Nokia Lumia Icon Review
The 20-megapixel camera is great, but could be better in low-light scenarios... and faster, too!
As for the camera gear, it’s the same set that we saw already on the Lumia 1520 – albeit, the Lumia Icon doesn’t have any serious bulges or protrusions in the rear. Packing along a 20-megapixel PureView camera with ZEISS optics, optical image stabilization, wide angle f2.4 aperture lens, and dual-LED flash, it’s no doubt a serious contender in the camera arena. Just like its sibling, it captures two set of images – a 5-megapixel oversampled one that’s best for sharing via social networking, and the higher resolution 19-megapixel one that can be reframed later on to our liking. Having such a high megapixel count, it means that snapping images and saving them take a lengthy amount of time. In our case, roughly 8.5 seconds before we’re able to snap the next shot.
This is indeed a snapper to behold, as it’s able to compose sharp looking images outdoors when lighting is aplenty. Out of everything, it’s the sharp visuals captured by the higher resolution 19-megapixel samples that show its detail superiority over other smartphone cameras. Whereas fine details would be hard to distinguish with the 5-megapixel oversampled shots, they’re more than visible to the eye with the high-res ones. Both the exposure and color reproduction look pretty convincing, which perfectly complements the sheer amount of detail it captures.
Nokia Lumia Icon Sample Images
However, we’re still baffled by the underwhelming performance of the camera under low lighting – the same issue we had with the Lumia 1520. Yes, we’ll say that images are noticeably brighter in tone, to help draw out details, but they’re softer and less pronounced. Its dual-LED flash casts an effective amount of lighting to give our shots a proportioned color reproduction.When it comes to its 1080p video recording quality,the entire package is absolutely likable in many fronts, especially when details are sharp, audio recording is clear, and artifacting is held to a minimum. Best of all, we have the choice of recording video at 30, 25, or 24 FPS. However, it’s not without its flaws. First, its exposure seems just a tiny bit jumpy when transitioning from dark to light areas – so the result with that is some overexposure. Secondly, even though we appreciate the 3x lossless zoom, it’s more rigid with its movements. Meaning, we wish it were smoother looking.
Shutterbugs will be generally pleased with the results put out by the handset’s camera. Undeniably, its quality is better than average even for a high-end phone, though, the low lighting performance could’ve been improved to make it more usable for the occasion.
Of course, the Windows Phone Store is home to several other Nokia branded photo apps that help to enhance the smartphone’s experience. For example, the Nokia Refocus app is an interesting shooter that allows us to select what elements in the shot are to remain in focus. Essentially, we hold the handset still as it takes a series of photos, and once that’s done, we can touch the screen to select where we want to emphasis focus in the shot. It’s pretty neat actually!
With listening to music, we have two options to choose from – the standard Windows Phone music player or the Nokia Music one. With the latter, not only are we able to play local content, but it also provides us with streaming and buying option as well. Conversely, the stock Windows Phone music player continues to entice us with its dynamic interface, which heavily relies on that stylish looking Modern UI.
Whether it’s the internal speaker or the 3.5mm headset jack, there’s no shortage of lovable sounds that are rich with clarity and robustness. With the internal speaker, it nearly pumps out 80 dB of audio at the loudest setting – and there’s no evidence of strain or crackling!
Who knows why, but AMOLED screens make videos come to life more so than its LCD counterparts. Casting those dreamy looking colors, we’re instantly mesmerized and in awe by the Icon’s screen while playing high definition videos. As expect, it supports all the popular video codecs – while also maintaining a consistent playback rate.
Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 0.54
Samsung Galaxy S4 0.38
Sony Xperia Z1 0.29
LG G2 0.29
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 79
Samsung Galaxy S4 77
Sony Xperia Z1 68
LG G2 66
13. ihavenoname (Posts: 1445; 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: 2436; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Yeah, it's not like MS is providing outstanding financial support or anything...
70. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3556; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Or the feakin OS!!.... Ignore these fools...
61. TechKnowledge (Posts: 26; 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: 1143; 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: 2047; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
How is its value down? It just released yesterday. Care to explain?
36. alterecho (Posts: 1085; 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: 2047; 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: 1085; 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: 26; 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: 3556; 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 ;)
22. Kyokado (Posts: 115; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
Spiderman. The amazing spiderman game makes it amazing.
27. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2047; 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: 2047; 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: 400; 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: 2047; 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: 2047; 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 (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: 2047; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
No one should bother explaining what's amazing about WP to a ignorant troll like you.
48. zuckerboy (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: 2047; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Hahahaha that was funny! LOL! Are you done?
68. zuckerboy (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: 400; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
So what are you doing here buddy? Looks to me someones a bit worried
39. Liveitup (Posts: 1353; 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: 944; 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: 2047; 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: 26; 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: 1353; 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: 3563; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
1820 will get above 9 for sure. That's my prediction.
94. JC557 (Posts: 1143; 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 (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: 692; 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: 692; 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: 1445; 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: 2047; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Best of 2014 FOR ME*
forgot to add that :)
88. hurrycanger (Posts: 1191; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)
There is no problem with blindfolding yourself. :)
9. papss (unregistered)
I actually like the squarish look
65. TechKnowledge (Posts: 26; 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.