back to article Nokia Lumia 710

Late last year, I reviewed the Nokia Lumia 800 – and I've just spent a week with the 710, its cheap and cheerful sibling, as my main phone. I actually preferred using this budget model to the much-hyped 800. Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone 7 smartphone Road to recovery? Nokia's Lumia 710 The 710 has essentially the same …

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  1. Richard 12 Silver badge
    FAIL

    The review and summary don't quite match

    If the Lumia 710 barely makes it through the day and costs £300, why would you consider it for your second phone?

    For most people, the use cases for a second phone are:

    A) A phone you can rely on to be working when you can't use your 'primary' phone - usually because the battery is dead. Possibly if you need to use a foreign SIM etc.

    B) A phone that's so cheap you can take it walking, sailing, canoeing and bungee jumping* without caring too much if you lose or destroy it.

    So you'd expect a second phone to have a battery that lasts much longer than your main phone, and be dirt cheap - something like the £10 jobbies from Tesco, or that Energizer-bunny one.

    The Lumia 710 doesn't fit either of those use cases, so I really don't understand which demographic you see using this as a second phone.

    I can however see the Lumia 710 as being a second choice if you can't afford the smartphone you really want. That's especially true as there's so little reason to pick the Lumia 800 over the 710.

    *Ok, maybe not bungee jumping. Skiing?

    1. Silverburn
      Thumb Up

      Isn't being an El Reg power user great. Feel the power!

  2. David Gosnell

    Budget model, cheap and cheerful etc ...

    ... Yet costing getting on for half as much again as for a similarly-specced Android talker. It looks a fine effort, but only really interesting as a budget phone at the sub-£200 level. Hopefully typical discounting will kick in and restore some sanity. £300 gets anything apart from bleeding-edge flagship models from anyone else.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Not only that

      But you are getting a gimped phone OS for your money. Android 2.x might not be as slick as WP7 but it is vastly more functional and featured.

    2. LarsG

      I HAD NO IDEA THEY STILL...

      made phones after I retired my N95!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    except.....

    its not a budget model is it?

    Its a mid range model, largely because the software update "tango" that enables the OS to run on lower spec'ed hardware hasnt been released yet, its still in beta testing and probably will not be available until Q2 12, at the very earliest we're looking at Q3 12 before hardware hits the shelfs and possibly Q4 if the manufactures havent got their act together

    So, lets not call this budget, its cheaper than others just now but there are cheaper ones on the way, unless you want to call those super-budget, which is stupid, im saying this now hopefully before the torrent of posts about "budget" android devices costing less an giving WP more bad PR hits the forum.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      £300 is probably RRP. I'm sure it will be available for less.

      1. David Gosnell

        I'm sure it will be available for less

        Like the 800 that was going for £120 if you looked in the right place at the right time ;O)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Already £200 as PAYG from O2 ... and read a comment elsewhere that it may be coming in at £150 on Vodafone.

  4. Silverburn
    Happy

    My hobby...

    ..is often working out where the reviewer went to take their camera Test shots. Was it a park? Which city? Do I recognise it? What building is that? Which road is that?

    But this one has me stumped - a west end show, a doom and gloom prophesy and some limp salad. Damn you, el reg!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Budget?!

    In what universe is a £300 phone considered budget? What adjective would you use to describe models costing £20?

    1. Silverburn
      Happy

      ...Stolen?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        lol

        Genuine Giggle :)

    2. Filippo

      I'd call them "not a smartphone". That said, I wouldn't call a £300 smartphone "budget" either, considering Nokia has Symbian phones that can be called smartphones and still cost half that much.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Budget smartphone

        £200 or less sim free would be a reasonable definition of a budget smart phone. For that you can get a phone with a 800x480 capacitive screen, Android 2.3 and a 800Mhz CPU.

        It wouldn't set the world alight but it would still be a pretty reasonable device.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Bob Vistakin
    FAIL

    "You’re quickly into the dregs"

    Exactly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe need to give the WP marketplace/appstore/whatever-MS-call -the-place-you-download-apps-from a bit of time to develop ... remember at one time people said the Apple apps store was little more than a collection of fart apps, then when I first got an Android phone just over 2 years ago people ridiculed the Android marketplace in comparison with the apps store. I'm not a "WP-fan" (I'm stil with Android) but I think we need to allow a little time to see if WP will develop

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think we need to allow a little time to see if WP will develop

        10 years not enough, then...

