07-27-2013 01:46 PM
34 12
tools
  1. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    As a bit of background, I’ve been a Windows Phone user since November 2010 – or shortly after the initial launch. I’ve since owned the LG Optimus 7, the Lumia 900, the Lumia 920, and now the Lumia 720. I have some experience in the WP7 and WP8 worlds.

    “Downgrading” from the Lumia 920 to the Lumia 720 wasn’t necessarily a planned decision on my part. My co-worker and I both acquired the 920 at launch time, and have experienced a myriad of issues ever since. I’ve gone through 1 repair and 3 handset swaps – all of which experienced the “battery drain” issue that is well documented on Nokia’s Support forums. My co-worker swapped his 920 as well, but both have suffered from the battery drain problems. He’s currently looking to migrate back to the iPhone.

    When looking for a reasonable handset to migrate from the Lumia 920, the WP8 world seemed relatively small – and nearly everything felt like too significant of a downgrade. I eventually resigned myself to bumping down to the lower resolution screens (800 x 480), and likely smaller on-board memory, but with the capability to add a MicroSD card, which is nice. Not many cameras can truly match the 920 – especially in low-light conditions – so that was a tough act to follow. One thing that I didn’t mind “bumping down from” is the weight. The 920 always felt too heavy to me, which is odd since my previous phone – the Lumia 900 – didn’t bother me at all. To each his own, I guess.

    When it all washed out, the Lumia 720 seemed like the right mix of a beautiful build, expandable storage, a nice camera + low-light capability, and most of what I truly “needed” from my mobile handset.

    Here’s what I’ve really liked about the Lumia 720 so far…

    • Very stylish (I chose the Matte Red, which looks beautiful!)
    • Lightweight without feeling cheap
    • Appears to be very durable
    • Incredible battery life
    • Nice finger movement on the screen (like the 920, but unlike the 820)
    • Good screen size, without being too large
    • Responsive physical buttons (unlike the 820)
    • Great low-light camera capability
    • Very decent earpiece and speakerphone levels
    • Wireless charging upgradeability
    • Decently fast HSPA+ data speeds

    Here’s what I have NOT liked so far…

    • Slower CPU is noticeably at times
    • No LTE data support (I’m on the AT&T network)
    • Lesser RAM (512mb vs 1GB) leaves off a few programs, though not too many
    • 8GB on-board memory feels too small at times. 16GB would be better.
    • Camera not quite as good or fast as the 920, but better than the 820
    • MicroSD support has been spotty
    • Lowest part of screen *sometimes* doesn’t see as responsive
    • Some “bugs” so far, though likely addressed with firmware updates


    I have much more to write, but I want to get this posted as quickly as I can. So…this is Rev.1 of my write-up, with (hopefully) more to follow shortly J

    Also enjoy….

    Comparison photos: Lumia 720 vs Lumia 920 vs Lumia 820
    http://forums.windowscentral.com/win...mia-820-a.html

    Another “Lumia 720 Impressions” thread
    http://forums.windowscentral.com/nok...pressions.html

    Yip
    Last edited by Yipcanjo; 04-25-2013 at 06:08 PM.
    HeyCori, GMarco, lostFREE and 7 others like this.
    04-25-2013 12:00 PM
  2. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    (Lumia 720 Review Continued...)

    I purchased my Lumia 720 from a reputable Ebay seller out of Hong Kong. Shipping was extremely prompt, and I received my phone within 2 days. Wow! The packaging was generic and very "Nokia". Nothing special, but not bad. Everything about the phone -- including the charger -- was intended for use in Hong Kong, which meant that performing a Hard Reset was definitely the best option for me to start with.

