Nokia Lumia Icon review: Perfect frame

GSMArena team, 23 March 2014.
Pages: 123456789101112

Introduction

The Nokia Lumia Icon for Verizon Wireless is the most capable smartphone to come out of the Finnish manufacturer to date. A successor to the Nokia Lumia 928, the carrier-exclusive Windows Phone handset ticks all the boxes of a proper flagship smartphone - from the chipset, through the camera and the display, all the way to the premium build and finish.

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Nokia Lumia Icon official photos

Despite being fresh on the market, the Nokia Lumia Icon is hardly unfamiliar. The smartphone shares most of its innards with the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet. They include the beefy Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, as well as the capable 20MP PureView camera with Carl Zeiss optics. Here's what else the Icon has to offer.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad-band 3G with 21.1 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
  • Tri-band LTE Cat4 support, 150Mbps downlink, 50Mbps uplink
  • 5" 16M-color 1080p ClearBlack AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, Nokia Glance
  • 20MP PureView sensor (15MP effective), 1/2.5" sensor size, Zeiss lens, Optical Image Stabilization, dual-LED flash
  • 1080p@30fps video recording; 2x lossless digital zoom
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera with 720p video recording
  • Windows Phone 8 GDR3 OS with Nokia Black
  • 2.2GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, 2GB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support
  • Nokia HERE Drive+ with free lifetime worldwide voice-guided navigation
  • 32GB of built-in storage
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • Wireless charging with optional accessories
  • Built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUSB port
  • Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP and file transfers
  • SNS integration
  • Xbox Live integration and Xbox management
  • NFC support
  • Digital compass
  • Nokia MixRadio

Main disadvantages

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Somewhat thick for a flagship
  • No microSD card slot
  • Over the top carrier branding somewhat spoils the design
  • Lack of support for Nokia Glance Screen
  • Only available for Verizon Wireless in the United States

A quick glance at the key features reveals that the Nokia Lumia Icon is almost as well-equipped as a smartphone can be these days. Last year's GDR3 update for Windows Phone 8 opened the platform to the latest available hardware, so Nokia's high-end smartphone is as good any Android powerhouse currently on the market (and not too far behind the upcoming flagship wave, either).

In addition to the beefy internals, the Nokia Lumia Icon relies on the Finnish company's traditional strengths to succeed. They include hugely capable camera, nicely spec'd display, and good looks to go with an array of exclusive and handy services.

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Nokia Lumia Icon live photos

All in all, the Nokia Lumia Icon has the making of a solid high-end smartphone proposition. We are not going to waste any more time introducing the smartphone. Head over to the next page where we will kick the in-depth review off with an unboxing of the Windows Phone flagship.

Editorial: You might notice that this review is shorter than usual and doesn't include some of our proprietary tests. The reason is it has been prepared and written far away from our home office and test lab. Still, we think we've captured the essence of the device in the same precise, informative and detailed way that's become our trademark. Enjoy the good read!

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