Gadgetslab: Nokia Lumia 720

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Nokia Lumia 720

SPECIFICATIONS:
Operating System: Windows Phone 8
CPU: lGHzdual-core Qualcomm
Snapdragon 54 processor
LCD: 4.3in. IPS (800×480 resolution)
Physical Dimension: 127.9mm (H) x
67.5mm (W) x 0.9mm (D)
Weight: 128g
Internal Memory: 8GB (expandable via
microSD to up to 64GB)

WHAT’S HOT:
• Extremely lightweight
• Slim and sleek design
·Smooth performance
• Long battery life

WHAT’S NOT:
• No support for regular SIM card
• Native browser is Internet Explorer
·Screen is not HD
• Sound from speakers lack depth

BOTTOM LINE:
Its slim, lightweight, and sleek design coupled with its smooth performance and remarkable battery life make the Nokia Lumia 720 a mid-range Windows Phone 8-powered smartphone worthy of your consideration.

Nokia Lumia 720 2

For the longest time, I have spent no more than five minutes with each Windows Phone 8-powered smartphone that has come my way. The Lumia 720 is actually the first one that I have been able to use for a considerably lengthy period, and I initially found it strange that it was so light and slim, because I couldn’t remember any Lumia phone being this sexy and weightless. I spent my first day with the device incessantly rolling it over In my hand, instantly deciding that I liked it.

I took a liking to the plastic finish of the device as it felt nice and smooth against my palm. However, I felt that because of the super-smooth texture, the device lacked grip. This is why I greatly appreciated the size and shape of the device, which allowed me to hold it comfortably despite the slick finish, since I have rather small hands. If you’re not keen on the rounded comers of the 820 and 620, you’re in luck. The 720 has sharper edges compared to the two other devices.

Hardware controls include a power/ lock button, a volume rocker, and a dedicated shutter button that also launches the Camera app. For those who use regular SIM cards Oike me), you’ll be a bit disappointed to know that the device only supports microSIM cards. Accessing the microSIM slot is rather difficult, and you will need to use the little metallic pin that’s included in the box. The same goes for the microSD slot that’s hidden behind a similar door. It’s important for you to put the little pin in a nice, safe place (like your wallet) so that it doesn’t get lost. or else you’ll have a hard time gaining access to the slots. A microUSB port and a 35mm audio jack for plugging in your earphones are also available.

The interface is consistent with the standard Windows Phone 8 interface, so you automatically know what you’re getting when you boot the Lumia 720. Upon the lock screen ofthe Lumia 720, you will be able to see how many new texts, Facebook notifications, or emalls you’ve received while the screen was locked. Beyond the lock screen are the neatly laid-out Live liles, which you can customize, rearrange, resize and remove according to your liking. Swiping to the left reveals your Installed apps, listed alphabetically. If I could pinpoint one possible flaw In the interface, it would be the disappearing panel at the top of the screen. This panel lets you see the battery status, your connectivity and phone signal, as well as the current time. While navigating through the interface, these icons will not be visible, save for the time. To view them, you’d have to tap the top area ofthe screen. The phone only displays the icons for a minute or two, though.

Running on a 1 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 54 processor coupled with 512MB RAM, the Lumia 720 was able to perform smoothly. There were generally no hang-ups in apps, and navigation was easy-flowing.

The 4.3-inch display was equally responsive. In fact. the screen was one of the things I liked best about the Lumia 720. There was hardly any ghosting, I was able to operate it even while wearing gloves, and its fairly large real estate allowed me to see a decent amount of information on screen. While some of the folks at the office found the on screen keyboard too narrow, I felt that it was just right for the size of my thumbs. There were very few instances where I experienced mistyping.

For one’s browsing needs, on board the Lumia 720 was the Internet Explorer (IE) app. While the app may not have as good a reputation in the tech sphere as other browsers like Chrome, IE did a pretty good job serving its basic purpose. The app even lets you have multiple tabs, although the downside is that you’d have to launch the in-app menu to jump from one to the other.

The camera produces decent photos for web upload, especially when shooting with sufficient light. It’s pretty much the same thing for cameras in other smartphones, but I think that the photos produced by the Lumia 720 plooks better in low light, as the results I got were generally sharp. The 6.7-megapixel sensor and Carl Zeiss optics that are packed into the rear camera are to blame for the good-quality photos. The front-facing snapper, operating at 1.6 megaplxeis, does a pretty good job as well for video calls. The device also has a built-in flash right next to the rear camera. The list of options for video recording is a bit of a downer since the 720 only gives you two recording formats to choose from-720p MP4 and WVGA.

As far as camera options goes, the Lumia 720 lets you tweak standard settings like ISO, exposure value and white balance. it also allows you to install lenses within your Camera app. Three lenses are already pre-loaded into the device: CNN iReport, Bing Vision, and Smart Shoot.

Viewing videos on the Lumia 720 was a fairly pleasurable experience. Despite the device’s not-so-stellar resolution (800 x 480 at 217ppi), what I appreciate most is how the colors remain acceptably vivid even when the screen is viewed from the side or from a lower angle. The speakers are surprisingly loud, but I think the sound lacks depth. I wouldn’t say that it was tinny, but it sure wasn’t big on lows, and that’s a bit of a downer for those who listen to treble-heavy music.

In terms of storage capacity, the Lumia 720 hosts 8GB internal memory, as well as support for up to 64GB of expanded memory via microSD for all your music, photos, videos, files and applications.

One of my favorite features of the device is its remarkable life span of its 2000mAh battery. I am a moderate user-1 text a lot, I often make calls and listen to music, but I seldom use my smartphone to surf the Internet or to play games. At my rate of usage, I was able to make the most out of the Lumia 720 for roughly more than two days without having to charge it. Heavy users will probably consume a day and a half’s worth of battery. Wireless charging is supported, however, the retail package doesn’t come with the charging shell, so unless you buy one you’ll still have to use the microUSB cable and plug included in the box.

The Lumia 720 retails at PHP 14,599; a bit on the pricey end, if you ask me, considering that it’s the middle child of the Lumia family. Nonetheless, the Lumia 720 gets a nod from us, as it is an efficient smartphone with incredible battery life and smooth performance that will surely serve its master well. Plus, as I mentioned, it’s really sexy.

GadgetsLab .indd

First published in Gadgets Magazine, June 2013
Words by Racine Anne Castro