    Another interesting tidbit is what happened when I reset the phone with my SIM card installed (AT&T US) and immediately signed in with my Microsoft Account. As a background, I've been resetting my phones a lot lately, especially as I've tried to nail down some issues with the Lumia 920. In every case, my "new phone" would be a secondary phone, and thus would have no SIM card when first reset. Since Microsoft doesn't give you an option to connect to wifi before you login (seriously....fix this, Microsoft), you have to either 1) have a SIM card installed with a data plan, or 2) choose to "sign-in later" after the reset is complete. Signing-in later totally changes the experience. In this instance, though, I had my SIM card installed (meaning I had AT&T data available), so I chose to sign in with my Microsoft Account immediately. Much to my surprise, I was presented with a "Restore from Backup" option that showed previously saved phone states that I could opt to restore from. I chose my most recent, and let the process complete. The Lumia 720 already configured my work and personal email accounts, as well as Facebook. I was simply prompted to provide the passwords. After reaching the home screen, the phone began to automatically download my apps to the phone. AMAZING! It also made me feel like an ***** for never having done this before. Oh well :) The restore isn't perfect, of course -- things like IE favorites, Home Screen layout, and App configurations are not restored (and they should be, in my opinion) -- but it's really a great feature otherwise. Cool stuff.

    CAMERA (updated)
    After getting my phone configured, I wanted to snap some photos and see how the camera performed in various situations. More importantly, how does the Lumia 720 camera compare to the Lumia 920 or 820? In my opinion, it fares very well. The low-light capability seems to add a bit more "noise" than the 920, but also allows for more light. I tend to use the "touch screen to focus" option for taking photos, so that was my method of choice. For the most part, the camera focused and snapped quickly -- and nearly as fast as the 920 -- but seems to have trouble on the first photo I take. Also, having the phone save Photos to the SD Card appeared to add some lag to the process. I should verify this further, but for now I'm using the SD card for my Music and Videos, while keeping my Photos on the Internal Storage. It also seemed like I needed to restart the phone after changing this.

    You can see my photo results here: http://sdrv.ms/11by8bh

    As an update to this section, I can indeed verify that with a microSD card installed, the Lumia 720 has extra lag on the first photo. In other words, the phone has been idle/off for awhile, you launch the camera, tap to focus, take a picture, and that very first shot takes about an extra 2 - 3 seconds to acquire proper focus. The proceeding shots are fast. This behavior did NOT occur when I removed the microSD card, restarted, and performed the same test. Strangely enough, in both case I have my photos saving to the Phone Storage and *not* the SD card, but somehow the SD card is involved in the process when installed. I'm guessing that this is a Nokia firmware fix issue.

    EARPIECE and SPEAKER
    I suppose it's not necessarily true for everyone, but phones still need to be good "phones". I've been surprised to find handsets that require the volume to be set at 10 (out of 10) just to sound "ok" and provide the adequate amount of output for a conversation in a noisy-ish place. Other phones have external speakers that are truly atrocious and useful for nearly nothing. I'm happy to say that the Lumia 720 is a good performer in both respects. The earpiece, while sounding slightly tinny at times, has been plenty loud for me. The volume on 8/10 has been more than enough for outside conversations, and I'll occasionally bump down to 7/10 indoors (or depending upon how loud the person is).

    The speaker -- located on the lower back of the phone, rather than the bottom (like the 920) -- isn't amazing, by any means, but gets loud enough for me without sounding like you're ruining the speaker at louder volumes. I'm not an avid speakerphone user, so I'll let others comment on this. It's certainly good enough for me, and it hasn't been an annoyance at all.

    PHYSICAL BUTTONS
    I hadn't really though about it a whole lot, but the feel of the "physical buttons" on a phone really affects your overall experience. First of all, I (personally) love the placement that Nokia has chosen for the Volume, Power, and Camera. Whereas the older Lumia 900 buttons felt slightly cheaper and wiggly, the Lumia 920 seemed to remedy that -- and they nearly felt perfect. Having then tested both the Lumia 620 (buttons are OK) and the Lumia 820 (buttons aren't great), I was concerned that the 720 was going to lean in those directions. I'm happy to report that the physical buttons on the Lumia 720 are nearly perfect in my book. The buttons have a great tactile feel, they don't rattle (that I've heard), and the camera has a great two-stage function -- though I don't snap photos that way very often. The placement is also spot-on in my book, and very preferable to the placement on a phone like the HTC 8X (honestly, HTC, stop putting the power button up top!). If there is any complaint at all, it's that the buttons are ever so slightly too recessed -- but just barely.

