May 5, 2013

Posted by in Featured, Mobile, Reviews | 14 Comments

Nokia Lumia 720 Review

Nokia has been constantly pushing out new Windows Phone 8 devices to completely replace their first generation Lumia phones and the Lumia 720 is their mid-range offering.

I’ve been using it for the past couple of weeks already and I would say offhand that it’s a smart choice for those wanting to try WP8 and planning to stick with it for a while. And I’m excited to share to you how this handset can suit your needs.

Design

The Lumia 720 has a polycarbonate unibody construction which you cannot take off unlike other Lumia’s and their interchangeable shells. We have the color white which has a glossy finish but there’s also the blue and black colors if you want it in matte finish.

Nokia Lumia 720 01

The front features a sleek-looking curved glass covering its 4.3-inch screen and capacitive touch buttons for Back, Home, and Search. At the top of the display is its wide angle front camera beside a speaker grill.

Nokia Lumia 720 02

The phone features smooth tapered edges with subtle rounded corners that lend to its slim looks. On top you’ll find the push-pin-to-eject microSIM tray and the 3.5mm audio jack.

Nokia Lumia 720 03

The right side is busy with buttons. There’s the volume rocker, the Power/Sleep button near the center, and a dedicated shutter button that can also launch the camera from sleep mode.

Nokia Lumia 720 04 Nokia Lumia 720 05

On the left side is another almost invisible tray similar to the one on top for the microSD card. This phone supports up to 64GB by the way. At the bottom of the unit is the microUSB port for charging or to connect to the PC.

Nokia Lumia 720 06

The back houses the 6.1-megapixel f/1.9 Carl Zeiss lens and the LED flash. On the lower left corner would be the speaker and slightly above it are contact points for a wireless charging shell accessory.

Nokia Lumia 720 07

From afar, the Lumia 720 looks just like most other Lumia’s in its series – 920, 820, 620, 520. What others probably don’t know is that it’s the slimmest Lumia to date and lighter than its high-end brothers. Having used the Lumia 820 and 920 before it, I appreciated how light the 128g Lumia 720 felt. Nokia did really good on the construction of the Lumia 720.

Display

Nokia Lumia 720 08

The Lumia 720 has a 4.3-inch ClearBlack IPS LCD Display with a WVGA (480 x 800) resolution. To compare to its siblings, the Lumia 920 has a 720p screen while the Lumia 820 uses an AMOLED display. The Lumia 720’s display might look plain but in reality it’s not. Due to the pixel-light nature of the WP8 UI, the blacks appear deep and colors are bright even for use under the sun. You surely won’t complain about this phone’s display.

Windows Phone 8

First-time smartphone users will find Windows Phone 8 a simple and straightforward OS to use. They will appreciate the tight-integration of their contacts, calendars and social network accounts, the built-in Microsoft Office which can automatically sync with Skydrive account, and the more customizable Live Tiles.

Nokia Lumia 720 09 Nokia Lumia 720 10

A useful feature for those with young ones around is the Kids Corner mode where you can put your phone in a sandbox mode where the only thing that can be accessed are the apps that you add in that mode. This way, you can lend your unit to your kid to play with without the fear of accidentally calling someone or changing your settings.

However, for old smartphone users, there are instances when WP8 still has usability issues. Managing multimedia files can be a bit better. Sharing files between apps is not widely supported. It can also benefit from a notification window or a settings quick toggle menu for simple things such as turning WiFi on or off. Apps are limited as well, I miss my Android’s video player and torrent downloader app. There’s no Instagram on WP8 yet as well.

Nokia Lumia 720 13

To differentiate itself from other brands’ WP8 devices, Nokia added some useful exclusive apps for their Lumia phones such as different “camera lens” to add functionality to the camera such as HDR, Panorama, Smart Shoot, and Cinemagraph.

Nokia Lumia 720 11 Nokia Lumia 720 12

What you will find useful though is the Nokia HERE Drive which turns your phone into a GPS device with turn-by-turn navigation. Also cool to show off is the Nokia HERE City Lens, a location-aware app that lets you see an overlay of nearby points of interests (restos, hotels, gas stations) wherever you point your camera.

Performance

The Lumia 720 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon Krait CPU with 512MB RAM. It may not seem top-notch for a smartphone these days but for Windows Phone 8, the performance is very much acceptable. Launching apps, scrolling through my list of contacts, web browsing were handled easily by the phone.

One thing to keep mind of is that there will come a time when some WP8 apps/games will require higher resource that won’t be compatible with devices with 512MB RAM. If you’re contented with basic apps then you don’t have to worry about replacing this phone any time soon.

Call quality is loud and clear including on the recipient’s end as typical to Nokia phones. WiFi range and quality is also strong. Messaging on its virtual keyboard can take a bit of getting used to (for a touchscreen Android and iPhone user like me at least) as buttons are tinier than usual and spacing is a bit wide.

