Nokia Lumia 730 Review

I have been wanting to get back to write a more detailed review of how my Nokia Lumia 730 is fairing, but work pressure had been keeping me away. Finally found so time. So here’s the update from what I had shared earlier.

First to clear up what I had written earlier. In Whatsapp I could finally find a way to clear the chat conversations without having to exit the chat. For this, while in chat you can either tap on the header that displays the group name/person name or click on the 3 dots at the bottom and select “group info”/”info” from it. In the screen that loads, click the 3 dots at the bottom and you will option to “clear chat history”. So this issue is resolved. I can however still not find a way to add to list for twitter and the kid’s zone still doesn't works without having to unlock the phone with my password.

A very interesting feature while typing messages in a chat window or a message window or any place, you will see icons being suggested based on the words you type so for words like birthday a cake will appear, for book, a book icon will appear, and so on and so forth. And since they appear right in the panel where the keypad displays completed words, it is very handy to insert these icons in the message. Some of the icons can be tricky though in case they aren't available in the particular application and may end up looking a bit different to the receiver.

One of the distinct feature of Windows Phone (and desktop) is the ‘Live’ tiles. These appear in 3 sizes on the phone. In the smallest size, a maximum of 6 fit in a row on my phone. These are the conduit for the application to push the data to the home screen so that the user can decide if he/she needs to open the application or not. In the smallest size, most tiles show the application logo and then a count. So for WhatsApp this count means unread chats. For Facebook, this count is the notification count. For phone tile, this shows the # of missed calls and email tile will show the # messages not read so far. In medium size the applications have more space to display more information and in the widest setting, the application can really make maximum use of space. The tiles can designed to flip over as well, to show relevant content and then flip to show the application logo or something like that and then flip over again. Most store apps seem to make decent use of the tiles. I however see that some apps have not made use of these tiles at all.

Applications can be configured to push their data to the lock screen also, like right now I have set Facebook to control my phone’s lock screen image. Each time I enable the phone to unlock it, I see a different picture from my Facebook profile. Missed calls, # messages, # emails are some of the other information that is displayed on the lock screen. In all you can set 5 applications to display their data to the lock screen.

The camera on this phone is wonderful. Though a mere 6.7 MP (my earlier Samsung Galaxy S3 had an 8 MP camera), but the clarity of pictures (even from a laymen’s perspective) are too good. Even night shots taken without flash, do appear very natural. I am no camera or photo expert, but could easily make out that the pictures seemed crisper and better.
 You can launch the camera from the camera icon or from the setting screen that you can pull down from the top. While the camera icon appears a bit out of place in this setting screen, but it is an easy way to launch the camera even when the phone is locked. Given the popularity of selfies today, the phone actually comes with a tile on the start screen to launch the camera in selfie mode directly. Cool, indeed.

Enabling Wi-Fi settings is trivial. Pull down the menu from the top and enable Wi-Fi. If you have saved configurations and if one of those hotspots is in range, the phone will connect to it automatically. Switching off is a bit more involved? From the pull down menu, uncheck the Wi-Fi option and you will be taken to the Wi-Fi Settings page, from where you need to disable the Wi-Fi option. Wonder why this was required? Disabling could have also been done just like enabling was done.

The highlight of this review is the phone’s phenomenal battery power. The phone has a 2200mAh battery, which is a surprise power pack. At my regular usage, which is a few phone calls a day, surfing the net, WhatsApp chatting, checking my official email once in a while, the battery lasts for 2 days. My Samsung Galaxy S3 used to require daily recharge. The interesting part was that for the initial few weeks, while I was setting up my phone, I used to switch on the phone very frequently and played around a lot with tile sizes and positioning and also would keep checking messages on WhatsApp and on email. Even with the extra load, the battery easily lasted for 2 days.

When I had moved to this phone, I was very happy that I could easily reset my earlier phone and sell it off. All my contacts were saved in my google account. All I had to do was the map the google account on this new phone and all contacts would be available. So that’s what I did. I added my Gmail account to the phone and I immediately had my contacts downloaded. However over the next few days I realized that some of the contacts were missing. I suspected that some of the recent additions that I might have done from my earlier phone, I may have missed marking them as Gmail contacts and hence they were not appearing. But over the next few days I found that lot many more contacts were missing which I surely had added to my Gmail contact list. To solve this issue, I finally logged into my Gmail account and checked the contact list there. Surprisingly all contacts were there including the some I had suspected were missing and had added again. So why weren't all reflecting on my Windows Phone? What was the issue? I soon realized that the issue was in the groups I had created. Galaxy S3 being an Android phone, understood Gmail contact’s structure and the group, but for Windows Phone, it was concerned with only the primary “My Contacts” group. All other contacts that were in other groups had not been downloaded to the phone. So I modified my Gmail contact list and moved all contacts to “My Contacts” and with the next sync all the contacts finally appeared on my Windows phone.

Windows phone seems to have made some customization for India market. Apps for Flipkart and Myntra are available by default on the phone. I had to add apps like Amazon.

The one disappointing fact is that while the phone comes with 8 GB internal memory, almost 3.5 GB is used by the OS itself. Microsoft needs to do something to fix the OS size. Download a few applications and very soon you could be down to just 1-2 GB to store your music, videos, camera roll etc. Which means that if you are a heavy phone user you may want to purchase an extra SD memory card right away.

I had hoped to try Cortana, but could not spend time on it.

Nokia Lumia series along with Windows Phone 8.1 onward seems to have gained some market traction. The response to this phone OS is now better. Microsoft now seems to be inclined to make its phone as well, like it did for the Windows 8 Surface Tablets. Hope it will do a good job at it and not spoil the brand that Nokia was helping create.
Over the last 2 months, I have found this Nokia Lumia 730 very easy to use, very stable and deliver efficiently. The apps respond to the touch very fast and sometimes you even feel that you actually had even touched the display, but had just hovered very close to it.

Nokia Here Maps don’t seem as accurate and as updated as Google maps and I do miss an app for YouTube. It is sad that Microsoft has not allowed a YouTube app on the store.

[Edited: 19 March 2015] I missed mentioning about the audio. While I have not been able to find an equalizer on the phone, but the audio in general seems very good. The ability to reproduce a wide range of frequencies and with great clarity, is just amazing. I cannot give technical details, but based on what I can hear and make out, the quality of audio is awesome. 

Overall, I would say that this phone is definitely a good buy in the 15K price range. 

Comments

  1. I have been using windows phone (Nokia Lumia 720) for almost 2 years now and I think windows phones are not that bad. Its hard to adjust initially if one is an android user but later it feels more friendly. The only thing I hate about it is when it hangs. Yes, it happens for my mobile set 3-4 times a month and its tricky to reboot it. It does not get open so taking out and putting in the battery is not an option. Its a combination of softkeys that we need to press to get it restart and it doesn't works always for my handset :-(

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  2. Sir I don't know if you've been able to find the equaliser. If you haven't, just go to Settings and you'll find Audio towards the end, which will take you to equaliser and enhancement settings

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