    PERFORMANCE
    This is an area where Windows Phone (even back to the initial WP7 release) has always been able to shine brightly. For the most part, this is still true with the Lumia 720...but with a caveat. Yes, the 720 is clocked slower than the flagship phones -- 1.0ghz dual-core vs 1.5ghz dual-core -- but it really shouldn't make a difference. In day to day use, however, these lower-clocked phones tend to show the "Loading" screen much more frequently than what seems to be necessary. Once you're in an application, I can't say that I've truly noticed any difference -- whether writing an email, editing a photo, or making a phone call -- but getting into the applications takes a second longer, and you do start to get bothered after awhile.

    In my opinion, this is more of an OS tweak than a limitation of the phone itself. Even if the speed was never changed, I'd love it if the "loading" screen itself went away, since it just seems to be a beacon crying out "I'm taking too long to open!" and draws attention unnecessarily. I've even seen the "loading" screen when launching the built-in Calculator app! Sheesh...it doesn't get any more lightweight than that.

    All in all, performance within Apps and Games has been fine. Asphalt7 plays great, as do less-intensive games such as Angry Birds or AlphaJax. By nature of the slower CPU, it's getting in to applications that has been slowed down. I'm hoping that future OS tweaks or firmware updates can help speed this up just a tad.

    BATTERY LIFE
    Perhaps due to the aforementioned CPU speed reduction, but the battery life on my Lumia 720 has been nothing short of phenomenal.

    (Worth noting: I leave Wi-fi and Bluetooth on 24/7, NFC off, two email accounts syncing every 30 minutes, brightness on "low")

    My previous experience with the battery-draining Lumia 920 probably puts the 720 is a positive light more than it ought to, but I'm desperately trying to compare the Lumia 720 to every phone I've used over the past few years. Without a doubt, the 720 easily bests them all. That especially impressive when you consider that new phones tend to get poked and prodded more than the daily drivers, simply because they're new, fun, and getting "tested".

    A typical day for me usually looks like: unplug at 6:30AM, listen to music (sometimes streaming) for 45 minutes during my commute, 10 - 15 text messages during the day, perhaps 30 - 40 minutes of phone calls, approximately 30 minutes of Netflix (steaming over cell data), maybe 20 minutes of Scrabble-like gaming, 30 - 40 minutes of web browsing, and a few other things here and there. Over the past two weeks, I've been using my Lumia 720 even more as I've been testing things out -- to the point of being almost abusive (in my opinion). By 10PM or so, it's quite typical to still have 45% of my battery left -- and sometimes more. If that doesn't amaze you, I'm not sure what will :)

    EXTERNAL STORAGE
    (updated)This was a new one for me. My previous phones - listed earlier - did not have expandable storage, so I was always limited to whatever came stock as Onboard Memory -- usually 16GB, or 32GB (in the case of the Lumia 920). I'm not really a pack rat, so even 16GB of storage is enough for me. That said, the Lumia 720 comes with only 8GB of Onboard Storage, which is quickly used up with a handful of apps, games, pictures, and (especially) video. The solution, of course, is grabbing a microSD card for up to 64GB of additional space. In the WP7 world, this meant a hard reset of the phone. In the WP8 world, microSD cards can be added/removed on-the-fly, which (in theory) is very nice.

    In reality, my experience has been less-than-stellar. I really just wanted a large microSD card to put all of my music on, and the rest could stay on the phone. I grabbed a Kingston 64GB card, but it didn't seem to like my phone. After a bit of research, I settled on a SanDisk 32GB Class 10 card, which appeared to be faster anyhow, and my phone was ok with it. Sadly, there is a known issue microSD cards + WP8 = duplicate songs -- sometimes as many as 4 or 5 duplicates per track! The actual files aren't duplicated, of course, but they appear to be duped on the phone, which means it will try to play them that many times. Pretty frustrating. I was finally able to find a "solution" (posted here), but it really seems to be an issue with WP8 itself. Hopefully a fix is on the way.

