Nokia Lumia 710 Review: Windows Phone 7 On A Budget

Windows Phone 7: A Quick Rundown

Most enthusiasts have at least played with a friend's Android- or iOS-based device. Windows Phone 7 is a far less common animal. If you've tried out the Windows 8 developer preview, then WP7 should feel pretty familiar. Both operating environments employ the Metro UI, though there's a fair chance that you didn't know it was originally intended for phones. Microsoft's use of Metro in Windows 8 was a more recent decision that was made in order to more effectively unify the company's product line-up, from the smartphones it powers to its Xbox 360.

It'd be easy to spend an entire story talking about Windows Phone 7, and indeed, we plan to do just that in the days to come. However, it's impossible to talk about the Lumia 710 without some feedback on the WP7 ecosystem.

  1. The home screen is only displayed in vertical orientation, and it consists of arrangeable tiles that you can pin. Each represents an application or action.
  2. WP7-based phones have three navigation keys: Back, Home, and Search.
  3. The arrow key on the home screen expands, exposing a full menu (no landscape mode).
  4. Individual applications can switch between landscape and portrait mode.
  5. Naturally, you scroll with your fingers.
  6. Synchronization must occur through the Zune application in Windows. On Macs, you need Windows Phone 7 Connector.

At present, it's hard to really pin down how the Windows Phone 7 story will play out. Its interface is nice, but there just aren't many apps available for it (relative to Android). Notably missing are the impressive 3D games. Yeah, we know. Many folks think smartphone-based gaming is silly. However, we contend that the existence of high-quality games, even if they come across as mere exhibitions, indicate the potential of well-designed hardware and, ideally, a development platform that more mainstream programmers can jump into.

Need For Speed: Undercover WP7

Android has Riptide GP, Galaxy of Fire 2, Sprinkle, and Shadowgun. Then, there's Real Racing HD 2 and Infinity Blade on iOS. In comparison, WP7 has Need for Speed: Undercover. Really, it's just another racing game, and its graphical detail is pretty blocky.

Microsoft is emphasizing the quality-over-quantity message. However, as the market for WP7 expands, so too will the demand for a broader selection of applications able to satisfy a broader audience. We'll have to look forward to that evolution as it happens.

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25 comments
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  • DjEaZy
    ... M$ owns skype and partially nokia... but there is no frontfacing camera to do videocalls?
    -4
  • joytech22
    DjEaZy... M$ owns skype and partially nokia... but there is no frontfacing camera to do videocalls?


    Not quite sure how many people even use the feature.
    Out of everybody you see when you go out, count the amount of people video calling compared to making a regular call.
    5
  • alikum
    DjEaZy... M$ owns skype and partially nokia... but there is no frontfacing camera to do videocalls?

    Not for the first Lumia line. They were on tight schedule. Other WP phones have it, check out HTC Titan and Radar.
    0
  • zybch
    DjEaZy... M$ owns skype and partially nokia... but there is no frontfacing camera to do videocalls?

    MS hasn't had time to do much with skype yet, the sale hasn't been long approved despite being announced a long time ago).
    The mid-year WP7 update, Tango, will reportedly add skype functionality.
    As for actually using skype, I have had android phones and tablets with it but I have never bothered to use it. My HTC Titan has a nice front facing camera, but I'd have rather they took it out and cut the cost by $20 for all the use its going to get.
    0
  • clay9477
    Editor please take note of Title Pg 8 :[Lumia 710: Nokie Is Back At It].
    Instead of "Nokie" it should be "Nokia".
    0
  • ksampanna
    "We asked the Tom's Hardware audience for some of their favorites on Facebook and received a pretty tepid response"

    that was the problem ...
    2
  • feeddagoat
    I was very impressed with the Lumia 800. Nice screeen, different from everythign else (Yes same as N9 but it was very nicely made and a phone you could get in cyan without looking like a complete tool) Only thing put me off it was lack of HDMI out, frontfacing camera and better apps selection on android. My last phone was a blackberry and it had 2 key things android doesn't
    1. Universal mail box
    2. Browser doesn't close if I switch apps

    My question is simple, how well does the Lumia 710 handle switching between tasks? Does it manage it as well as blackberry and is the mail box universal?

    Personally frontfacing cam, and HDMI out and that phones a winner for me. Add a keyboard and I'll worship it lol.
    2
  • theuniquegamer
    I have been using it for last 2 months and i am satisfied with the performance. This is the best wp7 (mango) bang for buck.
    0
  • southernshark
    joytech22Not quite sure how many people even use the feature.Out of everybody you see when you go out, count the amount of people video calling compared to making a regular call.



