Nokia Lumia 710: first impressions

, posted: 6-Mar-2012 11:03

I’d seen photos of the Nokia Lumia 710 but I hadn’t been out to a Telecom store to touch the phone, to feel its weight to understand how it fit my hand.

Now was the time. I hastily unboxed the phone, took a few quick snaps from my Samsung Galaxy SII and then got straight into figuring out how to get the back cover off so I could place the battery and SIM card in.

I was brainwashed into looking for the same places as I’ve always looked.  I’m not a patient person.  I couldn’t figure out how to take the back cover off and had to resort to reading the instructions I was wasting precious time.

The SIM is a micro SIM, the very first one I’ve held and it’s a tiny little thing (hence the “micro”) and I was having a bit of trouble lining it up correctly to slot in. The battery was simple and the back cover snapped on very nicely. There was never any doubt that it was placed correctly or on. 

Everything was go, but would the battery have any charge? Indeed! I was very pleased to see the battery had been partially charged. I promptly plugged the wall charger in to finish the job and spent the next few hours waiting for work to end so I could get a decent run at setting the phone up.

How does it feel?
What I noticed immediately was the curvature of the phone. In the picture my SGSII is underneath.

You can see here the size difference and can get a good feel for the difference in shape. The Lumia fits more naturally in my hand. 

The back cover felt slippery though. Even though it’s not shiney, its smooth back means that it just feels a bit slippery, not so slippery that I thought I’d end up dropping it.

While the fit felt more natural, the thing that sort of destroyed the natural feel was pressing buttons. Obviously when you press you’re putting a little weight behind it and that means the phone presses into your hand.

The SGSII has capacitive buttons, I only need to brush the pad of my fingertip over it and an action takes place.

Pressing was certainly quite a foreign feel. I initially was pressing the buttons while the phone rested on the desk, and as you can imagine, with the curvature and the press, the phone rolled a bit and didn’t sit still.

It sort of pivots a little under the pressure of a press on the back or search button. The Windows button, which is centred, doesn’t get the same reaction. It’s most likely you’ll have the phone in your hot little hand most of the time so really this isn’t something I’d get wound up about.

It’s taken me a while to figure out that I don’t press the Windows button to get the home screen to wake up (as you do with the SGSII) but you need to press the power button which is found on the top right. Just a light touch is all that’s needed.

The screen
When I first started “playing” with the phone I left its little protective screen cover on. But even with that on, the phone felt smooth and my finger glided easily over the screen. Two days later I’ve finally taken the protective cover off.

I’m one of those people that still applies a protective cover regardless of the assurances the screen wont scratch.

How does it “look” 
The first thing I did when I got home (after connecting to Wifi) was to take a photo. My mother-in-law had just finished a jigsaw and it’s my job to take photos. Perfect. This gave me a chance to do another comparison.

Here’s a number of photos that show the Lumia alongside the SGSII so you can see how the Lumia compares. Now Samsung over saturate their photos so bear that in mind, and the SGSII has an 8MP camera by comparison to 5MP of the Lumia 710.  

The greens are much more true on the Nokia Lumia 710. You can see how the brown suited fellow in the bottom right. His suit looks a bit washed out on the Nokia. We all agreed that the SGSII’s photo, while brighter than the real puzzle had the closest match.

For all that, the Nokia Lumia 710 takes a good photo, and really if you’re all het up about how real photos are you’d be better getting a dedicated camera. 

I’d have no problem with using the Lumia 710 to take random photos because the phone is handy where the camera is not.

Lets get up close and personal
I double tapped the photo on both phones.  On the Lumia a double tap enlargens the photo, and a further double tap returns the photo to the original size. You can pinch and zoom too.  It’s all instant and easy to do.

This is from the largest zoom.   

I wish I’d brushed the crumbs from last nights Bacon and Egg pie off my placemat before taking the photos!

I don’t intend to cover how you use the Camera in this initial review, that might come later, or one of the other reviewers may cover this off.

Let’s see how the screen looks for other apps.

We can talk about these essential apps later. For now I want to point out that in the People app the contact screen doesn’t actually go all the way to the right. What you’re seeing there is the start of the “what’s new”.  I don’t know about you, but this just makes me feel uncomfortable.

And later I’ll come back and talk about that tiny little text entry line you use to write a message.

This was a brief introduction and just the beginnings of discussion, but hopefully enough to whet your appetite and give some understanding of how the phone looks and feels. 

In my next piece I’ll look at how you use the Marketplace to install apps, and my experience in using the Marketplace. In the meantime don’t be shy, if you’ve got a question please pipe up.

About the author:

Hi, my name is Anita, on Geekzone and other social network sites I’m known as Neets, sometimes with a “_”, sometimes with “_nz”.  I’m a proud kiwi living/surviving in Christchurch. I’m not blogging about this Nokia Lumia 710 because I need a new phone. In fact I love my existing Samsung Galaxy SII. When offered the opportunity to review the Nokia Lumia 710 I took it up because, in truth, it was an honour to be asked, but I enjoy writing reviews, I like learning new things and I’ve got a bit of a fascination about how far you can push smartphones. The brief is fairly simple, use the phone as much as you can and then write about your experiences.  My reviews will be honest about the good the bad and the ugly based on how I use the phone, which undoubtedly will vary to the way anyone else uses their phone.

Other related posts:
Nokia Lumia 710: The Good
Nokia Lumia 710: The Bad
Nokia Lumia 710: The Ugly

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Telecom New Zealand
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Telecom Tech is a different type of blog. We're sponsored by Telecom New Zealand, but most of the posts here are from every day users like you.

We choose tech savvy Geekzone users to "test drive" the new handsets from Telecom New Zealand.

The team will post firsthand reports on using these smartphones on New Zealand's smartphonenetwork. Make sure to keep an eye on this blog. Who knows who might be our next "test drivers"?


Catch up on previous Telecom Tech reviews - read about the Nokia Lumia 1020Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia Lumia 710 and HTC Sensation.

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