Read on for our first (or second) impressions.
Both the Lumia 710 and 800 are powered by 1.4GHz processors, 512MB RAM and run Windows Phone “Mango”. Both handsets also use micro-SIMs, so be prepared to do the SIM swap shuffle.
The main differences between the mid-range Lumia 710 and 800 are related to display type, flash memory, camera and build quality. The Lumia 710 has a 3.7″ LCD screen, 8GB of flash memory, and a 5MP camera with an f/2.8 aperture, while the high-end Lumia 800 has a 3.7″ AMOLED screen, 16GB flash memory, and an 8MP camera with an f/2.2 aperture.
In terms of build quality the Lumia 710 definitely has a more budget construction. With swappable back covers you can be assured of a less solid feel in hand.
The 800 however, is quite something. With its unibody polycarbonate design that’s a spitting image of the fabled N9, its construction feels rock solid. The 800 has a beautifully curved Gorilla Glass design, which blends seamlessly into the body of the phone.
Having held the 800 in hand, I can say that it’s truly Nokia design at its finest, truly something breathtaking.
Neither of the devices include NFC or SD card slots as the Windows Phone specification doesn’t allow for it yet. Pity, as Nokia put a lot effort into creating and promoting NFC tap-to-pair accessories at last year’s Nokia World with the N9. Neither of these have front-facing cameras either.
Both devices run stock Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, with additional Nokia proprietary applications. The applications include Nokia Drive — a fully voice guided, turn-by-turn navigation app — and Nokia Music which is a free topical audio streaming service.
I wasn’t as taken with the 710 as I was the with 800, but even so, I came away feeling positive about these phones and I can’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be received very favourably by consumers.
If feels as though a company such as Nokia with its enormous gravitas is just what Windows Phone needed to push it into the mainstream. The Lumia 800 in particular is a gorgeous device that has the same sort of magnetic pull that only the original iPhone managed to produce.
Unlike Android, the Windows Phone experience on both the mid-range and high-end Lumia phones remain consistent thanks to matching CPUs and RAM. Once consumers catch onto the notion that they can tap into an unfragmented, high-end operating system experience with the fastest growing app store — 400% year-on-year growth — and at a budget price, iOS and Android could have a real battle on their hands.
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