Nokia Lumia 720 – Review

The Lumia 720 is one of the latest smartphones in the Windows Phone 8 range and packs an amazing amount of features into such a small and thin design.

Whilst it’s not 4G ready, doesn’t have DC-HSDPA capability, and has a lower resolution camera than the 920; the low light performance and stunning design make up for a lot of the downfalls people might see in it.

More on that later in the review, but here’s a quick unboxing…..

Now onto the specs….

  • Windows Phone 8 OS
  • 4.3 inch display
  • 6.1 Megapixel Camera
  • HSPA+ 21Mb/s
  • 1 Ghz Dual-Core Processor
  • Bluetooth, WiFi & GPS, NFC
  • 8GB Storage with MicroSD slot for more
  • 2000mAh Battery
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First of all, up top there’s a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, pretty decent for self portraits and far better than on the recent mid range Xperia SP we reviewed recently.

With Microsoft buying Skype and building it into their range of services, a great front camera was important to keep the best experience possible.

The light sensors adjust the backlight on the screen to give you better battery life based on the surroundings. Up top you can see the earpiece for voice calls.

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The screen on the Lumia 720 is 4.3 inches with a resolution of just 480×800 pixels.

Whilst the display is really bright and looks gorgeous with the glass and different colour schemes, the display is also one of the slight let-downs on the 720 with the pixel count just too low for viewing video content or looking at large websites.

Thankfully the whole Windows Phone experience is rather simple using live tiles on a plain white or black background so for most people the low resolution will not really be a problem and applications work perfectly.

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In the design process and build of Windows Phone there are a few key areas which have to stay the same, and button layout is one of those thing. So here are the typical buttons you see on any Windows Phone here.

The back arrow moves back a screen at a time but also if you hold onto it opens up the multitasking window and lets you move back and forwards between apps.

In the middle is the Windows button which always takes you back to the main screen. On the right is the Search button which allows you to use Bing for a wide range of things from text search to finding out what song you are listening too right now

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On the back is the 6.1 megapixel camera with single LED flash which helps in certain low light conditions.

There is also a Carl Zeiss logo, a Nokia logo as well as the speakerphone and three small dots which are used for wireless charging.

Unlike the Lumia 920, the 720 does not feature wireless charging built in but can be adapted to do so by using a back cover available for purchase if you wish too.

Nokia seem to use strange megapixel numbers on their Lumia phones, for example the 920 an 925 both have 8.7 megapixels and the 720 has 6.1 megapixels as mentioned above.

Something to remember is that although the Lumia 720 has a Carl Zeiss lens with all these pixels on offer, Nokia are not calling the phone a ‘PureView’ model.

Instead there is some clever low light lens technology at work allowing all that extra light in to get great night photos, but again the Lumia 720 is not part of the PureView family

What Nokia have managed though is to fit an aperture of 1.9f into the device which is a lot less than seen on other phones on the market.

This basically allows more light into the camera and can really be seen at night time where this extra light allows for almost blur free images with little fuss.

Some sample images can be found unedited below..

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The bottom of the phone has the small microphone hole as well as the Micro USB charging port also used for data transfer.  One tip for anyone using this phone who has a Mac computer is to download the Windows Phone 8 application from the App Store to be able to move content over quickly, the software is free.

If you are coming from a previous Windows Phone and have the old software it is best to remove this and install the new version to be fully compatible with your new phone

top

At the top is a 3.5mm headset port which can be used with either the supplied headset or your own if you have a decent pair already.

The supplied ones are pretty good even at maximum volume but if you are very serious about your mobile music you might already have a better quality pair you can use.

The top is also where you have the pin hole to release the microSIM tray.

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The left side has yet another tray which gets popped out using either a paperclip or the supplied pin, this time revealing the microSD memory card slot so you can expand from the built-in storage of 8GB.

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On the right hand side you have all the buttons starting at the top the volume up and down keys, then the power key and finally the all important for many people camera key for taking pictures.

Final Thoughts

There is so much to like about the 720 and very few things to let it down but this will not be a let down for everyone.

Starting with the great points. First, the design. It’s just stunning, especially in the cyan colour we managed to get hold of for this review. It is also incredibly light, in fact when I had the phone delivered and let some friends check it out they were gobsmacked how light it was and thought the battery was not in. Once I explained it they were all very impressed.

The battery is really good for a 2000mAh capacity. It easily gets through a day with pretty decent use including push email on two accounts and Twitter use in addition to some calls and texts

Also very impressive is the camera performance from the 6.1 megapixel lens. The Carl Zeiss optics makes this was impressive. Carl Zeiss optics are fantastic products and Nokia have always been known for their superior camera performance. Whilst not up there with the 8 megapixel cameras or higher, the 6.1 megapixel shooter does a great job at capturing detail and is more than enough to share with social media or print out which will be the two main uses of the photos you take.

The low aperture 1.9 lens used really lets a lot of light in so you can get that great picture without flash needed in all conditions.

Last of all is the suite of apps you get from Nokia. These include HERE Maps, HERE Drive and Nokia Music, all with great benefits. Nokia Music lets you stream different tracks to your 720 with a large range of tracks on offer and no worry on price, there is however a Music+ service for a small fee per month that allows unlimited track skips and playlists. HERE Drive and Maps is a great way to navigate as you can download full maps over WiFi connection so if you are on holiday you can still navigate your war around with offline maps and no data charges.

Unfortunately for some people there are a few negative factors. Considering this phone has only just gone on sale and one of the more major ones is connectivity. There’s no 4G and no DC-HSDPA available, so the maximum speed over 3G is the HSPA+ 21Mbps standard.

4G or faster internet is really being pushed this year especially in the UK, and many customers will be disappointed to find that this particular handset doesn’t have the capability. The other negative (if you can call it that) is the screen resolution. It’s just too low for many people these days. In a time when 720p is now standard, the 480×800 pixel display disappoints when viewing video content.

However, if you are in the market for a great mid-range phone and don’t mind missing the superfast speeds then the Lumia 720 is a fantastic option. It has sleek sexy design, amazing battery life and great low light camera the Lumia 720 is a winner on all fronts.

The Lumia 720 is a great step forward in the Lumia story and is highly recommended to be considered if you are in the market for a great all-round mid range phone without wanting to break the bank

Thanks again to Nokia Connects for loaning us the Lumia 720 to review