Home / Mobile / Mobile Phone / Nokia Lumia 720 / Windows Phone 8, Apps and Games

Nokia Lumia 720 - Windows Phone 8, Apps and Games

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Nokia Lumia 720 – Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 is Microsoft’s attempt to be as un-Microsoft as it can muster. It’s a quick and stylish-looking system that – like iOS – values the quality of the core user experience over flexibility.

It comes in two halves. The front page is a scroll of Live Tiles – these are colourful blocks that act as notifications for when you get new emails, links to your online social life and your favourite apps. For anyone who has used Windows Phone 7, the previous version of the OS, it’ll all seem eerily familiar. A key change is that Windows Phone 8 lets you create super-small Live Tiles for a more efficient home screen.Nokia Lumia 720 3

One of Windows Phone 8’s greatest successes is that it started to value practicality as well as being terribly stylish and sophisticated. This results in being able to transfer files without having to use irritating Zune software (as you did with Windows Phone 7), a lifting of the memory card ban of the previous version and a bunch of other bits and bobs that made Windows Phone more accessible – and made phones like the Lumia 720 possible.

The loosening of Windows Phone's restrictions in Windows Phone 8 hasn't seen a drop in quality, either. It's as snappy as ever, even if the 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU and 512MB are generally bettered by many £250 Android phones these days.

Nokia Lumia 720 demos

It remains something of a 'Marmite' system, though. Microsoft has forced the Windows Phone 8 user interface style into reams of third-party apps, and it doesn’t always lead to the most intuitive of app experiences.

Nokia Lumia 720 – Apps and Games

The Nokia Lumia 720 is limited to the apps selection you’ll find on the Windows Marketplace. This is not well equipped when compared to the stores of Android or iOS.

It has fewer apps, and the apps it does have tend to be less well-maintained than an iPhone’s. For example, the Facebook app is less feature-rich and intuitive – and it’s hardly great on iOS as it is.

Nokia Lumia 720

There are a few crackers pre-installed on the Lumia 720, though – the Nokia apps suite now known as Here, in order to let the apps sit on other phones more happily, gets top billing.

The most useful of the Here bunch for the majority of people will be Here Maps. This is Nokia’s Google Maps equivalent. It’s a solid mapping app with a killer feature – you can download maps of whole continents for use offline. Nokia Lumia 720 demos 1

It’s the perfect app for navigating on holiday without maxing-out a credit card with roaming charges.

There’s also an in-car GPS navigation app, which using the same mapping system but with an interface designed to be used in-car. These two Here apps are a solid reason to choose a Windows Phone 8 phone over a mid-range Android if you're looking to replace your GPS gadget with a phone - Google Maps doesn't let you cache map info in the same way.

Nokia Lumia 720 – Music and Video

There’s also a Nokia-made music interface in the Lumia 720. It’s called Nokia Music and gives you access to free music mixes made by Nokia, as well as a paid-for music store. Having free mixes to listen to is neat, but it’s the sort of attraction that’ll lose its shine once used a couple of times.

Nokia Lumia 720 demos 2

Windows Phone 8 also provides a more generic music and video player. It uses the same fancy UI found in the system’s app store and menu system. It’s fast and looks good.

Nokia Lumia 720 demos 3

Given how limited Windows Phone 7 mobiles were, the Nokia Lumia 720 offers solid multimedia skills too. Files can be dragged ‘n’ dropped onto the phone without any tiresome sync process, and it can handle videos other than the absolute basics off the bat, including DivX and Xvids. MKVs will need to be converted, but when transferring them using a PC, Windows offers to do this for you.

We recommend using headphones whenever possible, as while the mono internal speaker will do for the odd YouTube clip shared among friends, it doesn't raise its game above the smartphone doldrums.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Guest

February 25, 2013, 1:57 pm

Ram?

Moss Patiphan Choothong

February 25, 2013, 4:57 pm

512mb

testuser

February 26, 2013, 9:09 am

can we change back panels?

GaryMG

February 27, 2013, 10:01 pm

It's already on clove for £299.99.

Andrew_TR

March 1, 2013, 11:14 am

It's a unibody design, so no I'm afraid. The 820 and 620 use interchangeable backs, but the 720 is a better all-rounder than both (The Lumia 620 is a bobby bargain tho).

a5cent

March 21, 2013, 10:21 pm

Rather poorly researched review:

"Like so many current Nokia phones, the Nokia Lumia 720 has a ClearBlack screen. However, what this means varies depending on what phone you’re looking at – it’s a marketing term and little more in actuality."

This is entirely wrong. What ClearBlack refers to is precisely defined (polarizing light filters). Nokia has published a few whitepapers on it. ClearBlack display technology is great. Nokia holds the world record in low reflectivity displays because of it. The marketing term you are thinking of is likely PureMotion.

"but the low pixel density will become clear in apps that have less visual optimisation..."

I develop apps. The concept of some apps having 'less visual optimization' is, frankly, ridiculous. All text is rendered identically in every app.

"...Most notably, small text in the browser quickly becomes unreadable where it would be quite clear on something like the iPhone 5."

Yes, it becomes unreadable at text sizes most people would find too small to read one way or another. If someone has really good eyesight or prefers reading very small text, yes, then a higher resolution display is required. However, this device costs less than half of what an iPhone5 costs off contract. Comparing the two is a bit ridiculous.

"The most recent new addition to the Nokia app roster, though, is Nokia Music Plus, which is a Spotify alternative that costs"

Why not also mention that Nokia Music is one of the best FREE music streaming service available which includes offline capabilities, and then explain what extras you get for the subscription based Noka Music PLUS which costs $3 a month?

meerkat82

April 30, 2013, 1:34 pm

The screen isn't 4.5" it is 4.3" and voice guided navigation is limited to one country.
Why did Mix Radio become unappealing, was the selection poor?

hari

October 8, 2013, 10:14 am

how to stop automatic update

pooja

October 16, 2013, 7:47 am

why hangouts/ Gtalk not available in phn .....it should be there ....even we cannot upload the videos and audios in wats app ...

My face

October 22, 2013, 8:55 pm

Amazing phone

gaurav

November 4, 2013, 5:28 am

i m in dilemma which mobile to buy sony xperia L or lumia 720 ??

Ernesto Manríquez

January 22, 2014, 9:11 pm

Just got this phone on an amazing deal, $159. Amazing buy for that price. If you can get a discount on this phone. buy it.

comments powered by Disqus