SEARCH

Nokia Lumia 810 - Review


Nokia Lumia 810 - Review

The Nokia Lumia 810 is one of the first lineup of smartphones running Windows Phone 8. The device features a 4.3 inch touch display, 8GB of internal storage which can be expanded through microSD, an 8 megapixel camera capable of 1080p HD video capture, a secondary camera for video calls, Qi-based wireless charging and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor.

The Lumia 810 is available in the U.S. exclusively through T-Mobile and is currently available for FREE with a two-year contract. The device is generally priced at $150 after rebate.


PROS CONS
  • Very fluid performance
  • Sturdy attractive design
  • Good camera with Carl Zeiss optics
  • Somewhat pricey for a mid-range device
  • Only two color choices unlike other Windows Phones

Microsoft and their partners have released their first lineup of Windows Phone devices in time for the Holidays, and if you are a T-Mobile customer you have a choice between the Nokia Lumia 810 and the high-end HTC Windows Phone 8X. We have been fortunate to get the opportunity to test the Nokia Lumia 810 which is exclusive to the T-Mobile network in the U.S.

The Nokia Lumia 810 is a mid-range smartphone and can be considered the direct successor to the Nokia Lumia 800. Its siblings the Nokia Lumia 820 on AT&T and the Nokia Lumia 822 on Verizon share some hardware similarities while offering a unique experience to their users.

The Lumia 810 costs $150 after rebate which is a little expensive if compared to the $50 for the Lumia 820 and the $100 for the Lumia 822. But we feel that the more affordable monthly fees on T-Mobile will make up for this. Lets take a quick look at the three handsets side by side.

LUMIA 810 LUMIA 820 LUMIA 822
Dimensions 128 x 68 x 10.9mm 124 x 69 x 9.9mm 127.8 x 68.4 x 11.2 mm
Weight 145 g 160 g 141.6 g
Connectivity GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz ; HSPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz; LTE 700 / 1700 / 2100MHz; HSPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100MHz; GSM 850 / 1900 / 1800 / 1900MHz CDMA 800 / 1900 MHz; WCDMA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz; LTE 700 MHz; GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz ;
Network Speeds DC-HSPA+ 42Mbps LTE; HSPA+ 21Mbps LTE; HSPA+ 42Mbps
Internal Storage 8 GB 8 GB 16GB
External Storage up to 64GB microSD up to 64GB microSD up to 64GB microSD
Front Camera 1.2 MP HD VGA 1.2 MP HD
Battery Li-Ion 1800 mAh Li-Ion 1650 mAh Li-Ion 1650 mAh

You can check a detailed spec comparison between the three devices here.

When you are purchasing a new device you can choose between the Black and Cyan shells which enable you to wirelessly charge your device.
 
[NOTE] The device we have currently received on trial from T-Mobile comes in black. doesn't feature a means of demonstrating the wireless charging. You can head over to a local T-Mobile Store or the T-Mobile website for more information.

INTRODUCTION

The Lumia 810 doesn't blow you away with its specs, but it performs extremely well with what it has. By including microSD storage it even manages to trump the current flagship the Nokia Lumia 920.
The build quality and design of the device is of high standard and you immediately get the sense you are handling a premium device. The fact that the Lumia 810 lacks a selection of vibrant colors like its sibling the Lumia 820 is a little disappointing, but it matches its features in every other aspect.
While several others would easily dismiss Windows Phone for its inability to compete with Android or iOS with their sheer volume of apps, we found the platform would satisfy most users in their general day to day activities. Windows Phone 8 maybe new, but the platform is growing fast and since it shares the core of Windows, we hope to see the platform quickly rise to match if not surpass its competitors.  


UNBOXING

The retail packaging of the Lumia 810 fails to impress, which has become a common theme with most U.S. smartphone these days. The package only includes the USB cable and power adaptor and you will have to purchase the other components you need separately.




Hardware Review


The Lumia 810 is the first Windows Phone 8 handset we have trialed and coming from Windows Phone 7.5 you wont immediately notice the difference. However Nokia has continued to improve their hardware design and we were immediately impressed with the device build quality.



The front of the device is mostly made up of its 4.3 inch WVGA Gorilla Glass 2 display. The AMOLED display has a somewhat low 480 x 800 pixel resolution. It uses Nokia's ClearBlack technology which makes dark colors appear darker which results in very clear performance, even under direct sunlight.



