Back when Nokia announced the Lumia 720 alongside the Lumia 520 at the Mobile World Congress this year, I was pretty excited about it, seeing as I really liked the Lumia 820, and the 720 looked a lot like the 820, except it came with a camera that’s very good for phones in its price range. In short, I was looking forward to playing with as soon as possible.
That’s what I’d been using alongside my Galaxy Nexus for the past few weeks. We received the Yellow unit, and boy oh boy, it is a looker. I thought the colour would look a bit unprofessional in my office, but everyone who saw it, liked it.
With the Lumia 720, Nokia aims to take on the Galaxy devices, the Xperias and the Desire series from HTC with added help from the Lumia 620, which unfortunately seems to have been forgotten. Rightly so, but back to the Lumia 720. It comes in some nice colours, the standard Nokia spread of White, Black, Cyan, Yellow and Red. The Yellow looks the best among the lot, next being the one in White.
Talking about the device’s specs, it screams mid-range with its display size right away –
- Windows Phone 8
- 4.3″ IPS LCD display with ClearBlack technology, super sensitive, WVGA resolution (800×480)
- 1 GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 processor (MSM8227 and Adreno 305)
- 6.7 MP main camera, LED flash, 720p aka HD recording at 30 FPS; front facing wide-angle 1.3 MP camera
- 512 MB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, expandable with a microSD card up to 64 GB
- NFC, Bluetooth, Wireless charging, Wi-Fi b/g/n
- 2000 mAh battery
Starting with the most important part of a device – the display. The Lumia 720 comes with a 4.3″ TFT LCD display, with Nokia’s stellar ClearBlack technology. And as has been the trend so far with Lumia devices running on Windows Phone 8, Nokia has added the Super Sensitive mode to the Lumia 720 as well, so people in cold regions can still use the device with their hands in the gloves. I’d disabled it, since I live in an area where the sun shines as if there’s no tomorrow. Note that disabling it helps the battery.
The Lumia 720 comes with non user-removable battery, so you’ve to insert the microSIM and memory card by popping out the trays on the top and the left sides of the device. I always end up freaking out a bit when these delicate things are involved, scared that I’ll harm the damn thing, but it’s pretty sturdy on the Lumia 720.
The left side of the device is bare except for the memory card tray. On the top, there’s the SIM card slot, and the 3.5mm headphone jack, and that’s about it. The right side of the device is again the standard fare – there’s a volume rocker, the lock/power button, and the camera shutter key.
The bottom has the microUSB port and a mouthpiece, and on the back, there’s the camera sensor and the LED flash, besides the speaker near the lower end of it. And oh yes, there’s pretty neat Nokia and Carl Zeiss branding, too.
How does it look? My favourite Lumia design thus far. And that’s an understatement. It looks very pretty in yellow, and add the minimalism Nokia’s bringing in with its designs – great combination. Then, there’s the added beauty of Microsoft’s Metro design language. In short, great blend of colours, hardware design and the software design too.
The Lumia 720 comes with a wide F/1.9 aperture, supposedly the widest on a mobile phone yet. It’s a 6.7 MP camera, so there will be some grainy images, yes, but the colours are pretty good, and in my experience, they’re truer than say, the HTC (Windows Phone) 8X, the camera of which I want to forget.
Per usual, there were some images with a light yellowish tint, as seems to be a peculiarity with many Nokia phones. I haven’t included those in the samples below, because I could get more truer images of the same subjects after trying again.
Below are some images clicked in good light, low light and zero light, showing how the Lumia 720 performs in the said three conditions.
One of the most important concerns these days with smartphones is the battery life. Thankfully, the Lumia 720 is excellent in this department. It even exceeded my expectations, sometimes lasting more than 2 days.
To give you an idea of the backups I got, here are a couple of screenshots.
If you want to read more about Windows Phone 8 and the Nokia niceties in the Lumia devices, please check out our coverage in the Lumia 820 review.
The Lumia 720 lacks in a couple of departments, but I’ll cut some slack when it comes to the internal memory – it’s 8 GB, but the usable amount of memory comes down to ~6 GB. Still okay, seeing that you can expand it using a microSD card. However, the second area where the phone lacks is the RAM department – 512 MB. Sure, it is just about enough, but you’re going to have to let go of some apps, or as more likely will be the case, games. I haven’t found any app or a game that I’d want to use but couldn’t because of low RAM yet, though.
The second disadvantage of less RAM is the smoothness of operation, although it’s a combination of the processor, clock-speed and the GPU – in the Photos app, for example, the options animation is not smooth. I also found that many apps showed ‘Resuming..’ when I’d switch back to them by long-pressing the back button. There were some scrolling issues at times, however, it was smoother than what I experience on the Galaxy Nexus.
To top it off, the battery performance is excellent.
The camera, on the other hand, is very dandy for a device that costs INR 17-18,000. That’s about $300-325, unlocked.
My verdict – the Nokia Lumia 720, for its price, is a great device. If you’re looking to buy a new smartphone, give this one a serious consideration. And if you’re going for it, check out the Yellow and White versions, they look very good.