    Once the songs were sorted out, I was able to truly test the performance of the external storage. In my experience, it's not so good. Opening the Xbox Music is snappy enough, but once you click on an Artist or Album, you have to wait 2 or 3 seconds for the UI to respond. It's ridiculous. When using the Onboard Storage, that same operation is instantaneous. When using the "Cloud Sync" option, that same operation is also instantaneous. When using the SD storage, however, it appears to chunk and read slowly every single time. This is an OS issue, in my opinion, and Microsoft needs scan and catalog the SD card upon insertion. Strangely enough, playing music has been flawless, and skipping from track to track has been instantaneous.

    I really haven't spent much time using the SD card for photos and video, so I can't comment on that. That said, I would love to hear if others have had more or less success with various types of microSD cards.

    An update on the SD card storage issues. My full write-up on this is posted here, but I've so far been able to use the same microSD card *and* have the Artists and Albums both opening/playing very fast. There are a number of steps to test this for yourself, so please check out my post.
    Last edited by Yipcanjo; 04-27-2013 at 04:18 PM.
    OzRob, lostFREE, HeyCori and 5 others like this.
    04-25-2013 01:12 PM
  3. montsa007's Avatar
    Regarding 'duplicate songs'

    Remove your memory card, wipe the music folder, insert it back in your phone, music should be empty else you need to visit a doctor, close your eyes tightly, pray that you do not see duplicates, turn off the xbox music/cloud thing completely, remove the card again paste the song(s) inside the music folder, they can be individual files or folders containing files. Put the card back in your phone,and enjoy duplicate free experience.
    DId it help?
    Yipcanjo likes this.
    04-26-2013 04:30 AM
  4. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    Regarding 'duplicate songs'

    Remove your memory card, wipe the music folder, insert it back in your phone, music should be empty else you need to visit a doctor, close your eyes tightly, pray that you do not see duplicates, turn off the xbox music/cloud thing completely, remove the card again paste the song(s) inside the music folder, they can be individual files or folders containing files. Put the card back in your phone,and enjoy duplicate free experience.
    DId it help?
    Yep...I'd already posted that I'd found a fix for this issue -- and very similar to your findings. Sadly, I discovered today that duplicate songs are now cropping up everywhere on my phone, so it's a temporary fix at best :(
    04-26-2013 02:51 PM
  5. nikhilr51's Avatar
    The restore isn't perfect, of course -- things like IE favorites
    I've flashed and restored my 920 numerous times, and IE favorites definitely are backed up.

    Thanks for the thorough review btw!
    Yipcanjo likes this.
    04-27-2013 12:09 AM
  6. coconutxyz's Avatar
    i am very concerned about the performance part, hope you can update more bout it if you don't mind!
    04-27-2013 08:51 AM
  7. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    I've flashed and restored my 920 numerous times, and IE favorites definitely are backed up.

    Thanks for the thorough review btw!
    You are indeed correct. Thanks for the clarification on that! If you go to Settings > Backup > App List + Settings, it clearly states that "Internet Explorer favorites" will be backed up. For whatever reason, though, my Favorites have never, ever been restored to my phone. Never. Not once. So, I deleted the current backup settings, turned that feature back on, and we'll see what happens next time I have to restore :)
    04-27-2013 03:38 PM
  8. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    i am very concerned about the performance part, hope you can update more bout it if you don't mind!
    The performance remains about the same as my write-up: totally acceptable and "normal" within an application, but a bit slower when opening Apps and Games -- including seeing the "loading" screen much more often than should be necessary. Games like Asphalt7 (very intensive) and Plants vs. Zombies all play and behave normally. Apps like IE, mail, maps, also move and behave as expected. The main issue is launching programs -- even the built-in ones -- since it seems to take a bit longer than what I'm used to.

