Nokia fills out its range with the mid tier Lumia 720

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The Nokia Lumia 720, which was announced by Nokia today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, takes a position in the very middle of the Windows Phone 8 Lumia line up, and is aimed at a 'young and design-savvy crowd with busy social lives'. There's special focus on imaging with a good main camera (6mp, f/1.9 aperture), a wide angle front facing camera, and lens apps, as Nokia seek to take "high end innovations to a new audiences". (Updated with original photos)

720 in the hand

The Nokia Lumia 720 uses the lower specification Windows Phone 8 hardware family (dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor running at 1GHz and 512MB RAM), and is described as being "engineered for non-LTE markets". The 4.3 inch LCD screen has Nokia's now familiar ClearBlack technology, WVGA resolution (480x800), readability enhancements (superior outside visibility), and Super Sensitive Touch (for nail and glove use) and is protected 2.25 D Gorilla Glass 2.0. There's also an improved oleophobic coating, which means fingerprints should be less of a problem.

What really stands out is the design of the device. The thin (9mm) and relatively lightweight (128g) wrap-around unibody combines a polycarbonate casing with curved glass to create a device that feels great in the hand and has excellent build quality. It's also the first unibody Lumia device with a microSD card slot, which is located on the side of the device, offering the option for additional storage over the built in 8GB of internal memory.

Nokia Lumia 720

The Lumia 720 has the same 2,000 mAh battery as the Nokia Lumia 920. While wireless charging is not built in, there is an optional snap on case that adds it as an option, connecting through the three dots visible on the back of the device. With the snap on case applied, the phone can be charged using any Qi wireless charging accessory, including Nokia's new Wireless Car Charger (a combination charger and car mount/holder).

The Lumia 720 charging case/shell

The Lumia 720 in the new wireless charging shell

The new smartphone's imaging capabilities are better than those typically found in devices at this price. Nokia has clearly leveraged its imaging heritage and during the device's presentation highlighted the Carl Zeiss optics and f/1.9 aperture. The bigger aperture, better than most high-end smartphones, means more light gets into the camera, resulting in better low light light performance.

While the f/1.9 aperture is impressive, the sensor is still necessarily quite small, and it's accompanied by only a single LED flash. The samples shown off during the press conference looked impressive, with good vibrancy and colour. We anticipate that the photos will be better than from most other mid tier handsets, but will not match those from any of the leading smartphone cameras (including the Lumia 920).

720 from the rear

Nokia also announced a number of camera "lens" related apps with Glam Me allowing "fun" edits of pictures taken with the front-facing camera and Place Tag using metadata (date, time, and location) to create and tag postcard like images using a number of pre-defined templates and styles.

As with other Lumia devices, Nokia's exclusive software is an important part of the offering. In addition to the applications mentioned above, the Lumia 620 will ship with HERE Maps and HERE Drive+, and Nokia Music pre-installed, and additional applications will be available via the Nokia collection in the Windows Phone Store.

The Lumia 720 will be available from about €249 before VAT, rolling out from March 2013, and is available in red, white, cyan, black and yellow. The Lumia 720 will be introduced to China in a TD-SCDMA variant (Lumia 720T).

The pricing of the Lumia 720 reflects its positioning, combining value-for-money with reasonable features and a premium feel. By way of comparison, the Lumia 710 launch price was €270, the Nokia Lumia 800 launch price was €420, and the Lumia 820 launch price was €420. The UK SIM-free high street price of the Lumia 720, at launch, is likely to be around £285 (unsubsidised price, plus 20% VAT).

Launch video


Key hardware features

  • Size and weight: 127.9 x 67.5 x 9mm, 128g in weight
  • Form factor and materials: Monoblock, with polycarbonate casing and scratch resistant Gorilla glass
  • Cellular Connectivity: HSDPA and GSM connectivity: WCDMA: (850/900/1900/2100), GSM (850/900/1800/1900).
  • Other Conectivity: WiFi: WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 3.0; NFC; microUSB (USB 2.0) for PC connectivity and charging
  • Processor: Dual-core 1GHz (Qualcomm MSM8227) with 3D Graphics HW accelerator, RAM: 512MB
  • Display: 4.3" TFT touchscreen; ClearBlack WVGA LCD, 2.25 D Glass, Super Sensitive Touch
  • Camera: Back: 6.7 Megapixel, BSI sensor, Auto-Focus, Carl Zeiss, LED flash, video capture at HD 720p @ at 30 fps; Front: Skype HD wide angle (1.3mp)
  • Sensors: GPS, 3D Accelerometer, Proximity, Magnetometer, and Automatic Light Sensor
  • Audio: 3.5mm audio out (AHJ + WP controls); 2 HAAC (high-amplitude audio capture) mics, HD Voice (wideband audio, noise cancellation)
  • Memory: 8GB mass memory, plus microSD card slot (supports up to 64GB), and 7GB of SkyDrive cloud storage.
  • Battery: 2000mAh integrated battery, optional snap-on case for wireless charging. 
  • In box contents: Nokia Lumia 720 handset, High Efficiency Nokia Charger (AC-50), Nokia Stereo Headset (WH-108), Connectivity Cable (CA-190CD), SIM card key, Quick Guide.
  • Colours: Red (matte), Yellow (matte), Cyan (matte), White (gloss), Black (matte)

Key software features

  • Platform: Runs Windows Phone 8.0 (GDR1 - Windows Phone 8 with first update)
  • Nokia apps: HERE Maps, HERE Drive, HERE Transit, Nokia Music (select markets), Smartshoot, Cinemagraph; additional Nokia apps available from Nokia Collection in Windows Phone Store.