The Nokia Lumia 720 review

[Review] Nokia Lumia 720 – Part 2: Software, performance, battery life, wrap-up

This post continues where we left off in Part 1 of the Nokia Lumia 720 review, where we touched on Design and Build, Key Features and Camera. Read on for more.

Software

When it comes to buying a phone, the OS platform is the deciding factor for most. And if Windows Phone 8 (WP8) is your choice, then making the final decision on hardware is considerably easier as compared to Android (due to the sheer number of devices).

Let’s face it. Nokia makes great hardware. All that the Nokia hardware needs is a good OS to run on top of it. Nokia, of course, is the face of Windows Phone. To give credit where its due, Microsoft has done a brilliant job in building an efficient, fluid and simple mobile OS that runs great on what can be considered mid-range hardware. Android would never run this well on similar specs, to be honest.

Unique to WP8 is Live Tiles on the Start Screen, customisable and very simple to use. What I do like most about WP8 is it makes it very easy to view social/news feeds, and post updates on Facebook and Twitter, two of my most used apps. So simple in fact, you do not need to fire up any app to post these updates.

What sets Nokia apart from other WP8 devices is Nokia’s own suite of applications. Aside from Angry Birds, the most unwelcomed bundled app in all the Lumia devices (sorry, Angry Birds diarrhoea), the suite of Nokia apps and Microsoft Office are highly welcomed.

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Nokia’s mapping and navigation apps – HERE Maps and HERE Drive are excellent.

To install more apps, you can easily visit the Windows Store to access to over 120,000 WP8 apps currently available. Nokia also has a curated section called the Nokia Collection within the Windows Store. Do note that due to the limited RAM of the Lumia 720, you may not get the full breadth of apps. Some apps have a minimum requirement of 1GB of RAM.

The Nokia Lumia 720 review
Lumia 720 and Lumia 520

Performance

Despite its mid-range specs on paper, the Lumia 720 performs commendably on most fronts. Windows UI is fluid and responsive in general. I still think WP8 needs to rethink and revamp its notifications engine though, but this of course has little to do with the hardware. Notifications for apps like WhatsApp just lags most of the time.

In terms of network and call quality, performance is as expected. Audio quality for calls and media is good.

Battery life

It’s a pleasant surprise that Nokia has packed a high-capacity battery inside the mid-range Lumia 720. During daily use, the device kept running till the end of the day on a single charge. Nokia quotes 13 hours of talk time with 520 hours of standby. Impressive.

Specs at a glance

Dimensions

  • Height: 127.9 mm
  • Width: 67.5 mm
  • Thickness: 9 mm
  • Weight: 128 g
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Display

  • Display size: 4.3 ”
  • Display technology: ClearBlack, IPS LCD
  • Touch screen technology: Super sensitive touch

Photography

  • Main camera sensor: 6.7 MP

Power management

  • Maximum talk time (2G): 23.4 h
  • Maximum talk time (3G): 13.4 h
  • Maximum standby time (3G): 520 h
  • Maximum music playback time: 79 h
  • Wireless charging: Yes, with accessory cover

Pricing and Availability

Nokia cut the price of the Lumia 720 to MYR899 in August, from its original launch price of MYR999. Comes in a choice of colours – White, Blue, Red, Yellow and Black. Available at all Nokia Stores and authorised dealers.

Pros

  • Brilliant camera
  • Good display
  • Good overall performance
  • Like a 920, only slimmer and lighter
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Limited RAM
  • Aging specs
  • Could use with faster processor
  • No LTE

Verdict

The Lumia 720 is another solid effort from Nokia. The mid-ranger is a commendable performer despite its ageing hardware. The new camera module and big battery is a highlight, complemented with the signature Lumia design and slim and light form factor. The only real drawback is the limited RAM and the lack of LTE.

The new price makes it an attractive buy and I would recommend this over the LTE-enabled 820 based on overall value.

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