Review: Nokia Lumia 720

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While I hold this Nokia Lumia 720, I can’t help but recall all those years when I used a Nokia as my main phone. My first was a Nokia 1610, a phone that is almost the size of the Nokia 9000 Communicator, followed by these models: 5110, 6210, 6310, 6510, 3530, 6670,E61, and an N95 8GB which I let go, coincidentally, on this day 5 years ago.  I haven’t used a Nokia phone since then, so when our friends from Nokia Philippines loaned us a Nokia Lumia 720 for review, I was pretty stoked at the opportunity of using it as my main phone. It’s like a long lost friend I haven’t been with in years.

SPECIFICATIONS:

OS: Windows Phone 8

Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8227 Dual-Core Snapdragon

Display: 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches

Wireless Connections: HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC

Memory: 8 GB Internal Storage, expandable memory up to 64GB (Micro SD card), 512MB RAM

Connectors: MicroUSB

Camera: 6.7 Megapixels Carl Zeiss optics, 720p video recording at 30 frames per second with LED flash (Main), 1.3Megapixels with 720p video recording (Secondary)

Battery Capacity: 2000 mAh Li-Ion (non-removable)

SIM Card Slot: Micro-SIM

SRP: Php14,500.00  (Free on SUN Cellular Plan 900)

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Nokia Hardware

Nokia has been known for manufacturing phones with great hardware. A decade ago, fellow Windows Mobile fanboys had this thought – “what if Nokia’s great hardware is combined with the power of Microsoft’s mobile platform?” We all thought it would never, ever happen, until the 2011 announcement of Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia. Anyway, the body of the Nokia Lumia 720 feels pretty solid which is made of polycarbonate material. The edges of the Lumia 720 are curved, making it very comfortable for me to hold. Even with its solid structure, the Lumia 720 is a lightweight smartphone.

The size of the screen display is 4.3″ with a WVGA resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. If this is an Android device, I would have complained about its low resolution. However, it doesn’t seem to affect the appearance of most of the apps I’ve used. Its screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2 which is supposedly scratch resistant but after my unfortunate experience with the HTC Windows Phone 8X, I’d rather be careful with the screen this time. Colors look great on the Lumia 720’s screen that I’ve watched a few Mad Men episodes with it than on my MacBook Air. I also had no problems viewing the phone’s screen under the sun.

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Memory

The Nokia Lumia 720 has a buit-in storage  of 8GB which is not enough in today’s standards. Unlike the early Lumias, the 2013 models now support expandable memory cards up to 64GB. Good job Nokia! My issue with the Lumia 720 is the 512MB RAM. I experienced a few crashes on the phone  during my usage which I’ve never encountered with the HTC Windows Phone 8X.

Windows Phone 8 + Nokia Apps

This is the second time I’ve reviewed a smartphone with the Windows Phone 8 platform and I feel more comfortable using it now than before. Posting on my social media accounts is easy (it’s built-in without downloading Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn apps), Office Mobile (also built-in, no need to purchase) for my work-related docs and spreadsheets are some of the Windows Phone 8 features that made me appreciate the mobile platform.

Nokia added their own apps on the Lumia 720. Notable ones are Here Drive, City Lens, and Cinemagra.ph which is like their version of Instagram video. City Lens lets you find the nearest establishments or accommodations with Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Turn the app on, select an area of your search then aim the Lumia 720 to a particular direction as if you’re going to take a photo. You will then see the establishments and other places on the Lumia 720’s screen. If you place the phone on a table, the screen will automatically open the map with the location of those places. Cool isn’t it?

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Nokia Here Drive is a turn-by-turn voice guided navigation which can be used without mobile data. I have faith in Nokia maps, but I don’t have faith with the voice navigation. The instructions given to me by the app were always inaccurate and after 2 tries, I didn’t bother using it again.

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6.7 is an Unusual Set of Numbers

The Nokia Lumia 720 comes with a 6.7 Megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens at the back and a 1.3 Megapixel camera at the front. Don’t get distracted with the odd megapixel count. The camera takes great photos even in low-light conditions. I wish it can take photos fast like an iPhone 5 or a Samsung Galaxy S4. I also observed that the flash would go off whenever I take a photo, even if it was not turned on. I don’t know why it acts that way.

Here are some sample shots with the rear camera:

Outdoor Photo

Outdoor Photo

Indoor Photo

Indoor Photo

Another Indoor Photo

Another Indoor Photo

Indoor Photo with Flash

Indoor Photo with Flash

Here are some sample “selfies” with the 1.3MP front camera:

Selfie Outside

Selfie Outdoors

Selfie Indoors

Selfie Indoors

The front camera seems to have the ability to take wide-angled shots. The quality seems to be pretty good in certain conditions. I’d like to think people who love doing “selfies” will like the Nokia Lumia 720 for it.

Best Battery Life. Period.

Whenever I am being asked what I like about the Nokia Lumia 720, my first answer would always be its battery life. The battery capacity of the Lumia 720 is a massive 2000 mAh (non-removable) and that is very impressive for Windows Phone standards. I would average around 15 hours on busy days but it could go beyond a day with normal use. There were also a couple of times that I’ve experienced this kind of battery life as seen in the screenshot below.

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BOTTOMLINE

It’s not the same as all the Nokia phones I’ve used before, but I didn’t feel it that way. The familiar SMS tone and Nokia tones are still there, and I get a kick out of it whenever I receive a call or SMS. There were a couple of times I didn’t answer my phone calls so I could hear that Nokia ringtone in the year 2013. There are also a few more Nokia apps in the Lumia 720 that will help make you feel at home with it.

Despite of my wish for the phone to have a bigger RAM, I’m still very impressed with the Nokia Lumia 720. The SRP of Php 14,500 is quite affordable for its some of its high-end features too. So far, this is the only mid-range smartphone in the market I would love to recommend.

 

LIKES:

  • Best battery life for a smartphone.
  • Camera performance is very good.
  • Solid hardware.

DISLIKES:

  • 512MB of RAM only
  • Nokia Drive needs improvement with navigation
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