Nokia Lumia 730 Review

Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Introduction


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

Design

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.

 

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Front view | Side view
Nokia Lumia 730
Nokia Lumia 730
5.3 x 2.7 x 0.34 inches
134.7 x 68.5 x 8.7 mm
4.60 oz (130 g)

Nokia Lumia 730

BLU Vivo Air
BLU Vivo Air
5.5 x 2.65 x 0.2 inches
139.8 x 67.4 x 5.1 mm
3.42 oz (97 g)

BLU Vivo Air

Motorola Moto G (2014)
Motorola Moto G (2014)
5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches
141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

LG G3 s
LG G3 s
5.42 x 2.74 x 0.41 inches
137.7 x 69.6 x 10.3 mm
4.83 oz (137 g)

LG G3 s



Display

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.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
LG G3 s 418
(Good)
10
(Average)
1:1029
(Good)
8001
(Poor)
2.2
5.42
(Average)
5.46
(Average)
Motorola Moto G (2014) 390
(Average)
15
(Poor)
1:908
(Average)
8290
(Poor)
2.39
5.32
(Average)
6.78
(Average)
Nokia Lumia 730 294
(Poor)
22
(Poor)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7167
(Good)
2.43
3.79
(Good)
5.55
(Average)
BLU Vivo Air 243
(Poor)
6
(Good)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7280
(Good)
2.4
4.44
(Average)
4.16
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
BLU Vivo Air 49.8%
50%
unmeasurable
22.1%
4.6%
72.3%
98.6%
Nokia Lumia 730 55.8%
31.8%
unmeasurable
18.1%
0.4%
100.8%
99.6%
LG G3 s 84.9%
90%
89.4%
29.5%
16.4%
10.5%
53.7%
Motorola Moto G (2014) 86.4%
86.7%
77.1%
13.8%
0.8%
17.7%
18%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Nokia Lumia 730 Review

Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Introduction


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

Design

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.


Front view | Side view
Nokia Lumia 730
Nokia Lumia 730
5.3 x 2.7 x 0.34 inches
134.7 x 68.5 x 8.7 mm
4.60 oz (130 g)

Nokia Lumia 730

BLU Vivo Air
BLU Vivo Air
5.5 x 2.65 x 0.2 inches
139.8 x 67.4 x 5.1 mm
3.42 oz (97 g)

BLU Vivo Air

Motorola Moto G (2014)
Motorola Moto G (2014)
5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches
141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

LG G3 s
LG G3 s
5.42 x 2.74 x 0.41 inches
137.7 x 69.6 x 10.3 mm
4.83 oz (137 g)

LG G3 s



Display

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.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
LG G3 s 418
(Good)
10
(Average)
1:1029
(Good)
8001
(Poor)
2.2
5.42
(Average)
5.46
(Average)
Motorola Moto G (2014) 390
(Average)
15
(Poor)
1:908
(Average)
8290
(Poor)
2.39
5.32
(Average)
6.78
(Average)
Nokia Lumia 730 294
(Poor)
22
(Poor)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7167
(Good)
2.43
3.79
(Good)
5.55
(Average)
BLU Vivo Air 243
(Poor)
6
(Good)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7280
(Good)
2.4
4.44
(Average)
4.16
(Average)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
BLU Vivo Air 49.8%
50%
unmeasurable
22.1%
4.6%
72.3%
98.6%
Nokia Lumia 730 55.8%
31.8%
unmeasurable
18.1%
0.4%
100.8%
99.6%
LG G3 s 84.9%
90%
89.4%
29.5%
16.4%
10.5%
53.7%
Motorola Moto G (2014) 86.4%
86.7%
77.1%
13.8%
0.8%
17.7%
18%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

Windows phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim is the most mature version of Microsoft’s platform, with improvements to camera and stability, but it still lacks the apps.

The phone sports Windows phone 8.1 with the Lumia Denim update on top. Windows phone is a platform that remains visually largely unchanged from its inception, and Windows phone 8.1 on the Lumia 730 is no exception to this rule.

You have the typical animated Live Tiles, a suite of core Microsoft apps, and all the improvements from the 8.1 update: the Action Center with quick toggles and all your notifications, the Cortana voice assistant, the ability to set wallpapers, and all the nice added functionality to the lockscreen that is now fully customizable by developers.

Basic functionality is well covered: Microsoft includes a solid phonebook that integrates deeply with Facebook, you have one of the fastest virtual keyboards out there, and free Office on board is a nice addition. HERE Maps with free offline maps and navigation has also long been one of the hidden advantages of the Windows phone platform, and even though we now have the app in beta on other platforms, it’s still nice to have the best optimized version of the app on Windows Phone.