    Depends on where you are at buddy boy. If you live in the USA, then you are probably right (although I have skyped to an Ipod in the US). But move yourself outside of the country, where 95 percent of the worlds population lives. Now you want to call someone from country to country... on a cell phone... its expensive. Or I can go to a free Wifi spot and use Skype absolutely free.

    I know its cool to think that every product on earth will only be used in middle class America, but that may not be such a great view point if you are actually in business (even though it is the same viewpoint that caused the USA to fail).
    1
  • grillz9909
    Quote:
    WP7-based phones have three non-touchscreen keys: Back, Home, and Search.


    Just nit-picking here, but the samsung focus has touchscreen keys for the back, home, and search. Just saying.
    0
  • g4114rd0
     - "There will probably be some small unpleasantness.”

     Actually there are a few worms for smartphone*
    0
  • kikireeki
    I think this is a more reasonable choice than the overpriced Lumia 800 to anyone who wants to give Nokia a second chance.
    1
  • clarke_craft
    feeddagoatI was very impressed with the Lumia 800. Nice screeen, different from everythign else (Yes same as N9 but it was very nicely made and a phone you could get in cyan without looking like a complete tool) Only thing put me off it was lack of HDMI out, frontfacing camera and better apps selection on android. My last phone was a blackberry and it had 2 key things android doesn't 1. Universal mail box2. Browser doesn't close if I switch appsMy question is simple, how well does the Lumia 710 handle switching between tasks? Does it manage it as well as blackberry and is the mail box universal?Personally frontfacing cam, and HDMI out and that phones a winner for me. Add a keyboard and I'll worship it lol.



    I'm currently trying out the Samsung Focus S, another WP7 unit, and it's pretty solid so far.

    WP7 handles the Universal Mailbox by having you add all your email accounts which will present you with separate mailboxes for each. After that, you can then go into one of them, open the options area and select "Link Inboxes". Just select which mailboxes you want to link and away you go.

    As to the switching between apps, just make sure to use the Windows button and not the back button. If the app supports Fast Switching, it will remain open and in the spot you left it. Just hold down the Back button to have it pull up all the apps that are open.

    Hope that helps!
    ClarkeCraft
    0
  • belardo
    The Lumina 710... looks generic, like a $1 phone. While it is cheaper to make than the 800 series, they could have done something more with it.

    The 800 is soooo much nicer.
    -1
  • DjEaZy
    DjEaZy... M$ owns skype and partially nokia... but there is no frontfacing camera to do videocalls?

    ... ok... i do videocalls from my iPhone 4s to my brothers Samsung Galaxy S II ans sisters HTC...
    0
  • falchard
    My HTC HD7 cost me $0 due to the Valentine's Day Sale.
    0
  • feeddagoat
    Anonymous said:
    I'm currently trying out the Samsung Focus S, another WP7 unit, and it's pretty solid so far.

    WP7 handles the Universal Mailbox by having you add all your email accounts which will present you with separate mailboxes for each. After that, you can then go into one of them, open the options area and select "Link Inboxes". Just select which mailboxes you want to link and away you go.

    As to the switching between apps, just make sure to use the Windows button and not the back button. If the app supports Fast Switching, it will remain open and in the spot you left it. Just hold down the Back button to have it pull up all the apps that are open.

    Hope that helps!
    ClarkeCraft


    A lot! thanks!
    0
  • 016ive
    so does this bring Nokia back to the table?!
    0
  • ftlqed
    Why don't they make a teflon iodine battery pack, a postive processor, and an overunity regenerator so the specs don't kill? Obviously he should run away, or she, J spec as well damn graphine homo's.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Wow, you've based your opinion on some trolls on Facebook? Really?

    Game-wise the WP7 phones have a small edge over competing platform because of it's XBOX Live integration. This allowd you to communicate with your friends, dress up your avatar and score achievement points on the Live certified games. Some of the usual suspects are here: Angry Birds, Puzzle Quest 2, Fruit Ninja, Plants versus Zombies, Bejeweled. Then there are some cool uniques like The Harvest, GeoDefense, IloMilo, Tentacles.. The selection is not as bad as the troll cave on Facebook make it appear.

    When I compare my experience with my WP7 (Samsung Omnia 7) to my previous Android Phone (HTC Hero) a half year after purchase, then the WP7 wins hands down when it comes to games. Remember how little game Android used to have, and the quality of the games was terrible (1.6 and early 2.x period).
    1