1. MattLFC's Avatar
    Right, so I took the plunge and bought a 710. It was/is intended to replace my ageing TP2 (Windows Mobile 6.1/6.5 depending on my mood, always with SPB Home Shell instead of HTC Crash (aka Sense).

    Build Quality & Ergonomics

    The device is light, and feels quite well built, although I'm not sure how much confidence I'd have if it flew out of my hand, time will tell I guess!! The TP2 on the other hand, is a tank!! It has survived 100+ forceful drops onto concrete etc, and lived through it all!!! The physical buttons and the Nokia brand where what drew me to the phone in the first place, indeed the physical buttons have taken a slating in most reviews I have read, but I really do fail to see why this is; they seem to work flawlessly and imho, are a much more practical choice than capacitive buttons when the majority of the phone, is a screen (no accidental pressing of the back key etc).

    The size of the handset and the placement of the buttons seems very ergonomic, if there was any criticism of the design, it would simply be aimed towards the tapered edges, where it can make the rocker buttons on the side slightly harder to press, though this is being rather picky in all fairness.

    Screen
    The screen, is at least on a par, if not better, than my TP2. The Clearblack display certainly works, it makes the actual screen look descreet on the handset and the contrast is certainly stunning for a standard LCD, making my TP2 look overly bright and not exactly black lol. Clarity and definition are imho, slightly better than the TP2, whether this is a result of the screen of the OS however, is not known (I do have cleartype enabled on the TP2 and it is really crisp but very smooth edges on fonts, however I think there may be advanced Cleartype at play on the WP7 os).

    Operating System
    Not going to go into massive detail here, but as you'd expect, the OS is, for the average user, leaps and bounds ahead of WinMo, and no combination of HTC overlay in some menu's, and SBP in other menu's, can aid the antiquated interface to compete with the fresh and modern Windows Phone interface. The colourful tiles, the library of apps, the seemless intergration between everything, just leaves both Android and WinMo (I've run Froyo and GB on the TP2) looking like something from the steam age, trying to compete with a Bugatti Veryron; impressive achievements in their day, but that is precisely the problem, the world has moved on.

    However!!!!!!! For those of us who like control over things, and a powerful business tool, the TP2 is better from an OS perspective. Things like emails and the availability of Opera Mini on the TP2, leave the WP7 device struggling to keep up, and the powerful Youtube app available on the TP2, in comparison with the IE-based app on WP7 (I know this isn't Microsoft's fault) makes the WP7 device look below-par. Even worse imho, the onscreen keyboard is nowhere near the quality of the HTC one on the TP2, the lack of direction buttons is a glaring omission to say the least (and that is before we consider the TP2's hardware keyboard of course - but that's irrelevant here). Microsoft's absolute stupidity, in not allowing custom ringtones (yep, I've managed to get my fave one on by cutting it down to 38s and under 1MB) is simply pointless, and just begs the question as to WHY??? The need for Zune may be better for the average joe, but it does seem like Microsoft has forgotten about those who simply want drag and drop access - there may be a technical reason for this (security?) but it is pretty lame to say the least. I loved WinMo where you could just drag and drop your files, and then play them in media player, set them as ringtones, and share them with your friends as you pleased... I am really struggling to move away from the TP2 on the basis of productivity, and a few little issues such as this, which become even more apparent shortly...

    Camera
    The camera seems to be acceptable, not had a massive play around with it yet admittadly, the flashlight is very bright for a single LED, and the video is stunning in all honesty, given the Lumia is recording at 720p and the TP2 can only manage VGA, this is hardly surprising.

    Battery Life
    Battery life on the Lumia is still an unknown entity, due to playing around with it constantly, to be fair, it seems okay, but given that my TP2 still regularly gives me 2+ days battery life with moderate usage (for technicalities, the battery is 2.5 years old and the device is overclocked from 524mhz to 741mhz, and has 4x email accounts checking every 15 minutes) and countless hours of talk time, I doubt the 710, based on initial impressions, will able to achieve this. I may be proven wrong, but at it's peak, the TP2 was giving around 3+ days of standby with light use, and 6+ hours of talktime.

    Reception
    Reception seems to be noticeably better than the Touch Pro 2; I'm on the "Three" network here in the UK, and it is restricted to 1800Mhz, which always has problems penetrating walls etc. In addition, though the network has come on leaps and bounds in the past 5 years, it is still the youngest network, and being 3G only (with no GSM licence), the network is still well-known for having weaker signals than the competitors. In my flat it does seem to get 3-4 bars out of 5, whereas the TP2 would get 1-2 out of 4... now we know the software is not always accurate, but it does seem better. However, there has been instances where a message has not sent, and it has had complete loss of signal on occasion; as to whether this is an issue with the network or the phone, is not known as yet; there isnt usually problems like this with the TP2. So a bit of a mixed bag.

