In this article I compare the Nokia Lumia 720 versus Lumia 620, two Windows Phone 8 smartphones. I will compare the phone’s features, size and design and camera image quality. As a guy who wants to move to a Windows Phone myself, I can share my thoughts and my dilemmas with you as well. It’s not easy to pick a phone where there’s a very large selection, but if you want a Windows Phone 8 smartphone, this might be easier than choosing an Android phone. OK, let’s start and see which one of the two is a better candidate to be your next phone.
Size, Design & Display
The Nokia Lumia 720 was announced on February 25, 2013. The Lumia 620 was announced on December 5, 2012. The two phones are different in their external design — the Lumia 629 is more compact and has more rounded corners and beveled edges, the 720 ha has a more conventional simple design but has a slight rounded corners. The Nokia 720 looks more similar to the design of the Lumia 920, Nokia‘s flagship smartphone. It has a polycarbonate unibody design and available in both glossy white or red and matte blue and black. The 620 is also the cheaper device of the two. As for the time of writing this article, the Lumia 620 8GB costs around $250 and the 720 model costs around $320 (both unlocked versions). The Lumia 620 is a low-cost handset, the 720 is a bit more advanced and we’ll talk about those differences later on.
What I also liked about the Nokia Lumia 70 is its slightly curved glass (at the edges) that gives this phone a really unique look and feel that is different than what the competition has to offer. The Nokia N9 has this type of glass and it really look beautiful (for my taste). The Lumia 620 has a more rounded back that makes it easier to hold in the hand. It features a 3.8-inch display which is relatively small compare to what we use to see on other smartphones these days. This device was intended to be a compact Windows Phone 8 device. Some people do care about the size and prefer having a more compact phone, which is easier to carry in tight jeans or shirt’s pocket.
The Lumia 620 has a 3.8-inch 480×800 pixels (~246 ppi pixel density) ClearBlack technology display. The ClearBlack display was designed with a linear polarizer, quarter-wave retardation film and reflecting surface filters to reduce the amount of ambient light reflected by the screen, resulting in a deep black, improved viewing angles, higher contrast and overall improves readability. The Lumia 620 doesn’t have Corning® Gorilla® Glass, but has a toughened glass instead. Impressive screen considering its low price. Furthermore.
The Lumia 720 has a 4.3-inc 480×800 pixels (~217 ppi pixel density) ClearBlack IPS LCD touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protective glass. According toe Nokia the screen is very sensitive and you can also use this screen with gloves and even your nails. The Lumia 720 screen image does look better in terms of its overall clarity and is more responsive for touch gestures.
If you care about the quality of the display, the Lumia 720’s will give you a better experience, but the 620 screen is also a very good one too.
The Lumia 720 has a unibody shell and therefore doesn’t support changeable covers like the Lumia 520, but you have the option to attach a wireless charging snap-on cover as an optional accessory (CC-3064). This cover comes in various colors including black, red, white or yellow. The Nokia Lumia 620 on the other hand doesn’t have support for wireless charging — and for those who are skeptic whether it’s going to happen, according to an article on endgadget.com, it’s unlikely to happen.
Lumia 720 display features:
- Orientation sensor
- High brightness mode
- Sunlight readability enhancements
- Color boosting
- Corning Gorilla Glass 2
- Ambient light sensor
- Sculpted glass
Lumia 620 display features:
- Polarization filter
- Brightness control
- Orientation sensor
- Proximity sensor
- RGB Stripe
- Sunlight readability enhancements
- Color boosting
- Ambient light sensor
Lumia 720 advantages: Larger screen, slimmer (9 mm vs 11mm) and thinner (67.5 mm vs 81.1 mm) size, better display (IPS LCD + Gorilla Glass 2 vs TFT + strengthened glass, Super Sensitive touch support) and wireless charging support via snap-on covers (optional accessory). Although bigger than the 620, it weights about the same (128 g vs 127 g). Available in colors: Lime green, orange, magenta, yellow, cyan, white, black
Luma 620 advantages: Cheaper, smaller size, higher pixel density display, but that’s about it. Available in colors: White, Red, Yellow, Cyan/Black
The Nokia Lumia 720 has a 6.7MP rear-facing camera and 1.3 front-facing camera, Lumia 620 has a 5MP rear-facing camera and 0.3MP (VGA) front-facing camera. Both mobile phone cameras can record HD videos (720p) at 30 frame per second.
