Tom's Hardware takes a long hard look at the Lumia 710

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Debuting last week on T-Mobile, the Nokia Lumia 710 is the first Windows Phone to reach America from Nokia, and will have benefited from the Lumia 900 press coming out of CES. Does it measure up to its larger cousin, and the other leading smartphones in the market? Popular tech review site Tom's Hardware decided to find out.

We think that this phone's attractive price tag will help compel mainstream buyers into Windows Phone 7, despite the fact that it's bolstered by fewer apps. The Lumia 710 is budget-friendly, but it doesn't sacrifice build quality in any way.

In short, they like the phone, especially at the price point T-Mobile has put it on sale at ($50 with the two year contract).

Noki Lumi 710 (T-Mobile have the black model)

This actually continues a long tradition from the Nokia/Symbian range, where the devices that were lower down the value chain started to punch significantly above their weight in terms of software, hardware and capability. Nokia's Lumia range have a solid "basic board" that the rest of the electronics will be built around, so the pleasant surprise that Tom's Hardware have had while reviewing the Lumia 710 is one we are likely to see repeated over the next few weeks with the 710, and the newer models that are sure to arrive from the Finnish company during 2012.

And the review also picks up on another point - that of the Windows Phone ecosystem:

The Lumia's biggest challenge is neither related to T-Mobile nor Nokia. Rather, it's the Windows Phone 7 operating environment. While we're intimately familiar with iOS and Android (not to mention the fact that Ice Cream Sandwich looks spectacular), WP7 isn't yet a mobile staple. As we progress through 2012, approaching the launch of Windows 8, it's quite likely that we'll all become much more comfortable with Metro, making WP7-based devices more natural extensions of our PCs and consoles.

Comparing the reviews of Windows Phone devices in 2011 to 2012, there's a definite feeling that the hardware has been improved on handsets and there is little wrong functionally with the devices. The key now is to build up the momentum of the Windows Phone ecosystem so this drives the adoption of the platform as much as gorgeous handsets and well priced functionality.

Source / Credit: Tom's Hardware