I’ll never forget that soggy day a few weeks ago when the delivery man showed up at my doorstep with the Nokia Lumia Icon review unit. I was expecting the usual fare, a small-ish box with just a smartphone and some documentation. That’s how it usually goes, but on this rainy day the postman had a huge 11 pound box for me, courtesy of Nokia. The Lumia Icon finally arrived! After ripping apart the cardboard, I was left with a big black plastic suitcase with the letters “ICON” placed in the middle. As I opened the case, I began to notice a red glow from the inside. I kept opening it and there it was – the Nokia Lumia Icon right next to a pair of Nokia Purity Pro Monster headphones. Inside the case was a glowing red bar, about a half an inch in diameter, going all the way around the inside perimeter of the case. You know that scene in Pulp Fiction where John Travolta opens up that briefcase and a gold glow surrounds him? Like, right before the former Saturday Night Fever star and Samuel L. Jackson blast those guys’ brains out? That’s what opening this case was like, only with a soft red glow, courtesy of Verizon of course.
Actually, you know what? I take back the Pulp Fiction reference. The way it went down was more like this:
With an unboxing like this one, I was thrilled about tinkering with and playfully caressing the Nokia Lumia Icon. That didn’t last long, however. After about 20 minutes of using the Icon (and an adequate amount of fondling) the excitement began to escape me as the realities of using the Windows Phone platform came crushing down on me. All of my favorite apps were missing, and I couldn’t find many Windows Phone apps that interested me. (I did find an app that streams every Dragonball episode ever, so there’s that.)
Don’t get me wrong, the Nokia Lumia Icon is an amazing device spec wise, and comes running the latest version of the software, packing Nokia’s Lumia Black upgrade in there as well. The display is simply beautiful with its Gorilla Glass covered, slightly tapered edges; the camera is top-notch coming in at 20MP and offering an amazing good suite of camera software; the overall design of the unit just begs you to hold it. That’s about where the wow factors end, as the limitations of the Windows Phone platform begin.
I’ll say it: the Nokia Lumia Icon is hands down the best Windows Phone to date, but lacks many features that iOS and Android devices provide. With an app store that resembles the early days of Android which lacks many high-profile apps, the beefed-out Lumia Icon is brought to its knees. Sure, the device is snappy, and almost never lags. But as we all know, it’s not the specs that matter, it’s the software that ultimately bears the brunt of the user experience. Those familiar with the Windows Phone 8 platform will absolutely love the Nokia Lumia Icon, while iOS and Android users might have some bones to pick with the device. Either way you slice it, the Icon is a beauty of a device that even hardcore Windows Phone haters would be compelled to try out.
Does the Nokia Lumia Icon provide enough features and pizzazz to lure iOS and Android users away from their devices? It just might. Read on to see why.