The 720 has a F1.9 Carl-Zeiss lens with LED flash compare to the F2.4 lens of the Lumia 620. The 620’s lens lacks the Carl Zeiss optics as well. This puts the 720 at a very strong position in terms of its camera specs. Let’s not forget that the camera is one of the most useful too, if no THE useful feature that people use to interact with each other. Anyone will prefer having a better camera and take gorgeous photos without being limited by the camera’s capability. With a fast Carl-Zeiss lens you are sure to take better looking photos, especially at night or in any low-light situation. A F1.9 is a very fast lens, which means that compare to F2.4 the lens allows more light to pass through it and get to the image sensor inside the camera. Better optics helps improve image quality, you get sharper photos, less glare and chromatic aberrations, higher contrast and overall better color and tone definition.
One thing I know about Nokia is that they make excellent mobile phone cameras, and the Lumia 720 is not exception. After viewing some sample images online I can say that the Lumia 720 produces breathtaking images! (take a look at this image for example)– as an enthusiast photographer shooting with a DSLR camera I can tell you that I am very impressed! — overall great image quality. The Lumia 620 also takes very good photos as well, but lacks the low-light capabilities and optical performance of the 720. Both smartphones produce saturated images but very faithful skin color — those type of pictures that are made to impress others with their bold vivid colors. For a mid-range handset I must admit that the Lumia 720 camera is more than I expected.
Just last thing that I want to add, according to conversations.nokia.com post, the front facing camera is the only camera in the world to use four physical lenses which improves image sharpness. Furthermore, the front-facing camera has a f/2.4 aperture wide-angle lens and back-illuminated sensor for much better image quality and a field of view that is more suited for group shots, as well as capturing more of the surrounding when taking a self-shot image. The image processing algorithms also been polished to give cleaner images with less noise and better details.
Both phone cameras support ISO sensitivity ranging from ISO 100 up to ISO 800. the Lumia 720 has a stronger flash of 3.0 meter operating range compare to 1.0 meter on the Lumia 620.
What about video quality you ask? — here are two videos, first one shot with the 720 and the second with the 620, can you notice the difference?
Lumia 720 sample HD video
Lumia 620 sample HD video
Which one you think looks better? (comment below)
Advantage: Nokia Lumia 720, better Carl Zeiss optics, higher maximum image resolution, faster lens (better for low-light shooting), higher resolution secondary camera that can also shoot HD videos as well, back-illuminated sensor, True 16:9 sensor
Which One is more Powerful?
We expect of course the Lumia 720 to be more powerful, but is it? — The Nokia Lumia 720 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor MSM8227 Dual-core 1GHz processor and Adreno 305 GPU, plus 512MB RAM. The Lumia 620 utilizes a Qualcomm Snapragon S4 Dual-core 1GHz Krait processor and the same Adreno 305 GPU and 512MB RAM as well. We can expect the two to be equal in performance but we still need to wait for some official benchmarks; those aren’t available as for the time of writing this comparison. Consider both using the same processor, I wouldn’t count on any significant difference that might result in picking one phone over the other based on performance alone (if that’s what you’re after).
According to neowin.net article, the Nokia Lumia 620 performs pretty good in WP Bench benchmark, and positioned itself above the Nokia Lumia 800 and HTC Windows Phone 8S but below Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X and Nokia Lumia 820. The WP Bench benchmark is an all-around benchmark testing CPU, GPU and memory. In Futuremark Peacekeeper (browser benchmark) the Nokia Lumia positioned itself above the HTC Windows Phone 8s, but behind the Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X, HTC One X, LG Optimus G, Samsung Galaxy S III and Apple iPhone 5 (all are higher-end devices). So this benchmark results don’t come as a surprise to us, considering that the Lumia 620 is a much cheaper device.
