MWC2013: Nokia Lumia 720 Hands-On Preview

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I certainly expected more from Nokia’s presence at this year’s MWC tradeshow (a tablet, for example), however the Finnish giant has decided to prepare just two new smartphones with Windows Phone 8. Of these, the Lumia 720 is the more interesting.

Build and Design

In many ways, this is an advanced version of the Lumia 820, an entry-level model that debuted last year.

Nokia Lumia 720The device is excellently crafted and designed, and comes in several colors (no surprise for Nokia). It feels great when held in hand, while its chunky nature is no problem, which wouldn’t be the case if some other classic body shape was chosen for this device. It is 9 millimeters thick and weighs 128 grams.

Display

It comes with a 4.3-inch 800 x 480-pixel display, resulting in a pixel density of 217 ppi. This is a TFT screen whose contrast is far from perfect, but much better than on other TFT smartphones.

Black tones are quite dark on this device, which makes the classic Windows Phone 8 user interface more impressive. White tones are rather ‘dirty’, however, and cannot measure up to those offered by AMOLED screens. This means browsing web sites on the Lumia 720 is not as pleasant as on competing models from this class.

Performance

Its dual-core Krait processor running at 1 GHz should be praised, which in my preliminary testing, went easily through all tasks on this OS.

Compared to the Lumia 820, this model is slimmer and has a battery with a greater declared capacity: a respectable 2000 mAh. But the biggest improvment is in the rear-facing camera, which now has aperture of F/1.9 and an odd resolution of 6.7 megapixels (this is a 16:9 version of Nokia’s 8 megapixel camera). Photographs which I took at Nokia’s booth, which was intentionally poorly lit (to emphasize Carl Zeiss optics) were above average sharp with exceptionally vivid colors, and all featured correct exposure.

Prelimianry Conclusion

Although this is not the most powerful smartphone with Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 720 is one of the most attractive and best concepted models with a Microsoft platform at the moment.

Clearly, Nokia is planning to attract the attention of purchasers who decide on Windows Phone 8 as their operating system of choice by introducing quality cameras to their phones, given that cameras on competing smartphones with this OS are nowhere near as nice.

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