My latest book is The One Who Swam With The Fishes.

"A mesmerizing account of the well-known story of Matsyagandha ... and her transformation from fisherman’s daughter to Satyavati, Santanu’s royal consort and the Mother/Progenitor of the Kuru clan." - Hindustan Times

"Themes of fate, morality and power overlay a subtle and essential feminism to make this lyrical book a must-read. If this is Madhavan’s first book in the Girls from the Mahabharata series, there is much to look forward to in the months to come." - Open Magazine

"A gleeful dollop of Blytonian magic ... Reddy Madhavan is also able to tackle some fairly sensitive subjects such as identity, the love of and karmic ties with parents, adoption, the first sexual encounter, loneliness, and my favourite, feminist rage." - Scroll

Sign up for my newsletter: The Internet Personified

9 September 2013

Phone Review: Nokia Lumia 720 (with inputs from The Good Thing)

Truth be told, I wanted to post this review the very first week I got my new phone. The Good Thing suggested I exercise caution. "Is there anything you don't like about it?" "NO!" was my emphatic reply. I loved it, I love it, but two weeks into using it, I can come up with a list of cons too. So, this will be a balanced review.

FOR the Nokia Lumia 720:

1) It's cheaper than an iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy or the Google Nexus or whatever your current covetous choice is.

2) At the price range it's at, it's far better looking than all its contemporaries. If this matters to you, no one can ever accurately guess how much my phone cost. "30k?" "Try half of that."

3) The camera is amazing.

4) It's fast--I mean, really fast. After years of laggy Androids, it's a pleasure to type out a contact name, without Android doing that thing where it doesn't register and goes back to the A's, after you've spent a couple of minutes trying to get a text to your friend Priyanka. Similarly, for apps and whatnot, you press the tile that indicates in and in seconds, you can see your message. I guess iPhone users won't identify with this, but it's a pleasure for Android-ers.

Good Thing: "I don't think it's faster, it's just more responsive."
Me: "..."
GT: "Like, when the screen loads, it shows you the phone doing something, not just a blank screen like Android. ACTUALLY,  the new Android is faster."

5) The battery just goes on and on and on. I need to charge my phone for an hour a day. That's about it. If I don't charge and just let it run, it'll flash the "battery critically low" sign, and THEN, after about 45 minutes, it turns off. Since I bought it, it did that for the first time today. And that's only because I slept another two hours and couldn't be bothered to get up and plug it in. There's an in-built battery saver, which you can turn on if you're on the road and can't get to a charger.

6) Speaking of apps, I know the main problem with Windows Phones is that there aren't enough apps on it. You know how many apps I miss? Exactly one. Ola Cabs has not come up with a WP app yet, and their mobile version kind of sucks (look into this, Ola Cabs!) but apart from this, everything else works like a charm. I have 5 different kinds of Nokia-specific camera apps, which are fantastic, and I have Instagram and Whatsapp, a word game I love called Wordament, and a Windows Phone-specific app called Divvy Up, which basically lets you input an entire bill and then calculates how much each person owns.

GT: "How many times have you used Divvy Up? Like once?"
Me: "How many times do you have to eat at a new restaurant before you recommend it?"
GT: "It takes 15 minutes for you to do all the calculation. That seems like a long time."
Me: "But this way I don't have to pay for other people's drinks."
GT: "It's like plugging Angry Birds on the WP."

7) Live tiles. You can make them any colour you like--mine is a glorious magenta--and they update with information on your home screen very attractively. The 'Me' tile is basically a place for all my notifications--Facebook, Twitter etc--and I can also post from there to whatever social networking site I prefer. 

8) Fast tethering, as long as your data lasts. It doesn't cut you off halfway.

AGAINST the Nokia Lumia 720:

1) I'm not crazy about HERE Maps. I know it's meant to be EVEN BETTER than Google Maps and whatnot, but if I didn't vaguely know my way somewhere, I wouldn't have realised that it was taking me in completely the wrong direction. There are a few things in it that need ironing out, I think. I like that it speaks in an Indian-English accent, very endearing, but I think I'm going to get Google Maps on this phone after all. The plus features for HERE Drive is that it marks out petrol pumps, parking lots and ATMs in your area, which is very useful.

* The Good Thing has recommended that I use Google Maps before I publish this review. *downloads*

So, we compared the two side-by-side. HERE Drive has turn by turn navigation, even though it might be a bit wobbly, I entered a few other locations and it gave me accurate directions. Google Maps doesn't have an official WP client, so no voice navigation, but it IS a bit more updated than HERE for Delhi. For example: searching for Starbucks on HERE threw up nothing, while G Maps had five different locations I could go to. On the other hand, searching for Starbucks on Google Maps also showed me Olive in Mehrauli and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

HERE has the advantage in that you can download it and access it offline, BUT, you have to keep an eye on the address. G Maps used side-by-side might give you an address you can then input into HERE to use the voice navigation for.