    2. Silverburn

      Dregs

      I think this is a problem common to all the mobile stores.

  7. fuzzie

    Phone reviews

    I have a me-too to add to your comment on phone reviewers often not picking up on usage issues. I suspect it's purely because, once a phone's released, everyone wants to be the first out of the paddock with a review and end up largely regurgitating what's on the back of the box.

    I've purchased phones that came highly regarded only to discover very basic and fundamental flaws/strange design decisions which I then have to live with for two years. That's made worse by 99.9% of shops only have plastic mock-ups available. Maybe this means there's a market for the motoring magazine's "long term test"...well, at least a week or two's continuous use before pontificating.

  8. RichardWRL

    Wierd review...

    Had I just read the text, I'd expect a very low mark but 80% is respectable. Wierd.

    On pricing, the 710 will be available free on the mid-low range of monthly tariffs, pitching it against last-gen Android hardware for most consumers. It will also be heavily discounted on PAYG but it's emphatically not in the budget range. That being said, c.£300 unlocked is cheap for a new smartphone and it's the same price as the Samsung Omnia W.

    Oh, and Andrew's dead wrong about the shape and comfort of the 800 - it's a brilliant design and is very comfortable for me.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      "Very comfortable for me"

      Do you have square gonads?

      1. Law
        Happy

        or perhaps just shorter pockets?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          or smaller

          obstructions

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lumia sucks

    I agree in most parts, but it is better to check with hahaped.

  10. David Hearn
    Boffin

    WP Twitter app

    If you want an example of how a Twitter app should be done on WP7 (as opposed to Birdsong which the reviewer said was very slow) try out Rowi - fast to resume from background, fast to start, and even very fast support from the developers.

    1. Can't think of anything witty...
      Stop

      What twitter app?

      Just as a disclaimer, I don't use twitter, but i can't help but notice that you are able to add twitter as an account in the general settings. i think that this means that your updates would then populate into the "people" tile (or under a contact if you actually know the person you are following) and you can send updates from the "me" tile.

      So why do you need an app?

      Apple have been very modular with their model, requiring an additional app for a lot of functionality and it seems like Android has gone a similar route.

      The windows phones take a different approach, but it's a shame that people still seem to reach for an app when actually the functionality is built in. Seems that this approach has become engrained....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        this was the approach that was taken with the Kin, and I think mose of the devs from the Kin got moved onto windows phone. (I used to do RIL testing on the kin)

        1. MuppetHater
          Stop

          I assure you...

          It is NOT true that most of the Kin team moved on to the Windows Phone team. Absolutely not true.

      2. Paul Shirley

        @Witty

        The whole concept of merging difference media feeds has been tried repeatedly (and before WP7 went public) and it's a marmite feature, you love it OR hate it. I've tried a few of the Android apps that aggregate feeds, the built in Timescape version on my Play and whatever HTC shipped and just don't get on with it.

        Which leaves me grateful it's purely optional, even though every manufacturer seems to ship with their own take on aggregation enabled its always trivial to disable. Worth remembering some of the brand loyalty to Samsung/HTC/SE is people liking the particular tweaks added over base Android.

        Right now I let GMail aggregate most of my email accounts but isolate some in the Mail app, feed Twitter through Go SMS along with texts and Talk does it's own thing. Makes it easy to prioritise dealing with everything and hard to lose track of what I'm responding to. The flood with them all aggregated was overwhelming. That soaks up more space on my homescreen but Android gives me 20 slots per homescreen so there's less demand to combine them than with WP7s lower tile limit.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Yes

      Rowi looks like the best choice.

  11. Piro
    Pint

    The browser is fast?

    Ho ho ho, not only is it the slowest of all the current mobile OS browsers, it's slower and far less standards compliant than the Nokia Meego which SHOULD be on this hardware.

