Nokia Lumia 810 Review: A Solid Mid-Range Choice
The Lumia 810 is basically the 820 with a few little tweaks, Nokia's way of skirting around its exclusivity agreement with AT&T. This could be called the T-Mobile 820 and you wouldn't notice much of a difference. But buyer beware: if you're looking for LTE, go with its siblings. T-Mobile is using HSPA-plus on this device.
The other differences between the 810 and the 820 -- and the 822 -- are small and largely cosmetic; for starters, the 810 is thinner and lighter than its predecessor. This doesn't mean that it's a slight phone, clocking in a lot heavier than the iPhone 5 or even fellow Windows 8 devices like the HTC 8X. Nokia calls the shape a "monoblock" and it is definitely monolithic and blocky. Even though it's smaller it is not as handsome as the 920. The matte black finish is a nice touch, as is the removable back cover; but overall, it's too blocky and hulking to be considered elegant.
The 4.3-inch AMOLED WVGA screen is also a step down from the 920, though it matches the ISP display, which is top-caliber. Still, the screen provides 16 million vibrant colors, which make images and videos appear vivid, and the 800-by-400 pixel resolution is amped up by Nokia's ClearBlack technology, which makes darks appear darker. It's definitely not a display you would complain about, though not in the same echelon as the 920.
Like the 820, the 810 comes with an 8-megapixel camera augmented by Carl Zeiss optics. Again, it's not quite 920-level good, but the shooter captures detailed images, and the LED flash makes it easy to capture moments in dimmer conditions. And the 810 comes with a higher-resolution front-facing camera than the 820, so it's better for Skype sessions or self-portraits. Moreover, Nokia included some camera software that allows for a number of different "lenses" or filters for shots, which is a fun addition that will appeal to fans of Instagram.
The Lumia 810 runs on Windows 8, which will make or break your experience using the phone -- if you like the software, you'll enjoy the phone despite its clunky design, but if you don't like Windows, you're going to be frustrated. It has a Live Tile arrangement that looks good and works well but takes some getting used to, since it is considerably different than iOS or Android. It doesn't have the same app roster as the more established OS options, but it has many of the big guys like Facebook and Angry Birds.
One area where the Lumia 810 excels: battery life. It comes stocked with a robust battery that is one of the finest in the Lumia lineup. And although T-Mobile's 3.5G HSPA-plus network isn't as quick as Verizon and AT&T's LTE service, if you can get past the slower downloads and occasional waiting times, the 810 has several other promising qualities. Like its predecessors, it has the option for Qi wireless charging, which is a neat feature, and it has room for 32-gigabytes of storage using the microSD slot.
If you're using T-Mobile and want to try the Lumia line, the 810 is a fine option, but if you're on another carrier, just go with the Lumia option with your current provider. The slower speeds make it a silly choice to switch companies over. ♦
Other Reviews From Around the Web:
Categories: Windows | Fashion | Fun
Samsung Galaxy S4: Outstanding, But Full of Gimmicks
Enjoy This Article? Get E-Mail Updates -- It's Free!
AMOLED (Polarization Filter / Light Time-Out / Ambient Light Sensor)
November 28, 2012
Best Mid-Range Windows Phone Around
I'm impressed by the Lumia 810. When I bought it I wasn't expecting much, but since T-Mobile didn't have a lot of phones I wanted, I took the plunge. And boy was I surprised. The 810 is everything I wanted in the 920 -- but cheaper.
Nokia did a fantastic job crafting all the Lumia handsets. It's just beautiful. My friends always ask to see my phone and I can't keep my eyes off of it. The materials are quality, unlike Samsung's products, and the design is simple and gorgeous and lightweight. And it takes a licking. I've dropped it a few times already and it's it came through without a scratch. But you still might want to grab a case.
I'm a photographer, so the camera is important to me. I did a lot of research on this before buying the 810, and I can tell you the lens is fantastic. It takes sharp and clear photos. It doesn't have the innovative motion-sensing lens that the 920 has, but hey, if you have a steady hand, you won't miss it.
I'm new to Windows, coming from Android, and it took some getting used to for me. But once I adjusted, the software is smooth and steady. I haven't had any issues with any lag or crashes. The tiles are easy to pin and they update with information you want to see like Twitter and Facebook. Nice. Other tiles I have pinned are missed calls, texts and photos. You can adjust the size of the tiles as you like, and bigger tiles show more information. Unfortunately, the app store is a big minus.
I love the Xbox music feature -- it's so easy to upload and organize your song library. You can also store your songs on the cloud, so you don't have to use up space on your card. Windows is growing, but it's far behind Android and iOS. You'll be able to find popular titles like Angry Birds, but the more obscure are missing. The nice thing is you'll have Microsoft Office, so you can work on the road.
