We’ve already established that the Lumia 720 is Nokia’s best effort as far as Windows Phone 8 handsets go. This could soon change once the Lumia 925 hits markets, but as it stands now, the Lumia 720 offers the best blend of features and performance, wrapped in a beautiful package that’s quite affordable. The only limiting factor we saw during our brief stint with the phone was the limiting 512MB RAM. But how much of a deal breaker is it? Let’s find out.
Design and build
The Lumia 720 features a polycarbonate unibody design, just like the Lumia 920 – only this time it’s slimmer, lighter and much better to hold. The 4.3-inch display has a much slimmer bezel as well as width, making it one of the slimmest Lumia’s at just 9 mm and super light at 128 g. The ClearBlack display blends seamlessly with the rest of the chassis, giving it a very elegant look.
The button placement is very similar to the other Lumia’s; we have the volume rocker, power/sleep and the camera shutter all lined up along on one side. The button size and tactile feel is very good and it’s easy to figure out which one is which by just a simple touch. There’s a microUSB port at the bottom, microSD card slot on the side followed by the microSIM slot and headphone jack on the top. Around the back, we have a 6.7MP camera sensor with Carl Zeiss optics and an LED flash. The speaker grille is at the bottom and is fairly loud for alerts.
The Lumia 720 scores full marks for aesthetics and ergonomics in our books. The handset is very well put together – even better than the more expensive Lumia 820.
The 6.7MP Carl Zeiss camera
Nokia hasn’t held back when it comes to the display. The Lumia 720 features a fairly dense 4.3-inch IPS display with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution. The ClearBlack technology certainly helps when it comes to viewing the screen under direct sunlight. The IPS panel produces bright and vivid colours with very good viewing angles.
A familiar interface
The Lumia 720 runs Windows Phone 8 (WP8) OS and is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm. This is the same MSM7227 SoC used in the Lumia 620 and the Lumia 520. The RAM configuration also remains the same, which is 512MB. The reduction in RAM is not much of a problem for the OS functioning, but it is a problem when it comes to using apps. Most of the good games for Windows Phone 8 require 1GB of RAM, so you’re straight away limited, which is a shame since there are just a handful of good games to begin with. Luckily, all popular apps make do just fine with 512MB of RAM and work well.
Good placement of buttons
The OS itself offers the same typical user experience as you’d find in the higher-end models, and it does so quite well for most part. The WP8 UI with its Live Tiles and social network integrated phone book worked seamlessly and was as smooth as they come.