Nokia Lumia Icon Review: Verizon's WP8 Flagship

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Performance Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary: If you're looking for the equivalent of the Lumia 1520 in terms of performance, but need a device for Verizon, the Nokia Lumia Icon is it. In our performance benchmarks, the two are nearly impossible to tell apart, and both are a big leap ahead of the previous-gen Lumia devices. The quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC inside the Lumia Icon provides the basis for all around excellent performance, although we should note that against non-Windows Phone devices in browsing tests, the Icon typically trailed the competition.

The Lumia Icon’s overall strong performance might be enough to persuade potential buyers to snap it up. Though, the Icon has a number of additional attractive features that may catch a consumer’s fancy such as well, like the bright, crisp full HD display with beveled edges, or the excellent (for a smartphone) 20MP camera that offers plenty of manual controls and relatively high picture and video quality. Audio fidelity when shooting video is also quite good.

The number of built-in apps is solid too, and includes turn-by-turn directions and maps via Nokia HERE Drive+ and Nokia HERE Maps, respectively, and Nokia MixRadio is a convenient alternative to the likes of Pandora if you want to listen to music. Nokia Beamer is an attractive tool, and the normal spate of calendar, messaging, etc. apps are a strong complement. Of course, if you use the Windows Phone platform, you still have to contend with an app store that’s not nearly as heavily populated as the competition, but you've heard all that before. We should note, however, the app situation is continually improving; Microsoft announced just yesterday that the app store has hit over 400K apps.

The lack of a microSD card slot may be an annoying feature omission for some, but if you dig Windows Phone, you can’t do any better than the Lumia Icon if you’re a Verizon customer. If you’re debating whether to roll with AT&T or Verizon as a carrier and also want to ensure that you have the latest and greatest Windows Phone, also note that AT&T's flagship Windows Phone (the Lumia 1520) is a big 6-inch phablet whereas the Verizon option (the Lumia Icon) has a 5-inch display that’s still large but is more manageable; thus, your decision may come down to what size device you prefer.

Without a contract, the Nokia Lumia Icon will set you back $599, but you don’t have to break the bank; it’ll run you $199 on contract, and Amazon has them for $149. This is a solid device that represents a strong generational leap ahead in terms of performance.

  • Excellent all-around performance
  • Beautiful display
  • High-quality camera
  • Surprisingly clear, clean audio recording
  • Good Battery Life
  • Lower scores in some web browsing tests
  • Windows Phone app store

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