Friday, March 16, 2012

The Nokia Lumia 710


by Patrick Henning

I have never had the best luck when it comes to cell phones.  After having a number of phones and cellular providers over the years, all of have been sub-par in my opinion.  The past week and the recent purchase of a new phone have led me to believe that my horribly unlucky streak with phones has come to an end.   A bit about myself, I relocated from Chicago, IL to Boston, MA and brought along a regional cellular provider and an older Android phone which left me stranded, so to speak, in a horrible cellular plan with no upgrades until I could afford to break my contract and buy a new phone. 

After finally being able to break my contract and switch to a nationwide cellular carrier, I bought a new phone, the 4G Nokia Lumia 710, a Windows Phone from T-Mobile.  This phone has made me reevaluate the past phones that I have had, Android and Blackberry, and made me realize what I have been missing.  I will preface all of this by informing you that I use Windows and have always used Windows platforms on my PCs and this phone delivers on all of that and much more with a great ease of use.
 
Shortly after buying the phone and having the sales associate set up the bare bones of it, I began the process of customizing it, which you are able to do in amazing detail with the Nokia 710.  One of the first tasks you are guided to do is enter your email accounts as well as Facebook, Windows Live, Twitter, and even LinkedIn account information.  From there the Lumia 710 begins to integrate all of your contacts wherever they are stored, into a cohesive list of everyone in your different accounts as well as integrate all of the threads from their various social networks, and any contact information you have all into one place.

From this point it is necessary to begin to link certain accounts together, in the case of having a friends contact information and their Facebook profile initially being separate contacts and linking them into a single page in your phone.  This does take some time depending on the number of contacts you have.  I have a little over three-hundred and the phone makes it so easy it only took me about thirty minutes of linking and I was all set. 

On the home screen of the Lumia 710 the numerous ‘tiles’ that make it up, the tile named people begins to flip and show pictures of your friends and providing you a link to all the information on friends and what’s going on in their lives.  For myself and being so far away from where most of my friends are and separated from the place I grew up, this phone lets me keep up to date with anyone I know in the blink of an eye. 

One of the major concerns I had about the Lumia 710 Windows Phone was the Application Marketplace.  After having a Blackberry and an Android there were certain apps I had begun to use consistently and did not want to lose.  The sales associate at the store explained that though the Windows Marketplace may have less apps overall than the iPhone and the Android markets, the top 200 apps will be on the Windows Marketplace.  Though in the switch I have lost a couple of my favorite apps, but all the banking and news apps that I use are there and work flawlessly on the phone, and as the market for Windows Phones progresses the apps will progress as well. 

The final consideration of the phone for me was its media platform.  Since it is a Microsoft MP3 player the software it comes with is Zune.  I had never used this software either on a phone or on any of my PCs.  The Zune software for the PC is a bit clunky when importing media files, such as if the artist information is not perfect it will result in a mess of MP3s to sort through.  Besides that the phone syncs quickly and I am able to drop movie files onto my phone with no problem, and they play beautifully as does the music.   One of the other features Zune provides is a digital radio that uses your headphones as an antenna, a great feature and one that people seem to forget about but is refreshing to see. 

The Nokia Lumia 710 Windows phone has changed the way I think about cell phones and how I use them.  By taking the different types of social media and email and centrally locating and integrating everything gives this phone an ease of use that is unparalleled in my experience. All of that on a 4G phone makes it a very powerful tool.  This phone is a great piece of technology that compliments my lifestyle incredibly well and is a great buy for anyone looking for a fast no-nonsense phone that delivers.   
       

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