Living with the Nokia Lumia 720 – update to 8.1 & Cyan


I got my Lumia 720 back in February 2014, after a long time searching for the perfect budget phone; it had to be a Windows Phone (I was really pleased with my previous LG Optimus 7 / E900), with a large (but not huge) screen and feature a nice camera with a flash, FM radio, long battery life. In the list of Lumia models, 720 was the one meeting all these requirements and still it costed less than 200 euros. With its 4,3-inch screen, 6,7MP camera with LED flash and Zeiss lens, FM radio, 1GHz dual-core CPU and almost two days of battery life it is the perfect phone.

Since February the phone has served me pretty well and has been through a lot (including heavy internet usage and a drop to a cement wall, which just caused a slight scar at one of its rounded corners). I recently also updated the original OS (Windows Phone 8) to Windows Phone 8.1 and the Lumia Cyan firmware; I have to admit that I was really looking forward to checking the new version of the OS, which provided a few but substantial improvements.

The point is that the phone became laggy and not as responsive as it used to be…I rebooted a couple of times, also tried to soft-reset but still the issue remained; not only when scrolling through menus, but also when opening apps and typing, among others. My last resort would be a hard reset. In fact I did two of them! First I checked how I could back up my phones settings; it seems that Windows Phone did pretty well with that, as not only my settings were backed up, but also my SMS, my home screen tiles even the apps I had installed before the hard reset!

The I did a hard reset through the available menu option (Reset to Factory Defaults) and after it finished, I used the method with the physical keys’ combination. After that, I let the phone boot and started setting up everything again; my comments are the following:

  • As soon as the phone booted into Windows, I was asked to enter my PIN; this resulted in the phone automatically connecting to the internet using 3G – I do not have a data plan and this incurred a not-necessary cost… Next time I will have to remember to skip entering my PIN when prompted and only do so after I have finished setting up my settings;
  • I was prompted to restore my latest backup; this led to restoring my home screen tiles, my settings, my SMS, my installed apps etc. I had to verify my credentials (by receiving a code in the alternative email address that I had provided) and to manually enter the password for each email account I had set up;
  • Most of the settings were already correct (as I had set them up) but some of them not, such as the use of mobile data for connecting to internet, the regional settings (e.g. the time & date format), default location for storing new apps, photos and videos, NFC was left to on etc.
  • All apps were automatically installed but not their settings; I had to manually enter my credentials to all of them, check their settings and take some time to bring them back to my favorite ones. This was really time-consuming but I was informed that this is due to restrictions of the OS.
  • Drive+ and Maps were not automatically installed along with the rest of the apps; I saw that the tiles in the home screen had an exclamation mark on them, informing me that the apps were missing (while for the rest of the apps, the tiles were grayed-out before they were installed). I had to manually install them, which was not a big deal but rather strange.

The point is that it took me quite a lot of time to complete the process of hard reset and set up everything again but it seems that the phone is a little bit more responsive now. If I was aware of this fact, I would have gone through the process much earlier. Apart from that, I am still really pleased with my Lumia 720 and I do not plan to exchange it for any other model before it actually “dies” in my hands (more or less like the LG Optimus 7).

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