I’ve had a few people recently asking what the difference between the new Lumia 800 and 710 is. So here is my take on it going by the specs and also of my personal opinion based on usability, quality, design, performance and value.
Note – I mainly write quite informal and I sometimes go too much into the details so I tried not to do too much of it for this article. However, reading it again, I think I still failed miserably.
Main difference: 800 has AMOLED .710 has LCD.
Although both have the same screen size of 3.7 inches, same 800×480 WVGA resolution, same Corning Gorilla glass front and Nokia’s ClearBlack treatment, the type of display used is not the same and this makes them look quite different at certain situations. Overall, the AMOLED screen of the 800 looks much better due to the fact that the pixels are individually lit unlike the LCD and its back-lighting. This makes the 800’s screen much more vibrant with more contrast. Simply put, AMOLED makes blacks look much darker at all angles than the LCD. This alone makes the rest of colors look more saturated and “pop”. In theory, AMOLED can and should use less power than the LCD as well which means longer battery life.
I won’t go into the whole Pentile/RGB matrix AMOLEDs to simplify this section. But regardless, due to the fairly high DPI of the 800’s AMOLED, it shouldn’t pose much of a problem even though it has a pentile-matrix AMOLED.
** Apologies. No photo comparison here. But you should be able to find plenty if you Google.. or should I say Bing.. =)
Main difference: 800 has 16GB storage. 710 has 8GB. (not expandable on both!)
This is a no-brainer really. Lumia 800 has 8GB more storage internally for photos, videos, documents, games etc. Keep in mind that both phones get the 25GB of free Microsoft SkyDrive cloud (online) storage as well. If you are the type to shoot lots of videos or have a huge music library and want to keep them all on your phone, 800 is the better choice just by this difference alone.
Main difference: 800 has 8MP camera. 710 has 5MP.
Although I have put the mega-pixel difference as the main difference, to me, the difference in mega-pixels really doesn’t tell me anything about the quality of the pics it takes. So I recommend you to think the same when comparing cameras. (Within reasonable MP difference of course as 1MP camera is obviously not going to be as detailed as a 8MP camera and probabl will use a cheaper, smaller and less advanced camera sensor module) At the end of the day, either phone should take pretty much the same decent smartphone quality photos. They won’t look much different on facebook nor on the phone’s small display. So the difference is minimal in my books.
They both have the same 28mm (35mm equiv) focal lengths = meaning it’s fairly wide angle and both have the same minimum focusing distance for macro shots. However, 800 does have dual-LED flash while the 710 has a single LED flash. Now to some, this might immediately translate into 800 having double the brightness flash. But in reality, this may not be the case as it all depends on what type of LED emitter is used on each phone and how much power is driven to each emitter. (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S2 has a single LED flash but it is noticeably brighter than ALL dual-LED wielding Nokia phones including the latest N9)
One more thing for the camera buffs out there is that 800 has a faster and clearer Carl Zeiss f:2.2 aperture lens compared to a tiny bit slower (around 1/4 stop) standard f:2.4 aperture lens of the 710. So technically, 800 is definitely has better optics. In reality however, you shouldn’t really notice this difference for neither of those differences although. If you do, you are getting a bit too nit picky. =P
Main difference: 800 has non-replaceable battery.
From what I can see, the biggest difference between the two in regards to the battery is that 710 has the “old-fashioned” user replaceable battery design. Meaning that you can just pop off the back cover and take out the battery and pop in a new one if need be. 800 however is going with the trend of having looks over function where the battery is sealed and it will pretty much void the warranty if you try to take out the battery yourself. I am the type where I love carrying a spare battery or two in my bag on the way to work, in a long plane trip etc. Changing the battery to a fully charged one is so much better than carrying one of those “portable chargers” and having it dangling on the phone to charge. Just my opinion.
In saying all of that, I am also the type to charge my phone whenever I see a USB port or a compatible charger. My phone is plugged in nearly all the time when it’s not in use. I’m sure many have grown this habit also. It’s rare that I go on a plane trip holiday anyway. =(
Some will argue that the slightly bigger battery capacity of the 800 is the main difference. Looking at the specs however, this doesn’t actually result in a longer battery life for the 800. Heck, 800 actually has ~15% shorter 3G standby time than the 710 according to Nokia. So I would just assume that both phones have very similar real-life run times.
5. Physical buttons
Main difference: 800 has capacitive front buttons. 710 has hardware buttons on the front.
There is no better or worse for this I think. Personally, I prefer the hardware buttons over the oh-so-accidental-prone capacitive buttons. You see, I’m an old-school type of guy who prefers function over looks. Hardware button gives a solid tactile feedback upon press, it’s less prone to accidental activation during use and it allows you to use it without looking at it.
I’ve yet to own the 800 (although should very soon) but I’ve used and owned Omnia 7 and HD7 which both have capacitive back and search buttons. (Omnia 7 however has hw home button at least) While using either of them, I’ve accidently “touched” the back or search button countless times. This can get annoying real quick.
Yes, 800 looks cleaner and prettier. But functionality wise, I would rather the hardware buttons of the 710 any day. But please, take this as a grain of salt as it’s only my opinion and yours may differ greatly. =)
Main difference: 800 has much sexier design, look, single-piece build quality and feel. 710 looks good but it’s no 800.
This is also a no brainer to most I assume. 800 looks and feels beautiful. I know this already as it’s practically the same as the N9. It feels quite different to any other phone when you grab it naked in your hands. It feels good.
Maybe some will prefer the look of the 710 still and why not. 710 also looks great and still has that subtle but visible “Nokia” look to it still. It’s definitely no ugly duckling that’s for sure. I like the look of both although 800 does look a little more “special”…
Main difference: 800 has nearly double the RRP of 710. (800 = $699 and 710 = $379)
In terms of value, you can’t deny that 710 is the winner here. It has the same OS, same high resolution display, same CPU and hence same performance. So for those who wants to experience what Nokia Lumia range has to offer but aren’t able to afford the 800, Lumia 710 will give you 90% of the experience for nearly half the price. Can’t argue with that one.
Both of course!! Nokia has created 2 phones that are solid in both SW and HW and covered both the fashionable and everyday audience brackets. Microsoft is pushing ahead stronger than ever with this new OS release and Nokia is providing some of their special touches in both software (e.g. Maps&Drive) and hardware (just look at it!) so this is a win-win for both companies and certainly a win for the consumers as well.
Note: Yes, I love the N9, the uniqueness of Maemo / Meego Harmattan OS as much as anyone else out there but business is business and I think this was a sound move to try and get Nokia back to where Nokia once was so that they can once again innovate freely. Better late than never!
So.. which one should I get?
Easy. Buy what you can afford!
Both provides the same experience where it counts the most (OS, Apps & Performance) and you will end up with something that is well built and looks the part. You can’t lose really.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to ask questions and let me know if I made any dumb mistakes.