Camera

Nokia is known for having good camera performance for their high-end devices and it’s nice that they brought the same quality to their mid-range Lumia 720. It may only have 6.1-megapixel but the quality lies on their f/1.9 lens to bring in more light to the picture making indoor shots very usable.

The dedicated shutter button on the side makes it easy to launch the camera from sleep mode. However, it’s also prone to the sudden jerk as you press it to take the shot. Focus and capturing has a tiny bit of lag as well compared to the fast mobile shooters out there (iPhone 5, Galaxy S4, HTC One).

Here are a few sample photos taken with the Lumia 720.

[nggallery id=57]
I also compared how it fares with the iPhone 5 for indoor low-light situations:

Lumia 720 low-light 01

Nokia Lumia 720 – bright under low-light conditions

iPhone 5 low-light 01

Same shot taken with the iPhone 5 and its 4:3 photo resolution

Lumia 720 low-light 02

Lumia 720 under low-light again, correct colors but too smooth due to processing

iPhone 5 low-light 02

Same shot with the iPhone 5, warmer tone but more details are left intact

There are instances when the Lumia 720 produces the correct colors but the iPhone 5 gives less noisier results. Still, the photos can hold up to its own and you gotta love the camera’s 16:9 resolution. You can also automatically sync photos you take with this phone to your Skydrive account.

Here’s a sample of a 720p video recorded with the Lumia 720.

Battery

Battery on the Lumia 720 is rated at 2000mAh but is not accessible due to its fixed body. Nokia claims that it can do up to 13 hours of talk time in a single charge which is quite impressive. In reality, I think that target is spot on.

I had WiFi always on (but not always connected), brightness on auto, there’s the moderate amount of text and calls, occasional photos, and a bit of YouTube, the Lumia 720 lasted me for about a day and a half with enough juice left to even probably go past 2 days! Battery life on the Lumia 720 is definitely above-average for smartphone standards.

Verdict

Nokia Lumia 720 14

The Nokia Lumia 720 retails for Php14,950 and is a smartphone that seem to find the perfect balance between design quality, specs and features, and price if Windows Phone 8 is your OS of choice. You’ll get a quality phone with a really good camera, excellent battery life, and Nokia’s exclusive suite of apps and reliable support. This is one Windows Phone 8 device that we don’t mind recommending.

Nokia Lumia 720 Specs:
4.3-inch TFT touchscreen (800 x 480 resolution), 217 ppi
Clear Black Display, Gorilla Glass 2
Dual-core 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8227 chip
Adreno 305 GPU
512MB RAM, 8GB internal storage, microSD up to 64GB
6.7MP BSI aurofocus f/1.9camera, Carl Zeiss optics, LED flash,
HD 720p video recording @ at 30 fps
1.3MP wide-angle HD front camera
HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, NFC
GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery (BP-4GW)
Windows Phone 8 OS
127.9 x 67.5 x 9 mm
128 g
Colors: White, Red, Yellow, Cyan/Black
SRP: Php14,950


  1. Sulit na ba sya or mas ok 820? there’s not much of a price difference eh…

    • the 1GB RAM is nice on the 820 but if you don’t need too much apps, the 720 should suit you better. like the weight of this phone compared to the 820. the 720 has longer battery life too.

  2. fireice2 says:

    This one has a better camera compared to the 820, thinner and lighter as well. The front facing camera is also great. When I tested the unit, the front facing camera is better than the one on my Lumia 920.

    but if you want LTE, 1GB ram, user replaceable battery, interchangeable shells, and AMOLED display, the Lumia 820 is the better choice.

  3. Griswold says:

    camera’s quite nice for a mid-ranger ha… not for the power user though. wp8 can still use a lot of improvements.

  4. Some stores retail it for only Pho 13,990. So far, it’s been a great phone for me. The camera does have a lag. And There’s not much diffierence of the current OS from Windows 7.8.

  5. Guys,

    What do you think is/are the advantages of the Nokia Lumias compared to Samsung and Apple? I can only see 2 things Camera and prize.

    I’m planning to get the 920.

    Any suggestion would be helpful.

  6. Anonymous says:

    AMOLED is not better than IPS and vice-versa…It is just a matter of your personal preference

  7. Anonymous says:

    if you are more concern on apps/games availability, then you better purchase an android phone…

  8. Ang ganda sana kaso medyo di ko afford ang phone na to sana magmura. Anyway thanks for sharing

  9. I hope this phone will come to a lower decent price, the nokia lumia 720 is a superb smart phone, because of it’s mid-range specs, i would like to have this one_^..

  10. Really want to have this phone! I think this phone is just perfect for me, price is a bit high but the quality it provides I think it got covered. Can’t wait to have this or the Lumia 625 next year. Save muna money.. Haha..

  11. Can you give me a list of popular apps that don’t work on 512MB plz? Apps that you know is enough.
    No need for games.
    Thx.

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