Nokia Lumia 720 review and latest prices
We review the Nokia Lumia 720, a mid-range Windows Phone device with a big presence
Nokia might have been a bit late to the party but it now has a Windows Phone-powered Lumia for every occasion. At the bottom you have the £99 Lumia 520 and at the very top you have the chunky-monkey that is the Nokia Lumia 920.
But it’s in the middle where things start to get interesting, especially when you’re talking about Lumia handsets. The Lumia 720 is pitched as a mid-tier device, slotting in somewhere between the Lumia 620 and Lumia 820, with its £250 [ish] price tag.
On paper the Lumia 720 doesn’t sound all that great having much the same spec as last year’s Nokia Lumia 620: 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and no LTE. In the flesh it’s a different story entirely – the Nokia Lumia 720 looks utterly superb with its angular body, polycarbonate plastic shell, and slim proportions.
Is the Nokia Lumia 720 the best Lumia yet? Find out below.
Nokia Lumia 720: Design
“It looks like a flagship!”
That was our immediate reaction upon seeing the Lumia 720 following its launch at Mobile World Congress 2013 back in February. Two months later, we feel exactly the same. For us, the Lumia 720 is by far the best-looking handset Nokia has produced since it started making Windows Phone devices.
Like many, we found the Lumia 920 unwieldy and cumbersome. We also didn’t appreciate its glossy polycarbonate finish and sharp angular edging. With the 720, Nokia seems to have taken elements from both the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, melded them together, and has somehow created something far more appealing.
The 920’s glossy polycarbonate exterior is gone in favour of a grippier matte finish, and Nokia has shaved down the proportions significantly. Measuring in at 127.9x6.5x9mm and weighing just 128g, the Lumia 720 is a whole 57g lighter than the [185g] Lumia 920.
Our test handset was red but you will be able to pick up the 720 in a selection of colours – red, cyan, yellow, and black – direct from Nokia. On looks alone we cannot fault the Lumia 720, it has everything you’d expect from Nokia on a good day plus a whole lot more.
Nokia Lumia 720: Screen
It’s a 4.3-inch IPS LCD 800x480 pixel display complete with Nokia’s thoroughly excellent ClearBlack screen technology.
WVGA doesn’t sound all that great, we admit, especially with Full HD 1080p panels now being the norm, but the Lumia 720’s setup does not disappoint. In fact it’s actually rather impressive given the pitch and price point of the device.
Blacks are super deep thanks to Nokia’s ClearBlack screen technology, often blending right in with the bezel. Viewing angles are also impressive as is the depth and vivacity of colour generated by the 720’s humble WVGA display.
There is pixilation, of course, as you can see in the above shot. And you will notice a lack of clarity when reading articles online, with text appearing undefined until you zoom in, for instance, but overall the 720’s setup is a cut above the rest.
Add to that its sunlight sensor, which adjusts the display accordingly when used in direct sunlight, and the fact you can use the touchscreen with a pair of gloves on and the pros unanimously outweigh the cons here. Kudos, Nokia
Nokia Lumia 720: Operating System and UX
Windows Phone 8 is a rather divisive platform.
Some users are head over heels in love the platform preferring it to both Android and iOS, while others vehemently despise Microsoft’s vision for how mobile phones should work, lamenting the lack of applications, slow app-booting times, and rather rigid approach to UX design.
Windows Phone cannot yet compete with Android and iOS when it comes to applications and games. We think Microsoft and Nokia know this which is why both companies have made a concerted effort to create literally tons of unique features for the platform – many of which you cannot get anywhere else.
Features like Xbox Music, Nokia Music, HERE Drive, HERE Maps, Office, One Note, and Nokia’s market-leading camera technology, as well as things like its ClearBlack display tech and across the board advocacy of NFC, ensure Windows Phone isn’t just good but is actually a viable and rewarding alternative to iOS and Android.
There is a learning curve when you come over from Android or iOS, and there are core applications missing like Dropbox, Drive, and Tumblr, but you can easily find ways around these issues by adopting services like Microsoft’s Sky Drive, Office 365, and syncing your PC’s IE browser with IE on your phone.
Whether you’ll want to do all of that, however, is entirely up to you. Most of the Know Your Mobile team is heavily invested in Android and have found the switch to Windows Phone a little trying at times, but we won’t go into that here.
On the whole, we'd sum Windows Phone up as follows: if you’re a platform agnostic like the vast majority of the globe’s buying public then switching to Windows Phone will not bother you one iota. As a platform it offers excellent functionality, robust services, and seamless performance across the board.
For media it’s excellent and offers lots of choice in the form of services like Spotify, Netflix, Xbox Music, and Nokia Music to name but a few. And while many – including this particular reviewer – will miss some aspects of iOS and Android, even the most secular of users can find a lot to love about Windows Phone.
|Screen Colours||16 million|
|UK Launch||April 2013|