    Again, with slower CPUs, some of this is to be expected, but I would guess that an OS update or new firmware could easily resolve some of these unnecessary slowdowns.
    04-27-2013 04:22 PM
  9. paras chugh's Avatar
    does it lag while using internet explorer while zooming in/out or scrolling up/down on data intensive pages and multiple tabs opened ?
    04-27-2013 04:25 PM
  10. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    does it lag while using internet explorer while zooming in/out or scrolling up/down on data intensive pages and multiple tabs opened ?
    Definitely not while using IE, nor while zooming in/out or scrolling. IE on WP8 is super-fast. I don't usually have many tabs open, but the browsing experience has been rock solid.
    04-27-2013 06:21 PM
  11. coconutxyz's Avatar
    Thx for the reply, then is there any lag while panning around in here map or here drive??
    04-27-2013 07:33 PM
  12. LanunReviews's Avatar
    Is there any overheating issues while gaming/whatsapping/using data with the 720 like the 920 has? That's probably the one thing that worries me.
    justreason likes this.
    04-28-2013 11:04 AM
  13. budney's Avatar
    Is there any overheating issues while gaming/whatsapping/using data with the 720 like the 920 has? That's probably the one thing that worries me.
    No overheating here! I am not a big gamer, but I do use GroupMe and stream music a lot.
    04-28-2013 11:49 AM
  14. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    Is there any overheating issues while gaming/whatsapping/using data with the 720 like the 920 has? That's probably the one thing that worries me.
    None whatsoever in anything I've tried.

    I'm also a recovering Lumia 920 owner, so I was very sensitive to this. I've tried everything I can think of to make it warm up (and subsequently drain the battery proceeding the activity), but it's remained cool and stable.
    04-28-2013 07:30 PM
  15. LanunReviews's Avatar
    Awesomesauce! I've been thinking of getting the L920 but I'm holding off until the May 14th announcement just in case they're announcing a replacement flagship somewhere down the line. Right now it's not that much cheaper than it was last year and frankly the L720 price is too damn high, and too close to the L820. If the hardware issues have been sorted out then well the L720 is the obvious choice for me since I need something that can help me organize my student life and schedule since I'm very disorganized when it comes to pen and paper. I'm not much of a gamer (racing/fps aren't my thing but I love strategy games) so I don't think the lower specs will be a problem. On the other hand the 5S is rumored to be coming out soon...so...it's so damn hard to choose! >_<
    04-29-2013 01:23 AM
  16. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    I need to work this into my official review, but the past week has been fairly eye-opening for me....and NOT in a good way :(

    1) The SD card woes -- whether OS-related or specific to this phone -- are getting to be maddening. When you do not have a card installed, the phone is relatively snappy, menus open quickly, the camera snaps photos in normal speed, and the music/videos hub acts "normally" -- not counting the Cloud Collection stuff, which is definitely OS-related. When you DO have an SD card installed, things get sluggish in all the strangest areas: the camera is slow to take the first photo (even when saving to the phone memory), the Settings menu is slow to open, video playback can be choppy, and so on. In essence, the overall phone experience is noticeably diminished by simply adding a microSD card. Ridiculous.

    2) The Gorilla Glass-covered screen -- which feels VERY much like the awesome version of the 920 -- is evidently prone to scratching. I've owned many phones -- including several Lumia phones -- and I do not use screen protectors. I'm also very cautious with my handsets, I don't drop them, and I don't place them into a pocket with keys, etc.. Somehow, though, my phone developed a thin "scratch" a few days ago. I guess it's a scratch, 'cause I don't know what else it could be. Then sometime this morning, that "scratch" -- which is about an inch long in the top-middle of my screen -- became more pronounced and noticeable with the screen on. It makes NO sense to me, and it aggravates me every time I look at the phone. I'm starting to wonder if it's actually a hairline crack that has widened. I don't know what else it could be, but I've never had a phone do this.

    3) The lower-rez screen is bothering me from time to time -- especially with small text. I didn't think that bumping back to 800 x 480 would bother me, but occasionally it does.

    On a very positive note, the battery life on this phone is still awesome. No denying that.

    All in all, I'm frustrated with using this phone -- and the scratch/crack thing doesn't help at all. Not sure what I'm going to do next...
    05-01-2013 10:10 PM
  17. regholdsworth's Avatar
    What kind of SD card are you using, I saw elsewhere on this site saying to make sure it was a class 10 (recommending SanDisk microSDXC) as they had seen slow down on anything less.
    05-02-2013 10:28 AM
  18. montsa007's Avatar
    ^^
    You can increase the font size.
    05-03-2013 12:58 AM
  19. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    What kind of SD card are you using, I saw elsewhere on this site saying to make sure it was a class 10 (recommending SanDisk microSDXC) as they had seen slow down on anything less.
    I've used microSDHC and microSDXC cards -- both class 10 -- and the behavior was the same. I've also used a smaller, slower Class 4 card. Quite honestly, the issue is how Windows Phone works with external storage. My son has a first-gen Samsung Focus with a 32GB SD card added in. His phone browses the massive music collection noticeably faster than my "new" phone -- and it doesn't affect how the camera takes pictures.

