Samsung have been making sure though there's no shortage of phones to choose from. And now with Nokia pulling their socks up to stay in the smartphone game, the choice is even greater. So, this post is all about Nokia Lumia 710 and Samsung I8350 Omnia W.
Earlier, the entire Windows Phone range were struggling to catch up with the general trend towards higher screen resolution and multiple-core processing. The first WP7generation was thrown in the deep end while the fresh Mango-running crowd has a seemingly easier task of staying afloat in the midrange.
Phones like the Omnia W and Lumia 710 are likely to be considered even by first-time smartphone users and that's one of the reasons why we think this comparison may be helpful.
The two handsets are almost on par pricewise and the same goes for most of the specs too. We have a 3.7" display each and it's 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 - Mango.
There isn't much to say really about software differences. The two devices are running Windows Phone version 7.5 Mango. Equality is ingrained in the platform's philosophy although, at this point at least, it seems they're enforcing austere uniformity rather than promoting equal opportunity.
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.
Advantages Of Samsung Omnia W Over Nokia Lumia 710
- But here's where it gets interesting.
- Super AMOLED Gorilla Glass display over TFT
- Slimmer profile and metal on the battery cover
- Lighter by 10g despite more premium finish
- Front-facing VGA camera
- Slightly better loudspeaker performance
- Better audio quality
- Nearly twice the real-world battery performance
- Standard SIM card support over MicroSIM
Advantages Of Nokia Lumia 710 over Samsung Omnia W:
- Free lifetime Nokia Drive navigation
- Nokia Music and Nokia Maps
- Display is twice as bright
- Better video recording quality
- Exchangeable covers
- A wee bit cheaper
Much of it will come down to personal taste, but there's enough to tip the scales either way. The Super AMOLED screen is a massive point in Omnia W's favor, but the Lumia is keen to raise the bid with Nokia Drive - the company's free voice-guided navigation system.
Both the Nokia Lumia 710 and the Samsung Omnia W are on 3.7" display. Its the small side compared to some of today's flagships, but 3.7" is more than reasonable for an affordable smartphone.
The Nokia Lumia is the bigger of the two, which suggests that the Omnia W uses space more efficiently. The Finn is about 10 g heavier too at 125.5 g, a bit of a surprise considering it's entirely made of plastic.
We should note though that we have no qualms with the build quality of the Lumia 710. And we acknowledge the effort to position the device as the more affordable alternative of the Lumia 800 and 900.
The Lumia 710 is supposed to attract a younger audience and probably put novice smartphone users at ease. The exchangeable back covers are a relevant addition to the package.
On the other hand, Samsung Omnia W is based on a more grownup design. The Gorilla Glass-covered Super AMOLED display creates a pleasant illusion of seamless, bezel-free front.
The feeble loudspeaker of the Lumia 710 is hardly a surprise. The Omnia W isn't all that loud either, despite edging slightly higher than the Lumia.
Nokia have understandably put extra effort to make their WP7 line stand out in the crowd. With any Lumia phone you get a complete SatNav solution with downloadable maps absolutely free of charge.
The other household names are Nokia Maps, App Highlights and Nokia Music, but some of them are or will be available platform-wide soon enough. App Highlights offers a selection of apps to get you started, while Nokia Music works as a general music player but with a location-aware twist. You also get access to the Nokia Music store, which is an alternative to the Zune Marketplace.
The platform limitations put the Samsung WP7 phones at an obvious disadvantage. With Zune the only means of file transfer and the Scorpion chipset, the Omnia W hasn't got the wide video codec support you can expect in comparable Android smartphones by Samsung.
At 3.7" these two competitors make a lot of sense in their price bracket, and the WVGA resolution is about par for the course too. Both phones offer the same amount of screen real estate and the exact same number of pixels.
The key difference here is the display technology. Nokia have put a ClearBlack TFT unit on the Lumia 710, which offers above average brightness of nearly 700 nits and accurate color rendering. Samsung are using one of their Super AMOLED displays on the Omnia W and, although it's the PenTile variety, it delivers the trademark deep blacks and excellent contrast and viewing angles.
Nokia are always to be trusted for a reliable outdoor performance of their screens. The ClearBlack display of the Lumia 710 achieved impressive contrast ratio of over 1000:1.
However there's also no denying that Windows Phone and AMOLED are also a good match. The Metro UI is best appreciated on a screen that knows how to handle its blacks.
The imaging department is where the Omnia W and Lumia 710 are absolute equals, at least on paper. Both offer 5 MP cameras on the back for a maximum image resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. It's a single LED flash each too. The photos of both phones seem equally good.
Video recording comparison
Both devices offer 720p video recording, which isn't the king of the hill anymore but is still high-quality video if it's done right. We'll start the comparison with our video comparison tool.
The Lumia 710 rules here on synthetic resolution . It resolves the most detail and it, actually, is the only device in the test to resolve any individual lines in both the vertical and horizontal cones.
Lumia offers the sharpest video of all other smart phones on this range- and by quite a margin. Text is readable and detail is superb, which is more than we can say about the Omnia W. The Lumia also records stereo sound, if a bit on the quiet side.
Moving on to the darker lighting scene, the Lumia 710 again wins without competition. It deals way better with shadows and highlights than the Omnia and manages to keep colors natural.
The Nokia Lumia 710 completely trumps the competition here. It's a really capable video performer even outside its OS. It produces wonderfully detailed videos with sharp and accurate colors and noise is kept in check. Smoothness is top notch as well.
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, the Lumia 710 has disastrous intermodulation distortion, poor frequency response and pretty good readings in the other tests.
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.
Battery life can usually only be extended by preventing or reducing the cause of the unwanted parasitic chemical effects which occur in the cells. Ways of improving battery life and hence reliability are also considered on one of my previous posts. Follow This link to save battery with your smart phone.
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.
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.
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. Also read, Nokia Lumia 800 Advantages And Disadvantages ~ bench3