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03/19/2012

Review: Nokia Lumia 710 offers slick entry to Windows Phone 7

Canada’s first Nokia-powered Windows Phone handset has landed on our shores in the form of the Lumia 710.

For starters, the phone is priced at the entry level – so don’t expect any blistering hardware specs or performance.

But Nokia is known for building phones that just work – so how does this foray into Windows Phone 7 territory play out?

Reasonably well, I’m afraid.

The Lumia 710 is running the ‘Mango’ variety of Windows Phone 7, which features several improvements including live tile information (the information you see on the phone’s home screen) as well as enhanced search, contact, and social media features.

Really, Mango is how WP7 should have been at launch. In any case, it’s nice to see it here.

The phone’s 3.7-inch screen appears small on paper, but it’s small size (compared to pricier Android alternatives) is hardly noticeable when you’re actually using the phone.

Build quality feels sturdy enough for a handset in this price range, and better than some of the sexier models floating around out there.

Underneath it all, the 710 is powered by a 1.4-Ghz processor coupled with 512 MB of RAM. I never noticed any lag while using the phone, neither did I try to do any gaming. Then again, you don’t need a Ferrari for the grocery run.

This Lumia comes up short, however, on storage space. Sporting only 8GB of on-board storage – with no option for expandable memory – you’ll be frugal with music, movies and pictures on here.

Sure, users could use Microsoft’s cloud-based storage system (SkyDrive), but that could eat through your bandwidth.

You may also be frugal with the amount of web browsing on here. Web pages loaded at glacial speeds when connected to the Rogers network. Internet connectivity from within apps was quick and responsive, so it’s possible that the built-in browser is to blame.

App selection isn't the greatest compared to what's available in the Android and iOS ecosystems, but there's a title for every task.

Available for $29.99 on a three-year term, the Nokia Lumia 710 is a strong entry-level smartphone. But music lovers may want to look elsewhere. 

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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