For those either sticking with or planning to sign up with T-Mobile, the Windows Phone 8 options are currently limited. On the higher end ($250 with a two-year contract) is the HTC Windows Phone 8X, which has offers sleek design and a crisp screen, but lacks a removable battery and expandable storage options.
The Lumia 810 answers both of those concerns, but has its own lacking features as a mid-level handset. And at $150 (a mail-in rebate brings it down to $100) on a two-year contract for a device that lacks 4G LTE service, Nokia's smartphone seems a little overpriced compared to its own offerings on other carriers.
Despite a couple notable deficiencies, there's plenty to like about the Lumia 810.
Windows Phone 8 is a gorgeous and easy-to-use mobile OS that stands in stark contrast to the usual players of iOS and Android. The various tweaks in WP8 make for a more comfortable and customizable experience, as well, and even add more visual oomph in the process.
Thanks to its dual-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon processor and 1GB RAM, plus the simplicity of the OS, you'll be able to speed through the interface and between apps with little-to-no delay. And despite the mid-range resolution of the display, it's quite clear with great contrast.
In typical Nokia fashion, the camera is a standout feature here, and the dedicated shutter/access button makes it even better. Photos turn out well even in low light, and you can shoot up to 1080p video. Lens apps add additional features.
It may not be specific to the device, but the lacking selection of apps and games available for Windows Phone 8 at this time may well scare off serious smartphone users from switching to the OS. It's a sad state of affairs.
We're not crazy about the dull, bulky, and brick-like build of the Lumia 810, which stands in stark contrast to the more colorful or better-considered designs of Nokia's other Lumia WP8 handsets.
Since it's on T-Mobile, that means no LTE coverage for the Lumia 810. We also encountered some issues with static interference bursts during calls, which happened in varied situations on multiple occasions.
While arguably a hair overpriced and lacking inspiring design, the Lumia 810 strikes us as a good option for T-Mobile users, delivering great performance and helpful features like expandable storage and a replaceable battery.
Without LTE coverage, though, we'd recommend that users on other networks or those looking to jump ship from T-Mobile look elsewhere, as there are better WP8 devices (even within the Lumia line) on other networks that do a bit more at similar or even lower prices.