Nokia Lumia 710 vs. Samsung I8350 Omnia W: Battle of the affordable Windows Phones

GSMArena team, 10 February 2012.
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Performance

There isn't much to say about the differences in performance between the Lumia and the Omnia. They both use the same 1.4 GHz Snapdragon chipset with the same Adreno 205 GPU, and have the same number of pixels to work with and the same OS version.

Practically, there isn't anything to set these two apart. We conducted our regular tests - BrowserMark, SunSpider adn the Internet Explorer Fish Tank test and the results we're for the most part on par.

SunSpider tests JavaScript performance. The Samsung Omnia W does slightly better.

Next up is the FishIE test - it measures how many frames per second the phone's browser achieves.

Finally it's BrowserMark where the Omnia W wins again.

Audio output quality

If audio reproduction quality is important to you, then you have little choice but to side with the Samsung Omnia W. Not that it's perfect or anything, but the Lumia 710 is one of the most disappointing performers our testing lab has seen. When no headphones are attached, the Omnia W has only average intermodulation distortion, slightly sub-par frequency response and excellent results elsewhere. The Lumia 710, on the other hand, has disastrous intermodulation distortion, poor frequency response and pretty good readings in the other tests.

It's more a case of picking the lesser of two evils here, but that's undoubtedly the Omnia W.

Differences get even more pronounced when a pair of headphones comes into play. The Omnia W slightly improves its frequency response, but adds some extra distortion and stereo crosstalk. The Nokia Lumia 710 retains the same distortion levels (but those are quite high anyway), lets a similar amount of stereo crosstalk creep in and still struggles to find the right frequency response. Really, not the right choice for audiophiles, that Nokia smartphone.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Nokia Lumia 710+1.94, -2.90-80.980.80.061 1.603-85.7
Samsung Omnia W I8350+0.17, -1.14-84.886.40.011 0.261-84.2
Nokia Lumia 710 (headphones attached)+2.04, -2.69-83.383.00.061 1.574-54.5
Samsung Omnia W I8350 (headphones attached)+0.23, -0.78-84.185.60.012 0.352-54.8

Samsung Omnia W I8350 frequency response
Samsung Omnia W I8350 frequency response

Nokia Lumia 710 frequency response
Nokia Lumia 710 frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

Battery performance

We didn't run complete battery tests for the Lumia 710 and the Omnia W, focusing instead on web browsing and video playback only.

The Samsung Omnia W has a larger capacity battery and, although 200 milliamps doesn't sound like that much, it made quite a difference in the tests. In the web browsing test, the Omnia W managed to last 2 hours and 40 minutes longer than the Nokia Lumia, which is most likely a mix of the bigger battery and the more power-efficient Super AMOLED display.

In video playback, the Lumia fails even more miserably. The Samsung Omnia W manages 7 hours and 49 minutes against the pitiful 3 hours and 27 minutes of the Nokia smartphone. Again the Super AMOLED display uses less energy to display blacks and doesn't put such a strain on the battery.

Poor battery life is something you can't overlook. Nokia could've done a better job there. The Samsung Omnia W has an advantage that counts - many users will appreciate good battery backup.

Conclusion

It really is a close call between the Lumia 710 and the Omnia W. If you started here , you'd think there's no story to tell. Of course, it's the (sometimes minor) details that set these virtually identical phones apart.

The Lumia 710 does better at video recording but is failed by its battery in both video playback and web browsing. The Omnia has a slightly better still camera and clearly superior battery backup.

Other major deciders besides battery performance are the difference in screens and the software bundle. A Super AMOLED screen lets you fully appreciate the beautiful simplicity of the Metro UI and the Omnia W has a clear advantage over regular TFT displays. However, the Nokia Lumia isn't too far behind - its ClearBlack display has more than decent contrast and commendable brightness.

The exclusive applications have always given Nokia smartphones the edge, and the free lifetime SatNav license is a major point in Lumia's favor. On a second thought, given the predominantly younger audience being targeted, voice-guided navigation doesn't seem as the most relevant of features. Nokia Music would make more sense perhaps.

Anyway, we're looking at two budget smartphones and the actual price tags should count as well. Samsung and Nokia are competing on both sides of the ocean with these two by the way. In Europe it's the Lumia 710 against the Samsung I8350 Omnia W. Stateside, T-Mobile's Lumia 710 is facing AT&T's Samsung Focus Flash.

The Nokia Lumia 710 seems likely to outsell its Samsung rival - not because it's slightly cheaper but due mainly to a significant novelty factor currently at play. It seems Samsung have acknowledged the Nokia threat by significantly discounting their Focus Flash in the US. At launch, AT&T offered it for 50.00 USD with a two-year contract, while the current price is 0.99 with a two-year commitment to a plan.

The Nokia Lumia 710 may lose customers to the better equipped Lumia 800 and perhaps the likes of the N8 and the Nokia 701, given a new lease on life by an update to Symbian Belle. The Samsung Omnia W, on the other hand, will be hard at work to keep users from looking away at plenty of midrange Samsung droids. It's a game of ups and downs, but these two friendly smartphones can offer the right users a nice mix of performance and style at a bargain.

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