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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As with all smartphones days the Nokia Lumia 720 comes with a whole host of messaging options to make sure you're always able to keep in touch with your nearest and dearest.

Nokia Lumia 720 review

Basics such as text messaging and emails are handled with dedicated apps on the Lumia 720, with both employing the same basic layout as other areas of the operating system.

Launch the messaging app and you get a list of your various conversations with people - it's all white text and a black background here though, with no colour of profile pictures present.

This does keep the app simple and clutter-free, and tapping on the particular person will see your conversation stream with them appear before your very eyes - with the text bubbles appearing the in same colour as your selected theme.

An added bonus with the messaging app is "online" mode which you can access by sliding sideways from the message list.

Nokia Lumia 720 review

Set yourself to appear online using the menu at the bottom of the screen and you'll be able to instantly message friends on the likes of Facebook and MSN Messenger (which is currently being engulfed by Skype) without having to fire up separate apps.

It's a nifty, easy to use feature and if you're someone who finds themselves chatting away on Facebook's IM you'll love this - it's especially handy as the official Facebook and Twitter apps are not pre-installed, and thus allows you to get chatting without having to first download an app.

On the email side of things accounts appear separately in the app list, meaning your Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo inboxes are all accessed via their own individual apps.

This can become a little frustrating if you're on your email a lot, but luckily you can link inboxes together, allowing you to have one unified app for all your electronic mailing needs.

Nokia Lumia 720 review

Just open up one email account, select "link inboxes" from the menu at the bottom and then pick the addresses you'd like to have in your own, easy to access app.

Adding a new email account is easy enough with setup wizards already in place for the likes of Google, Hotmail, Outlook and Yahoo making the process even quicker.

The 4.3-inch display on the Nokia Lumia 720 makes reading emails an enjoyable task with HTML messages appearing in their full, zoomed out glory - and you can easily zoom in for a closer look.

There are Android phones that won't let you zoom out on emails which can make viewing certain mail formats a pain, so it's good to see this option in the Windows Phone 8 client.

One sticking point with Windows Phone is its keyboard and the fact, like Apple, it's completely locked down meaning manufacturers cannot adapt it, nor can app developers offer alternatives via the Windows Phone Store.

Nokia Lumia 720 review

The stock keyboard isn't that shoddy, but when you're used to SwiftKey's incredibly intelligent next word engine and pin point accuracy everything else just seems sub-par.

With a 4.3-inch display the Lumia 720 certainly has the screen real estate to deliver a serviceable typing experience, but unfortunately we didn't seem to get on particularly well with it.

Next word prediction seemed very slow, which in turn slowed down our typing as we waited to see what it was doing - and sometimes it did nothing.

The lack of punctuation keys and symbols (apart from comma and full stop) on the main layout also frustrates, and for the grammatically pure it's a bit of a nightmare.

In terms of responsiveness the Lumia 720 is pretty sharp, but we did find accuracy was sometimes a little wayward, especially in the top corners of the board.

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.