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Nokia Lumia 720 Windows 8 Phone Review

Written By Pinoy Tekkie on Linggo, Hunyo 30, 2013 | 6:27 PM


Styled similar to the Nokia Lumia 800, the less cute but classier looking Nokia Lumia 720 is a feel solid mobile phone with Windows 8 OS using a plastic body unlike the traditional smartphones. However, it looks and feels like high-end and as a swanky metal one with its unibody-style design. Industrial design has always been Nokia's strength, and with the 720, the company seems to have outdone itself.

Its colour saturated polycarbonate frame makes it seems like scratch-proof as scratches will not be very evident. Fingerprints are no issue with the 720, with the body as well as the screen remaining practically smudge free. 

The back plate cannot be removed and access to slots is allowed via little trays that pop-out with the help of a paperclip. The body is all smooth curves and soft-touch finish, giving it a great in-hand feel.

 
Key Features:
 
Unibody design;
Windows Phone 8 OS;
4.3-inch 480 x 800 pixel IPS screen; 
Dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8227; 
8GB internal memory, expandable; 
6-megapixel camera with LED flash




There are three buttons along the right edge lined up. The power button lies right under your thumb, the volume rocker just above it and the camera shutter button down the other end, similarly where it’d be positioned in a compact camera.


There are two pop-out slots here, one for the microSD on the left edge and another for the microSIM memory card, on the top edge.

Hardware connections are limited to just a microUSB slot and 3.5mm headphone jack alongside the memory card slot.

There’s just 8GB of internal memory, only 5.5GB of which you have access to store and play music, games or videos on your phone.


It has Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi hotspot creation and integrated cloud storage through Microsoft’s Skydrive service.




The Lumia 720 is stuck with 480 x 800 pixels. This is quite low for a 4.5-inch screen like the Lumia 720’s. Native areas in the operating system don’t look too bad as Windows Phone 8 employs text smoothing to mitigate the rubbish resolution.

Thanks to the Nokia Lumia 720’s IPS panel, it makes the display quality somewhat decent . However, it seems to use some form of image sharpening that creates some harsh-looking aftefacts in high-contrast images.

Third-party apps and browsing show up the blocky pixelated screen clearly. Microsoft’s best efforts in text smoothing can’t mask that the Google Nexus 4, which comes at a similar price, is much sharper and has well over twice the number of pixels.




The back of our Nokia Lumia 720 has a NOKIA logo sits back in the middle, with the bottom part having three wireless charging pins and barely legible certification info as well as the text Made in China embossed.

A speaker grill sits on the bottom left corner. The sound from the loudspeaker on the back of the phone gets muffled when the phone is lying face up.

A 6.7-megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics rear-camera lens in the centre right next to the LED flash. The camera takes good photos outdoors when there's plenty of light. The colours look natural and don't appear saturated or artificial in any way. However, pictures clicked under bright artificial lights appear a little washed out.

The camera software lets you tweak a few settings for still pictures like Scenes (Auto, Close-Up, Night, Portrait, Night Portrait, Sports, Backlight), ISO, Exposure Value, White Balance, Aspect Ratio, and Focus Assist Light.


We had mixed results with the bundled Smart Lenses like Smart Shoot, Cinemagraph, Nokia Glam Me, Panorama and Bing Vision. The Cinemagraph (create GIFs from images) and Nokia Glam Me (add effects to images) are gimmicky at best, they work as advertised. However, when you come to Smart Shoot and Panorama, things get a bit rough.

Smart Shoot is Nokia's much advertised feature that detects faces - and other objects - and lets you do things like removing unwanted things from a photo and/ or mix and match 'faces' from a series of photos taken in the same setting. While this makes for a great demo, real life results leave a lot to be desired, as the phone failed to detect many faces in a group photograph.

Panorama is a horrible implementation of what has become a standard feature in most phones. Instead of holding up your phone and just moving it around to take a Panorama, NOKIA chose to go a peculiar way. Click a photograph and watch it appear on the left most corner of your screen and stay there. You are then expected to align this picture with the real world view that you see on your screen, and when the two are perfectly aligned, click another one. And so on, so that the phone can 'stitch' these photos together. This definitely feels like an implementation from a bygone era that people are unlikely to put up with to click Panoramas from their Nokia Lumia 720.

Of course, the 720 is not the only phone that suffers from these drawbacks, as the other Windows Phone 8 members of the Lumia family use the same lenses.

In case you are wondering, Bing Vision can be used to scan QR codes and Microsoft tags.

The Lumia 720 is capable of recording only 720p video, which may disappoint the spec crazy, but is unlikely to be missed by most. There's no fancy stuff like image stabilisation - as found in the Lumia 920 - still, the smartphone is capable of taking decent videos. The built-in mic does a capable job of picking up the sounds, and the audio quality is good as well.

The 1.3-megapixel front camera can record 720p videos. Like most front cameras, it does a good job for video chats, and still photography in well-lit conditions, but leaves a lot to be desired in dim lights.

Its appeal is only slightly negated by its seemingly high price and the known limitations of lower-end Windows mobiles. There isn't much room for customisation, other than preloading certain apps. Similar to its other Windows Phone 8-running Lumia cousins, the 720 comes with a host of pre-installed apps like BIGFLIX (entertainment), BookMyShow (booking tickets), Cosmopolitan (lifestyle magazine), HERE Drive, HERE Maps, Hike (messaging), Nokia Music, TripAdvisor (travel), and Zomato (food/ restaurants guide).

Another disappointing aspect of the Lumia 720 is the 512MB RAM, which means you couldn't even install games like Temple Run that need 1GB RAM.

Overall, I would recommend it only if Nokia will lower its price as there would be other smartphones with similar features and durability but better pricing.
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