    1. Shaun 1

      I can't compare the speed of the browser, but with regards to standards compliance, I just scored 100 on the acid3 test

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        WTF?

        As the kneejerk M$ hatery has already gained 4 upvotes, I have decided to award one to your actual test result in the interests of sanity.

  12. Shaun 1

    Fast App Switching

    With regards to your comment about apps taking an age to switch between, this is dependant on the app.

    MS introduced Fast App Switching with Mango, but some developers still haven't updated their apps to support it

  13. Shaun 1
    Stop

    Browser briskness

    "the need for an extra tap for many common operations – punching in a new URL"

    I don't know how many taps you need on other phones, but on WP7 the process is: Tap the address bar, type in URL, Tap Enter.

    I can't think of any way to shorten this process other than to always have the address bar selected with the keyboard on display

  14. Bob Vistakin
    Mushroom

    How MWC 2012 could have looked

    All eyes turn to the two Android giants as the rumour mill goes into overdrive regarding new handset announcements. 2011 saw a fantastic year for both Nokia and Samsung, who saw their greatest ever profits and smartphone shipments as Android accounted for 52% of the market with Samsung just edging it at 28% to Nokias 24%. Both have blazing dual-core large screen Android successes on their hands with their top end 2011 models, now the industry waits with bated breath to see what marvels they announce here - largely, the spec is expected to be quad-core, 1.6ghz devices with 4.2" or larger screens and 12Mp cameras, running the latest ICS Android release from the start. The runaway success for them both looks to continue unabated as they both build on their quality handset heritage to deliver exactly what customers want.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      "as they both build on their quality handset heritage to deliver exactly what customers want."

      A full value solution?

    2. frank 3
      WTF?

      press release

      wow, was that a comment? Reads like a press release.

      1. bdam
        FAIL

        Whooosh.

  15. DrXym Silver badge

    So many stupid flaws in WP7

    I found a doozy of bad design in WP7 yesterday. MMS wasn't working (not fetching images & media). After some unhelpful errors from the UI I finally discover the APN wasn't set properly so I go and set it. But MMS is still not working properly.

    Then I discover it's not working because 3G data is disabled on the phone (which is only connected via wifi normally). So I flick the switch controlling data and now MMS works. Problem is the switch also controls general data consumption so to get MMS you have to expose yourself to risk of other kinds of data charges. Not a problem if data is included in your phone plan, but a massive problem when it isn't.

    So unlike other phones where you can have MMS but not 3G data, on Windows Phone 7 you have both or nothing. It's such a stupid design that it beggars belief.

    The UI is rife with stupid little annoyances like this. Another one is there is one volume control. If you're playing a game and you turn the sound down, you're also turning down the sound for incoming calls. Another is the lack of multitasking of any kind, the consequence of which that many apps botch resuming where they were when you had to step away from them.

    Superficially Windows Phone 7 looks great but it is still deeply flawed. It desperately needs a major revision.

    1. Jim Coleman
      Flame

      @DrXym: "...Another is the lack of multitasking of any kind..."

      WTF? And you say you've used WP7? Presumably you failed to use the long-press of the BACK key or spot the BACKGROUND TASKS page in SETTINGS then.

      Muppet.

      1. PaulR79

        I agree that missing that feature is a bit confusing but it's hardly made clear and I only accidentally found it because I'm using Android and habitually long-press things to see what, if any, extra things the app does. As for the background tasks page, that's a new entry too and only apps that take advantage of Mango's fast (HAH!) app switching are included there.

        1. Jim Coleman
          FAIL

          @PaulR79: Excuse me but how is a long-press of the back key any more confusing than the equivalent in Android or iOS, exactly?

          "...As for the background tasks page, that's a new entry too and only apps that take advantage of Mango's fast (HAH!) app switching are included there..."

          WRONG! The apps in there are actually the ones that utilize background processing, i.e. get to perform simple tasks (in the background, natch) once every half-hour. That page has NOTHING to do with Mango's fast resume feature or with which apps support it.

          Please get your facts right before you diss. And for your edification, Mango's fast resume, when implemented properly by developers, is pretty much INSTANTANEOUS.

          But let's not let facts get in the way of our anti-MS vitriol, eh?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Windows

            More flaws in WP7?

