Nokia Lumia 720: A pricey mid-ranger

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Nokia-Lumia-720Nokia Lumia 720 is the second windows phone we are reviewing for Bytes. Though it was launched nearly 9 months ago, still in Bangladesh the set is fairly new. It came in the market as a high-end phone but now it’s considered a mid-range product. Some features of this phone are mesmerizing yet some are infuriating. So without further ado, let’s jump in to the review:

Let’s first throw away the thought of the price and specs for a while and look at the brilliant design of the handset. It comes with a solid build quality and polycarbonate unibody design. There are several buttons on one side i.e. volume rocker, power-2 -sleep button and camera shutter, whereas 3.5mm headphone jack is on top as others. The thickness is 9mm; a perfect size that’s easy to slip into even in your tightest pockets yet gives you a feel that you are carrying something bold and precious.

Coming to display, we have one simple word to describe it: Awesome! The fabulous 4.3-inch IPS touchscreen is protected with Scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. The pixel counts are: 800×480 which is slightly below the HD range and delivers 217 pixels per inch. The Lumia 720’s resolution might be a bit disappointing but still the display is sharp, clear. The responsivity is high too. So is the sensitivity of the display. You can even use the display wearing gloves, a feature found in high end smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S4.

Next comes, the performance of the handset. The phone is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and backed by 512MB RAM making it an obvious mid-ranger in this market. Some might find it underpowered compared to Android handsets in the market, but that’s just half the story. Windows’, very similar to Apple, has streamlined architecture meaning the underdog can perform like the alpha-dog!  Most Apps run smoothly without slowing down a bit. Although web pages and HD games can be played with some sluggish delay which is at some point acceptable. It delivered an AntuTu performance benchmark rating of 7,628, which puts it behind Samsung III but ahead of others like the Sony
Xperia T.

The apps eco-system of Windows Marketplace is far to less rich to go on any comparison with Google Play or Apple’s App Store, but the essentials like Facebook, Twitter, What’s app and others can be found very easily. It has 140,000 apps now (compared to millions in android) and it’s growing steadily — it may be the last platform on developers’ list of choice, but at least the apps are being created, eventually.

The camera in this handset is great. Picture quality is very good, great in daylight for taking snaps, with sharp edges and accurate colors. Not too great for nightlight though. The video camera can deliver a decent performance, recording 720p video @ 30fps. The front facing 1.3 MP camera performs well enough to attend any Selfie contests out there.
The battery in this thing is a non-removable 2,000mAh one Generally in an android, 2000mAh can hold up to a day’s juice max. But Microsoft’s OS optimizes the battery consumption in the device making it last an entire good day-and-a-half, which actually is great. 720 also has Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, Bluetooth 3.0 and integrated cloud storage through Skydrive service of Microsoft. Probably the only thing missing is 4G, which really doesn’t mean anything to us in Bangladesh. It has 8GB memory on board, which is OK for starter. You also get access to 7GB of space in skydrive with this handset for free.

THE VERDICT

Nokia Lumia 720 is a very good performing smartphone, no doubt on that. Albeit there are tons of android alternative in the market, still if you’re really in to Windows OS then this certainly is worth considering. It’s got some brawny set of features, a mediocre design and generous screen giving you a simple yet innate experience when using. Windows Phone 8 especially with the more recent updates runs smooth making your experience a sheer joy. Both the cameras allow you to take solid snaps – although lighting could be a consideration especially in night times. You could try downloading some extra lenses to improve the quality of the snaps. Now comes the list of disappointments. The back cover might feel a bit cheap to some of you.  The 512 MB RAM makes you stumble more than once when trying to open some necessary apps. The Dual core processor also finds hard to run some HD games. If really want to buy this phone then be ready to bear this mindset “games are for looser, and I don’t see the point of using these demanding apps”.

SPECS

Display: 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~ 217 ppi pixel densities) IPS LCD with gorilla glass 2
Platform: Microsoft Windows Phone 8, upgradeable to WP8 Black
Processor: Dual-core 1 GHz
ROM: 8 GB,
RAM:  512 MB RAM
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, EDGE, NFC etc
Camera: Primary: 6.1 MP, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, Secondary:  1.3 MP, 720p@30fps
Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery
Price: Tk. 24,999/-