If you didn’t already know, I am a fan of the latest Nokia Lumia smartphones. I’ve had a chance to play with the Lumia 1020 and the Lumia 1520. The Lumia Icon is the latest from those phones. With a processor that’s more powerful than the Lumia 1020’s and a screen size that’s more manageable than the Lumia 1520’s screen; the Lumia Icon seems appealing at first glance. You may have seen the phone on the hit TV show Scandal as Olivia Pope’s main cell phone.
Nokia Lumia Icon Specs:
Display: 5 inch 1080P HD Amoled Screen (1920 x 1080 resolution – 441 ppi)
Cameras: 20 megapixel rear-facing camera / (2 MP sensor) 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera
Processor / RAM: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2 GHz / 2 GB RAM
Memory: 32 GB — NO expansion slot
Battery: 2,420 mAh embedded battery
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 / NFC / WiFi / Qi (Wireless) Charging
Windows OS: Windows Phone 8.0 (8.1 Update available)
Price: Free (With 2 Year Contract) exclusively on Verizon Wireless or
$24.99 / month with Verizon Edge or
$499.99 full price (no contract)
Probably not the most enticing of builds, the Nokia Lumia Icon has the usual (very) sturdy Nokia block build. That Lumia Icon is one solid phone. It’s very boxy looking with slightly rounded corners.
The top border has the 3.5 mm headphone jack. The right border has the volume rocker, power / standby key and dedicated camera button. The bottom has the micro USB charging port. The 2 megapixel front-facing camera is on the top right of the ear speaker. The back of the Lumia Icon has the 20 megapixel camera and speaker.
The matte carbonate material feels nice overall. You know you’re holding a quality phone with the Icon. The slightly arched back help the Lumia Icon fit nicely in your palm, it will be a bit heavy at nearly 6 ounces. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the screen and aluminum edges give the phone a premium feel, but not so much a premium look.
Unlike other Nokia Lumias, the Lumia Icon is only available in full black or white. There are no bright yellow or red builds.
One of the things that Nokia is great at is vibrant displays. That “new phone” look remains on the Lumia Icon’s 5-inch 1080p display. The colors pop and they’re crisp. Protected with Gorilla Glass 3 is a plus (you know I’m a bit of a clutz). The colors give great viewing angles even in the sun. Even at its lowest brightness the Icon is quite bright.
The Lumia Icon performed as well as I expected it to. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor running on 2 GB of RAM. Since Windows Phone 8 OS isn’t a power hog, the Qualcomm chip has no problem processing my demands from the phone. I don’t use crazy ram-hogging apps. But for basic use of social media, constant email checking, and photo-snapping the Lumia Icon handled well, very well.
Windows Phone 8.1
We’re now using Windows 8.1 which brought A LOT of needed changes to the Windows OS. Basic things like a notification bar, and access to quick settings make the Windows Phone experience a lot better than when I was using the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520. The 3 columns of live tiles is nice for pleasing your customization needs.
Some of the main apps I use are 6tag (for Instagram), Foursquare, Nokia Camera, Microsoft Office Suite, Spotify, and Nokia MixRadio. I can’t live without OneDrive and I’m getting used to Cortana.
Also now you can use a swipe method of typing. OMG, you don’t know how much you miss it until you use it forever, and then you can’t use it at all.
When reviewing the first 2 Lumia phones, I learned about the oversampling the camera does. While the camera is 20 megapixels, when taking a picture it takes a 5 megapixel shot and a 16 megapixel shot (that you can access when connecting the Lumia to your computer). You can edit the pictures with a few of the apps that Nokia provides, such as Nokia Camera, Nokia Cinemagraph, Nokia Refocus.
Nokia knows what a great camera they have in hand. For those who have more experience with camera settings, you can go into the settings of the Icon and mess with the ISO, white balance, shutter speed and even exposure. (I am trying my best to learn).
The colors in the pictures are very bright and vibrant. They are just sharp. And like most Lumia smartphones, the Icon takes great pictures in low light.
Call Quality / Verizon Wireless Service
The Lumia lines are probably the loudest phones ever when it comes to calls. Even when in the city (Manhattan) I would have to keep the volume a little higher than mid level. For the most part, I heard the other callers clearly. Sometimes while the call was still loud, the other party’s voice was a bit muffled.
Using the Icon in various parts of New York, which include all over Manhattan and Queens I get great service. Verizon Wireless has most of New York City covered. Even down in basements I got great speeds, apps downloaded and music streamed effortlessly.
The Lumia Icon, Iconic Windows Phone?
Nokia got everyone’s attention back with the Lumia 1020, the Lumia 1520 showed power and beauty and now with the Lumia Icon, you get Windows Phone power with the wonderful updates in a manageable size. The build of the phone is a bit plain and simple but you will definitely feel the quality. If you just need the main apps that are available across all platforms and are looking for a phone with a great camera the Lumia Icon will suit you well. Let’s hope developers get on board with making more apps for Windows Phone 8.1
The only problem is that the phone is only available on Verizon Wireless. So obviously, if you’re not on Verizon, no phone for you. Also, with the limited storage space (32 GB) and no memory card expansion slot, you’re really going to have to rely on the cloud. If that’s not your thing, better adjust.
But if you do can surpass the obstacles and you are on Verizon and decide to pick up the Lumia Icon, you’ll enjoy great quality build, excellent pictures and an overall great experience.