Nokia Lumia Icon Review
As the good saying goes, it’s better late than never. The timeless adage rings deeply for Verizon when it comes to Nokia smartphones, seeing that the carrier is constantly receiving second servings in comparison to its rival in AT&T. It was especially made apparent last year with the arrival of the highly anticipated Lumia smartphone for Big Red, the Nokia Lumia 928, which was a none other than a slightly modified version of the Lumia 920 before it – yet again, a phone launched with AT&T first.
More recently, AT&T continued to reap all of Nokia’s fruitful labors with the Lumia 1520, a game changing Windows Phone in respect to its specs and size. Following in tradition, from what it seems, Verizon is laying claim to a modified version – the non-number branded Nokia Lumia Icon. Taking almost everything we love about the mighty Lumia 1520, the Icon’s package is slightly smaller, due to the 5-inch display it’s packing along for the ride. Aside from that, it looks like there aren’t any compromises with this over AT&T’s pride and joy. Well, let’s cross our fingers about that one!
The package contains:
- Wall charger
- microUSB cable
- Warranty information
- Get started guide
Its design is not as iconic as those of some other Nokia phones
Depending on how you look at it, the Lumia Icon is either a larger version of the Lumia 928 before it – or a slightly shrunken down size of the Lumia 1520. Compared to other recent Lumias, we can’t say that we’re totally in love with the design here. First and foremost, it has a flatter/boxier characteristic to it, seeing that it’s sporting tapered cuts in the rear casing that are more subdued than ever before.
Although we appreciate the sturdy metallic bezel outlining the handset, which sprinkles on a hint of premium to the overall design, it makes the handset sharp to the touch. In fact, it’s not as comfortable to hold in the hand due to the edges of the bezel digging into our hand. In comparison to the Lumia 1520, the Icon is obviously easier to hold with a single hand due to its smaller size, but then again, those sharp edges combined with its flatter design, doesn’t make it the most ergonomic thing.
Finally, there are only two colors available with this model, matte black and white, which employ the same polycarbonate materials we’ve seen endlessly by now. Frankly speaking, it’s not an iconic design – nor is it daring or cutting edge.
Keeping true to the design language that’s been well established by now, it features the same set of ports and buttons around its trim – these consist of its microUSB port, two-level shutter key, power button, volume controls, 3.5mm headset jack, and SIM slot. A changeup to say the least, unlike previous Lumias that required a SIM removal tool to access the SIM, the Icon’s tray is easily accessed by simply prying the compartment with our fingernail.
Below and above the display, we find the usual trio of capacitive Windows Phone buttons, earpiece, light & proximity sensors, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Sorry folks, this one doesn’t feature a microSD card slot.
Both the Lumia 1020 and 1520 are known to be serious camera centric devices, so it doesn’t surprise us that the Icon is in the club as well. Rather, there’s an evolutionary improvement seen with the handset’s 20-megapixel PureView camera, which features ZEISS optics, a wide angle f2.4 aperture lens, optical image stabilization, and dual-LED flash. Whereas the cameras on the aforementioned smartphones jutted out tremendously, the Icon’s entire camera package is flush to the surface – resulting in a uniform back casing.
137 x 71 x 10 mm
5.86 oz (166 g)
136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)
138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)
144.4 x 73.9 x 8.5 mm
6.00 oz (170 g)
Sharp, 441 ppi AMOLED screen that is rather difficult to view in the sun
So long Lumia 1520. There’s a new king in the Windows Phone arena that’s taking the crown for having the most detailed display. Flaunting a 5-inch 1080p HD OLED display with Nokia’s ClearBlack technology, it results in having a pixel density count of 441 ppi – easily besting the 368 ppi tally of the Lumia 1520. It’s undoubtedly detailed, giving every little morsel plenty of sharpness and clarity.
Nokia has been known to switch up the displays they employ with their phones, which is especially apparent here with the Icon. Instead of following in the same path of the Lumia 1520, which sported an LCD display, the Icon’s display favors AMOLED technology. The result, of course, is having oversaturated colors that instantly catch our attention – more so when the color black is actually black, not a shade of grey. Additionally, its viewing angles are stupendous, since it maintains its clarity at all angles.
Under the settings menu, we can adjust the color profile of the display. Therefore, we can modify both the color temperature and saturation, giving colors a cooler or warmer glow. Also a frequent feature amongst Nokia’s Lumia smartphones, we can interact with the display while wearing gloves. It’s a pleasant thing to know when it’s frigid outside, and at the same time, its sensitivity can also be adjusted for better accuracy.
