Nokia Lumia 720 review

The keystone to Nokia's Windows Phone 8 onslaught

Nokia Lumia 720 review
The middle kid has its say

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With it's 4.3-inch display, microSD slot and surprisingly loud rear speaker the Nokia Lumia 720 is ready to have a real crack at being an all round media player as well as a phone.

The 8GB of internal storage may turn some users off, especially when you consider that over 2GB is take up by the operating system, but the relief in the form of a microSD slot capable of handling cards up to 64GB in size puts early fears to rest.

Putting content onto the Lumia 720 is easy, especially if you already have it saved to a microSD card, as you can slide it right on inside and away you go.

Of course you can also use the tried and tested method of physically plugging the Lumia 720 into your computer and using the old drag and drop technique to shift across music, videos and images.

Nokia Lumia 720 review


Your first port of call for listening to tunes is the Music + Videos app, where you'll find all the songs you may have put on your microSD card or copied onto the memory of the Lumia 720.

In terms of format support the Lumia 720 will happily play MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC tracks.

It offers up a relatively basic music player with standard controls such as play, pause, skip, shuffle and repeat - but that's about it.

You can view your songs by title, album or artist, plus there's the ability to create playlists on the fly.

Nokia Lumia 720 review

If you subscribe to Microsoft's Xbox Music streaming service you can tie in your account within the Music + Videos apps, giving you access to the vast library of tunes available over the airways with your own personal collection.

There's also a link to the Windows Phone Store from within the app, taking you to the music download area where you can purchase single tracks and whole albums and have them installed directly onto the Lumia 720.

The selection is relatively strong and pricing falls in line with the likes of iTunes, Google Play and 7Digital.

The musical offering doesn't stop there on the Lumua 720 however, with the Finnish firm also sticking its own melodic musing onto the handset in the form of Nokia Music.

Nokia Lumia 720 review

This provides a different music player where you can access all the songs stored on the phone/memory card. It's not that much different from the layout of Microsoft's stock app, but that's not the main attraction here.

Nokia Music has one big ace up its sleeve in the form of Mix radio - a free, unlimited library of music mixes available to play there and then or download for later listening sessions.

Select the genre of music you're into, such as D&B, Pop or Dance, and Mix radio will then serve up a playlist of tracks from that genre.

It's a great way to discover new music and new artists, find out more about the tunes and singers you love and considering you get it all for free it's an immensely impressive offering - and for that we applaud Nokia. *clap clap clap*

Nokia Lumia 720 review

Of course make sure you keep an eye on your data allowance, as Mix radio will happily eat into that all day, so you may want to download some mixes over Wi-Fi for offline listening.

As we've mentioned the speaker on the rear of the Nokia Lumia 720 pumps audio out at a surprisingly high volume and while bass is non-existent it's certainly not the worst internal speaker we've tested.

Plug a set of headphones into the Lumia 720 though and a range of audio settings become available to you in the settings menu.

There's an equaliser, which allows you to dabble with the treble, bass and those all important mid-tones, and a swipe sideways will take you to the Dolby Digital settings to give added oomph to your tunes.

Nokia Lumia 720 review


If you haven't already guessed from reading the music section the Music + Videos app is also the place you need to go to watch your favourite films and TV shows.

There's currently no video store available on Windows Phone, so you'll need to download your content from somewhere else and then transfer it onto the phone or pop it on a microSD card.

The Lumia 720 didn't have any trouble playing our AVI, WMV and MP4 file formats, plus H.264 and H.263 are also supported.

In terms of options there are far fewer in the video area than the music section, with a simple list of all the videos you have stored the only menu screen you get.

Nokia Lumia 720 review

Tap on a video and it will start playing in landscape automatically to take advantage of the 4.3-inch display on the Lumia 720.

You can play, pause and scrub your video, but that's it with no advanced settings to speak of.

Playback is smooth and perfectly watchable, with the lightweight Lumia 720 proving easy to hold even during longer viewing periods.

Nokia Lumia 720 review

As we've mentioned already in this review although the Lumia 720 has a good sized screen it still has the same resolution as its smaller brother, the Lumia 620, resulting in reduced clarity.

You can notice pixels if you watch the screen for a length of time, reminding you that this is not a high-end device, but it's certainly not enough to put you off and with respectable viewing angles you and a friend or two can all comfortably gaze at the display.


Nokia Lumia 720 review

Head over to the Photos app and you'll find all your snaps housed in one place. You can easily scroll through thumbnails to find the image you want.

You can back up your albums to SkyDrive, ensuring your pictures will never be lost, even if the phone is.

It also pulls in photos from your social networks including Facebook, which makes it easier to navigate through the thousands of shots you've posted online.

Windows Phone 8 has some crude photo editing software built into the gallery which lets you crop and rotate photographs, but Nokia has also installed Creative Studio on the Lumia 720.

Creative Studio gives you a variety of editing options and a number of effects which you can apply to your shots.

Nokia Lumia 720 review

Fine tuning comes in the form of tweaking the colour balance, brightness, clarity and vibrancy of an image - plus there's a tool to get rid of that pesky red eye.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.