The battery life is long. I can get through the whole day and then some on one charge -- I usually have about a third left after the end of the work day. I'll check e-mails, browse Facebook and listen to music while reading the news. So I think I'm an above average user. If I don't use it that often, the standby time is amazing. If the power drains faster than you like, you change some settings to prolong the power. Turn off Bluetooth, for example, and don't leave apps running in the background. Those things will sap the juice out of your phone.
The only drawback is the 8-gigabytes of storage. I was considering the HTC 8X, but the fact that it doesn't have a microSD slot turned me off. The 810 does though, and I added a 64-gigabyte card to store all my songs and photos.
Overall, the Lumia 810 is a great mid-range phone. The thing is great inside and out. The design is beautiful and the camera and performance is great. If you're considering between Samsung and HTC's Windows phones, Nokia makes the best ones. And if you're on T-Mobile, it's a no-brainer. Go buy it now.Was this review helpful to you?
69 out of 70 people found this review helpful.
November 22, 2012
Great Hardware, Great Software
Windows is a breath of fresh air from Android and Apple. After using my share of iPhone and Android devices, I decided to give Microsoft's new software a try. So when Nokia announced its new Lumia line, I was hooked. And since I'm stuck to T-Mobile, I was a bit disappointed when the Lumia 920 wasn't going to show up. So then 810 it is. And I'm still glad I chose it.
The other features are great. The design, the size and the materials are all fantastic. Windows 8 is simple to use and now I'm able to read and edit all my Office documents on the go, which is a huge plus for me. And the microSD slot lets me add up to 64-gigabytes of storage.
Overall, I'm very happy with the Lumia 810, and I don't plan on switching from Windows anytime soon. Buy with confidence!
Unlike the bigger brother, the 810 doesn't have any revolutionary camera technology -- no floating lens. But if you're not an action photographer, you won't miss it. For those worried about the lack of third-party apps, I was able to find everything I need.Was this review helpful to you?
47 out of 49 people found this review helpful.
November 28, 2012
After three weeks with this phone, I can confidently say I'm thrilled with my Lumia 810. I'd previously had the 710, and the 810 is such a big improvement. For one, the display is larger and so much more vivid and sharper -- and more responsive -- and the processor runs smoother and faster too.
Nokia did a nice job moving around the buttons. The power button -- on the right now -- is easier to hit rather than on the top. Also the speakers are moved to the bottom so they don't get muffled like on the back.
I love taking impromptu pictures with the built-in camera. I take a lot of photos of my cat, and the red-eye reduction filter works well. The front-facing camera, meanwhile, is nice to chat with friends over Skype.
As I said before, I'm used to Windows, and Windows 8 is much improved too. It's easier to use, and feels more integrated. People often complain about the lack of third-party apps in the marketplace, but really, all the ones you use will be there. If they're not, there are nice alternatives that do pretty much the same thing.
People don't give Nokia enough credit for its GPS and maps software. City Lens is fantastic, and Transit and Drive will guide you through any city by public transportation or by foot. Of course, Microsoft Office works smoothly, and you'll get all the popular apps like Facebook and Twitter.
The reception and call quality are great. Nothing to complain about here. And the microSD slot is always a nice feature.
Of course, no phone is perfect, and the Lumia 810 has only a few covers to choose from -- most being sold out. The wireless charging pad is also hard to come across. But overall, I'm thrilled with the Lumia 810. Nokia outdid itself on this portfolio of Windows phones. If you're looking for one, Nokia is the one to get.Was this review helpful to you?
67 out of 70 people found this review helpful.
February 08, 2013
Leaps and Bounds Ahead
After using this phone for the last month, I can say it exceed everything I expected in a smartphone. I use it for business mostly, and the software is the most stable I've seen. My old HD7, for instance, would stall and freeze -- and I'd have to pull out the battery just to reboot it. But the Lumia 810 runs really smoothly -- no problems whatsoever.
The best part of this is Microsoft Office. The 810 syncs Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more, so I can work on the road. This one feature is worth the price of the phone. But since, I'm call customers, the quality of the voice is most important to me -- and it's exceptional. Friends have asked if I was calling on a landline because I sounded so clear.
Nokia has grown by leaps and bounds. And the display really shows it -- t's very clean and clear outdoors. The contrast is vibrant and the blacks are actually black, so watching movies on it is a pleasure. The other day, I decided to pull out my HD7 and I was surprised by the difference in clarity.
The camera is pretty good too. I took used it to take over 1,000 photos on a recent trip and I never bothered to take out my digital camera. They photos look great, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
As far as the few apps in the marketplace, I guess I can't really blame Microsoft or Nokia. The ecosystem is new by Apple and Google's standards, but it's growing quickly. I'm still waiting for my bank to release a Windows app, and NFL to watch on Sundays.
Overall, if you want a quality phone with a load of features and a solid operating system, you can't go wrong with the Lumia 810.Was this review helpful to you?
54 out of 57 people found this review helpful.
November 23, 2012
T-Mobile doesn't give you many options when it comes to phones. And I picked up the Lumia 810 because it looked like the best of the Windows bunch. After a few weeks, I found myself falling in love with it.
