1. gamesticker's Avatar
    Friends. I kept waiting for WPCentral's review of Lumia 730, and then I decided to write one of my own. I'm using my Lumia 730 for about 2 weeks now and I want to post a 'user' review for it. This review is not going to compare it with the zillion other devices out there. Instead, I'll focus on how it is like to use Lumia 730 on a day to day basis, as a user.

    My Background

    I work for a mobile app/games studio so I use a lot of devices. I frequently use various mid and high end devices as my daily driver for weeks, though this is my first time with any Lumia or WP device. I have a soft corner for mid-rangers as I believe that great mobile experience should not cost an arm and a leg. Hence I purchased Lumia 730 as my personal phone as it hits all the right notes, atleast on paper. Read ahead to see how it performs in practice.

    Design and Build Quality

    Positives:
    I was dazzled from the moment I opened the box, 730 looks stunning. Thanks to it's rounded (side) edges, 730 is very comfortable to hold in one hand. It feels very light for it's size. Even though it's not a unibody, it feels very steady while holding. I can't help but praise it's design because I've not seen a more beautiful mid-ranger. It feels much much better in person than it looks in pics.

    Minor Annoyances:
    • As top/bottom corners are cut flat, they sometimes dig into your palms when you hold it one handed.
    • The inner body creaks/move slightly when connecting headphone or power jack, giving away the unibody feel.


    Negatives:
    None.

    Display and Touch

    Positives:
    • Brightness and contrast are very good. I can easily use the phone in sunlight.
    • Display surface does not pick up fingerprints and smudges as fast as other phones.
    • Although people worry about over saturated colors on AMOLED, I've found the screen to be well balanced. Just set the color tone to 'natural'.
    • Touch is very responsive, even with sensitivity set to 'normal'.


    Minor Annoyances:
    • Despite of it's 720p resolution, surprisingly the display still looks grainy. It's not very evident and the effect is minimal, but it's there. Text looks slightly jaggy, images look slightly grainy. On a 720p TFT 5inch screen, you really have to look very closely to see the pixels on a TFT, though they are more visible on 730's AMOLED. But as I said, effect is minimal.
    • Double tap to wake hardly works in 1 try. It usually takes 2-3 attempts, sometimes it doesn't turn on at all. But it might be a software issue as well.


    Negatives:
    • If you have minimal brightness and black background, you can see a purple ghost trail as you move/scroll stuff on screen. It's like the pixels are taking time to change color. It gives a very ugly effect, but only visible at lowest brightness.


    Speaker, Sound and Calls

    Positives:
    • Speaker is very loud.
    • Call quality is top notch. I get very clear conversations and very good signal.
    • Earpiece has good volume, I never had to use full volume.
    • Main mic and noise cancellation mic works very well, my callers could easily hear me in crowded places.


    Minor Annoyances:
    • Speaker distorts on highest volumes, but it can be corrected by just reducing the volume.


    Negatives:
    • Audio out quality is mediocre. My mid-range Philips SHL3300 sounds very good on my MacBook Pro and iPad, but they sound just flat on 730. 730 has sound clarity, but lacks the beats, even with equalizers turned on. Also checked on desktop speakers, 730 gives less beats than my Mac and iPad. Quality might be better on in-ear earphones due to low impedance, but I haven't tried in-ear.


    Performance
    As performance is eventually a function of hardware + software, I'll discuss this in my software review.

    Camera and Software
    As I'm not an avid camera user, this section does not cover quality. Please refer other camera reviews and pics/videos for 730.

    Positives:
    • Both cams produce good enough pics for Facebook, I've already got many likes for 730's pics :)


    Minor Annoyances:
    • Nokia Camera takes good 2-3 seconds to start. Though the other camera app opens immediately.
    • Can't say if it's software or hardware, but both the cams click a different picture than what you see in viewfinder mode. It's like you open the camera and see a lighter scene, you click and the final picture turns out to be a bit richer/darker. The final picture is definite better, but I'd rather like to be the pre-click view and post-click image to be the same.
    • Selfie app takes good 3-5 seconds to process photo after snapping.
    • Selfie app applies last used filter by default, I hope it would present the original photo by default.


    Negatives:
    None.

    Connectivity and Sensors

    Positives:
    • Brightness sensor and software calibration is the best I've seen on any mid-ranger. You can set it on 'auto' and simply forget about it.


    Minor Annoyances:
    • When I first opened the Maps, it asked me to rotate my phone in 8 shape to calibrate the compass. However, it does not matter how many times I tried, I used the other maps app, restarted my phone, tried to make the 8 shape at a different location, nothing worked. I thought the sensor is damaged. Then I waved my phone randonly and bam, it worked.
    • 730 never auto-connects to my Wifi while my Android, Mac and iPad connects fine. Might be a software or router issue.


    Negatives:
    None.

    Battery
    Battery is just ok, at least for my workload. I don't do gaming, streaming, video, music or browsing on 730. Instead, I have 6 personal and work push mail accounts added, with frequent FB, FB Messenger, SMS, Skype and WhatsApp usage with brightness set to low. The battery keeps up for 10 hours, but I believe it could've been better. Though it might take a few power cycles to show it's full potential.