            Reading Jim Coleman's posts I'm now worried about WP7's apparent tendency to intermittently engage CAPS LOCK.

            1. Jim Coleman
              Happy

              @Stike Vomit: You might have had a point if it wasn't for the fact I'm typing on a PC.

              But again, never let the facts spoil a good rant, eh?

              1. Paul Shirley

                "if it wasn't for the fact I'm typing on a PC."

                ...bet it's running Windows.

                Now we know where they borrowed the CAPS LOCK AUTOENGAGE from ;)

          2. PaulR79
            FAIL

            @Jim Coleman

            Anti-MS vitriol? Good one. I'm clearly anti-MS because I bought a WP7 device to see how it was developing as I'd considered it too immature at launch. You took what I said as a personal insult for some reason and started foaming at the mouth when I was just pointing out that the feature you are talking about is not as obvious as you might think. This is especially true of people looking in a phone shop with perhaps a minute or two playing with a demo phone.

            As I said, I discovered it almost by accident by holding the back button down, it isn't mentioned anywhere when you start the phone up after updating to Mango. I'm using to doing long-press purely because I use Android otherwise I would likely not have found it for quite a while longer. Android has done long-press from the start, iOS added it for a few things but it wasn't there at the start so please get off your soap box and stop ranting. I merely said it is not obvious, not that it was hidden away to be discovered if you do a secret button combination and chant.

            But let's not reasoned thinking get in the way of your foamy mouthed rant, eh?

            1. Jim Coleman
              Meh

              @PaulR79: You just proved my point - you tried the "oh so cryptic" long-press because your Android phone used exactly the same freaking method. Yet you're criticizing it! FFS!

              1. PaulR79
                Facepalm

                @Jim Coleman... last reply......

                You just keep grasping at that straw, I'm sure you'll catch it eventually. For the third (and last) time now, yes, I use Android and that is the only reason I'm aware of long-pressing. I'm not criticising anything, I am saying it isn't obvious if you've had no other smartphone experience like Android. Are you likely to stumble onto it? Eventually, yes. Not while looking at it in a phone shop which is where most potential buyers will be looking and doing their research.

                Get a grip. Just because *you* are aware of something doesn't make it obvious. Want a non-phone example? Try asking a non-computer user what a default option is and see if they know.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        There is no multitasking

        "WTF? And you say you've used WP7? Presumably you failed to use the long-press of the BACK key or spot the BACKGROUND TASKS page in SETTINGS then."

        Stop pretending it has multitasking, it doesn't. There is some facility for background activity but not proper multitasking. And it hurts the experience as is plainly obvious within using a WP device for a few minutes..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Multitasking?

          Just try downloading a map or a voice in Nokia Maps... As soon as you try to leave the screen, the download is stopped.

          BTW, if you like so much the limited interface, you can do the same on Android by limiting yourself to widgets. There is even a replacement launcher that completely copies the WP7 interface. No idea why someone would do that, though. It is cumbersome and impossible to use with more than a few apps.

          1. DrXym Silver badge

            Mentioned that one before

            "Just try downloading a map or a voice in Nokia Maps... As soon as you try to leave the screen, the download is stopped."

            Nokia Drive stands as one of the most brain dead apps I've ever used. Like you say it doesn't download in the background (maybe WP7 has limits which prevent it) which is a pain in the arse to say the least. I'm still wondering what the point of downloading maps is at all when the app requires you to be online in order to search for a destination or calculate a route.

            Even apps which do download in the background, I've yet to see more than one download occurring simultaneously. So if you install a few apps from the store they occur sequentially unlike in Android where you can set more than one off at once if you like.

        2. Jim Coleman
          Meh

          @DrXym: I guess we will have to agree to differ on the multitasking issue. To my mind, suspending apps when they're in the background and resuming, is the best way to preserve UI performance and battery life. Allowing background agents is a great compromise that allows apps to do important stuff every so often again without battery drainage. Allowing all apps to do whatever the hell they like all the time is a recipe for chaos as a lot of Android users will verify through their poor user experience, random crashes and slowdowns. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

          1. Law
            Paris Hilton

            @ Jim...

