This comparison sees the low-priced end of Windows Phone do battle with its Android equivalent as the Sony Xperia U takes on the Nokia Lumia 710
We see how two budget rivals compare with Nokia's Windows Phone-powered Lumia 710 facing off against the Android-based Sony Xperia U.
Sony Xperia U - 112x54x12mm, 110g
Nokia Lumia 710 - 119x62.4x12.5mm, 125.5g
Both Nokia and Sony consistently bring interesting handset designs to the table and that’s a trend which continues with these two models.
The Xperia U follows the signature style set for the rest of Sony’s latest Xperia range having a much chunkier form factor than earlier Xperia models under the Sony Ericsson brand.
Thin, curved and wedge-shaped edges have been replaced with broad flat surfaces that ensure better grip and a more solid feel to the device. Build quality and materials are also markedly better, adding further to the appeal of the devices.
The back panel is slightly curved, both across the width and length of the phone, which breaks up the overall blocky body shape quite nicely. Like the other Xperia models, the Xperia U features a transparent bar at the bottom of the handset, embedded with icons for the capacitive controls which sit just above.
However, the Xperia U has a couple of unique twists on this theme which it doesn’t share with the Xperia P and Xperia S models.
For a start the transparent bar houses LED lights which will switch colour depending on the phone’s theme and illuminate for incoming calls or playing music tracks.
The other slightly oddball feature is that the end cap below the transparent bar is removable and can be changed with a number of different coloured variants.
The one criticism we would level at it is the screen-to-bodywork ratio is way out, which means its 3.5-inch display looks a little lost in a sea of plastic.
Where Sony’s offering is highly angular the Lumia 710 has a softer and curvier aesthetic with a tapered top and bottom and a gently sloping back panel.
As might be expected, build quality might not be on the same level as the polycarbonate unibodied Lumia 800 but it’s still very good for a budget model and won’t leave you worrying about the structural integrity of the handset.
Both devices have a very clean look to them which we appreciate even though they’re from different schools of design, one curvy and the other slab-like.
Generally speaking, we prefer the Lumia 710’s overall appearance.
Winner – Nokia Lumia 710
Sony’s Xperia U has a fairly small 3.5-inch capacitive LED backlit LCD display with scratch-resistant glass and four finger multi-touch.
It sports an 854x480 pixel resolution giving an impressive pixel density of 280 pixels-per-inch (ppi) which, combined with Sony’s Bravia Mobile engine creates some very sharp and bright picture quality, which is pretty much unprecedented on a £200 device such as this.
The Lumia 710 uses a slightly larger 3.7-inch capacitive LCD with an 800x480 pixel resolution, which is not too far behind the Xperia U for pixel density at 252ppi.
It’s fitted with Corning Gorilla Glass for extra durability and comes with Nokia’s ClearBlack coating to provide better contrast and visibility in bright light conditions.
Nokia’s display is very good, but colour reproduction is a little squiffy. The Xperia U’s touchscreen really is excellent for a budget phone.
Winner – Sony Xperia U
The Sony Xperia U has 4GB of on board storage against the Lumia 710’s 8GB, while both handsets feature 512MB of RAM and neither has a card slot for memory expansion.
It’s not the best scenario in either case but the Lumia 710 comes out looking a bit better thanks to twice the on board capacity.
Winner – Nokia Lumia 710