The display is also extremely sensitive and allows you to operate the device using gloves. This is very useful for those living in cold climates as you wont need to remove your gloves to use your device. You can get access to this feature by download the update for your device from the Windows Phone Store.


On the top you have the front facing camera and the ear piece between the T-Mobile and Nokia logos. The ambient light sensor and proximity sensor are also hidden at the top. Below the display are three touch sensitive buttons which you will use to navigate through the Windows Phone platform.


Above the display you will find a 3.5 mm headphone jack and the secondary microphone pin-hole.


Below the display is the microUSB port between two speaker grills.


The left side of the device is empty


On the right you have the Volume rocker and the power button and below that the dedicated camera key. The buttons are relatively easy to operate, but we felt they should have been a little wider for single handed operation.


The camera key will even launch the camera when the device is locked, when makes photo capture much faster. The buttons have a glossy metallic finish which adds to the richness of the device.



The device is encased by it's back cover, which has a matte rubber like texture. This make the device easy to hold and a treat to handle, with an assurance that you wont have fingerprints on the body like certain handsets.


The rear also houses the main 8 megapixel camera which is decorated with a metal plate carrying the Nokia and Carl Zeiss logos. The rear also houses the dual-LED flash, which may not be as powerful as the one on the Lumia 920, but effective.



The entire back cover can be removed to reveal the  somewhat generous 1800 mAh battery, which is slightly more than the 1650 mAh on the Lumia 820. The device managed to over 2 days on a single charge during our tests.




Camera

The Lumia 810 has an 8 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual-LED flash. We found the quality of photos to be pretty good during our tests and the camera easy to operate with a single hand because of the dedicated camera key.

The camera performs quite well in general daylight conditions, but we did notice a little noise in the photos. But what impressed us the most was Nokia's improvements in low light photos. While the Lumia 810 doesn't have the camera capabilities of the Lumia 920, it still does very well in low light photos and performed much better than its predecessor the Lumia 800.

Check out some photo samples captured by the Lumia 810 camera below:



The camera on the Lumia 810 allows up to 1080p full HD video capture, but is set at 720p by default. You also have the option of enabling continuous autofocus to make sure your video never looses focus of its subject.

[VIDEO SAMPLE COMING SOON]

Camera app

The camera interface is quite straightforward with quick options to access video mode, front camera, flash and lenses. Lenses in an enhancement to the camera introduced in Windows Phone 8 will allows certain apps to interact directly with the device camera.





For example the Panorama lens allows you to capture Panorama photos through the camera and the Cinemagraph lens which allows you to make small animations from captured photos. However one of the most impressive is the Smart Shoot lens which uses the Scalado technology Nokia acquired earlier this year. It captures multiple photos in succession and allows you to select the face from a selection of photos it has captured.


Which you swipe the quick settings to the left, you can get access to the detailed Photo and Video settings. Settings include Scenes, ISO, Exposure and more.


SOFTWARE

[SOFTWARE OVERVIEW VIDEO]

On the first boot you are greeted by T-Mobile's magenta themed customizations and the Windows Phone 8 logo until you land on the Start Screen. Swiping to the left will take you into the apps list and you can always return to the Start screen by swiping back or pressing the touch enabled Windows logo.



Clicking the search button takes you to Bing Search, which includes Music, Vision and Microsoft's voice assistant. Music – This is a great alternate to apps like Shazam and it will help identify the the music by listening to it. Vision – Vision allows you to scan bar codes, QR codes, Microsoft Tags and others using the device camera. This is similar to Google Goggles and its great to have this feature integrated into Bing Search.



The Bing Search tool also includes voice recognition system which allows you to search the web, send emails and messages and perform some simple tasks using voice. The voice assistant is not as comprehensive as its competitors and isn't a great leap forward from WP7.5. You can initiate the voice assistant from the Search app or with a long press of the Windows logo.



The Start Screen is made up of a collection of live tiles which is a hybrid of icons and widgets. You can resize these titles to three different sizes and move and arrange them in any order on the 'Modern UI'. You can even pin contacts or web pages to your Start Screen. The live tiles display information like current date, calendar events, missed calls, unread emails and other notifications.



While Windows Phones are criticized for the lack of a notification center, we feel that the live tiles are a perfect alternate and hope that Microsoft finds a way to enhance their tiles to show more information rather than copy what Android and iOS have already.

Microsoft has also enhanced the lockscreen which now allows apps to interact with it. You can setup a single app to display detailed notifications or up to five apps with limited information. Apps can even control the lockscreen wallpaper and great examples of this are the new Facebook app and the Bing app wallpapers.

