Nokia Lumia 730 Review
The Nokia Lumia 730 is part of Microsoft’s 2014 fall lineup of Windows Phone devices, and one of the last smartphones to carry the Nokia brand. An affordable handset with a 4.7” 720p AMOLED display, it comes with a quad-core Snapdragon 400 system chip, 1GB of RAM and 8 gigs of internal storage. Where it differs from most of its peers, though, is in its advertized 5-megapixel front-facing camera and aspirations to be a master of ‘selfie’ photography.
The Lumia 730 also comes with Windows Phone 8.1 on board, enriched with the goodness of the Lumia Denim update that is exclusive to the series. It’s an important update that brings substantial improvements in the speed of the camera and some other stability fixes.
Before digging deeper, though, we should clarify that the Lumia 730 has a nearly identical sibling called the Lumia 735. The Lumia 730 is a dual-SIM handset, while the Lumia 735 features 4G LTE connectivity, and that’s the only difference between the two. There are no other differences, and even the design is identical.
With an alluring price tag that aims to undercut Android peers from first-tier brands, the Lumia 730 makes an interesting case for Windows Phone on affordable phones. Let’s learn more about it.
In the box:
- 0.75A wall charger with permanently attached microUSB cable
- User manual
The Lumia 730 inherits the pillow-shaped design of the Lumia 800, and this means an excellent-quality construction with great ergonomics and a pleasant, soft plastic body.
The Nokia Lumia 730 comes with a pillow-shaped design that will remind those who follow the Windows Phone history of the first Nokia handset on the Microsoft’s platform: the Nokia Lumia 800 from early 2012. Luckily, this design that was once considered premium now comes to affordable handsets, and we’re impressed with the quality feel of the Lumia 730.
With no sharp lines, the phone sits very comfortably in the hand, and it has a welcoming soft feel to it. It’s made of plastic, with a removable, wrap-around plastic shell, but the material is a well-treated plastic that does not feel or appear cheap. The thickness of the phone is 0.34” (8.7mm), but it does not feel as thick as that number suggests because of the curved edges of the device. All in all, the phone is well fit for single-handed use, and it can safely be considered one of the best designs in the affordable phone class. You also have a choice of black, white, red, and green colors for the Lumia 730, and we appreciate having these color options as opposed to having just the more conservative black and white.
The Lumia 730 features on-screen navigation buttons, while all physical keys are conveniently within reach of the thumb on the right. The lock key is in the middle, and the volume rocker above - both are made of glossy plastic that contrasts with the matte grey of the body, and are clicky and responsive.
The 4.7” 720p AMOLED display features overblown colors in the default mode, but you have the option to fine tune it to your liking.
The Nokia Lumia 730 features a 4.7-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 720 x 1280- pixels (720p). It uses AMOLED technology, which is still rather rarely found in affordable phones. It comes with the advantage of perfect black color, excellent contrast, and great viewing angles. On top of it, is a Nokia ClearBlack filter with polarization that filters out reflections nicely, which makes it easier to use the phone outdoors.
Looking at sharpness, we have a pixel density of 312ppi on the Lumia 730, which sounds great for such an affordable phone, at least on paper. In reality, however, some pixelization is noticeable. The reason for this is not the resolution per se, but rather the PenTile Diamond pixel arrangement used in the phone. PenTile features less sub-pixels, and this results in noticeable jaggedness, especially noticeable on larger patches of a single color.
Colors on the Lumia 730 are not bland at all: quite the contrary, we have a rich, vibrant image and looking at our display measurements one can see why. The 4.7” AMOLED panel covers a wider color gamut than the industry standard sRGB, and all the color saturations are overblown. As a result we have the aforementioned vivid colors that are rather unrealistic. This effect is multiplied by the fact that the screen’s gamma response at 2.48 is above the standard 2.2, which results in a darker, even more contrasty and unrealistic picture. Some people like those punchy colors, but we have seen better calibrated displays even in this affordable class of devices.
Keep in mind that those display measurements apply for the default standard color profile (you can change color profiles from Settings -> Display -> Color Profile). The Lumia 730 features an even more oversaturated ‘vivid’ color mode, a ‘cool’ one with preference for colder tonalities and a colder white point, and finally, one big surprise. That big surprise comes in the form of the ‘advanced’ color profile that allows you to tweak key aspects of the color performance of the display: you can set color temperature (from warm to cold, with a slider), tint (from green to neutral to purple), and color saturation (from natural to vivid). Those obsessed with color purity will be able to use these settings to calibrate the screen to near perfection.
Our measurements show that the Lumia 730 can reach peak brightness of around 294 nits. Keep in mind that AMOLED displays reach different brightness levels depending on the colors that are displayed (we measure brightness on an all-white display, while in real-life usage the brightness output might be a bit higher). We find the Lumia 730 bright enough for use outdoors.
We’re happy to see that the screen can also be used with gloves (something Nokia calls ‘super sensitivity mode’). We did not have to trigger any option to enable this - it works right out of the box, which is nice.