz Single Core Snapdragon MSM8255
GPU Adreno 220 Adreno 205 Adreno 205 Adreno 205
NAND 4 GB NAND with 8 GB microSD Class 4 preinstalled 16 GB NAND (no external microSD) 16 GB NAND (no external microSD) 8 GB NAND (no external microSD)
Camera 8 MP AF/Dual LED flash, VGA front facing 8 MP AF/LED, 1.3 MP front facing 8 MP AF/Dual LED Flash, 720p Video Rec. 5 MP AF/LED Flash, 720p Video Rec.
Screen 4.3" 960 x 540 S-LCD 4.3" 800 x 480 SAMOLED+ 3.7" 800 x 480 SAMOLED w/ClearBlack 3.7" 800 x480 TFT LCD w/ClearBlack
Battery Removable 5.62 Whr Removable 6.1 Whr Internal 5.37 Whr Removable 4.81 Whr

Internally, the Lumia 710 is nearly the same beast as the Lumia 800. At their core, both are based on a 1.4 GHz Qualcomm single core Snapdragon MSM8255, both have 512 MB of LPDDR2 RAM, and share most of the surrounding chipset. The Lumia 710 also includes 8 GB of NAND of which 6.28 GiB are available to the OS for storage of photos, pictures, music, and videos. Again, the 710 is positioned as more of an entry level device, so we don’t see some of the same expensive extras that really add up.

It’s important to keep some context for the Lumia 710, which in the USA is headed to T-Mobile USA. On T-Mobile USA, the only other current Windows Phone it must compete against is the HTC Radar 4G, which carries similar specifications - 8 GB of NAND, 3.8” WVGA LCD, 5 MP camera, and another MSM8255 but at 1.0 GHz. The Lumia 710 will go on sale on Jan. 11 for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate card on two year contract, which definitely shows how Nokia and T-Mobile intend to position the 710 as a mainstream WP7 platform.

I really have to emphasize that although the super high end devices wind up getting most of the attention and really drive the enthusiast perception of a platform, it’s the mainstream and middle tiers where Android (and now hopefully Windows Phone 7) will make major inroads. That’s something I have to occasionally remind myself about as well; although we have a major tendency to only do deep dives on the absolute bleeding edge hardware, it’s the mid tiers where the platform battles are won and lost.

By most measures, the 710 is a great entry-level device. Its in-hand feel doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy, and at $50 on contract feels a lot better than some of the first generation entry level Android phones I’ve handled but never formally reviewed. The only downside is that the 710 still strikes me as being larger than it really needs to be - there’s no huge battery that it needs to accommodate, nor an absurdly huge display, and yet it still manages to be bigger than the much more fully featured Lumia 800.

Battery Life and Charging
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  • french toast - Friday, January 6, 2012 - link

    We really need some exciting hardware and up to date specs..i love the look of wp7 but i REFUSE to be palmed off with 18month out of date hardware, when i can get something 5x as powerfull for the same price.

    Yes i have read all the countless arguements about wp7 being 'processor friendly' and being optimised for the user experience..good for them.
    But it seems that they have used that rather good selling point to skimp away from the expense of decent screens, features, and processing power.

    Yes it does run better than buggy android and caparitivly crap hardware..fantastic but it would run a bit more smoother, have better battery life, and would enable some apps and games that are worthy to hold that xbox the moment all i see is crappy indie ports...i was expecting something MUCH better than this.

    Still, im a massive fan of nokia, and i love my xbox my hope is that microkia get there act togther and release something worth buying..
  • a5cent - Saturday, January 7, 2012 - link

    I understand not wanting to pay the same price for inferior hardware... who would?

    However, it's currently a fact that you can only have ONE of the following:
    a) A restrictive hardware policy, enabling MS to push all their updates to all WP7 owners in a timely fashion
    b) A flexible hardware policy, that allows manufacturers to arbitrarily improve their devices, enabling the WP7 platform compete with android in terms of hardware specs.

    Microsoft has chosen (a). I think 90% of a smartphone's value is delivered by the software. Considering that the overwhelming majority of people don't want to bother with rooting their devices and flashing ROMs, I agree with MS that (a) is the right position to take.

    As a result, the WP community will always go through long stretches were their hardware is inferior to the best Android deice. With WP8 we will get our short moment in the hardware lime-lite, only to fall behind again shortly thereafter. Going with WP means we accept this and get over it.

    At some point the advances in smartphone technology will slow, and even before that many will realize the hardware is only a means-to-an-end. They will realize timely software updates are much more important... and wonder how we could ever like a system like android, that evolves so slowly and only gets one update every year or so.
  • PubFiction - Sunday, January 8, 2012 - link

    Yep it is this and lack of choice. Sprint only has a single WP7 device and it lost my dollar because the screen was lower resolution and it was a slower device than the Evo 3D which I picked.

    Also when all your phones never come out on top in benchmarks no one is going to be interested.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    I wish they'd devote 2-4x the bandwidth at least so calls actually sounded decent.
  • binqq - Friday, January 6, 2012 - link

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  • burntham77 - Saturday, January 7, 2012 - link

    These are neat phones, but I still have not found a WP7 phone that could replace my Android phone and Zune. Someday, perhaps. Someday.
  • jnemesh - Monday, January 16, 2012 - link

    " if in two years we don't live in a world where there is mindblowing integration between my Windows PC, my Xbox 360 and my Windows Phone - then the platform deserves to fail. Microsoft will have squandered its biggest advantage. "

    Two years? Wow...that is overly generous! That would mean 3 1/2 years from introduction to mainstream success, swimming upstream against Apple and Google! I think its worse than that. If we dont see SOME measure of success from THIS generation of Nokia WP7 handsets, including the 710, the 800 and the "flagship" 900, they are sunk! They have been trolling around 1 to 2 percent market share, and FALLING. So if they dont get it together quickly, they will NEVER gain the momentum necessary to even remain a player! Hell, even Palm managed 5% at their height, and the only way Microsoft can report those numbers is when they lump in legacy Windows Mobile phones with them!

    Personally, I feel that the phone UI is hideous, and the functionality of the phone is SERIOUSLY lacking in comparison to their Android counterparts. If I want "tiles", I can put them on my Android handset...but if I want to do anything outside of what Microsoft wants their users to do with WP7, I am out of luck! Too limited, too outdated, and too ugly to live! Better luck next time, guys...the Kin2 aint happening!
  • Timz - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    You can benchmark the camera's color reproduction simply by checking them with deltae; , its a 100% free tool for color checker (amongst other stuff) evaluation.

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