Nokia Lumia 720 review

Reviews 7 Jun, 2013

The budget Windows Phone that still packs a punch.

3
Price: 
£250 SIM-free
Pros: 
Excellent build quality and design; Brilliant camera; Display is sharp, bright and colourful
Cons: 
App ecosystem lacklustre; No 4G
Verdict: 
A well designed and beautifully crafted smartphone, which packs a stunning camera for the price point. Windows Phone 8 is its Achilles heel, however. If you want a good smartphone with above average capabilities basics and don’t want to pay the earth this may well be it. If you’re hoping for an app-rich experience look to Android, BlackBerry and iOS.

Nokia’s Lumia 720 is a mid-range marvel. The handset takes the best bits from the Finnish firm's high-end Lumia models such as the camera and squeezes it into a smaller, affordable form factor. But is the Windows 8 device worth the investment?

Design

Our review unit came in a vibrant shade of fire-engine red and was comfortable to hold thanks to its lightweight (128g)  and thin case (9mm). But it was also solid thanks to its unibody construction. The plastic isn’t quite up there with the Lumia 920’s premium polycarbonate but it’s still on a level way above much of the competition and which is also rather gratifying at this price point.

Nokia has taken the same approach the Romans took when building forts, by keeping all exterior features identical to its other models. This gives the 720 a familiar look and feel to users who may have handled a Windows Phone handset. Along the right-hand side you’ll find all the physical control keys - a volume rocker towards the top, a power button below that, near the centre, and, because this is a decent camera phone, a dedicated shutter button towards the bottom. All have a satisfying level of feedback to them and both power and volume controls are easily accessed when holding the phone in either hand.

On the bottom edge is the micro USB port, helpfully situated for those of us who like using charging docks so that it stands the right way up, and on the top there’s a 3.5mm audio jack. There are also two pop-out trays operated with a key (or paper clip) for SIM and micro SD cards.

Display

Where the excellent bodywork ends an admirable display picks up the baton. It’s a 4.3in IPS LCD with an 800 x 480 pixel resolution at 217 pixels-per-inch (ppi) which produces sharp, clear visuals and boasts impressive brightness and viewing angles.

Colours are rich without being oversaturated and while Nokia’s ClearBlack layer helps with creating better image quality, overall black depth isn’t the best we’ve seen from the manufacturer. This is due to the ClearBlack and Amoled being combined. In terms of contrast and black depth it is still very good for an LCD, while whites are particularly vivid.

We found the screen was well suited to outdoor use, though you will get reflections, the brightness levels and colour does show through enough that you can actually do things with it in bright sunlight. The display also supports super-sensitive touch, meaning you can use it with gloves.

 

Specifications: 

OS: Windows Phone 8
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1GHz
RAM: 512MB Storage: 8GB + 7GB Cloud + micro SD up to 64GB
Screen: 4.3in WVGA 800 x 480
Connectivity: WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3, NFC
Others: Magnetometer, A-GPS, A-GLONASS
Dimensions: 128 x 68 x 9mm (WxDxH)
Weight: 128g

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Disqus - noscript

You just lost all your credibility saying that blackberry offers more apps than windows phone. :/

Paul have you been looking at your sources lately??
If you’re hoping for an app-rich experience look to BlackBerry!!!!!!!
BTW Windows Phone is a rocking phone with a solid platform!

I feel that giving the 720 a bad rating on the grounds of app availability is a little beside the point; everyone knows WP can't compete with Android and iOS on the number of apps availbale (yet), so there's no need to fault the individual phone for this. The 720 should be reviewed as a WP, and let it be up to the reader whether this should detract from the specific score.
An example: Some people don't care much for a plethora of apps, while others can't live without the wide selection. Likewise, some people are indifferent to iTunes, while others detest the fact that you're basically being forced to interact with iTunes in order to use an iPhone. I've never seen any reviewer give the iPhone fewer stars because of this restriction, however, and rightly so; it's inherent in the OS, and it's up to the reader to decide whether it's good, bad or irrelevant.

Are you kidding

Blackberry is a horrendous phone - i know i used to be A Besadmin - the blackberry imho will cease to exist within the next 5 years!

Horrendous bootup times

Lockups and numerous issues requireing a battery pull which fixes most blackberry issues

Poor antivirus support

Poor and limited apps store

Constant requirements to upgrade blackberry store

Annoying sync problems with desktop manager

There is more....