    Audio
    This is where the phone may well meet a short life in my hands, it's audio capabilities. To say it is poor, is an understatement. Okay, so I have probably the best phone for audio-capabilities in the TP2, after all it was built for conference calling... but my god the difference between the two, is like night and day, and yet I still feel the TP2 is not as good as I'd like!! The 710 has zero bass - not a problem for me as I don't care for that (don't really use the phone for music much etc), but it also has no volume!!! It is soooo quiet, it is unbelievable. I installed a cab file to increase the volume of the TP2 from stock, so I uninstalled it, and it still leaves the 710 sounding like a mouse! The TP2 has bass as well as volume, which makes everything just sound "better", and the 710 would really struggle to be heard in a busy enviroment. As before, the lack of customization for the ringtones, is pathetic (Microsoft, have a word with yourselves, if you want to aim the OS at younger users, at least get the basics right first), and none of the included ringtones are much good, and not one could be considered "cool".

    In addition, the vibrate is **** poor in comparison to the TP2, and call quality, whilst being acceptable, does not really compare to the TP2, and is not what I expected from Nokia.

    Overview
    Unfortunately, for me, the 710 offers so much, and to a point seems like the perfect way forward; but some really bizarre issues, and a general lack of productivity, means it is likely going to end up nothing more than an ornament on my desk now, thanks to the Carphone Warehouse not allowing returns. Having said that, at least it was only a 129 ($200) ornament and not a 199+ ornament like I was originally going to pay a couple of weeks ago.

    It's a real shame, but whilst the core-OS is a dream to use, everything seems to be a bit clunky (Zune, ringtones etc) and the audio lets the phone down bigtime for me. I'd have liked to have ditched my TP2, and things like the lesser onscreen keyboard etc, I could have lived with, but all the letdowns combined, make the phone a real problem for me to actually even like. I'm sorry to go back to Windows Mobile, but at this point in time, WP and the Nokia 710 isn't for me, as a power user. For most people, it will probably suffice, but for those who are interested in moving from any device similar to the TP2, to the 710 or even WP in general, consider it very carefully, you have a lot to lose if it works out like it did for me (either money, or comfort). I'm opting to lose the money and regain the comfort of WinMo.

    Sorry guys.
    04-07-2012 07:52 PM
  2. MattLFC's Avatar
    I should also add, I have already found and installed more (useful) apps on the 710 than I have ever installed on the TP2 or the HTC Universal I had before it!! And as I don't use my phone as a business tool so much anymore, I went into the 710/WP adventure with a view to looking for simplicity, not control, but the OS isn't just simple, it actually seems to a degree, dumb. Wonderful in most respects, but unusable in others (similar to the iOS experience).

    :)
    04-07-2012 08:04 PM
  3. ljkelley's Avatar
    You can install custom ringtones on WP7 including the Lumia 710.

    I owned the TP2 back in the day, I would hardly call it a indestructible. To this day its the only phone I managed to break the screen. To my credit, I also replaced the screen all by myself and you would have never known.

    I will give you the low bass on the Lumia 710 audio, hopefully it is something Nokia will fix in future software updates.
    04-07-2012 09:20 PM
  4. MattLFC's Avatar
    Indeed custom ringtones are possible, as I say, I managed to get my favourite on; but the process is just so much more hassle, and for the average joe (say my sister, who wants a Lumia 800), it's not exactly something she'd be comfortable with (or even have the nouse to google to find out how).

    The lack of bass, whilst it detracts from the audio quality, is actually not much of an issue imho; it's more the low volume of the ringtones (and the vibrate seems nigh-on useless). My TP2 vibrates constantly though a call ring/message tone etc, WP should have this option available to it.

    Maybe I've been mega-lucky with the TP2, but it has literally been dropped with force on a couple of occasions (out of hand and pocket whilst jogging), even downstairs, in nightclubs where it has smashed to pieces (luckily only the back and battery being the pieces lol) and continues to work. A 2 year old using it, has thus far, managed not to snap it haha (despite almost doing it a few times whilst trying to open it). I can't say the 710 won't be every bit at strong in all honesty.

    And it's actually the 2 year old who demands the YouTube app on WinMo funnily enough; I'd live without it, but he knows how to use it, and I think the current API-less solution by MS is clunky at best.

    Any idea's why the thing is hammering my data as well, I have turned a lot of the stuff off, but it's eating through it, 200MB a day, whereas my TP2 was (without all the facebook, people, location stuff etc, and opera mini of course) using less than 200MB a month even with the 2yr old watching endless "Wiggles" a few times a week on it lol.

    I really would love to keep the phone, and maybe it's just withdrawl symptoms I'm suffering from, but the odd few issues seriously detract from an otherwise fantastic phone and OS. I know WinMo has it's issues, sometimes crashes (once a week on 6.1 nothing major tbh) and slows down, whereas this doesn't (so far - but don't get me wrong, WinMo is pretty solid overall), but it seems like the louder ringer, the lack of decent YouTube (rightly or wrongly as its not me who uses it much lol), and the strange data usage, are the main culprits, with the Zune requirement, and the ringtone issues, to a lesser extent, causing concern.