However, it’s not the brightest display we’ve come across. Just a smidgen shy of 300 nits, the display is difficult to view outdoors with the sun present – requiring us to shield it most of the time. Layered on top of it all is Gorilla Glass 3, which should do nicely to protect it against minor scuffs and scratches. Overall, it’s still a head turner in a dark room, as the iridescent glow of the display makes it a prime target.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Sony Xperia Z1||495
|Nokia Lumia Icon||294
|Samsung Galaxy S4||289
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Nokia Lumia Icon||50.7%
|Samsung Galaxy S4||58.5%
|Sony Xperia Z1||78.2%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
4. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
what did ms do for this phone ???
13. ihavenoname (Posts: 1522; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
I hate that Nokia guys do all the work, while M$ takes the credit. Nokia team designs great hardware and imaging technology, while M$ guys only bath in money.
26. Commentator (Posts: 2499; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Yeah, it's not like MS is providing outstanding financial support or anything...
70. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Or the feakin OS!!.... Ignore these fools...
61. TechKnowledge (Posts: 33; Member since: 05 May 2013)
Well I love Nokia and the tremendous help they have provided for Microsoft. However, I would like to believe that 250 million/Q is a bit of a helping hand.
77. Skoms (Posts: 118; Member since: 03 Feb 2014)
This phone is very thick and ugly.
Looks very bulky.
95. JC557 (Posts: 1164; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
See it in person then judge. I did and actually came away quite impressed.
Of course if you're just gonna come here and spew crap just because it's a WP or Nokia or both then the mods should really step in and do something.
28. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
How is its value down? It just released yesterday. Care to explain?
36. alterecho (Posts: 1091; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
First, A phone of this calibre is more than an 8.5
Second, talking about Nokia as a whole, look at this graph illustrating Nokia's share:
Detailed examination of the graph:
After Elop abandoned Symbian and forced Nokia to adopt WP, its value has diminished vastly.
Hence my comment.
43. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
That happened 4 years ago. How is that in any way relevant on a review of the Lumia Icon?
47. alterecho (Posts: 1091; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
It BEGAN around 4 years ago and is continuing.
"How is that in any way relevant on a review of the Lumia Icon?"
Lumia Icon is Nokia's phone.
74. Kyokado (Posts: 115; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
The lumia icon isnt nokia phone!!!! If I buy the phone then its mine. And so is it to everbybody else.
62. TechKnowledge (Posts: 33; Member since: 05 May 2013)
I'll explain for him. When you're bent on the failure of a company. You remain pessimistic about all of their business operations, and you tend to forecast negative unrealistic outcomes without any proof what so ever! I'd like to say forgive him, but I can't find it in myself to do it either, so their goes that :-)
71. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Ignore them!.... If they think there's better devices out there then why do they waist their time on every WP article.. Just ignore them completely from now on.. It's the same three fools lined up, back to back.. Just let them entertain themselves...
8. papss (unregistered)
They provided an amazing OS of course ;)
21. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
amazing OS ??? what makes it amazing ?
22. Kyokado (Posts: 115; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
Spiderman. The amazing spiderman game makes it amazing.
27. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
If you've REALLY used the OS on a phone, you'll know what he's talking about. :)
35. Mike_L.13 (Posts: 20; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)
maybe it's crap when all you're trying to do is send snapchats and post tweets all day but for those of us who use it for work it's actually kind of spiffy.
i would recommend ios or even a forked version of Android to better suit your needs
37. papss (unregistered)
You mean in your opinion and only you care about your opinion
41. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Yeah you've used Android and its crap. I've also had the same experience with Android. You're not alone. ;)
54. SleepingOz (unregistered)
I guess that's why more and more people are jumping on Android's bandwagon. Because it sucks, right? And WP is losing market shares because it's amazing. Keep on deluding yourself. That's what WP fanboys do best!
55. sbw44 (Posts: 412; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
"And WP is losing market shares because it's amazing."
Funny how WP was the fastest growing OS and yet you idiots still think that you can spin your lies on here!
The funniest thing is if WP sucks so much WTF are you doing here????
And I thought apple's fanboys are bad you idiots take the cake!
59. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Agree with you. I mean why would they even bother to look, let alone comment, at a WP related article or review since they say they don't care about WP? These fandroids have topped iFans as the worst fanboys ever.
58. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
"Keep on deluding yourself. That's what WP fanboys do best!" Well, you Fandroids define the word delusion as you'll live in this fantasy world where Android is the best OS in the world. Well guess what, its not. And its growing at a slower pace than before and way slower than at the pace of WP. So get some good facts before you venture out here to troll.
79. Chakra (Posts: 125; Member since: 02 Dec 2009)
Crap for you. Great for me. Guess we're at an impasse.
34. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
why dont you tell me what is amazing about wp ?? maybe I will decide wp for that reason
42. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
No one should bother explaining what's amazing about WP to a ignorant troll like you.
48. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
lol bcuz there is nothing amazing about Wp even fanboys like you knows that truth Wp isnt amazing maybe it will be amazing in 2016
49. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Hahahaha that was funny! LOL! Are you done?
68. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
this is the truth mate but you r too blind to see it. even android powered low-end nokia will sell more than lumia. watch and learn fanboy ;)
52. SleepingOz (unregistered)
56. papss (unregistered)
You mean maybe?
57. sbw44 (Posts: 412; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
So what are you doing here buddy? Looks to me someones a bit worried
39. Liveitup (Posts: 1579; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)
Use one you'll find out, ask yourself why Android and iOS has mimicked its flat UI.
45. cripton805 (Posts: 997; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
What flat UI? Ive been using Android for 4 years and it's been the same. They have just been releasing more updates and making it smoother.
50. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
"Ive been using Android for 4 years and it's been the same"
You just said it yourself on how much Android has changed since ICS. And yet you trolls call it "the most advanced OS in the World"
63. TechKnowledge (Posts: 33; Member since: 05 May 2013)
I'm in love with the OS. In all fairness, I will not sit here and make pretend the OS is matured, but it serves all of the purposes that are necessary for my everyday use (e-mail, blogging, texting, pdf files for school, etc). As far as "Amazing OS" goes, Windows 8.1 (if the rumors are accurate) seems promising!
38. Liveitup (Posts: 1579; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)
A smartphone is just more than its hardware,software is the other half of the equation common sense dictates that, who let these geniuses bashing WP in the room.
25. akki20892 (Posts: 3655; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
1820 will get above 9 for sure. That's my prediction.
94. JC557 (Posts: 1164; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
I got to try out the phone today for about an hour or so and I'm honestly really impressed with the phone. It feels nice in hand (the edges don't bother me considering I had the LG Spectrum 2) and the display is quite pleasing to look at. The camera is really high quality and the battery life for that hour was pretty nice even after heavy usage.
I didn't really care for the way IE handled zooming on web pages (so used to Chromes double tap then swipe zoom) but it still provided a really good browsing experience.
I would wait for the price to come down a bit before I bite but I definitely have this in the running as to what phone I'll buy next. So far it's the Icon, HTC One, and Motorola Moto X/ Droid MAXX.
2. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
good device but they should have used ips screen. maybe they use it next device (1820)
3. jellmoo (Posts: 704; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Seriously? The 1520, an oversized incredibly niche product scores a 9, whilst the more mainstream device scores an 8.5?
16. Dthawk (Posts: 41; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)
you have to factor in the time the phones were released. The Icon is a solid phone, but it brings nothing new or innovative. Especially with the wave of flagships coming in the following weeks.
23. Kyokado (Posts: 115; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
Plus this time the devie has a name. I think PA hates it that nokia is giving its devices names.
29. jellmoo (Posts: 704; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
My issue there is that no real flagships have come out between the release of the 1520 and the Icon. It's not like there is some amazing new tech to skew the scores.
And while there are new devices on the horizon, you can't really score against things that aren't released yet, or even have release dates.
I'm not saying that 8.5 is a bad or unfair score. I'm saying that scoring an incredibly niche device of limited appeal higher when the devices have such similar internals is just wonky.
10. ihavenoname (Posts: 1522; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
Great phone, but not the best of 2014, not at all. There will be GS5, iPhone 6, HTC M8, LG G3, Sony Xperia Z2, Note 4, Lumia 1820, list goes on.
30. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Best of 2014 FOR ME*
forgot to add that :)
88. hurrycanger (Posts: 1292; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)
There is no problem with blindfolding yourself. :)
9. papss (unregistered)
I actually like the squarish look
65. TechKnowledge (Posts: 33; Member since: 05 May 2013)
I agree... I thought I would hate it..... It looks cool now.... I like the comparison pics with the comparable devices too. It gave me a more clear view of how the overall appearance of the phone compares with its competitors. I could definitely do without the "Verizon" logo.