Both of these devices are second generation WP7 smartphones, meaning they are shipped with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango and comes with Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon S2 System-on-Chip (SoC) with Adreno 205 GPU. The Lumia 710's Scorpion ARMv7 CPU is clocked at a higher 1.4GHz speed, whilst the Radar is clocked at a more modest 1GHz. While it may seem like the Lumia 710 has a speed advantage here, Windows Phone 7 is so well optimised the speed difference isn't that apparent apart from certain areas like web browsing. Still the Lumia 710 is likely to be in a better position to take advantage of Windows Phone 8 Apollo, assuming of course that the OS is made available to either devices.
|The Lumia 710 has a slight performance advantage over the Radar|
There isn't much to differentiate the two devices in terms of included features. The Lumia 710 has a tri-band 3G chipset, where as the Radar is only dual band - significantly impacting the phone's ability to work worldwide as far as 3G UMTS is concerned. Both devices has WiFi and HSPA+ with download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps supported. As with all standard Windows Phone 7.5 Mango smartphones, the HTC Radar and Lumia 710 both contains 512MB of RAM for multi-tasking purposes. Storage are limited to 8GB on both phones.
|Better contrast on the Lumia 710 thanks to Nokia's Clear Black Display filter|
Both the Lumia 710 and HTC Radar contains a rear facing 5MP camera. The HTC Radar's lens is a wide angle 22mm (35mm equivalent) with a f/2.2 aperture meaning it lets in more light than most smartphone's camera lenses. The Lumia 710's lens on the other hand is slightly slower at f/2.4 but shares the same focal length as the Radar's. In theory both should offer similar image quality but I found that the HTC Radar tends to produce images with richer colour and sharper images, though the Lumia 710 is able to capture more overall detail than the HTC Radar. Either way, both phones offer image qualities that are equally unremarkable. HTC and Nokia also offers custom apps that allows panorama shots but I found HTC's method to be easier and more accurate. HTC Radar also has an advantage of having a front camera, and while Windows Phone 7.5 currently do not have native front camera support, it can be used with third party video calling apps like Tango.
With Nokia embracing Windows Phone completely, they have gone all out offering plenty of additional proprietary software to further enhance the owner's experience. With free navigation via Nokia Map and Nokia Drive, free music via Nokia Music, free public transport navigation via Nokia Transport, DLNA via Nokia Play To and image manipulation via Creative Studio, Nokia has been very proactive in making their devices stand out among the Windows Phone OEMs. This will continue, such is their investment and commitment to the platform. Expect more exclusive Nokia apps to arrive for owners of Lumia devices.
If you are looking for a cheap Windows Phone device, you can't go wrong with either the HTC Radar (£190 on Amazon) or Nokia Lumia 710 (£217 on Amazon). Both are rather good devices, offering far more value for money than their Android equivalent at the same price point. Alternatively older Windows Phone 7 devices like the HTC 7 Mozart and Samsung Omnia 7 are a steal on the used phone market because of how little difference they are to the newer Windows Phone 7.5 devices. First generation Windows Phone devices can already be upgraded to Mango, and if current Mango devices can be upgraded to Windows Phone 8 Apollo, it is very likely that those will as well, but don't quote me on that.
Advantages of the HTC Radar:
Superior built quality
Slightly better camera
Advantages of the Nokia Lumia 710:
Nokia's commitment towards Windows Platform