            "suspending apps [snip] is the best way to preserve UI performance and battery life."

            Android already does this.

            "background agents is a great compromise that allows apps to do important stuff every so often again without battery drainage."

            Background agents in WP land are just called broadcast receivers in android.

            "Allowing all apps to do whatever the hell they like all the time is a recipe for chaos"

            Allowing developers to run in background isn't a recipe for chaos, it's a recipe for flexibility and user choice. Applications running in the background have to notify the user by adding an entry to the notification tray. Users are aware of what is running and can switch to it. The user makes the choice of potentially battery drainage.

            "as a lot of Android users will verify through their poor user experience"

            The user experience of multitasking?? It's very simple: if the application isn't up front then it's basically suspended or closed, unless it has an entry in the notification tray, in which case, you know it's running something still.

            "random crashes and slowdowns"

            Any OS has to handle applications crashing in some way. Android doesn't fall over by applications that stop responding, it'll give you the option to force it to close, or wait more. As far as I know WP just returns to the home screen? No notification or anything?

            There can be a million factors that slow phones down, badly designed applications, hardware limitations, background tasks. I've 100% sure I could slow a WP down by running a simple resourceintensivetask background agent - not all background agents need be lightweight battery-friendly processes, it depends on the developer and application!

            If you really want to know the main differences between them, and what they can and can't do, look at these tech docs on the subject...

            http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh202866(v=vs.92).aspx

            http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/04/multitasking-android-way.html

          2. hplasm Silver badge
            Meh

            So Jim-

            You admit there is no multitasking.

            Thanks for clearing that up.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find...

    ... I'm quickly into the dregs on the Android market, there are very few actually useful apps that really add features in a bug-free way on any app stores. What WP7 needs is the elite list, Skype, Evernote, TuneIn, the Google suite (Goggles, Shopper etc) and all the major shopping and airlines etc. Raw app quantity is no indicator at all.

    The battery issues are universal on many smartphones, my HTC Sensation was a disaster at first but once I installed JuiceDefender and bought a bigger (chinese) battery it now lasts a day of smartphone usage (wifi, internet, mapping, navigation, talking, emailing etc) without trouble, I pop it in the dock every night and its great. I never use the charger at work anymore.

    1. PaulR79
      FAIL

      WP7 has Evernote and it's hardly a fault of MS that Google aren't providing their apps to a competing product. Sure I'd like them there too, especially Google Maps, but that's why I bought my WinPho second-hand and purely to see what the platform was like.

      You say you're quickly into the dregs on the Android Market and that there are very few useful apps, I call bullshit on that. If you want an app to do something you can generally find more than a few options and a large amount of them are free without even ad supported crap. On the chance you find a paid app that you want to try you might not have 24 hours any more but you can still try out the app for 15 minutes before you're charged. It's generally enough time to get a feel of the app although I would like it to be pushed up to an hour.

      Disclaimer: Yes I'm an Android fan but I'm aware of limitations such as awful battery life but that's a fault of manufacturers trying to outdo each other on how thing they can make a phone. Motorola have finally put out a phone with a huge battery that I'm hoping will make others take note for future handsets.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Where are the Bing equivalents?

        It's understandable that Google don't support WP too well (though one could argue that it is in their interest to do so). But that doesn't explain why there aren't Bing analogues for everything.

        Also the absence of Skype is unfathomable. Though perhaps it isn't. WP7 is so abysmal at multitasking that I suspect Skype would be impossible to implement in a useful way on the OS unless Microsoft somehow special cased the app, e.g. giving it permissions to run in the background that regular apps are not allowed to enjoy. Otherwise it's only going to run in the foreground which pretty much rules out receiving calls or text through it.

        Compare and contrast to Android. There are even apps like Viber for Android where you can rip out the standard dialler and replace it with a VOIP / Landline mashup.

        1. PaulR79
          Unhappy

          Sadly I wish I knew the answer to that. As much as MS might like Bing, I don't. I'd like the choice to use an alternative search provider but you get no choice at all. Granted I don't think there's an alternative in Android either but at least the search button is used intelligently there with it searching the current app if supported. The background tasks are, as I understand it, limited to running once per 30 minutes which (if true, I'm not 100% sure on that) makes the battery life truly awful given that my Omina 7 barely lasts 16 hours or 20 on a good day with very, very light use.

