We sincerely hope Nokia takes its next flagship in the same design direction as it’s adopted here. The Lumia 720, for us, is representative of Nokia at its very best.
Still, we’ve already praised the Lumia 620 for punching above its station, so does the 720 really carve out enough of a difference to make it worth consideration?
Nokia Lumia 720: Hardware
Nokia’s familial design language is clear in the Lumia 720, and it’s one of the more pleasing handsets to look at and hold in the company’s range. Narrower sides but wider top and bottom bezels make for a android smartphone that’s slimmer but longer than the Lumia 820 it most closely resembles, though the 720 shaves 0.9 mm off the depth (taking it down to 9 mm).
Bare, it’s a sturdy unibody with a smooth, matte finish; the red of our review unit is particularly fetching, but Nokia will also offer the 720 in white, cyan, yellow, and black. A Micro SIM-tray on the upper edge means Nokia can keep the back cover fixed – which also means no removable battery – while on the right side there’s the usual volume rocker, power/lock key, and camera shortcut. A microUSB port is on the bottom edge, and finally another pop-out tray on the left for a microSD card slot (to add to the 8GB of internal storage).
Nokia Lumia 720: Design
That was our immediate reaction upon seeing the Lumia 720 following its launch at Mobile World Congress 2013 back in February. Two months later, we feel exactly the same. For us, the Lumia 720 is by far the best-looking handset Nokia has produced since it started making Windows Phone devices.
Like many, we found the Lumia 920 unwieldy and cumbersome. We also didn’t appreciate its glossy polycarbonate finish and sharp angular edging. With the 720, Nokia seems to have taken elements from both the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, melded them together, and has somehow created something far more appealing.
Nokia Lumia 720: Screen
It’s a 4.3-inch IPS LCD 800x480 pixel display complete with Nokia’s thoroughly excellent ClearBlack screen technology.
WVGA doesn’t sound all that great, we admit, especially with Full HD 1080p panels now being the norm, but the Lumia 720’s setup does not disappoint. In fact it’s actually rather impressive given the pitch and price point of the device.
Blacks are super deep thanks to Nokia’s ClearBlack screen technology, often blending right in with the bezel. Viewing angles are also impressive as is the depth and vivacity of colour generated by the 720’s humble WVGA display.
Nokia Lumia 720: Operating System and UX
Windows Phone 8 is a rather divisive platform.
Some users are head over heels in love the platform preferring it to both billige smartphones and iOS, while others vehemently despise Microsoft’s vision for how mobile phones should work, lamenting the lack of applications, slow app-booting times, and rather rigid approach to UX design.
Windows Phone cannot yet compete with Android and iOS when it comes to applications and games. We think Microsoft and Nokia know this which is why both companies have made a concerted effort to create literally tons of unique features for the platform – many of which you cannot get anywhere else.