The phone is made of premium components. When you old it you can tell -- it just feels solid. Not flimsy like the others. The design is well thought out. For instance, the buttons are all located in intuitive places. It sounds stupid, but you'd be surprised how often handset makers screw this up and you try to operate it one-handedly and drop it. You can also remove the cover if you want other colors. It's a cool way to customize the look of your phone.
The touch screen is large and clear and sharp. It's not too big and fits comfortably in your purse or pocket. It's surprising so many phones forget the expansion slot these days. Fortunately, there's one on the 810. Buy an extra card because you'll run out of storage.
The battery life is very good as well. Compared to the HTC 8X, the Lumia 810, in my opinion, is a better phone at a cheaper price. Win-win if you ask me.
The camera has a tendency to produce grainy photos in low light environments. I can't say this is a big negative because it's kind of expected.Was this review helpful to you?
54 out of 58 people found this review helpful.
December 11, 2012
Simple to Use
I'm glad Windows 8 came along. The Lumia 810 is very smooth, and the interface is very easy to use. The learning curve is minimal, due to the intuitive nature of the operating system, and the options are simple to master. The materials are top-notch, and the build is solid. It just looks elegant, while rugged.
After a few weeks, I find myself loving my phone more and more each day. Some people complain about the lack of apps in Windows market, but I found there's a good balance of popular apps and the offbeat. I hope Microsoft pushes developers to create more software, because Windows is a solid platform.
The weight is a bit heavy compared to other devices. But that's due to the polycarbonate shell and the Gorilla Glass. That's the price for quality, I guess. Overall, I'd say the Lumia 810 is far better than my old Galaxy S2. I'm very happy with my choice.Was this review helpful to you?
47 out of 51 people found this review helpful.
February 07, 2013
One of the Best Windows Phones
I got tired of the iPhone and Android, and I wanted to try something new and switch to Windows. The interface is great -- it's simple, clean and uncluttered. The buff processor makes it run very smooth, and I feel like I get more work done without being overwhelmed.
The design is great too. Unlike Samsung, I don't feel like I'm holding a hollow shell. The 810 isn't too heavy, but it feels solidly built. It's the best of both, really.
The touch screen is bright and responsive -- great for Web browsing and reading and the camera take excellent photos.
I've owned a lot of smartphones through the years, and the Lumia 810 ranks as one of the best. Well done, Nokia.Was this review helpful to you?
43 out of 47 people found this review helpful.
January 09, 2013
Awesome Phone, Awesome Software
I bought this phone last week after ditching my old Windows 7 phone. And I'm impressed by how fast it is. The new software is really smooth and everything works flawlessly in one complete motion.
I used to own an iPhone and an Android device too, but I feel like Microsoft does a better job with the interface of Windows. With tiles, it's easier to see what I need and to get things done. As others have mentioned, the design of the 810 is elegant. The materials are quality and the build is solid.
But the best parts are the exclusive apps like Nokia Drive. Windows market is behind Android and iOS in terms of selection, but it's catching up in my opinion. The apps are getting better by the week. I would have bought the 920 if T-Mobile had offered it. But with the 810, it's just as good, albeit at a cheaper price.
The 8-gigabytes of internal memory is a bit on the low side. But that's why Nokia added a microSD slot. You'll run through the internal storage in a week or so. I have a big music collection and I ran out after adding a few albums, few apps and 10 or so games. I guess I could just uninstall a few things, but just to be on the safe side, be sure to buy a card.Was this review helpful to you?
40 out of 45 people found this review helpful.
December 20, 2012
Fantastic Phone, Fantastic Value
I normally wait a few months for the price to drop before buying a phone. I like a good deal, what can I say? The Lumia 810 was a different story though. I couldn't resist the urge to pick one up the first week T-Mobile released it. This phone is simply amazing -- the look is beautiful, the software is silky smooth and the photos are sharp, the music is crisp and games are entertaining. I used to have the HD7, the 810 is so much faster -- it's like night and day.
If you're waiting to get this point, don't wait. You'll be glad you did, despite the higher price. It's well worth it.Was this review helpful to you?
47 out of 53 people found this review helpful.
December 18, 2012
The design is elegant, the sound quality is excellent and the touch screen is very responsive. However, I'm not as thrilled with the Lumia 810 as the other reviewers.
After a week with the phone, I couldn't handle the short battery life. I could get around a day or two in battery save mode, but any normal use leaves me high and dry by the late afternoon. The phone is rather thick too, and doesn't fit comfortably in my pocket. In addition, I had a bad experience with the camera -- even outdoors. The SIM card holder is easy to lose too. And once you lose it, T-Mobile won't have any replacement parts to give to you -- and that makes the phone unusable.
After the weekend, I'm going to take it back to T-Mobile and return it.Was this review helpful to you?
36 out of 43 people found this review helpful.
blog comments powered by Disqus