"For most people, this would be a great phone."5.0 starson by bintheham
Pros: -Very clear and bright screen
-Good practical ergonomic design (more on that in the review)
-The camera is quite good
-The best Facebook integration I've seen on a phone
-Made from good material
-Battery life is good
-Cheap T-Mobile plan
Cons: -Slight learning curve with Windows OS, but after a couple of days you realize it is the best thing out there.
-No video chat
-The design doesn't make it stand out.
-Windows app store is catching up, but its growing rapidly
Summary: First of all, I think there are good things about Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7.5 operating systems, so I am not a fan boy of any of them. None of them are perfect either. I have an Android tablet and an iMac for my desktop. My phone before this was a Nokia E71, a very reliable phone but the os is so old now and I was ready to move on to a touchscreen with some more current features. I have plenty of friends and family with iphones and androids (My family seems to especially be iphone people) and had some trouble deciding. I always liked Nokia phones so I thought I would give this a shot. I was not disappointed.
First of all, the phone's hardware and design are deceivingly good. In some of the blogs and reviews, they talk about the fact that there are physical buttons on the bottom for going back, home and search and that this is bad somehow. Actually, this is a good thing. Unlike a lot of android phones I have encountered, there is never a question about whether I really pressed the home key or not. Also the phone's power, volume rocker, and camera buttons have been designed with a lot of thought too. For instance, some reviews from the "critics" on the tech blogs talk about the camera button should be more raised. As someone who uses this phone every day, it is raised just enough to press it down easily but it also is flat enough to not accidentally trigger the camera all the time. Nokia knew what they were doing with this because the idea is that you are able to take a phone even when the screen is locked (in other words, you don't have to go through the trouble of unlocking and engaging the camera button if you need to take a photo quickly). If the button was raised too much, you would be taking pictures of your wallet all day! :) The phone is slightly curved on all four edges and the curved back fits the palm well. In fact, this phone feels more comfortable in my hand than any other phone I've owned. And the camera does take good photos. It is probably the best 5 megapixel camera out there. I suspect Nokia made sure it had a good quality lens. The photos are quite detailed. I rarely have to make any adjustments. Just point the camera, press the screen if you need to focus, and then click. At that point, if you want to post on facebook just press the button on the screen. That's it.
The screen is excellent, and I am surprised there isn't more talk about that. With the possible exception of some top of the line Android phones (The phones like the Galaxy Nexus and the better Droid phones) this screen holds its own. The colors are very vivid. The screen is very responsive. One of the big surprises for me was the texting. The screen isn't as big as some of the other Windows and Android phones out there (screen size is probably comparable to the Iphone screen), but even with my big thumbs the predictive text on the keyboard makes it easy to text or post comments on Facebook.
Which brings me to probably why I really love this phone. You can tell Microsoft wanted to do a lot with social networking with the Mango os. The level of integration the phone has with Facebook is remarkable. No os makes it easier to post, comment, update your status, upload photos and videos, etc. In fact, I have gotten to where I prefer doing my facebook on my Lumia 710 over my Mac and that is something I thought I would never say.
The ui is fast. If you have wifi or T-Mobile's 4G in your area, you will see what I mean. This thing is downright zippy. You can go back and forth from one task to another very fast. The games I have played on it so far have worked well. No slowdown or freezing.
Couple of goodies you get with this phone. It has Nokia Drive which is fully preloaded. So if you should be in a non-Tmobile area you can still use it. And it is FREE. T-Mobile also preloads telenav. Not sure why anyone would pay for that when you have Nokia Drive for free, but its there. And of course a new and improved version of Nokia's famous Nokia maps is there. And the ESPN and Weather Channel app that is preloaded is excellent.
Both call quality and battery life are good, especially for a smartphone. With moderate use, you can go a full day without much problem. With light use you could probably go almost 2. Of course, do the normal things you would do to keep up the battery life of a smartphone, but the battery in general has not been a problem. Call quality is good. And T-Mobile's plans are very straight forward (none of the nickel and dimining for every little thing like you would for AT&T). I decided to go prepaid on this and it has been worth it to save money on the monthly plan.
Downsides? Windows phone is different from everything else out there. It is a TRULY unique ui, and although sometimes people say they like new things that are different they actually don't. If you take the time to play with the features and learn it, WP7 is an easy and user-friendly os. You just have to be open to it.
There is not video chat. If that is really important to you, than this is not your phone.
The Windows App Market is still catching up. The big games (Angry Birds, Zombies vs Plants etc) are mostly there, But there are some things that are absent too. Now that the word is getting out that Windows Phone is a great os, I expect that will rapidly change. But that is how it stands as of today.
Even though the design is practical and makes for a good feel good in the hand, there is nothing about the physical design that makes the phone stand out. From the back, it looks like a million Android phones out there. If the screen is on and people are looking directly at it, it looks great. From the back, it looks like just some other smartphone. I suspect that is part of Nokia's reason for designing the Lumia 800/900 the way they have.
Unlike some of the other T-Mobile smartphones, you can do wifi on it, but the wifi calling some TMobile customers use if they don't get a good signal in their house is not available for this phone. So make sure you have checked your T-Mobile coverage where you are before getting it.
In closing, between the very respectable hardware quality of Nokia, the great ui of WP 7.5, the cheap price of the phone, and the great plans T-Mobile has, I would encourage anyone and everyone to give this phone a chance. You will be glad you did.