Verizon recently introduced their best Nokia Lumia smartphone in mid February called the ICON. Nokia combined the best parts of the Lumia 1520 and shrunk them down into a smaller form factor, perfect for carrying around everyday. The 20MP camera on the Icon has manual controls, which helps me to take better photos. Sharing photos with friends via Instagram, Facebook, Vine and other networks keeps them up to date.
Nokia Lumia ICON Unboxing
Sharing photos that are 20MP in size usually takes a while, but Verizon’s 4G LTE service helped me to get them posted faster than with other services. Their service works in many more places that the others don’t. Most of the photo sharing apps I use now allow videos like Vine and Instagram. I need the fastest 4G LTE available to get my posts out there.
Snapping photos and recording videos on the Lumia Icon is integrated all in one app. The Nokia Camera app came preloaded on the smartphone when I first turned it on. Everything is set to auto mode, which helped me to discover some of its capabilities. However, to get the most out of what’s possible with the camera, each control is easily accessible directly on the top button bar.For manual focus, a ring appears on the right side with a slider. The live view on the screen shows me right away what the focus will look like on the final photo. Some of the other photo apps from Nokia are Nokia Cinemagraph, Nokia Creative Studio, Nokia Panorama, Nokia Refocus and Nokia Storyteller. Each provides many more ways to alter photos before they get posted on the Internet.
When I first started using the Lumia Icon, I was worried about not having access to my favorite social networking apps. Thankfully, all of the major apps I needed were available to download from the Windows Phone Store. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, FourSquare, Yelp, Dropbox and a few all others worked great on this Windows Phone.
Third party developers have been creating unique apps that utilize the Windows Phone design and some of the services I mentioned above. 6tag is a great Instagram app I’ve used multiple times and it has a repost function, 6snap is a SnapChat app, CloudSix is the best Dropbox app I have used and Infinite Buffer, while not free, works with the Buffer network.
Dropbox is nice on the Windows Phone, but I preferred to utilize the integrated OneDrive cloud backup service. Every Lumia owner gets several gigabytes of free storage and I use it every time I take photos. As soon as my Icon is connected to a trusted WiFi network, OneDrive starts the photo backup process. It backs up only my latest photos in a few minutes. Having photos in the OneDrive cloud allows me to access them on other devices at any time. OneDrive is now accessible from the iPhone, iPad, Nokia Tablets and Android. The only caveat I found to cloud backup services is that they don’t backup videos. Those will need to be downloaded when directly connected to a computer.
Nokia’s Icon comes with a generous 32GB of storage space and a large majority of that is user accessible. I have taken hundreds of photos with this smartphone and I still have gigabytes of storage left. Keeping an eye on available space is easily done in the settings app. This is important, as Windows Phone 8.1 will be arriving soon for the Lumia Icon.
When Windows Phone 8.1 finally does arrive, the Lumia Icon will be getting even more fun options in the Nokia Camera app. One of the current options in the Nokia Camera app for video utilizes all four of its microphones to create surround sound. Recording video at my local speedway with the Icon was a fun experience. Later, when I was playing the video back, I could hear the difference between the racecars behind me and those that were passing in front of me. That kind of video with surround sound is nearly impossible to get with any other smartphone.
Nokia’s Lumia Icon has opened my eyes to what’s possible with the latest from Microsoft. Their upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update promises to make the experience even better. Having access to 4G LTE from Verizon, a 20MP camera with manual controls, free cloud backup service and apps for nearly every major social networking service all add up to a wonderful smartphone.
Price: $199 On Two Year Contract – Available from the Verizon Wireless website or at any Verizon Wireless Store.
Disclosure: I received a Nokia Lumia Icon at no cost for review. I am a Verizon Wireless Buzz Group Ambassador. I did not receive compensation for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.