Nokia Lumia 810 review: Back in black

GSMArena team, 14 December 2012.
Pages: 12345678910

Introduction

With the Nokia Lumia 820 locked up under AT&T exclusivity, the Finnish manufacturer had to resort to rebranding tactics in order to bring its capable mid-range Windows Phone 8 product to other carriers. Such is the case with the Nokia Lumia 810 for T-Mobile. Despite its slightly different design, the Big Magenta exclusive handset does little to hide its common family ties with the Nokia Lumia 820.

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Nokia Lumia 810 official photos

Despite the eye-poking similarities between the two smartphones, the Nokia Lumia 810 has added a couple of extra tricks to its repertoire. Contrary to its model number, the T-Mobile offering sports a larger 1800mAh battery compared with the Lumia 820, a higher-res front facing camera, while, amazingly, turning up lighter in the process. Here goes the full list of talents which the Nokia Lumia 810 has on tap.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad-band 3G with 42 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 4.3" 16M-color ClearBlack AMOLED display with WVGA resolution
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 720p front-facing camera
  • Windows Phone 8 OS
  • 1.5GHz dual-core Krait CPU, Adreno 225 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset, 1GB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support
  • 8GB of inbuilt storage, expandable through the microSD card slot
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • Built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • 1800mAh user-replaceable battery
  • microUSB port with file transfers
  • Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and EDR, file transfers
  • NFC support
  • Digital compass
  • Free lifetime voice-guided navigation via Nokia Drive
  • Excellent social networks integration
  • Xbox Live integration and Xbox management
  • Nokia Music music streaming service
  • FM Radio

Main disadvantages

  • App catalog falls short of Android and iOS
  • No system-wide file manager
  • No lockscreen shortcuts
  • Some might argue that design is a bit dull
  • Price on a contract is a bit high

With a removable battery and a microSD card slot on board, the Nokia Lumia 810 one ups even the Lumia 920 flagship. The WVGA ClearBlack AMOLED display is a perfect fit for Windows Phone OS, even though its resolution is not high by today's high-end smartphones. It's also easy on the relatively beefy battery.

As far as limitations go, the Nokia Lumia 810 suffers from the same disadvantages as any Windows Phone 8 handset. They include lack of quality apps, compares to the major competitors' ecosystems and a lack of proper file manager on board (with none in sight). That second one is true for the iOS ecosystem too, so it's a disadvantage only when compared to Android.

Design on the other hand can go either way. Some of us found it pleasantly understated, while other called the 810 dull, compared to the rest of the current Nokia Lumia lineup.

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Nokia Lumia 810 live photos

It was roughly a year ago when T-Mobile began offering the Nokia Lumia 710. Eventually, the handset turned out to be quite a successful product for the Big Magenta. We are now going to find out if its successor has what it takes to expand Nokia's share in today's cut-throat market. Naturally, we will kick things off with an unboxing, followed by a design and build quality inspection.

Editorial: You might notice that this review is shorter than usual and doesn't include some of our proprietary tests. The reason is it has been prepared and written far away from our office and test lab. The Nokia Lumia 810 for T-Mobile is a US-only phone and it will not be making rounds on the Old Continent. Still, we think we've captured the essence of the phone in the same precise, informative and detailed way that's become our trademark. Enjoy the good read!

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