Battery Life Comparison
The Nokia Lumia 720 utilizes a non-removable 2000 mAh battery (BP-4GW model) and the Lumia 620 has a 1300 mAh (BL-4J) removable battery. So the first difference here is in fact in favor of the 620 which has a removable battery. The reason the Lumia 720 doesn’t have a removable battery is due to its unibody phone design.
Here are some specs..
- Lumia 720
2G talk time: 23.4 h
3G standby time: 520 h
3G talk time: 13.4 h
playback time: 79 h
Wi-Fi network browsing time: 13.4 h
Wireless charging: Yes (using accessory cover)
- Lumia 620
2G talk time: 14.6 h
3G standby time: 330 h
3G talk time: 9.9 h
playback time: 61 h
Wireless charging: No
(official data from Nokia.com product page)
We can see that the Lumia 720 has a much more powerful battery, but the Lumia 620 battery is decent too. No everyone should be concerned about battery life. If you just used the phone for browsing the Internet from time to time, send messages, log-in to facebook every hour so, etc. — the Nokia Lumia 620’s battery will be more than enough. Hardcore users mind find the 720’s battery to better fit their needs, especially for those who spent more time playing games, running different apps, watching videos, etc.
According to an article on gsmarena.com, the 620 battery in fact is one of the best batteries on the market when it comes to Talk time, only lost to the Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS) (21:18), Motorola DROID RAZE MAXX (20:24), Mtorola RAZR i (20:07), Samsung Galaxy Note II (16:57) and LG Optimus G (15:30). The 620 was less impressive in web browsing battery life test (3:50 hours) and had average results in video playback time (6:32 hours). If you talk a lot on the phone, both the Lumia 620 and 720 are beasts. I just wish that the 720 was in that battery life benchmark, but I’m sure that the result would be astonishing.
Memory Expansion / SD Card Slot
Both the Nokia Lumia 720 and Lumia 620 have a microSD card slot compatible with microSD cards up to 64GB of storage capacity. The Lumia 720 is also the first uni-body design smartphone that comes with microSD support. Considering the fact that both phones come with only 8GB of internal storage, it’s nice to see that both phones give us the option to expand the storage memory. For some of you 8GB will be more than enough. If you are storing lots of videos and many apps and games, having an optional storage expansion can really help out. I personally think that for the target audience that this device is aimed for, the lack of a microSD shouldn’t pose an issue, but again, we have it so we are not going to complain about it, aren’t we?
Click here to view the microSD memory cards available on Amazon.com
Other Things You Should Know about?
Both devices operate on Windows Phone 8 operating system, have Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC wireless connectivity. The both have GPS with A-GP and GLONASS support, 3D Accelerometer, proximity, compass and ambient light sensors, 3.5mm mic jack and noise cancellation mic.
We’ll sum it up with two hands-on reviews that I find useful on YouTube..
Nokia Lumia 720 user interface:
Nokia Lumia 620 Windows Phone 8 Full in-depth review
The Nokia Lumia 620 is a cheap yet very capable mobile phone. It’s small but yet enjoys mane of the Nokia 720 capabilities, including all the wireless connectivity, CPU and GPU. The Lumia 720 has certainly the better phone of the two, but that’s comes for an extra price. You do get a uni-body very slick looking phone, which is taller but thinner and and slimmer and one that weights almost the same (1 gram more). You enjoy wireless charging (using an optional cover), Carl-Zeiss optics and faster lens, IPS LCD display with Gorilla Glass 2 and with its beautiful curved edges design. Both the front and back camera have a higher resolution sensor than the Lumia 620. If you don’t mind settling for a larger phone and don’t mind or can pay the extra price, I would have personally gone with the Lumia 720. The Lumia 620 does offer a better value and considering it’s dirty-cheap price tag, it’s really a bargain I have to admit. So of you might actually like the smaller size factor of the Nokia 620, and it’s a really a more compact phone. The 620 is a bit larger than the Samsung Galaxy Y, but not by much (~1cm).
I think that Nokia did a beautiful job with those two phones and I really hope that it will go well for them, helping them sell more of those beautiful Windows Phone 8 smartphones. You are doing wise choosing either of these phones — if you find that the Lumia 720 extra features aren’t useful for you, I would grab the Lumia 620, it’s really a gem considering its low price tag.