Nokia Lumia 720 & 920 - alike and very different

by Volker Weber

New toy at vowe's magic flying circus: the Lumia 720. It's much less than a 920, and still almost the same. Why would you have one instead of the other? That's not so easy to answer.

First of all, read the specs: 720 vs 920. Lower resolution screen, lower resolution camera, no optical image stabilization, single LED flash instead of dual, no LTE, a lot less storage. Other than the 920, the 720 can be upgraded with external storage. Here comes the good news: it has the same battery with a much longer battery life. And the 920 is 50% heavier. When you look at the phones, they look the same to most people, but when you touch them, they are completely different. Apple would say: thinner and lighter.

But there is more to it. The 720 feels even more organic than the 920. It is curved around all edges, where the 920 feels cut off at the top and the bottom. That means the 720 feels only half as much phone as the 920. It's a huge, huge difference. And then, there is the price: 379 € for the 720 and 659 € for the 920. (Which you can find as low as 500 € by now.)

And then you get the same experience. It's fast, it runs almost the same applications. There is one glaring omission: HERE Drive instead of HERE Drive+. Notice the +? Without it, you only get turn-by-turn navigation for your car in your home country. That does not affect any of the other maps. You can still download and use them offline, worldwide. But without the + you only get turn-by-turn navigation in one country. There is probably a smart person who decided this, and he is much smarter than I am. I just don't get it.

If you want wireless charging, you need to buy a shell. It connects to these contacts and hugs the phone very tightly. It also provides protection and lets you customize the color.

These are the first impressions. Now I am going to use it for two weeks as my main phone. Then Nokia wants it back. We shall see whether it wins the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. I have some other hostages I might offer to exchange.


there is the price: 379 € for the 720 and 659 € for the 920

small typo.


simon frelier, 2013-04-13

From what I see, I like the 720 pretty much. Nice price tag... Let's see how it'll drop...

Ingo Seifert, 2013-04-13

And between these two there's also a 820?

Pedro Quaresma, 2013-04-14

Nokia Drive (without +) should be a mistake. claims that only Nokia Drive is available even for the Lumia 920(*). Afaik all Lumias run Drive+, Drive is for competing manufacturer's devices. Did you check the Nokia Apps section in the marketplace?

Tim Franz, 2013-04-15

Of course I did.

Volker Weber, 2013-04-15

Even my 620 has Drive+.
Maybe it's some kind of "currently not available in some countries"-BS ?

Philipp Münzel, 2013-04-17

unfortunately the lack of Drive+ is intentional to meet the desired price point:

We should be able to later upgrade to Drive+ though: "The price you pay to upgrade to HERE Drive+ is going to be less than any roaming cost you will ever encounter when leaving your home country and searching for a place on any competitive free offering."

Considering the current roaming rates this doesn't mean much but it is something you can factor into your buying decision.

Tim Franz, 2013-04-17

Well, Nokia tried to sell navigation licenses to consumers before, and that did not work at all. And this decision obviously confuses customers, as you can see in the comments above.

Volker Weber, 2013-04-18

One of the confused comments was by me. And even after the explanation from Nokia I still don't understand their reasons.

Tim Franz, 2013-04-18

As I wrote, there is probably a very smart person, who decided this.

Volker Weber, 2013-04-18

Nokia just lost all international traveling customers that use Nokia maps to navigate (e.g. in a rental car, the phone velcron'ed to the dash). The 720 has compelling specs (weight same as BB9900, long battery time) but this is the absolute sales killer.

Boudewijn Kiljan, 2013-04-18

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