Hands-On: Nokia Lumia 800 and 710
The Lumia 710 is an average smartphone that is meant to bring Windows Phone Mango to the masses. It sports a significantly lower price point when compared to Lumia 800 — and has an appropriately less-expensive feel to it.
Rather than polycarbonate, the 710 feels like any other normal plastic smartphone. It is much thicker than I'd like a modern smartphone to be, and the materials are definitely cheaper than those found in the 800. The combination of the size, weight, and shape made the 710 feel bulky. The rounded sides of the phone make it easy to hold, though, and it fits well in the palm of your hand.
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Rather than offer three capacitive controls as most Windows Phones do, the 710 has three physical buttons to access the Windows Phone control elements. These buttons had an OK feel to them. The controls on the right edge — volume toggle, screen lock, camera — all felt a but cheap and stiff to me. It is obvious that Nokia had to trim somewhere in order to get the price point 150 Euro less than that of the 800.
The Lumia 710's display is the same size and resolution of the 800s (3.7-inches, 800 x 480 pixels), but it is a standard LCD panel rather than an AMOLED panel. Though it also claims to offer ClearBlack technology, the difference between the two displays is significant. The 800's display clearly outmatches the 710's LCD. That's not the say that the 710's display is bad at all, but it is obviously of lower quality than its larger brother. Blacks looked good, and the colorful Windows Phone tiles looked great.
As for the user interface, it is pretty much stock Windows Phone. Despite the single-core 1.4GHz S2 SnapDragon processor, the phone felt speedy and never slow.
Nokia is shipping the Lumia 710 to some of its key European markets in late December and will slowly ship it elsewhere during the first half of 2012. As for U.S. support, the version announced today is a tri-band 900/1900/2100MHz device. Nokia said it will make its North American market plans known in early 2012.
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