Nokia Lumia 720 review: On target
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.
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.
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.
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.
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||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|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|
|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
Apple iPhone 5
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S4
Samsung Omnia W
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Galaxy Note
HTC One S
Samsung Galaxy S II
Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
Huawei Ascend P1
Nokia Lumia 900
Nokia Lumia 720
Sony Xperia Z
Samsung Galaxy S III mini
Motorola RAZR i
Samsung Galaxy Note II
Apple iPhone 4S
HTC One X
Oppo Find 5
Apple iPhone 4
Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
Samsung Galaxy Camera
Sony Xperia V
Sony Xperia U
LG Optimus 4X HD
HTC One V
LG Optimus Vu
HTC Desire V
LG Optimus G Pro
LG Optimus 3D
Nokia Asha 302
Nokia Lumia 610
Gigabyte GSmart G1355
HTC Desire C
LG Optimus L7
LG Optimus L9
Sony Xperia E dual
Samsung Galaxy Pocket
Sony Xperia tipo
Samsung Galaxy mini 2
You can find more about our display testing process here.