    :P
    04-07-2012 10:11 PM
  5. ljkelley's Avatar
    200 MB a day? Wow, what are you doing. I have two email accounts, both on push (Exchange, Live) have Twitter & Facebook. I use 200MB or less a month. Granted I do use WiFi when at home but still.

    If you use YouTube over 3G a lot that will suck the data. I don't but still find the mobile website (aka the official app on WP7) works well in finding a video or seeing my latest subscription updates.

    Ringtone is easy. Sure there is the extra step of using outside software to cut the track to 30 seconds. When my neighbor got her iPhone, she didn't ask me for help on that issue (when she did on practically everything else) and just googled iPhone Ringtone. It is just as easy for WP7. Apple doesn't make it easy as they sell ringtones, iTunes just happened to have the built in cutting tool. You still have to cut the track and then rename/reimport it so iTunes sees it as a ringtone. Windows Phone 7, instead of renaming you just change the Genre to Ringtone. So no difference really from iOS and there are a ton of apps on both iOS and WP7 marketplace that offer ringtones. And for Windows or Mac there are ton of MP3 clip apps (most guides recommend iTunes plus another app). Sure WP7 could make it easier, but its in line with iOS right now.

    I find custom ringtones are louder than the built in ones, and vibrate is more of in my pocket thing than a noise maker. That being said I have used the Nokia Tune (nostalgia I guess) since I bought the phone.

    Honestly Android is probably the closes thing on the market right now to the old Windows Mobile. There are file browsers, you have SD cards, you can modify the OS. But then I feel Android brings with as well a lot of the negatives of Windows Mobile. I enjoyed Windows Mobile a lot, don't get me wrong. I used Pocket PC before Windows Mobile existed. Used the first Windows Smartphone, the Orange SPV. But I love Windows Phone and the Metro UI.
    04-07-2012 10:34 PM
  6. MattLFC's Avatar
    I'm gonna have another stab at living with it for a week, after which it goes in the bin (otherwise I'll end up wanting to use it, but knowing I can't justify it, because it really is a wonderful OS and handset, issues aside); The low ringtones and the crap message tones are to be fair, the major issue I guess. In addition to the strangely high data usage.

    :)
    04-08-2012 01:51 PM
  7. MattLFC's Avatar
    I am able to keep the phone, and I am still loving using it, even moreso, since I managed to find workarounds to my issues...

    With regards the lame YouTube experience (for the 2yr old lol), I have decided to put my business simcard in the TP2, and that has unlimited data included, so have set it up to sync the emails as well incase I need to type a long one. However, I am getting very used to using (fast) the normal keyboard, still can't understand the lack of direction buttons though). And the autocorrect can sometimes be annoying.

    With regards the ring/alarm audio, well I downloaded "free ringtones" app, and searched for loud tones for the alarm, and they are 50% louder/more effective than the stock ones. The ringtones were all very low though (decent ones) so I amplified the volume of my normal ones. Vibrate is still useless imho. I think the volume is actually fine compared to other handsets people have, but against the TP2 it is very low, which is more to do with the TP2 being so high I think.

    Still hammering the data on it, fortunately I have unlimited, about 3 - 4GB per month, but... this may halve once I stop using it as a novelty.

    Still has some reception "blackouts" however it seems to be in the same couple of places, where the signal is lowest (like literally the same metre radius). Didn't happen on my TP2 at all, so a strange one, but I can live with it.

    Not happy with Zune on the PC (clunky, bloated, slow, bad GUI etc) and the lack of landscape mode and scrollbar is disappointing, but I can live with that. The fast-forward is a decent alternative to the scroll bar, but I prefer having both options available.

    Been using the video a lot recently, it's not as good as I expected for 720p... but it's perfectly acceptable for a phone, and the difference is night and day compared to VGA. Interestingly, I find photo's taken under low/no light using the flashlight, are better than daytime shots for quality. Maybe a firmware issue, but still plenty good enough for a phone.

    Dropped the phone yesterday, not a mark on it, still have the screen protector on, landed on the screen, screen still intact lol. So thumbs up for build quality thus far.

    WP, for all it's drawbacks, is an amazing OS, never slows down at all, never seen any lag, plenty of apps, people hub is simply amazing, the facebook and live integration is awesome!! It seems to show up everywhere, music, photo's etc... Everyone who uses my phones, love it.

    Oh, and the music playback using the supplied headphones, is top-notch imho. I have always re-encodec all my music files to 64Kbps Mono using dBPowerAmp, so about 30MB or so per CD, so capacity isnt an issue for me, and even with the slightly noticeable noise/hiss, it sounds CD-quality, which you don't expect for stock headphones or a low-end device. And the music through the headphones supplied, is plenty bassy, and plenty loud-enough.

    So I will be keeping it, and it is gradually becoming more and more of a favourite toy lol.
    04-18-2012 08:02 PM
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