    ^^
    You can increase the font size.
    Yes...I know...but that wouldn't help on a 3rd party Live Tile that is using small text. That text, by the way, is easy to see/read on a higher-rez screen (like the 920, which I've owned)

    Microsoft has so many things to fix with this platform.
    05-03-2013 03:38 PM
  20. budney's Avatar
    My 820 acted really slow with a SDcard in it when I got it at launch, but with a update from Nokia a few weeks later it went away. Hopefully Nokia will release a bug fix update soon for any issues with the 720. I do notice a bit of slowing with my 720, but it's tolerable for me.
    05-03-2013 03:52 PM
  21. Yipcanjo's Avatar
    My 820 acted really slow with a SDcard in it when I got it at launch, but with a update from Nokia a few weeks later it went away. Hopefully Nokia will release a bug fix update soon for any issues with the 720. I do notice a bit of slowing with my 720, but it's tolerable for me.
    Sadly, after a week of using the Lumia 720 on a business trip, "tolerable" is about as good as I can say.

    The SD card stuff was maddening for me. I had videos on the SD card, but the phone didn't show any under the Videos section -- even though they showed under the "Recently Added" section *AND* I could play them. Whatever. With the SD card inserted, photos typically took an extra few seconds to "snap" -- even though I had "save to phone" as the storage location of choice. The phone was also noticeably slower in various areas when the SD card was present. Lame.

    So......I ended up removing the SD card when I wanted to use the phone in any semi-responsive way -- photos, etc. -- and then inserting the card again when I wanted to listen to music.

    A *very* smart "smartphone" indeed.
    alfredyeap likes this.
    05-03-2013 04:37 PM
  22. RRR13's Avatar
    Hi there!

    I have my sights set on a red 720 as well and I'm curious how much free available storage it has. I couldn't find this info anywhere.
    05-19-2013 03:18 PM
  23. jaburk's Avatar
    I really like this phone; however, Internet sharing and visual voicemail does not work on AT&T.
    05-21-2013 07:16 PM
  24. jaywp8's Avatar
    Came from android it lags often at some point it will be heavier, where as windows 8 is very fluid, using from 2 weeks not find any minor lags, awesome display and colors, ui is so beautiful, complete social networking phone, beautiful synchronizing. Before i am fan of android now windows 8. And it can only be beautiful with Nokia. Sorry for my bad english.
    05-22-2013 12:32 AM
  25. dkp23's Avatar
    I really like this phone; however, Internet sharing and visual voicemail does not work on AT&T.
    I bought the 620 to us on att. Your issue with internet sharing and voicemail is probably same as mine.

    But as of yesterday, internet sharing works . Att recognizes unlocked phones as dumb phones. I called att and they said they will add my imei so network sees 620 as smart phone. After a couple days it works now. So call att.

    I hhaven'ttried vvoicemail yet, scared to because if it doesn't work it will sync nonstop. Only way to stop is factory reset. I may do it later.
    jaburk likes this.
    05-22-2013 12:51 AM
34 12

Similar Threads

  1. My first touch with Lumia 920 and... unsuccessful
    By workout13 in forum Windows Phones
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-24-2013, 02:38 PM
  2. My bad luck with the Nokia Lumia 920 screen...
    By firedancer1189 in forum Windows Phones
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 03-31-2013, 11:37 AM
  3. A week with the Lumia 820 - thoughts and issues
    By DrMalba in forum Windows Phones
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-12-2012, 08:06 AM
  4. My carrier just announced the Lumia 710.
    By Winterfang in forum Other Operating Systems
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-10-2012, 10:43 PM
  5. My carrier just announced the Lumia 800.
    By Winterfang in forum Other Operating Systems
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-17-2012, 09:07 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD