Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone 8 Smartphone Review

I enjoyed reviewing the Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows 8.1 RT book a few weeks ago and aback it’s been over a year, I anticipation it was time that I advised addition Windows Buzz accessory as well. Verizon offered to forward me the Nokia Lumia Icon (aka Lumia 929), which is accessible alone from them. I swapped SIM cards with my Samsung Galaxy Agenda 2 and accept been application the Icon for the accomplished week. Do I adulation it? Abhorrence it? Let’s acquisition out.

Note: Images can be clicked to appearance a beyond size.

Hardware specs

Processor: 2.2 GHz cloister amount Snapdragon 800 processor
Operating System: WindowsВ® Buzz 8
Memory: 32GB on lath anamnesis + 2GB RAM
Network: LTE Band 13 & 4; CDMA 850/1900; WCDMA 850/900/ 1900/2100, GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
Display: 5” Abounding HD 1920×1080 OLED display, 441ppi;
Camera (rear): 20 MP PureView Rear-Facing Camera & Camcorder with ZEISS Optics,
Camera (front): 1.2 MP
Wi-FI, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Headset: 3.5mm Audio Jack
Battery: 2420mAh (Non–Removable Battery)
Dimensions: 5.39” (H) x 2.79” (W) x 0.39” (D) inches
Weight: 5.86 oz

Package contents

Nokia Lumia Icon
Pre–installed SIM Agenda (4FF NFC)
Wall/USB Charger
Quick Start Guide

Style and design

The Nokia Lumia Icon does not accept a abbreviate and ablaze architecture like a lot of accepted smartphones strive for. It’s acutely heavy, blubbery and well… blocky. You see it sandwiched amid a Samsung Galaxy Agenda 2 and a Samsung Galaxy S3 in the angel above. It’s added pockable than my phablet Agenda 2, but it feels added than my S3 due to the Icon’s metal frame.

The Icon is accessible in atramentous or white. As you can acutely see, I was beatific the atramentous model.

The collapsed abandon accord this buzz an iPhone-esque blazon of look. It’s not an airedale buzz by any means, but it’s not eye communicable either. Of course, that’s not a bad thing. It’s just the way it is.

The absolute top apparent of the buzz is glass, with the 1920×1080 OLED affectation in the center, with the foreground adverse camera and apostle at the top, and the three backlit bendable buttons and a microphone at the bottom. There’s a additional microphone on the front, but I’m not abiding area it’s located.

The aback of the buzz has a matte polycarbonate non-removable awning forth with two added microphones (for a absolute of four microphones), the 20MP camera lens and LED flash.

The top bend of the Icon has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a SIM agenda tray for Verizon’s LTE nano SIM. Be acquainted that the tray is difficult to remove. You’ll charge some array of pry apparatus or absolutely pointy fingernails.

Notice the stripes on either ancillary of the headphone jack? There’s a analogous set on the basal bend too. I was absolutely aflame if I aboriginal saw these stripes. I was abiding they were notification LEDs. Unfortunately I was wrong, they are just for decoration. That’s a affliction because this buzz has no notification LEDs at all…

The added set of antagonism stripes and the micro USB charge/sync adapter is amid on the basal bend of the phone. The Icon can be answerable with the included USB cable and aswell via a wireless charging berth like the Nokia 910 which I’ve been application with my Samsun Galaxy S3.

Take a abutting attending at the angel above. Notice the bendable askew edges of the Gorilla Bottle 3 display? This the aboriginal such affectation I’ve noticed with this shape. Aback the affectation is not flat, I’m borderline how able-bodied a awning protector would stick to it…

The larboard ancillary of the Lumia Icon has no buttons, but the appropriate ancillary has a one section aggregate button at the top, the ability / deathwatch button in the centermost and a committed bang button at the bottom. Agenda that captivation down the bang button for a few abnormal will deathwatch up the buzz and go beeline into the camera app.

The 5″ OLED affectation is gorgeous. The angel aloft does not do it justice. Colors are ablaze and vivid. Blacks are actual atramentous and argument is aciculate and clear. It aswell does actual able-bodied outdoors in abounding sunlight. The 180 amount examination bend is one of the best I’ve apparent on a buzz so far, authoritative it simple to allotment something with a awash accumulation of friends. Aswell agenda that the affectation has a top acuteness ambience that will acquiesce you to even use it while cutting gloves.

In duke the Icon feels a bit chunky. But it is a actual solid accessory that doesn’t flex, crepitate or able if I put it through my anytime accepted Gadgeteer clasp test. I don’t abhorrence or adulation the concrete architecture of this device. I feel a bit “meh” about it. If alone those stripes were LEDs… As is, the appearance seems a little boring.

20 megapixels in your pocket

The best affection of this buzz is acutely the camera. 20 megapixels is absorbing for a committed abridged point an shoot camera, so it’s even added absorbing if it’s been congenital into a smartphone. But 20 megapixels isn’t new for Nokia. Their Lumia 1020 has a 41 megapixel camera. If it comes to smartphone cameras, Nokia acutely knows what they are doing.

When you yield pictures with the Icon’s Zeiss optics, you’ll get two copies of the image. A high-res 16MP jpeg angel and a lower-res 5MP jpeg image. The abstraction is that you can use the lower-res angel to upload to Facebook and added amusing media blazon sites. There’s aswell the advantage to save the high-res photo in RAW (DNG) format, but be acquainted that anniversary book in RAW architecture can be 20MB in size. That will add up bound if you’re a abounding account snapper, and with no microSD card, you’ll charge to accumulate an eye on your accessible memory.

I wasn’t all that afflicted with low ablaze shots, but they aren’t too horrible. See the endure two images above… The larboard angel was taken after the beam and the appropriate angel with flash. Because the appliance was in an aphotic allotment of the allowance at night, so I can’t absolutely accuse that abundant about the Icon’s low ablaze performance.

The Nokia Pro Cam app is simple to use and offers quick admission to chiral settings. You can aswell zoom just by sliding your feel up/down or left/right beyond the screen. You can change white balance, ISO, bang acceleration and breach and added all at the aforementioned time.

Video abduction adequacy afflicted me as abundant as angel abduction capability. Videos are captured at 1080p in 24, 25 or 30 frames per second. Here’s a actual quick archetype of my non-cooperative cat Max.

With the Icon’s four agenda high-dynamic-range microphones, audio captured with video is aloft average. I had a few video clips of myself arena the ukulele, but I kept blame up the songs, so I didn’t cover one. :)

File and video administration options cover Bluetooth book transfer, NFC-enabled tap+send, messaging, email, Facebook and Microsoft’s cloud-based SkyDrive.

You can aswell download appropriate “lenses” that let you do air-conditioned things like the Nokia Refocus lens angel below… Click on altered areas of the account to refocus. Actual air-conditioned right?


I was acquisitive I would like Windows Buzz 8 added than I did endure year if I advised the Nokia Lumia 822, but I’m still larboard activity a bit abandoned about it. After one year, the interface just doesn’t feel up to date if I analyze it to my Android phone.


If you’re an ardent abecedarian who loves to adapt your home awning with all sorts of widgets and icons like you can do with Android, you ability feel that the WP8′s reside asphalt home awning leaves a lot to be desired. I anticipate it’s just a amount of aftertaste and what you’re acclimated to though. If you are advancing from an iPhone, WP8 is a nice advance in my opinion. But if you’re advancing from Android, not so much.

Also, the Icon’s affectation resolution does acquiesce for rows of three average sized tiles, and six baby titles which is an advance over the Lumia 822, which was alone advanced abundant for two average sized tiles and 4 baby ones per row. So you can add and align a ample amount of tiles of altered sizes.

The app account is just a continued scrolling alphabetical account of apps. Ick.

It’s the agenda app that annoys me the most. I adulation the agenda app on my Samsung Galaxy Agenda 2 because I can see the arrangement data even in abounding ages view. With WP3, you can see that I accept something traveling on on 4/10 and 4/26, but you can’t apprehend the argument at all. It just looks like gobbly clay even if you about-face the buzz to mural orientation.

The Nokia Lumia Icon does appear with a nice array of applications that are added than able and will accept you covered for about any assignment you need.

  • Verizon Apps: My Verizon, VZ Navigator, NFL Mobile, Visual Voicemail, VZ Tones, and Backup Assistant Plus
  • Nokia Apps: App Highlights, Cinemagraph, Creative Studio, HERE Drive+, HERE Maps, Nokia Beamer, Nokia CARE, Nokia MixRadio, Nokia Pro Cam, Storyteller
  • 3rd Party App: Weather Channel
  • Web Browser: HTML5 / Internet Explorer 10
  • Mobile Email: MS Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, POP3/IMAP4/SMTP

I will accept that the app exchange does accept a bigger alternative than endure year. Apps that weren’t accessible endure year like Twitter, Instagram, Pandora and Spotify are now in the market. But still missing are some of my claimed favorites like Swype keyboard, Feedly, Dropcam and Chrome.

It just feels like there’s something missing if I’m application this buzz and I can’t absolutely put my feel on it. Hopefully the Windows Buzz 8.1 amend which is slated to access soon, will be a big improvement.

Call quality

I fabricated several calls with the Lumia Icon and had no problems whatsoever. I did not acquaintance any alone calls or arresting backbone issues. Audio was bright and affluence loud abundant on both abandon of the conversation.

Performance and array life

I accept aught complaints with the Icon’s performance. The buzz never crashed, lagged or contrarily stuttered while I was testing it. With its 2.2 GHz cloister amount Snapdragon 800 processor, it is acutely abrupt and bland with scrolling and ablution apps.

Battery activity with the Icon’s 2420mAh array has been actual impressive. It does a abundant job of powering you through an absolute day with affluence of abstract to spare. That is hasty accustomed the fast processor and top resolution display. One affection I adulation is that the Lumia Icon has Qi wireless charging congenital in. So it works abundant with the Nokia 910 docks I accept at home and work.

Final thoughts

I either heard or apprehend area anyone said that the Nokia Lumia Icon is a nice camera that just happens to accept a buzz congenital in. That sounds a little harsh, but isn’t too far from my own animosity about this phone. I capital to adulation it, but I came abroad with alloyed feelings. On the one side, this is the top of the band Windows Buzz smartphone. If you’re a big fan of the Windows Buzz OS and are aswell a Verizon customer, this is the top of the band Windows Buzz to get. If you’re an iPhone user cerebration that there ability be bigger and added “fun” phones out there, the Icon can aswell be a nice change of pace. It’s alone Android users like myself that I would not acclaim switching to the Lumia Icon or addition accepted Windows Buzz 8 buzz as it apparently won’t amuse your tweaking tendencies. Microsoft and Nokia are absolutely on the appropriate clue with the Nokia Lumia Icon though, so I’ll be actual analytical to try the next change of accouterments and software.