Pressing the back arrow on your device initiates the multitasking on Windows Phone 8. The multi tasking isn't as comprehensive as it is on Android and iOS but it works well enough. Once you have pressed and held the back button, you will have a list of all the opened apps. You can swipe through them and open the app you want. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a method of closing one or multiple open apps and the only way to close your apps is by continuously pressing the back button until each one is closed.



The Kids Corner is another new feature of Windows Phone 8 which allows you to preselect apps and games which your kids can access. This will keep your own data safe while your kid can enjoy your phone safely.

The Kids Corner can be activated through the Settings and accessed by swiping to the left from your lockscreen. Just make sure you set a password for your own account to make sure your content stays safe.



Microsoft has also built Windows Phone 8 for business users and you can get access to your company apps by signing into your company account.  

You can learn more about Windows Phone 8 below

Windows Phone 8Windows Phone 8 - Review
Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 is the successor to Windows Phone 7 and brings the same dynamic live tile experience, which is now customizable. Microsoft has also introduced several improvements and enhancements to the platform. Here is all you need to know



Call Quality

I used the Lumia 810 as my primary phone during the two weeks we tested the device and had no issues with call quality or reception. The signal bar constantly showed three to four bars and the 4G indicator was on most of the time.
T-Mobile even includes visual voicemail with the Lumia 810 (depending on your plan) which allows you to read your voicemail instead of having to listen to them.

Phone app

You can get access to your voicemail, dialer and phone book through the Phone app or search through your call history to quickly find the people you have been in touch with recently.
When you receive an incoming call your lockscreen will indicate that you have to slide up. At this point you are asked to either answer or reject the incoming call.  

Messaging

Windows Phones feature a messaging hub which combines all the texts, IMs and social messages which arrive on your device. You can view all your messages in threads of go to the online tab and view all your friends who are available on chat.

You can delete or forward individual messages in a thread and easily switch conversations between Facebook chat and SMS within the same thread.

Windows Phone offers a standard QWERTY keyboard, which works pretty well. There is no haptic or vibration feedback, but the audio feedback is clear enough.

You can select a word by pressing on it. Once the word is selected you can expand or reduce the selection and copy the word to the clipboard to be used in a different app or message.


 

Your Microsoft account includes a Hotmail (Outlook) email address but you can also add a Nokia, Google, Yahoo  or other email account to your Windows Phone. Various email accounts can either be linked together or viewed individually.


The email app is not the best in the market, but very user friendly. You can select individual email and mark them as read/unread or set a flag.


T-Mobile apps

T-Mobile has included a collection of exclusive apps for the Lumia 810 through the VIP Bonus Apps application which comes preinstalled on the device. These apps include
  • T-Mobile TV which allows you to stream and view TV shows and Sports on your mobile device for FREE through a wide selection of channels. You can enjoy this content on your Wi-Fi connection or on the go using your T-Mobile 4G connection.
  • Slacker Radio is similar to Pandora and gives you access to its collection of 2.5 million songs for FREE. You can personalize your music by creating your own station.
  • 411 & More gives you access to listings and your favorite updates while you are on the more. T-Mobile customers get access to free weather reports, sports updates, horoscopes and more.
  • Caller Tunes allows you to record your own personal status greetings. You have over 80,000 titles to choose from and a free track every month. Callers are treated to music while the wait for you to answer.
Additionally you get T-Mobile My Account which gives you information, notifications and quick access to T-Mobile support and other resources.



Finally T-Mobile has offered Lumia 810 users exclusive access to premium Zynga Games like Draw Something and Words with Friends. These games generally cost $2.99 each through the Windows Phone Store, so you are getting a nice savings here and are exclusively free for the Lumia 810.  


CONCLUSION

The Nokia Lumia 810 is a great device and a suitable mid-range device for most people looking to get a new smartphone. Even through the Lumia 810 cannot compete with the AT&T exclusive Lumia 920, it is still worthy to compete with most devices in the market.

The only shortcoming of the device is its selection of apps, which cannot be compared with Android or iOS. However most users should be satisfied in the selection which covers most of the basics.

The Lumia 810 was previously priced at $99.99 with a two year contract, but the device has only grown in its appeal since T-Mobile reduced the price to FREE on contract. You definitely get great value for the cost of this device.
READ RECOMMENDED ARTICLES
comments powered by Disqus

Matched Content