    ------------

    That's it guys. I've tried to present a fair picture of how it is like to use Lumia 730 as your primary phone. I hope you'll find this review useful. Overall, I'm more than happy hardware wise. How does the software play along, I'm going to discuss it in another review. Thanks for your time reading this :)
    Last edited by gamesticker; 10-26-2014 at 02:57 AM.
    Etios, poststamp, Hoekie and 12 others like this.
    10-24-2014 04:31 PM
  2. gamesticker's Avatar
    Do you guys agree/disagree with my findings?
    abhishek singh21 likes this.
    10-26-2014 03:00 AM
  3. Harshal17's Avatar
    Thanks, very good review looking at hardware level. :)
    Purple tint at low brightness and other software related bugs will be solved when other phones starts getting denim update, coz it is initial build on 730.
    I disagree with Wi-Fi never auto connect, in fact it is!
    gamesticker likes this.
    10-26-2014 03:28 AM
  4. Ashish Gupta888's Avatar
    Yup..wifi auto-connects.
    10-26-2014 08:19 AM
  5. gamesticker's Avatar
    Yep, as I said in my review, it might be my age old router's issue.
    10-26-2014 08:46 AM
  6. KhawarNadeem's Avatar
    Thank you for the information, OP. The 730 looks like a well-priced, charming device and since the 830 is much more costly, I'm thinking to get this as my secondary (and selfie :p) device.

    I'm more curious to know about the software review. If I may, could you please go into detail of the "resuming..." screen issue that's coming up in a lot of apps these days? I'm curious to know if Denim and newer processor architecture remedy the problem, because as of now on my 925 nearly every app I use gives me an annoying loading/resuming screen.
    gamesticker likes this.
    10-26-2014 09:04 AM
  7. gamesticker's Avatar
    Nadeem, I don't have any older X2X device to check, here is what I observed with 730: Built-in apps rarely show loading screen, but the situation is not the same for 3rd party apps. I see a loading screen about 50% of the times for downloaded apps. Though it seems more "time" based rather than "memory" based. What I mean is that I can open 4-5 apps in BG and juggle between them just fine. But if i open even 1-2 app and leave it for like 5 mins, I see loading when I get back. Whats bad is that most of these loading screen take almost same time as initial loading/launching/splash screen (the ones which you get when you start an app for the very first time). Skype is the worst which shows loading about 80-90% of the time. Another thing is you see loading screen more if you install the app on SD card vs if you save them in internal memory.

    I hope that all this gets resolved with a software update.
    KhawarNadeem likes this.
    10-26-2014 12:52 PM
  8. KhawarNadeem's Avatar
    Nadeem, I don't have any older X2X device to check, here is what I observed with 730: Built-in apps rarely show loading screen, but the situation is not the same for 3rd party apps. I see a loading screen about 50% of the times for downloaded apps. Though it seems more "time" based rather than "memory" based. What I mean is that I can open 4-5 apps in BG and juggle between them just fine. But if i open even 1-2 app and leave it for like 5 mins, I see loading when I get back. Whats bad is that most of these loading screen take almost same time as initial loading/launching/splash screen (the ones which you get when you start an app for the very first time). Skype is the worst which shows loading about 80-90% of the time. Another thing is you see loading screen more if you install the app on SD card vs if you save them in internal memory.

    I hope that all this gets resolved with a software update.
    Yeah I've noticed the time dependent behaviour as well, with a lot of apps. It's like WP has a timer-based dumping of RAM data instead of usage based? If so that would make a bad way to manage memory. Skype actually *is* the worst when it comes to this, and the funny thing is that apps that haven't been updated in ages (like Instagram) have lesser loading and resuming times than newer apps, which is just weird to me.
    Thank you for the information. Appreciate it! :)
    10-26-2014 01:05 PM
  9. Abhishek Gupta1689's Avatar
    Very GOOD REVIEW!!!
    first of all, just to mention, that i have my brightness set to low and background is black always, AND STILL I DONT HAVE THAT" PURPLE ISSUE THINGY".. !!! ( will be solved in update)

    Second, I read it recently, that the "resuming issue" has been solved in the latest DP. So, thats good news, as it will be available shortly to us all.

    will post more news soon
    gamesticker likes this.
    10-26-2014 01:21 PM
  10. gamesticker's Avatar
    first of all, just to mention, that i have my brightness set to low and background is black always, AND STILL I DONT HAVE THAT" PURPLE ISSUE THINGY".. !!! ( will be solved in update)
    I feel that issue is a hardware issue and present in the first/initial batch of 730s. Anyways I'll wait for an update and go to service center if an update does not fix it.

    Second, I read it recently, that the "resuming issue" has been solved in the latest DP. So, thats good news, as it will be available shortly to us all.
    I appreciate what Nokia/MS have done with Denim to bring it to market in time. I'll happily wait for performance updates in future, no grudges there :)

    Edit: Meanwhile, I'm gonna curse Skype every single day :\
    10-26-2014 02:04 PM
  11. sanu rajan1's Avatar
    the purple tint issue is a software issue and it might get fixed by future patches.i got this info from a Microsoft employee after month of complaining about the tint issue.
    02-24-2015 12:44 AM

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