Nokia Lumia 720 review: On target

GSMArena team, 12 April 2013.
Pages: 1234567891011

Nokia Lumia 720 360-degree view

At 127.9 x 67.5 x 9 mm, the Nokia Lumia 720 certainly feels like it could've been at least a little more compact for a smartphone with a 4.3" display. The Motorola RAZR i, which is probably our favorite reference, is half a centimeter shorter in each direction, which makes quite the difference in handling.

However, the Nokia Lumia 720 handles reasonably comfortably and is actually the slimmest Lumia smartphone to date. Considering the screen size, the less than perfect use of the available space is something you can quite easily live with, even if you don't have particularly large hands.

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The Nokia Lumia 720 sized up against the Lumia 520

As for the weight, at 128g the Lumia strikes a great balance. It's not overweight like the Lumia 920 and yet it manages a reassuringly solid feel in hand.

Design and build quality

The Nokia Lumia 720 follows the design language of the company's Lumia 920 flagship, employing a similar polycarbonate unibody. Nokia will be offering a range of snap-on covers too, which will enable wireless charging. Depending on the color you choose you will either get a glossy (like our white review unit and the red version) or matte (the blue and black versions) finish, but they both look pretty sleek.

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The Lumia 720 is quite the looker

The visual appeal of the smartphone gets a boost of its pleasingly slim waistline. The subtly rounded Lumia 720 fits nicely in the hand and looks even slimmer than it actually is. The curved screen, a la Nokia N9, is much appreciated too, especially in sideways swipes, which are frequently used in the Windows Phone UI.

Overall, the Nokia Lumia 720 is certainly among the most attractive offerings in its class. It's a gadget you won't mind being seen with and one that might even make a few Lumia 920 owners a little jealous. And that's as good a compliment as a mid-range smartphone can hope to receive.

Display

The Nokia Lumia 720 comes with a 4.3" ClearBlack IPS LCD of WVGA resolution. In the day of 1080p screens, its pixel density of 217 ppi doesn't sound particularly exciting, but the Windows Phone 8 platform is designed in such a way that the relatively low pixel density doesn't really show.



Of course when browsing images or surfing the web the Lumia 720 won't be able to provide as much fine detail or fit as much content, but on most occasions the WVGA resolution feels perfectly adequate. Besides, there are only a handful of smartphones in the Lumia 720 price range to offer even 720p screens, let alone 1080p displays, so the Nokia mid-ranger has little to worry about.

Nokia Lumia 720
The display has excellent image quality

Even more so, when you consider that its ClearBlack screen is excellently bright and provides very good contrast, as testified by the measurements in our test. Viewing angles are splendid, too, and while there's some color shift when you reach extremes, everything on the screen remains perfectly legible at all times.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Nokia Lumia 720 - - - 0.69 813 1172
Nokia Lumia 620 - - - 0.72 762 1068
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III 0 174 0 330
HTC One X 0.15 200 1375 0.39 550 1410
Nokia Lumia 920 - - - 0.48 513 1065
Nexus 4 0.22 314 1447 0.45 608 1341
LG Optimus G 0.14 197 1445 0.33 417 1438
Apple iPhone 5 0.13 200 1490 0.48 640 1320

Here's the display pixel arrangement under a microscope.

Sunlight legibility turned out pretty good, too, with the Lumia 720 easily ranking in the upper half of our chart.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

You can find more about our display testing process here.

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