Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s latest smartphone, the Lumia Icon, is finally out and there’s a clear consensus from early reviewers – it’s the best Windows Phone yet, and it’s still not as good as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.
The Lumia Icon has 1920×1080 resolution, the same as the Lumia 1520, but the smaller screen means it has a higher pixel density than the iPhone 5’s Retina display. The phone has microphones on all four sides to improve sound quality when you record videos, though the effect may be negligible, and an improved display gives better contrast so you can read the screen in full sunlight more easily. So far, so good.
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Lumia Icon’s shutter lag ruins actions shots
The 20-megapixel camera apparently take great pictures and comes bundled with some useful apps, but “none of it matters if you can’t take the original shot,” says reviewer Mark Hachman on PC World. The camera has more than a second of a shutter lag, so if you’re taking a picture of a landscape or posing family members you should get a nice pic, but action shots will be an exercise in frustration.
The Lumia Icon’s quad-core processor should be fast enough to keep users happy, but the phone is limited to just 32 GB of memory, while the iPhone has a 64 GB option and most Android phones have a microSD expansion slot. The smartphone has the latest Windows Phone 8 OS, which has gotten somewhat mixed reviews.
If you care about apps you will also be getting short shrift with the Lumia Icon. Of course this has nothing to do with the phone itself, the Windows Store just doesn’t have as much depth as its Android and iOS rivals. The Office productivity suite comes pre-loaded, but until Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) figures out how to make those applications work as well on a mobile device as they do on a PC, they won’t be a draw for most people.
Microsoft’s best phone still isn’t good enough
Hachman says it’s the best Windows Phone he’s used so far, but “owning a Windows Phone, however, still feels like living a year or so behind the rest of the market.” Bonnie Cha echoes this sentiment, saying “The Lumia Icon is undoubtedly the best Windows Phone device in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s lineup. But Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will need to come up with something more interesting and iconic to convince consumers to switch to the platform.”
The Lumia Icon is currently available from Verizon Wireless for $200 with a two-year contract.