Microsoft has spent a lot of time and energy trying to make Windows Phone more than just an also-ran. And while they’ve delivered some pretty great phones to support Windows Phone 8, there just hasn’t been the one phone that breaks through. Can the Nokia Lumia Icon turn that around?
Design-wise, the Icon is a reminder that whatever travails Nokia has suffered as a company, they can sure design a phone. It apparently combines design cues from the Nokia Lumia 925 and 1020, and so far, it’s been raved about for its sturdy feel and subtle curve to the glass that makes it simple to use. It’s also a bit larger than some of us may be used to; a five-inch screen is beginning to push the bounds of phablet territory.
Inside An Icon
First of all, yes, Nokia’s high-quality cameras continue: There’s a 20-megapixel PureView camera onboard, complete with Nokia’s dedicated camera button. Under the hood, in terms of process, it’s what you’d expect; it’s got a Snapdragon 800 SoC.
There’s also an oddly strong emphasis on shooting video. Not does the Icon shoot 1080p video right out of the gate, it’s got four microphones built into the body to ensure you pick up the most sound. There’s a lot they’ve put into this, and it’s fairly clear they want this flagship to take off.
Looking Through Windows
The big question is whether or not consumers can get over their view of Windows Phone as having a weak and limited app ecosystem; being in third place has meant that many common Android and iOS apps are simply unavailable as developers focus elsewhere. But the Icon’s low price, at just $200, and the fact that Microsoft is stepping into the gap with their own apps, may just finally make this phone a competitor. We’ll find out when it hits Verizon stores next week.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.