Nokia Lumia Icon ReviewNokia Lumia Icon 8.5
It has the same experience as any other Nokia Lumia
Playing around with the Nokia Lumia Icon, it’s made clear from the get-go that it’s running the same software experience as the Lumia 1520 before it – Windows Phone 8 with the GDR 3 update. Save for a few Verizon branded apps, the package remains similar for the most part, so there aren’t any new additions or surprises here folks. As with all other Windows Phones running the GDR 3 update, the Lumia Icon benefits by accommodating even more live tiles on the Start screen, a smoother multitasking experience, screen orientation lock, driving mode, and much more. We won’t expand on them a whole lot, seeing that you can read about them in our Lumia 1520 review.
Beyond the usual set of apps we’re accustomed to seeing on any Windows Phones, we’re naturally greeted by the array of apps from Nokia’s portfolio. The goodies in the mix include such things like the splendid Nokia Here app with free turn-by-turn navigation and offline maps, Nokia Mix streaming radio service, Nokia Cinemagraph for making animated GIFs, and Nokia Beamer for sharing your phone's screen through a web browser.
By now, we’re familiar with the routine here. Knowing that, we’re kind of ready for a change of scenery – though technically, Windows Phones with the GDR 3 update are still few and far in between. It gets the job done, more so than other non-Lumia Windows Phones, but at the end of the day, it’s just the same recycled experience we’ve relished first with the Lumia 1520.
Certainly easier to maneuver than the Lumia 1520’s keyboard, the smaller sized screen of the Icon allows us to better encompass the layout – while its responsiveness and accuracy continue to be impeccable.
Even with the GDR 3 update, there’s nothing dramatically new the email experience here that we get on other Windows Phones. Despite that, we can’t complain because it gets the job done by giving us a good balance between organization and productivity.
We like the selection of first-party apps on Windows Phone. Having mobile Office right out of the box is a huge plus. Since this is a Nokia phone, you also get some very neat applications that other Windows Phone handsets do not have. Nokia Drive with free offline turn-by-turn navigation and Nokia Music with its great free music streaming option are on board.
Basic functionality is also well covered with a phone app that integrates your social news circles (Facebook and Twitter) and contacts. Although its set of core organizer apps are more than usable, the platform is seriously lacking a contender in the digital personal assistance service category. Relying on its Bing service, it’s able to do basic things like making phone calls, sending text, opening apps, and much more. However, it lacks the smarter features of its rivals – like being able to perform calculations, conversions, and even answering who is the president of the US.
Processor and Memory
Powered by the excellent Snapdragon 800 SoC, with 2GB of RAM
Matching its close sibling, the Icon is powered by the same piece of silicon inside of the Lumia 1520 – a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC coupled with the Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM. Its performance is quite telling, considering that this processor is used by many of today’s high-end smartphones, so we’re thankful to know it’s responsive with pretty much every operation. Some apps might load a bit slower than its contemporaries on other platforms, but that’s mainly attributed to the platform – not the phone’s hardware per se.
More and more companies are raising the bar when it comes to storage capacity for $200 on-contract phones, so it’s refreshing to know that the Icon is blessed with an ample 32GB. That’ll go a long for some people, especially when there’s no expandable memory with this.
Higher is better
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
Lower is better
Accessing the web on a Windows Phone device happens exclusively via Internet Explorer, and the Lumia Icon is no exception. We don’t like the lack of choice, but luckily mobile IE is a good browser on its own, and with 4G LTE on board, surfing the web is a pleasure. Best of all, its even more detailed 1080p screen adds icing to an otherwise typical looking experience for Windows Phone.
Being touted as the premier Lumia smartphone for Verizon, the Icon is stuffed with all the connectivity features of its contemporaries. The listing includes 4G LTE, aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, dual-band 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, and NFC.
4. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
what did ms do for this phone ???
13. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
I hate that Nokia guys do all the work, while M$ takes the credit. Nokia team designs great hardware and imaging technology, while M$ guys only bath in money.
26. Commentator (Posts: 3677; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Yeah, it's not like MS is providing outstanding financial support or anything...
70. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3576; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Or the feakin OS!!.... Ignore these fools...
61. TechKnowledge (Posts: 55; 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: 1425; 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: 2071; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
How is its value down? It just released yesterday. Care to explain?
36. alterecho (Posts: 1098; 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: 2071; 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: 1098; 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: 55; 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: 3576; 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: 2071; 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: 2071; 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: 433; 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: 2071; 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: 2071; 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: 130; 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: 2071; 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: 2071; 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: 433; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
So what are you doing here buddy? Looks to me someones a bit worried
39. Liveitup (Posts: 1798; 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: 1440; 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: 2071; 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: 55; 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: 1798; 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: 3900; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
1820 will get above 9 for sure. That's my prediction.
94. JC557 (Posts: 1425; 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: 1552; 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: 42; 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: 1552; 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.
6. HASHTAG (unregistered)
It's only February...
10. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; 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: 2071; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Best of 2014 FOR ME*
forgot to add that :)
88. hurrycanger (Posts: 1561; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)
There is no problem with blindfolding yourself. :)
9. papss (unregistered)
I actually like the squarish look
65. TechKnowledge (Posts: 55; 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.
85. funktacious2 (Posts: 3; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Agreed. It's for reasons like that that I don't really pay too much mind to the score of a phone, because this phone is probably getting points off for cons that were pros in a lot of other articles I've read. (i.e. low lighting image quality).