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LCD Analysis: Sharp, Just Not In Full Sunlight

Nokia Lumia 710 Review: Windows Phone 7 On A Budget
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Particularly in the mobile space, display analysis often gets neglected. That's actually a bummer because we're of the opinion that part of a solid hardware design includes a great screen.

If you remember back to our analysis of the Apple iPhone 4/4S' Retina Display, then you know we like starting our deep-dive with a look under the microscope. Such a low-level peek often turns up interesting information you wouldn't otherwise get.

Lumia 710: LCD subpixelsLumia 710: LCD subpixels

Up close, the subpixels come into view. The structure suggests that Nokia's Lumia 710 employs an IPS display from LG, a suspicion that OLED-Display.net shares. In any case, the number of LCD manufacturers remains small. More than likely, your smartphone has a screen from either Samsung or LG.

This display is specifically branded as featuring ClearBlack, which is Nokia's marketing term to indicate it's using a polarizer. Basically, the company places a filtering layer between the display and capacitive touch sensor. The result is less reflections, allowing you to see the screen more clearly without having to tilt it when you're outside on a sunny day. Read more about ClearBlack from Nokia's blog post.

Dark EnvironmentDark EnvironmentIndoors Lit RoomIndoors Lit RoomOutdoors, Indirect SunlightOutdoors, Indirect Sunlight

In practice, the polarizer does what it's supposed to (look at the far-right picture). However, the display's richness is significantly reduced when the ambient light is too bright.

This benchmark surprised us enough that we had to run it several times. Yes, the Lumia 710 sports a more aesthetically-pleasing color palette than the iPhone 4S. But the difference isn't noticeable unless you're watching a scene rich in deep blues.

As you can see in the table below, the iPhone 4S serves up better brightness and contrast results, though we're interested to see how it sizes up to the AMOLED display in Nokia's higher-end Lumia 800.

To be fair, the iPhone 4/4S delivers unbelievable detail by design. According to Apple, the screen is marketed as a "Retina Display” because the company suggests that anyone with 20/20 vision can discern a maximum of 300 pixels per inch 12 inches from their eye.

Phil Plait, an astronomer whose career includes calibrating the camera on the Hubble Space Telescope, wrote up a great article on human perception and stated that "...normal vision can see at 1/0.0035 = 286 ppi...If you have perfect eyesight, then at one foot away the iPhone 4′s pixels are resolved. The picture will look pixellated. If you have average eyesight, the picture will look just fine." In that context, the Lumia 710's 252 pixels per inch fall a little short. You'd have to have near-perfect eyesight to see the difference in detail from a foot away, though.


iPhone 4S
Lumia 710
Gamut of Adobe RGB 1998
46.2%
61%
Gamma
2.06
2.2
Max. Brightness (nits)
565.8
485.8
Color Temperature
8000 K
6600 K
Resolution
640x960
480x800
Display Dimensions
2.91" x 1.94"3.18" x 1.91"
Pixels per inch
326
252
Subpixels per inch
571
435
Contrast
1224.9
971.6
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  • -4 Hide
    DjEaZy , January 9, 2012 4:19 AM
    ... M$ owns skype and partially nokia... but there is no frontfacing camera to do videocalls?
  • 5 Hide
    joytech22 , January 9, 2012 4:39 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    alikum , January 9, 2012 5:33 AM
    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 Hide
    zybch , January 9, 2012 7:06 AM
    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 Hide
    clay9477 , January 9, 2012 8:17 AM
    Editor please take note of Title Pg 8 :[Lumia 710: Nokie Is Back At It].
    Instead of "Nokie" it should be "Nokia".
  • 2 Hide
    ksampanna , January 9, 2012 9:53 AM
    "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 Hide
    feeddagoat , January 9, 2012 10:34 AM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    theuniquegamer , January 9, 2012 11:18 AM
    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.
  • 1 Hide
    southernshark , January 9, 2012 11:32 AM
    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).
  • 0 Hide
    grillz9909 , January 9, 2012 2:20 PM
    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 Hide
    g4114rd0 , January 9, 2012 3:53 PM
     - "There will probably be some small unpleasantness.”

     Actually there are a few worms for smartphone*
  • 1 Hide
    kikireeki , January 9, 2012 4:43 PM
    I think this is a more reasonable choice than the overpriced Lumia 800 to anyone who wants to give Nokia a second chance.
  • 0 Hide
    clarke_craft , January 9, 2012 4:57 PM
    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
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , January 9, 2012 5:19 PM
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    DjEaZy , January 10, 2012 5:36 AM
    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 Hide
    falchard , January 10, 2012 6:09 AM
    My HTC HD7 cost me $0 due to the Valentine's Day Sale.
  • 0 Hide
    feeddagoat , January 11, 2012 9:16 AM
    Quote:
    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 Hide
    016ive , January 11, 2012 12:05 PM
    so does this bring Nokia back to the table?!
  • 0 Hide
    ftlqed , January 11, 2012 2:23 PM
    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.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 13, 2012 6:30 AM
    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).

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