          How do I define that very, very light use? Checking Twitter a few times an hour (30 minute updates if background tasks info is accurate), maybe 30 minutes browsing and perhaps four or so texts. That's all done with the screen on its lowest brightness settings. The battery in my Android handset is smaller, 1230mAh vs 1500mAh, yet I can and do use it more and get roughly 24 hours between charging. When I go to charge the Desire HD it's usually around 15 - 20% battery life showing, the Omnia 7 is always under 10%. I don't know what the hell the phone does to use so much battery but it'll be worrying if they can't rectify it.

          1. DrXym Silver badge

            Background agents.

            Yes they're severely limited. The documentation about them is here - http://www.silverlightshow.net/items/Windows-Phone-7.5-Use-Background-agents.aspx

            Basically they let you check updates every 30 minutes for tweets, email or whatnot but that's a very poor substitute for the sorts of things that you can do in Android. e..g Skype / Viber can be listening for messages every minute, you could have tTorrent going, you could have Facebook / Twitter going, streaming music, background downloads, etc. It's all designed to multitask with the OS stepping in and killing stuff gracefully if it has to.

            I don't know what's up with the battery life on Windows. You'd think it would be lower but my Lumia 800 has an awful battery life running down in a day's use. It often becomes completely non responsive too if I let it run completely down not showing any signs of life even when attached to a charger. I'm hoping a firmware update might improve it.

          2. Jim Coleman
            Meh

            @PaulR79: Looks like you have a duff battery, my Titan gets a day of heavy use, no problem at all.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          skype

          or in a more logical direction, Perhaps, MS are making Skype in to something special, you know, given that they own it an all an can do with it as they please. I think its Apollo thats getting the good news with Skype, which kinda suggests the anti MS bile is a bit premature, it can and will support it just fine, WP has a video call app called tango *not to be confused with the upcoming Tango update, which works just fine in the background. Most problems with multitasking not working are one of two problems, firstly they are running Nodo or pre Builds of the OS, secondly the Program hasnt been updated to support Multitasking as supported by Mango onwards, thats hardly MSs fault. i have plenty of programs that work in the background.

  17. Irongut

    Fonts

    "the serif font, while fine for signage, is human-unfriendly"

    Just looking at the pictures I can clearly see that the WP7 font is a sans serif font, not a serif font.

    Generally I find sans serif fonts to be more readable on a screen but I've not had the opportunity to try WP7 for any length of time and the huge fonts that take up a ridiculous amount of screen space do put me off, not looking forward to them in Win8. :(

    1. Fuzz

      Re: Fonts

      You'd be correct,

      The Serif fonts are used for the titles at the top of the screen (e.g. signage) the body text, emails, messages etc. is sans. Works for me.

      1. Jim Coleman
        Thumb Down

        @Fuzz: WRONG! WP7 uses sans-serif fonts throughout. Just so you know.

        1. Fuzz

          I stand corrected

          When I looked at the titles I thought I could see Serifs, particularly on the lower case a. After a close look I can see that the title font and the body font are actually the same.

          By the way you should take a look at your Caps Lock key, it seems to have an intermittent fault.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Typo fixed.

      Serif would be a big improvement for readibility.

  18. PaulR79
    Unhappy

    Review findings on WP similar to my own

    I bought a Samsung Omnia 7 on fleabay for around £150 and after owning it on and off for a few months as a tester phone I came to the same sort of conclusion that the review does. There is lots of potential and it's quite polished at this stage but it has to catch up and catch up fast. Android and iOS matured over time, WinPho7 arrived late so unfortunately it will be given little time by most people to mature. It certainly won't be given as much time to get to the point that its competitors have and while that isn't the fault of the phone OS it will be a big 'con' point for any potential buyers.

