Before I go anywhere with this review I want to say that I haven’t used a Nokia device since owning one of their best ever handsets, the Nokia N95. The reason for that is not anything to do with disliking of Nokia, on the contrary I have always loved Nokia but being such a huge Android lover and with them choosing to stay away from that platform for initially a dated Symbian one and more recently Windows Phone, has really stopped me having the best of two things I like a lot.
In December this year I got myself an Windows Phone 8X by HTC, again this was a first for me, first time I had used a Windows Phone since Windows Phone was Windows Mobile. I was intrigued by the new design Microsoft had brought forward, how fresh it looked and how innovative the design of all the handsets in the Windows Phone 8 range were yet still I opted for the HTC handset. Why? Well even going back to when I used Windows Mobile, it was always HTC I had, right from my first the XDA IIi.
When Clove Technology asked me if I wanted to review a Nokia Lumia 720 I jumped at the chance. I really like Windows Phone 8 though the lack of major apps really gets me down, so this was a chance for me to look at the Nokia brand again without taking a huge risk and spending crazy amounts of money.
The question I have to answer in this review for myself though is this: Have Nokia kept with their impeccable build quality and have they done enough to win back my affection that was lost so long ago?
[toggle title=”Price & Where To Buy” state=”open” ]£299.99 from Clove Technology[/toggle]
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- Nokia Lumia 720 Handset
- UK Three Pin Charger
- USB to MicroUSB Cable
- Earbud Earphones
- Sim Removal Tool
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- Windows Phone OS Version 8.0.10211.204
There are very few differences to Stock Windows Phone 8 in terms of Apps installed at boot. The main differences are Angry Birds Roost, Creative Studio, HERE Drive, HERE Maps, Nokia Music and Smart Shoot.
Like all Windows Phone 8 handsets, the Microsoft Store has been customised with the OEM’s very own apps (or recommended apps). In this case it’s named Nokia Collection.
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It’s difficult to say how good a camera is on a mobile phone as there are now so many variations and takes on what’s hot and what’s not however Nokia have been using Carl Zeiss optics for some time now and for some people they are regarded as some of the best lenses in the industry.
I decided to take images at my daughters birthday party, mainly to show how the camera performs in the “right environment”. For me the right environment as a parent is capturing my kids being kids.
As you can see from a number of these images, the photo’s are blurry and the focus is way off. Admittedly the room lighting wasn’t perfect however I expected a lot more from this device than it delivered.
In terms of video, at 720p I really can’t complain. As mentioned above, the lighting in this room wasn’t great, there were disco lights, mirror balls and UV lights so I thought that the video wouldn’t turn out too great… I was wrong.
[toggle title=”Display” state=”close” ]With a 4.3 inch LCD (480 x 800 pixels & 217 ppi) the handset isn’t the best in it’s field however to the naked eye, this handset has an immense display, especially with the brightness set to maximum. The one thing that impressed me was just how well and bright the colours looked. I played a number of games with the handset (probably one of the better aspects of Windows Phone in general) and on none of the games did I feel like I was lacking anything from a higher resolution device.
[toggle title=”Performance” state=”close” ]Judging the performance of a handset is a matter of personal preference as we each use our device in different ways. Some people like to take photo’s all day long (my wife), some people like to play games all day long (Chris), other people like to browse Facebook, Twitter and Google+ like they are Sky News but for me, I think I’m an all round user as I seem to do all 3 of the mentioned styles (in abundance)
The one thing that stood out for me in terms of performance was the speed in which the device moved. Fluid and Fast would be two words I would have used if asked about this aspect.
With a 1GHz CPU, the device is not by any means the most powerful on the marked however it never once struggled or buckled under pressure and I believe I gave it a fair old beating usage wise.
One noteable issue with the device however is the heat that it generates when you play games. I played for around an hour on Civilization and the device became so hot that I had to stop playing and leave it down for a while. Yes this is a sign of the CPU being put to work quite intensively however lets not forget, this is a Dual Core CPU at 1GHz which is being put to the max by games and unlike a lot of devices that don’t use the CPU very well, you can tell that the 720 really does use every part of that CPU available to give the best user experience.
Moving on to the battery then. Quite simply put I have never used a device in the past 3 years with a battery as great as the one on the 720. I decided to put that to the test by using the HTC 8X for 2 hours solid Civilization gaming then the 720 for 2 hours solid Civilization gaming and let me tell you, the difference was astonishing.
The HTC 8X after 2 hours was down to less than half of the batter (about 43%) whereas the Lumia 720 hung strong with a batter level of 76% .
Overall, in terms of performance, this device is one of the best I have used in recent years.
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- Battery Life
- Video Recording
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- Cheap Feel
- Usage Heat Generated
At the start of this review I asked if I could be bought over by Nokia again and the answer is yes. If this is how a device performs at the middle of the device table then I can’t wait to try a device at the top.
Whilst the camera isn’t the best in the world and the CPU is put through it’s paces there simply isn’t a device on the market that can handle what threw at this one and come out looking so good.
When and if Nokia ever decide to move to the Android Market I can see them taking their place as my number 1 again though it would be a difficult decision to make given my love for HTC.