May 13, 2013

Nokia Lumia 720 Journal Part 3: Beyond Glimpse

The Nokia Lumia 720 had all it takes to visually impress, it had a stunning design, a bright vibrant display and a superb interface, but its beyond looks, the experience is commendable both at work or at play, read on.

Email and Web

The Nokia Lumia 720 had a jest of professional flare; users can enjoy fast and fluid mail services via Windows Phone’s pre-installed email client. The client supports Nokia Mail, Google Mail, YahooMail , Microsoft’s very own Hotmail, among the rest of the email providers that uses POP and IMAP. Among its side features were Microsoft Exchange or Office 365 email account support; its ability to linked several inbox's into one unified view and pinch to zoom on opened emails.

The phones web browser on the other hand is Internet Explorer 9 that sports a WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML5 and RSS feeds. The browser renders a smooth and fast interface making mobile web browsing more fun. Among the browsers noticeable features were the pinch to zoom, double tap to zoom, the rendering of full page implementation, etc.

Unfortunately RAM limitation restricts the phone from running Nokia’s very own Xpress browser for the time being. I’m pretty sure though that they’re doing their best to port this feature to lower range Lumia devices just like what they did recently with the camera suite like Cinemagraph and Smart Shoot.

Office and OneNote

Mobile office at its best, Microsoft made it sure that its very own Office Suite gets a royalty treatment on Windows Phone. Office application enjoys the same interactive and smooth interface fully connected to email, SkyDrive, Office 365 plus a SharePoint where users can add as many sites as they want. I like the SkyDrive connectivity a lot since I can easily port my work files to the phone.

I couldn’t find the option to create a PowerPoint directly on the phone though, only blank Word and Excel plus a few templates.

One Note on the other hand is an application where users can take new notes and open existing OneNote notebooks. Notes can help users remember things like what happened in a meeting at work or things to do. Users can even record an audio note if preferred just like what I usually do. Best of all it automatically sync to SkyDrive for back-up where you can access or edit in any compatible devices.

Music and Video

Unlike the Lumia 820 and 920, the 720 doesn’t have the critically acclaimed Nokia Music app with Mix Radio, the phone instead had a Windows Phone proprietor audio player combined to video player under music+audio tile.

Opening the tile brings out the Collection page where music, video, podcasts and link to the store is shown. A swipe to the left shows the History of all your previously accessed files, another swipe to the left is the New page showing all latest added files, then a swipe to the left shows all the apps related to entertainment, then finally a swipe to the left will show the Xbox page where the music store and artist spotlights are shown.

Opening the Music link will show the Artists in alphabetical order, a left swipe will show the Albums, Songs, Playlists and the last left swipe is for Genres. I supposed the most used page among the aforementioned is Playlists so Microsoft should put it on the opening page instead other than Artists.

Music Player page on the other hand looks very cool, its capable of showing an image of the artist on the background, with his name, the title of the song, album cover and the smallish-ly weird like, random and repeat button on the right side of the album cover. Weird because the music page still has a lot of empty space yet Microsoft opted to put a small buttons for it. The page by the way is capable of side swipe commands for forwarding or backwarding tracts.

Users can also create a playlist directly to the phone under the options page, though editing them after saving is impossible to do. Still the best way to properly create and edit playlist is via Windows Media Player on PC. Also, music files on the memory card cannot be detected by the phone; it needs to be sync via Windows Phone App or Zune software.

There is also an option to adjust music player's equalizers, balance settings, presets, etc., though cannot be access directly to the music page other than the phone’s settings under audio. Microsoft should add a shortcut button at least on the page for easier access.

In terms of video player, the phone recognizes multiple codecs like DivX, Xvid, H.264, H.263, RV, 3GPP, MP4, FLV, etc. There is also a Dolby Surround Sound feature but it needs a Dolby compatible headphone to be fully enjoyed like Nokia Headset WH-208 of Nokia Lumia 920 and 820. The phone only had WH-108 out of the box.


Windows Phone had the best gaming platform in the industry. Xbox Live offers a clean and cool graphic-rich interface, great games, secure payment system, easy online gaming connectivity, etc., aside from the fact of course that it’s interconnected to the Xbox community adding social glare to it. Even with its reduced Qualcomm MSM8227 processor, Dual-core 1 GHz CPU and Adreno 305 GPU, the phone still handles game graphics fairly, though had no access to heavy 3D games in the store. A lot of moderately graphic pnes are available though.

I have again noticed that the phone just like the Lumia 920 doesn’t have a pre-installed games on it. Free games made by Nokia could be downloaded on Windows Phone Store under Nokia Collections like Nokia Climate Mission, Word with Friends and Draw Something, they could have at least downloaded them out of the box. Then there’s also free Xbox games made by Microsoft Studios like Minesweeper, Shuffle Party, Wordament, etc. I specifically mentioned pre-download here because not everyone had Wi-Fi connectivity or unlimited data, it would definitely cost users much if they have to download this games individually.

I also find the games on Windows Phone Store a bit expensive compared to other systems. Maybe because it was Xbox customized but it would have been so much better if Microsoft would bring down these prices a bit.

Wrap Up Part 3

Work and Play were adequately addressed on the phone. Work with the phones top of the line office and connectivity suite, and Play with the best entertainment features like music, video and games. There were still bunch of things that needs to be improve though on the phone most especially on the entertainment features. Third party apps offering alternative music and video players were no better than the proprietor so users will have to settle for the setbacks. How I wish Windows Phone lets go of all the restrictions to developers in enhancing 3rd party apps, I would love to see a floating video screen on the phone or limitless video codecs support just like on Androids.

The Nokia Lumia 720 Journal Part 1: Beyond Dreams
The Nokia Lumia 720 Journal Part 2: Beyond Illusion
The Nokia Lumia 720 Journal Part 4: Camera and Beyond (Day Shots)
The Nokia Lumia 720 Journal Part 5: Camera and Beyond (Night Shots)
The Nokia Lumia 720 Journal Part 6: Camera and Beyond (Video Test)
The Nokia Lumia 720 Journal Part 7: Beyond Apps
The Nokia Lumia 720 Journal Wrap Up: Beyond Compare, The 7-2-0 Reasons To Consider

More Lumia 720 features coming up, stay tuned!


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