Until now we had only two major OS dominating in the market and no clear third. But it’s about to change as 2012 is supposed to be the year that Windows Phone 7 establishes itself as the clear third platform in the market and maybe even starts challenging the other by the end of the year 2012.
With its fluid and simple UI, Windows Phone 7 handsets are proving to be one of the best choices for people upgrading to smartphones. And they are really a tempting value for money proposition in the mid-range segment.
Well we have two handsets i.e. the Nokia Lumia 710 and the Samsung Omnia W who are vying for the position of the best entry smartphone in the Windows Phone 7 platform.
Although, I must add that differentiating between the two can be tricky because of the standard UI experience and similar hardware under the hood which is prescribed by Microsoft itself, and needs to be adhered to by the manufacturers.
So let me go ahead and introduce both of them to you. This being a price sensitive segment, let me start off proceedings with the pricing itself. The Nokia Lumia 710 is priced at Rs. 14,500 while the Samsung Omnia W is priced at Rs. 14,600.
They both have a 3.7″ display each and it’s a tie in imaging too: 5 MP still cameras with 720p video. Both have the same processors and run the most recent version of Windows Phone 7.5 i.e. Mango.
Now let us start off with the hardware on them.
Speaking of design on the Nokia Lumia 710 it has a full plastic body which doesn’t look cheap but still fails to impress us with the curvy design. The fact that you have changeable covers at the back with lot of color options might help sell with the younger audience.
The Samsung Omnia W has a classier look with its angular design. And even though it also has a plastic body; a brushed aluminum inset on the battery cover of the Omnia at the back more or less makes up for it.
In fact the design on the Omnia W is better than most of Samsung’s other premium devices in the Windows Phone or even the Android platform. Also, the Gorilla Glass-covered Super AMOLED display creates a pleasant illusion of seamless, bezel-free front. So here we can say that while the Lumia 710 is targeted at the younger audience, the Omnia W vies for more mature attention.
The speaker on the Lumia 710 is disappointingly feeble to say the least, but the one on the Omnia W is not that great either being slightly louder than the Lumia 710.
There is hardly any difference between the two devices as they both use the standard Mango version of the Windows Phone 7.
Though when it comes to apps, Nokia has went beyond its call of duty and provided apps like Nokia Drive and Nokia maps which are considered to be one of the best SatNav solutions in the market at present. Nokia Music is also a considerable app which will be added to the fray in the coming months. These apps are supposed to be exclusively for the Nokia Windows Phone, though there are indications that the same would be made available platform wide to other manufacturer as well though at some price in the near future.
Coming to Samsung, although they have managed to put in some fun photo apps, there is nothing of substance, as the apps from Nokia.
There was a time when 3.7 inch displays were considered to be the perfect size on a smartphone. But these days it is reduced to an average size reserved for the budget smartphones; with the flagship devices sporting a display size of beyond 4 inches.
Speaking of the display on the Lumia 710 it’s not that good as the one you have on the Lumia 800, but more or less manages to do a decent job with vivid color rendering and deep blacks with the help of the ClearBlack Display technology.
Though, when you start comparing it with the Super AMOLED display on the Samsung Omnia W, the TFT display on the Lumia 710 suddenly starts to appear less impressive. The contrast ratio and the viewing angles on the Omnia make the display much brighter and crisper than one on the Lumia.
Also with the bezel free front, the metro UI looks impressive on the Omnia W’s Super AMOLED screen just as it looks made for each other on the Lumia 800.
On paper both the Lumia 710 and the Omnia W boast of a 5MP camera with dual LED flash and seem equal.
Though when it comes to stills the overall image detail and resolution appears much better on the Omnia than the Lumia 710. On the other hand when it comes to color rendition the Lumia gives you real colors which are not that bright, but the Omnia will give you over-saturated shots.
So we will not say that one is a clear winner over the other. Hence, I would like to bring in another aspect here, which is the camera button on the Lumia. It might be a bit uncomfortable to handle at times as it is not as raised as on the Lumia 800 or even on the Omnia W and hence the images sometimes get blurred when you are trying to get hold of the button or trying focus on the image with the two step shutter control.
Hence I would say that the Omnia W is marginally better when it comes to the whole camera experience.
Speaking of Video recording; though the Omnia W seems to have sharper videos there is no doubt that the videos shot using the Lumia 710 are clearly more detailed with better resolution. So I would say that the Lumia holds an edge over the Omnia W here.
Speaking of the battery performance; the Omnia W clearly trumps Lumia 710’s 1300mAh battery with its slightly better 1500mAh battery which last’s approximately 2 and a half hours more than the Lumia does.
Here is a quick look at the advantages of one over the other.
Samsung Omnia W advantages over Nokia Lumia 710:
- Super AMOLED display over TFT
- Slimmer profile and metal on the battery cover
- Front-facing VGA camera
- Bigger battery: 1500 mAh over 1300 mAh
- Standard SIM card support over MicroSIM
Nokia Lumia 710 advantages over Samsung Omnia W:
- Free lifetime Nokia Drive navigation
- Nokia Music and Nokia Maps
- Better video recording quality
- Customizable covers
Once you have taken a look at both the pros and cons of the device, we realize that there is not much separating the two and it’s eventually a matter of choice between the exclusive software, i.e. Nokia SatNav apps and Nokia Music that Nokia provides and the superior hardware and better battery life management on the Samsung Omnia W.
PS: Nokia Lumia images courtesy OnlyGizmos