    One thing that really jumped out at me in this review was the mention of the Twitter app "Birdsong". It's beyond awful. It claims to have a live tile and there are options for notifications but none of them work. Numerous reviewers mention it, I contacted the devs and after explaining to them that settings are *not* saved (it kept throwing up an error that unhelpfully says, "sorry there was an error" and that's it) they said it must have been a bad download. I tried to download it over and over but clearly it's a big problem with the app as lots of others have the same problems. After making this clear I received no further support. There are font settings, too, which would help with the "three tweets on a screen" issue but as you probably guessed those don't work either. Changed settings and perhaps DMs were using that font while other areas weren't. Alternatives? Sadly the official Twitter app is worse, somehow... The best option right now, aside from the Mango built-in option, is "Mehdoh".

    I realise that turned into a rant about Birdsong but it's apps like Birdsong that give an awful impression and tar the overall experience. Granted, WinPho7 isn't anywhere near what it needs to be but app experiences like that don't help. At this stage there are some decent apps but they are limited and very hard to find if you're new to the platform.

  19. Wang N Staines

    Great looking phone and as soon it's reduced to 50 quid, I will get one as a 2nd phone.

    1. Jim Coleman
      Megaphone

      @Wang N Staines: They're free on contract.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "They're free on contract."

        What does that even mean?

        1. Jim Coleman
          Holmes

          "Hire Purchase" more or less

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Subtle satire from Nokia's marketing dept?

    The first image in the review shows the phone directing a user along Berlin's Invalidenstrasse.

    That's 'Invalid street' in English....

    1. Paul 75
      Holmes

      It is rather amusing, but the Maps team is actually based there.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What?

    80% for a £300 phone with no Skype, poor battery life, no web cam, no Flash, bugger all in the way of apps, that you have to use the pile of sh!t that is Zune to load media onto and that is very unlikely to get the major WP7 Apollo update in the Autumn.

    As most of these will be bought on contract not PAYG coughing up an extrea few quid a month for an iPhone 4/4S or good Android handset makes much more sense.

    Hell the Symbian Belle 701 would be a better buy if it ever comes to the UK...that has free satnav too, a 1GHz CPU, a much, much better battery life and is much cheaper.

    60% would be more like it.

    I predict this handset will not sell.

  22. dodge
    FAIL

    No OTA address book sync?

    "Given that the phone doesn't sync with PC or Mac address books, this is quite an important feature."

    Seriously? What the hell is MS thinking? This is THE make-or-break usability feature on a new phone IMHO. The thing that lets you get a new handset, and immediately start using it. Boggling.

    1. Jim Coleman
      Facepalm

      @dodge: Relax, the reviewer was talking bollocks. The phone syncs OTA with your Windows Live contacts, which sync with Outlook (via the hotmail connector). It's fast and flawless, and kicks off as soon as you enter your hotmail/live ID into your new phone. By the time you're home, they're all there, ready and waiting. Ditto for your calendar and email.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Outlook?

        What if I'm not using Outlook, Jim? Or Hotmail? What is your solution then? Sounds like unless you're running the full Microsoft stack you're pretty much fucked as far as this phone goes.

        1. Fuzz

          Optional

          OTA you can sync with, Exchange, Hotmail, GMail, Yahoo. That includes Calendar, email, and contacts sync. You can sync with any combination of them, contacts can be combined together or seperated. When you add a contact to the phone you have a choice of which sync account you want it added to.

          What the author of the article is talking about is there is no way to sync directly with your computer. I once synced my phone with my computer. I think it was in the 90s.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Sync-ing

          It syncs with all sorts as Fuzz listed above, i fail to see the point in syncing with Outlook any more, any place any time i can restore everything on the go, i dont see how a cable connection to outlook would make that any better? infact the only memory i have of syncing direct as it was so long ago was a royal pain in the arse, everything in my calendar was duplicated and moved 1 month over.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Address Book sync

      I've had a 710 for a week or so (free from Nokia - but having tried it I'd be willing to buy it).

      I was up and going with mine in seconds as there is a pre-installed app which connects to your existing phone via bluetooth and pulls in the address book directly. There was no need for syncing and it was far faster.

      Battery life is okay. I'm used to 4 days from my Blackberry but get about 1.5 to 2 days from the 710, which is on a par with the wife's iPhone 4S and her (previous) Galaxy S2.

