The Nokia Lumia Icon is a solid Windows Phone 8 device. It's brimming with fun apps and tricks, and the hardware is beautiful.
While the display is high res and rich in color and contrast, the pixel arrangement kills its sharpness. Web and app images look washed out, dull and not very sharp, and text still manages to look pixelated. When you have a 1080p display, that should not be happening.
However, battery life is good and the camera is a decent shooter. You get a lot of flexibility when it comes to the camera, which is nice if you take tons of pictures.
The above average camera takes incredibly high-resolution photos at 20MP, allowing for crops and zooms without much loss of quality.
We're also a fan of the form factor and Nokia's dedication to making pretty and svelte hardware. While the phone has some bulk and substance, it certainly doesn't feel cheap. When you're handling the Lumia Icon, you know you have a premium device in your hands.
Battery life is also good, and we're happy to see that it lasts an entire day rather than dying off some time after lunch.
While the camera has its plusses, it could have had better image quality. Even Nokia's literature and guides that included photos taken from the Lumia Icon were obvious camera phone snapshots. Overall image quality was better on the Lumia 1020.
Windows Phone 8 has come a long way, but it still lags behind Android and iOS in terms of depth, breadth and polish. It's not a total dealbreaker, but if apps are a big deal to you, then you may find yourself frustrated with Windows Phone 8.
Lastly, the display was often disappointing. With an iPhone 5S and LG G2 to compare it with, images from some apps and websites looked pitiful on the Lumia Icon compared to the other two. Text wasn't as sharp, either.
The Lumia Icon is a phone that gets the job done with the nice perk of having a high-resolution camera. Battery life is good, and call quality is solid. Those are pretty critical, basic pieces of must-haves when it comes to modern smartphones.
However, the Lumia Icon falls short in some areas, and some of those areas aren't its fault (like having Windows Phone 8 as an operating system). The camera could be a little better, the display needs to be on par with the top smartphones in the market today - especially if you're going to name a phone "Icon" - and it could shave a little size and weight.
If you're already committed to the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem and platform, and you're an existing Verizon customer or looking to hop on board, there's really nothing I can say to sway you away from the Lumia Icon. It's a good Windows Phone 8 device, but there are certainly better smartphones out there.
The Lumia Icon is available now for Verizon for $199 with a 2-year agreement for those interested. At this point, there's no reason to buy any other Windows Phone 8 device on Verizon. This is the one you want.