We quite liked the Nokia Lumia 820, but we have to admit we love the 720. It's thinner and lighter, but with a bigger battery, the 4.3" WVGA display is nicely curved and the camera sounds more exciting than the run-of-the-mill shooter the 820 got.
The Lumia 720 features a 4.3" WVGA display with Nokia's ClearBlack technology and Gorilla Glass 2 protection. It differs from the 820 screen on two points - it's a TFT screen (not AMOLED) and it's curved.
The contrast is obviously no match for AMOLED, but the screen is pretty good nonetheless. It's got wide viewing angles and the ClearBlack tech keeps the reflectivity low. We also like the curved glass, moving through the Windows Phone interface usually involves a lot of sideways swipes.
WVGA resolution (480 x 800) breaks down to 217ppi, which doesn't sound particularly exciting, but it's hard to expect a lot better for the asking price.
The screen borrows a page from the 920's playbook - it works with gloves and nails.
Now let's go around the back and look at the 6.7MP camera. The resolution might sound strange at first, that's how much you get in 16:9 mode from Nokia's "8MP" cameras (which actually have an 8.7MP sensor). It's just that the 4:3 section of the sensor on the Lumia 720 is missing.
Here are a couple of samples taken from the 720's camera.
The Lumia 720 camera uses a Carl Zeiss lens and is the first to feature a fast F/1.9 aperture for better low-light performance. It's not optically stabilized as the 920 camera, but Nokia are promising good low-light shots thanks to some clever image processing.
Nokia included their exclusive Lenses - Cinemagraph (it creates animated GIF), Smart Shoot (Scalado tech) and the brand new Glam Me for portrait shots with the 1.3MP front-facing camera.
The back of the 720 is nice to the touch, but you're not stuck with it - the back cover is exchangeable (just like on the 820) and there's a cover that enables wireless charging (that's where the three pogo pins on the back come into play). The shells are made of polycarbonate.
Before we forget, the Lumia 720 has a 2,000mAh battery - a respectable number for a 4.3" phone and 350mAh more than the capacity of the thicker Lumia 820.
The Lumia 720 is powered by Windows Phone 8 and features Nokia's exclusive stuff (besides the Lens). That's the HERE maps and Nokia Mix Radio too. The WP8 Store is growing too, it's currently at 130K apps, Nokia pointed out.
We also shot a quick video of the phone's user interface. Check it out below.
We're just not 100% sure about the 1GHz dual-core Krait processor. The interface ran smoothly, and Adreno 305 is very close in terms of performance to the 225, but it has potential for fragmentation down the line. That is, the chipset is close in terms of performance to the 820, 920 and other WP8 phones, but it's not the same. This means developers have two different hardware targets (not counting the WP7.8 branch).
The Nokia Lumia 720 features 8GB of built-in storage, which you can expand with a microSD card (of up to 64GB). That's great, but what we're not big fans of is that you have to use an ejector tool to swap it, just like a SIM card. The free 7GB at SkyDrive deal is in place too.
The Nokia Lumia 720 is the first Windows Phone handset from Nokia to hit the 9mm thickness mark and at 128g it feels great in the hand. Better than the 820, which was on the heavy side (160g).