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Nokia Lumia Icon Review

Nokia Lumia Icon

Posted: , by John V.




The 20-megapixel camera is great, but could be better in low-light scenarios... and faster, too!

Turning our attention to the camera app, it’s exactly like the one we’ve already seen with the Lumia 1020 and 1520 – so it’s the Nokia Pro Cam app by default. The layout, mimics that of most digital cameras nowadays, where we have a healthy selection of options and manual controls to choose from. With the latter, we can adjust the white balance, focus, ISO, shutter speed, and exposure to achieve the best composition. There’s a smart mode too that compiles various images post shot, like the best shot, action shot, or motion focus, but the majority of fun shooting modes are uncovered through the various “lenses” that are attached to the camera app – or just use any of the Nokia branded photos apps that are preinstalled.

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.

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 8.5
No data
Samsung Galaxy S4 3.4
LG G2 4
Sony Xperia Z1 3.2
No data
View all

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.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 0.54
Samsung Galaxy S4 0.38
LG G2 0.29
Sony Xperia Z1 0.29
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 79
Samsung Galaxy S4 77
LG G2 66
Sony Xperia Z1 68
View all

  • Options

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 06:47 14

1. fouadqr (Posts: 326; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)

One of the best !!
Good job nokia/ms

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 06:50 11

4. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)

what did ms do for this phone ???

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 06:56 22

7. alterecho (Posts: 1099; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)

Bring down its value.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 07:08 9

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.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 08:15 12

26. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Yeah, it's not like MS is providing outstanding financial support or anything...

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 17:01 7

70. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3576; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)

Or the feakin OS!!.... Ignore these fools...

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 20:43 4

82. fireblade (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)

you mean crappy OS?

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 12:07

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.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:12 3

77. Skoms (Posts: 118; Member since: 03 Feb 2014)

This phone is very thick and ugly.

Looks very bulky.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 22:37

95. JC557 (Posts: 1794; 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.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 08:28 2

28. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

How is its value down? It just released yesterday. Care to explain?

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 09:24 6

36. alterecho (Posts: 1099; 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.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 10:20 2

43. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

That happened 4 years ago. How is that in any way relevant on a review of the Lumia Icon?

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 10:39 3

47. alterecho (Posts: 1099; 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.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 21:18

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.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 12:11

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 :-)

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 17:04

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...

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 06:57 14

8. papss (unregistered)

They provided an amazing OS of course ;)

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 07:42 9

21. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)

amazing OS ??? what makes it amazing ?

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 07:46 7

22. Kyokado (Posts: 115; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

Spiderman. The amazing spiderman game makes it amazing.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 08:27 7

27. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

If you've REALLY used the OS on a phone, you'll know what he's talking about. :)

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 08:48 8

32. josephnero (Posts: 592; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

i have used it and its crap

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 09:11 4

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

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 09:42 3

37. papss (unregistered)

You mean in your opinion and only you care about your opinion

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 10:14 4

41. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; 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. ;)

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 11:05 2

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!

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 11:11 5

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!

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 11:56 3

59. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; 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.

posted on 13 Feb 2014, 11:53 2

58. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; 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.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:59 1

79. Chakra (Posts: 135; Member since: 02 Dec 2009)

Crap for you. Great for me. Guess we're at an impasse.

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Nokia Lumia Icon

Nokia Lumia Icon

OS: Windows Phone 8
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (441 ppi) AMOLED
Camera20 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz, Krait 400 processor
Size5.39 x 2.79 x 0.39 inches
(137 x 71 x 10 mm)
5.86 oz  (166 g)

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