      The Zune desktop app is not up to iTunes standard but does the job and at least it doesn't feel as cobbled together and incoherent as the Android ecosystem.

      The UI is fast and efficient, but I agree the single volume control is a terrible idea.

      The main saving grace is the development tools. Using Visual Studio 2010 with the Windows Phone SDK (all free downloads from Microsoft) development is a joy. None of the dire XCode rubbish for the iPhone or the slow, unwieldy Eclipse for Android. No need to switch to some common denominator tool like the atrocious Flex. Just fast, easy development and deployment. Provided of course you are okay with the WP7 style of UI.

      As an aside, placing the grid-of-icons UI of the iPhone and Android against the WP7 tiles and heavily text-centric layout makes it very clear how professional and polished WP7 actually is and how dated it makes the others look.

      1. Haileri$

        Why is this modded-down so much? I guess posting as AC isn't great but isn't exactly a Pro MS rant!

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The Zune desktop app is not up to iTunes standard"

    Sweet tittyfuckingjeebus, it must be bad!!!!1!11

  24. Dan 55 Silver badge

    300 quid for a featurephone = 80%?!

    You can pick up an N8 for cheaper. It might not be perfect but it's certainly light years ahead of this thing.

  25. Darryl
    Happy

    @Andrew Orlowski

    I'm confused... You had to be persistent in your cussing before the battery indicator would update?

  26. Haileri$

    Missus bought one, seems to like it. She changed from the iPhone. If the fonts weren't the size of elephants I might change too. Maybe I am missing something though :)

  27. Gomez Adams

    Only available in black ...

    ... for us boys who do not like to sport girly colours. :(

  28. Magnus_Pym

    Oo is that a...

    ... new phone from Camping Gaz?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look at the blue one on the first page

    Now doesn't this look like a Fisher Price Toy at first glance!

    Go on, I bet you thought it as well!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia

    I bought one 2 weeks ago through T-Mobile here in the States. Even as my first smartphone this was different from what I expected. I find it easier to use than my wife's droid2 on the Verizon network and the lack of a pull keyboard was very easy to get used to. The camera is faster and easier to use than the Droid's. The phone is also lighter than I expected and I must be blessed with exceptional luck with my phone's battery. After the first full charging I have yet to recharge. I usually turn location services off (to support my paranoia). T-Mobile's data network is horrendous in my area, so I've been slurping off unsecure access points (of which there are plenty) for data connectivity.

    The biggest surprise to me has been the entire Microsoft integration. To use this phone in a useful way, I needed to set up Hotmail, Zune, and Microsoft Live. Although the phone phone supports third party web services such as Flickr (from Yahoo), it seems to try and bring an integrated Microsoft cloud to a smartphone. I do wish privacy policies were more clearly outlined. I am a bit worried about all of the marketing data Microsoft now has to churn through on me and I would feel happier if I knew I wasn't being data mined by a Google. With the 2 year plan the phone only cost $ 49.95 and I expect to either toss it by then and get a Windows 8 phone (better than a Nokia 900 series) or abandon the whole Nokia/Microsoft cloud vision and move on to something else.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    make up your own mind

    Knowing full well that Meego was consigned to history/burning oil platform that it is, I bought one in December. There are a few apps that I had on my Android phone that I wish were available - most notably Google Sky. But for it's primary function as a phone and messaging device, works well. Skype has been integrated with the phone and messaging functions.

    What Microsoft/WP dev team need is some input/influence from the Meego development team.

    Only real downside for me is not being able to REMOVE Facebook and Twitter apps. Working on it...

    AC

  32. M Gale

    Problem is it's up against things like this...

    http://www.reghardware.com/2011/10/17/review_sony_ericsson_xperia_arc_s/

    £300 from the local Phones4u, oleophobic gorilla glass screen, supermodel design and I can attest to it going, as the reviewer put it, "like greased lightning". £300 really isn't budget though. Get something into the sub-£100 range and we'll start calling it a "budget" smartphone.

  33. Samaung galaxy

    Meeeh....

    Nah, smells like bullsh*t to me, check on hahaped.

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