Then, you have the former Nokia (now - Lumia) apps and Lumia camera, which has become faster with the Denim update. Lumia camera gives you a full manual ride with control over shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and manual focus.

Even though Windows phone is constantly growing, though, we still feel there is a sore shortage of apps. Recently, Chase withdrew its mobile banking app from Windows phone because of ‘lack of interest’, and many other apps are missing or underdeveloped (Viber, one of the most popular VoIP/IM clients, for instance, does not register incoming voice calls when the app is not running). Still, the app situation is worst when it comes to games that often come late or never to the Windows phone platform.

Processor and Memory

With Snapdragon 400 and 1GB of RAM, the Lumia 730 features the same specs as many of its Android rivals, but performance is not butter-smooth and app loading times are long.

The Lumia 730 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 system chip, a quad-core SoC with clock speeds reaching up to 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, and an Adreno 305 GPU. The Snapdragon 400 is one of the most widespread chips for affordable devices, and we’ve already seen how it performs on Android.

Unfortunately, we are seeing quite a bit of lag on the Lumia 730. Windows phone is still tediously slow with opening apps, and this does not even touch on more CPU-intense tasks. Seeing a screen freeze for a few seconds at the loading stage is a common view, and we’re also often seeing dropped frames.s

Looking at actual performance benchmarks, we’re seeing very typical Snapdragon 400 scores, on par with the performance of the Moto G (2014 edition), for instance, an Android phone that runs on the same chip.

We’ve already mentioned that the lack of games is an issue on Windows Phone, but those that are available do tend to run fairly well. You can’t expect much from a mid-range chip - it will handle most games (even Asphalt 8), but frame rates might be a bit lower than ideal.

One serious issue with the Lumia 730 is the scant 8GB of internal storage that you get. This is not enough storage for even the most conservative of users. Luckily, you have a microSD card slot that you can use to expand memory by up to 128 gigs.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
BLU Vivo Air 33499
Motorola Moto G (2014) 18249
LG G3 s 17509
Nokia Lumia 730 11018
Sunspider
Lower is better
BLU Vivo Air 1366.2
Motorola Moto G (2014) 1470.6
LG G3 s 1061.8
Nokia Lumia 730 1232.3
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
BLU Vivo Air 440
Motorola Moto G (2014) 523
LG G3 s 522
Nokia Lumia 730 450.3
View all

Internet and Connectivity

The Lumia 73x gets served in two versions: the dual SIM Lumia 730 and a 4G LTE single-SIM Lumia 735.

The Lumia 730 features Internet Explorer as the browser of choice. On mobile, it is a fairly fast browser, and one of just a few that have their address bar at the bottom, within easy reach of the fingers. Loading up web pages is zippy, and surfing the web, zooming in and out, and scrolling around happen with a very slight stutter, but nothing too irritating.

In terms of connectivity, we should once again point out the difference between the Lumia 730 and Lumia 735. The Lumia 730 is a dual SIM model that does not support 4G LTE connectivity, while the Lumia 735 sports a single SIM card, but does have 4G LTE. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS. Both versions of the phone come with an NFC antenna and full NFC functionality.

Camera

The selfie cam lives up to the promise - it takes great-looking selfies, and the rear camera is also fairly good.

The big highlight of the Nokia Lumia 730 are its capabilities as a ‘phone for selfies’. The main, rear camera is still the more capable one: a 6.7-megapixel auto-focus shooter with a small, 1/3.4” sensor, but a very wide f/1.9 lens aperture, a key advantage for low-light shooters in particular, while the 5-megapixel front cam is of a fixed-focus variety.

As all recent Lumia smartphones, the 730 comes with two camera apps: the default Windows phone camera application, and the much more capable Lumia Camera. The default camera is not particularly rich in options, but it does get the job done. Lumia Camera is more interesting with its precise control of ISO, white balance, shutter speeds, and manual focusing. It’s become faster to capture multiple shots in succession, and that’s a big improvement over earlier Lumias. Still, there is no way to quick-start the camera app from the lockscreen, and a cold start of the app is a bit on the slow side, enough to miss that shot of that-funny-thing-your-toddler-just-did.

What about image quality? You can’t expect much from this affordable shooter, and that’s a good thing as the Lumia 730 is not a stellar performer, but it ranks around or even above average with fairly decent images: pictures turn out sharp, with sufficient detail, and nice dynamics. Colors, however, are definitely on the cold side, resulting in pictures that lack the joyfulness of warm tonalities.

