“I was pleasantly surprised by both phones and, in a nutshell, would not be ashamed to have either phone. The 800, in particular, even qualifies as swanky.”
“Priced around $400 and $600 unlocked, respectively, these are not cheap items. While Windows Phone 7.5 is distinctly different than Android and Apple, I would personally have zero problem using this phone in place of the other two. In fact, much of the functionality on the Windows Phone is actually better and more integrated.”
These are the sort of things I would bet Microsoft and Nokia are dying to hear from journalists, as they are just what Microsoft are counting on for Windows Phone 7 to differentiate itself in the world of commoditised Android phones and boutique Apple iPhones.
“The built-in GPS navigation system seems like a winner, though I'm going to have to run it side-by-side with the Google system to see which performs better. I particularly like the fact that I can be directed turn-by-turn by a sultry female British voice. If you are a student learning a foreign language, there are lots of options to help, too. In fact, the phone seems very international to me.”
Navigation has been an advantage of Nokia devices thanks to the acquisition of NavTeq. Nokia Maps (and Drive) is one thing that has maintained a slight competitive edge for Symbian devices over the years.
“Now come my complaints. When did Nokia decide to switch to the microSIM? This new form factor means I cannot throw my old SIM card into the phone. The microSIM is too delicate to be used at all. Nothing has to be this small. Also, like the iPhone, the 800 is a sealed phone. I'm not a fan of the idea.”
I sympathise here. Having had a Lumia 800 too, I have found it frustrating to not be able to use it as a primary device – because I have a normal SIM card which I’m not willing to cut. I agree in principal about the closed battery compartment – but it hasn’t been too much of an issue for me in practice, neither has it been with the HTC Radar. However, given the choice, I’d always pick a device which has a replaceable battery.
“If I was in the market, I'd probably buy the 710. It's cheaper, has a removable battery, and reminds me of the Nexus S in design. It only has a 5MP camera, compared with the 8MP camera of the 800, though.
Overall, I'd have no problem recommending either of these phones and am glad to see Nokia producing some fanciful smartphones.”
It’s interesting to see a comment like this given the potential perception of the Lumia 710 being a cheap second class device to the Lumia 800.
You can read the rest of John C Dvorak’s thoughts over at PCMag.com.