Feeds
Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8

Review: Nokia Lumia 720

Ah, a battery life just like the old days

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Nokia completed its Windows 8 range with two new models recently, including this midrange offering the 720. With a choice of five Lumias it's now clearer to see what Nokia hopes to achieve.

The 720 strikes me as the Ford Cortina of the Lumias, a well made mass market compact. The 720 has everything going for it except, perhaps, its price - and by the time you read this that might have changed.

Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8

The Cortina of callers: Nokia's Lumia 720

Style-wise it's another strong product - resembling the tapered unibody design of the HTC Windows models. It's very thin and light, much more comfortable to hold and put in your pocket than its bigger siblings. It's also 32g lighter than the Lumia 820, and boy, do you appreciate every gramme. The 720 is available in red, cyan and yellow as well as black and white - the red that Nokia has deployed here is less aggressive than other models, and the polybicarbonate casing more matte, and therefore less slippy. The 720 permits hot swappable removable MicroSD cards for expansion - which you'll need, with just 8GB (5GB free) on board.

The engine inside the phone is the more modest dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8227, with 512MB of RAM - the combination found in the 520 and 620 Lumias. This flies through everyday tasks. In practice you rarely notice the difference between this and the Lumia 920's 1.5GHz Snapdragon brain.

Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8

Goodbye pointy corners, the rounded form factor adorns most of the Lumia range now

For instance, you may notice that with several web pages loaded, models with the lower spec (including this one) may not maintain the page when you switch away, obliging a page reload when you return to the browser app. Other than that Windows Phone lives up to its reputation as the most smooth, fast and functional smartphone OS. The memory ceiling here may prove to be rather low for some games. Temple Run, for example, requires 1GB of RAM.

What's missing is support for LTE - but we've yet to see competitive tariffs in the UK for 4G, so this may not affect you too much. Data performance on DC-HSPA (indicated by the H+ symbol) was terrific on 3's network, and where I could find it, T-Mobile and Vodafone's too. This gives you download speeds very close to 4G speeds, but without the cost and power penalties, or the bugs.

Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8

Customised homescreen and Nokia's Glam Me app

The headline-grabber on the 720 is the battery life. I found this to be the first Windows phone to make it comfortably into a third day on a single charge. That's thanks to the 2000mAh battery used in the 920, and the Lumia's much more conservative CPU. I achieved this by setting my two ActiveSync calendars to push and every 30 minutes (respectively), with one IMAP email account set to check every 30 minutes and the others set to manual retrieval. NFC and Bluetooth were turned off.

I could conceivably have stretched the battery even longer. This is massively impressive. Newer Android models with larger batteries barely make it past 6pm. Nokia claims a talktime of 23 hours on GSM and over 13 hours on 3G.

Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone 8

The screen performs well in sunlight which is handy for the Smartshooting camera features

I am a fan of Nokia's OLED screens, but the 720 here uses a cheaper and more conventional IPS display. The deep colours aren't as rich as an OLED but the more muted hues work better in practice, they're more legible on Windows Phone where the theme tint is used by applications for emphasised text, and the 720 performed really well in sunlight. Or whatever passes for sunlight in April in the UK.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Put on a charge

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.