Indoors, image quality is still decent, but it deteriorates with noise noticeable, plus there are more issues with white balance, and the single LED flash is not sufficiently powerful, and cannot illuminate indoor scenes good enough (unless you use it from a very close distance).

The front camera, on the other hand, tailor-made for meeting the ever-growing obsession with selfies, does more than well to capture you in the best light. Selfies come out rich in detail and a step above many other smartphones. It’s not just selfies, of course, with deep integration for Skype, video calls look gorgeous with this camera as well. It’s not perfect, and if we had to nitpick, we’d say there are slight issues color balance and again, a preference for colder colors.


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
LG G3 s 3.1
4.9
496
405
Motorola Moto G (2014) 4
6.4
435
348
Nokia Lumia 730 6.7
No data
433
373
BLU Vivo Air 8
10
465
408
View all

The Lumia 730 records video in a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution and 30 frames per second (you can also choose 25fps, and 24fps), with a fairly high bitrate of 19Mbps. Video quality is good: recordings have a nice smoothness to them, and even with quicker movements there is very little rolling shutter. The lack of optical stabilization, however, can be noticed, as handheld footage turns out noticeably shaky. Good news is that HAAC mics are present on the Lumia 730, and this results in some great audio recording quality. You have a bass filter as well, so that you can record with your phone at concerts without the bass ruining the sound picture.



Multimedia


Windows phone is a mixed bag when it comes to media consumption. On one hand, you have some clever built-in apps with great design like the Photos application that uses images from your camera roll to present you with a fresh look everytime you open the app. Also, you have Lumia’s Creative Studio that offers some nice image editing capabilities and filters, but then, you lack the much richer image editing applications of iOS and Android - apps like VSCO Cam, and Snapseed.

The phone is also capable of playing back videos of even 1080p resolution (above the 720p native for the screen) without much effort, and the only commonly used format that we could not play back was MKV.

The music app, on the other hand, integrates with Xbox Music, but for all else is a fairly barebones creation that gets the job done with no bells and whistles. The loudspeaker is of a disappointingly low quality, producing hissy sound that is unable to reproduce lower frequencies at all, which makes many modern tracks sound bad on it.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
BLU Vivo Air 0.807
Nokia Lumia 730 0.63
Motorola Moto G (2014) 0.41
LG G3 s 0.38
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
BLU Vivo Air 72.2
Nokia Lumia 730 76
Motorola Moto G (2014) 74.2
LG G3 s 79
View all


Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Nokia Lumia 730 Review
Call Quality


Call quality is good on the Lumia 730. Voices in the earpiece come out very loud, so you’d have no problem making calls in even noisier environments. Clarity in the earpiece is not perfect, there are slight distortions, but those are minor issues that don’t get much in the way of understanding your caller.

On the other end of the line, the situation is a bit better with a bit cleaner sound.

Battery life


The Nokia Lumia 730 sports a 2,220mAh battery that can be easily removed by the user. Quoted talk time is 17 hours on 3G, which is above the average, while official stand-by time ratings are for 25 days.

Our initial impressions are that the phone has very good battery life, easily lasting us a full day, and when not using the phone too much even two days off the charger.

Conclusion


The Nokia Lumia 730 lives up to the promise of being a great phone for those who like to take selfies. It’s not just that, though: with one of the best designs among its peers and an improved camera app it is a good phone overall. On the downside, Windows phone just does not feel as snappy as Android does on a similar configuration, and you’d see apps loading too long too often. We’re also not perfectly happy with the default display color mode on the Lumia 730, which comes with overblown, unreal colors. Luckily, those who care about accurate colors have the option to fine tune the screen to their liking.

At a price of $320 (€200 in Europe), the market is filled with rival Android phones, though. The Motorola Moto G (2014 edition) is a cheaper phone with a larger, 5” screen that offers the same Snapdragon 400 chip with a much smoother performance, and access to the richer Android ecosystem. Then, if you prefer a larger display, you can get the excellent HTC Desire 816 for around the same price, and you get a 5.5” 720p display, a Snapdragon 400 system chip, and a very capable 8-megapixel camera. Next, if you care about great design, you need to look no further than the iPhone 6-like Blu Vivo Air with its 4.8” 720p AMOLED display, and an equally capable MediaTek chip. Finally, you also have the LG G3 s, a 5” 720p phone with a Snapdragon 400 SoC. It’s a good performer with its physical keys on its back, which adds an interesting twist to usability.

If you feel an attraction for Microsoft’s Live Tiles and Windows phone on the whole, though, and have an affinity for selfies, the Lumia 730 is a device that has more pros than cons. Microsoft is also promising to upgrade it to Windows 10 in the future, so you probably should not be worried about updates as much as someone owning an Android phone would.

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