More details on this feature when I use it in Goa/Mumbai, the other maps I've downloaded, just to see what it's like in a city I'm not sure of my way around.

2) Again, this is an Android-specific thing, but I don't like that I can't pop out the battery if the phone hangs. You can however hold down two keys to reboot.

3) Facebook messaging doesn't show up as a notification. (There might be an app for this, I haven't yet checked.)

4) Pictures save as each copy you do. So, if I edit a picture using three different apps, I have three copies of the same picture and then have to delete. Android saves them in different app folders, so you don't have to wade through three thousand copies.
5) Because there aren't that many WP owners, there aren't that many tips and tricks available online. You have to muddle along with everyone else.

6) The default search (with the built-in magnifying glass button) is Bing. You can't change this. What you CAN do is get a Google search tile on your home screen and just use that.

7) You also can't change the default keyboard. The Nokia keyboard is nice and big, and learns your responses quite quickly, but SwiftKey was magic. 

Verdict: Buy, if you use your phone for a lot of photography, social networking and messages.

And now, on to the photos!

A new series I'm doing on traffic light portraits, this man had the whole world with him.

Nokia's Glam Me app is like crack for selfie addicts. You can even make your eyes bigger or your face thinner. This photo just has a filter however.   

Look closely at this picture. Taken with Nokia Cinemagraph, you can choose to animate certain parts of a picture. The leaves move, the sunshine glints. It's very addictive.

Playing with colour pop and Instagramming a plate of Chicken Kiev at the IIC


  1. Dear Meenakshi,

    I am a research scholar and i am studying your blog, i love your writing.

    yesterday i saw the movie 'shudh desi romance' and i don't know why but it reminded me of you.



  2. I love my Nokai Lumia as well. Used an Iphone before and much prefer this. Obsessed with Wordament as well, though Ruzzle is available now too. And I love the tiles and how I can customise the colour.

    We use the Nokia Drive app for road trips and have had no problems at all. Save for the annoying voice (it isn't Indian-English on my phone).

  3. Glad to hear good things about a Lumia. I have been a loyal Nokia customer ever since my first phone, bought almost a decade ago. I was handed down an Android from the hubby this year because he got a newer one, and my most recent Nokia went wonky after a year. I'm hoping against hope that Microsoft does a good job with Nokia, so that some day I might get back to it again.

  4. i own a Lumia 720 red color phone and i love every bit of it... wch app do you use for Instagramming? I came across this app 6tag just 2 hours back...hvnt tried it yet though....

  5. By looking at the images you have posted, i presume you haven't updated your phone.
    The AMBER update has arrived. It brings Nokia Smart Cam.You'll just love it. The camera's algorithms have also been refined. It also provides you with various other cool features.

    P.S. Meenakshi, show off your images from Nokia Smart Cam, and ask GT to beat them...

    Amber Update:
    Nokia Smart Cam:

  6. Well i m planning to buy the Nokia Lumia 720 very soon.Thanks for the review..could have been better though!

  7. Very nice review. But can you please tell me what is "The Good Thing"?

  8. so happy to see a fellow lumia user! i don't know why windows phones are not big in india.. i had so many people question my sanity and give me bad reviews prior to buying my 720, but i LOVE the phone and the OS. sooooo much better than samsung and android. i can't speak for iphones, but the phone still rocks! and yes, nokia smart cam is great!

  9. Nokia here drive doesn't has alternate route option,the route optimization option is anyway no good.

  10. Never purchase a mobile from Nokia if you purchase then you also have to suffer as I am doing after spending 22K on a nokia mobile phone.
    Worth less customer care service they provide.
    They can change all of your new parts with old one if you submit your mobile for repairing.

    No commitment - They asked me for 7 days but 20 days gone.
    Not able to repair device in single time with the perfection - If they fix a issue then another one issue automatically create.
    If you send mail to contactcen?tre.india@n? regarding your issue then you will only receive one reply "Our customer care representative will make a call to you with in 48 Hours" and It might be possible that you will receive a call after 10 days when you forgot about the mail.
    Never provide a satisfactory solution and also change the policies accordingly to the case.
    Time Wastage - They will waste your time by calling you in their nokia center without a single regulations

    I purchased a Lumia 720 mobile and after a month some issues occurred in the touch of phone, I submitted my mobile in nokia care center (Noida Sector -2) on 24th Feb 14 and also requested to manager (Sunita) to repair the device ASAP.

    After taking so many followup with nokia customer care team when I didn't get any response then I visited nokia care center on 5th March and asked for my mobile and get my mobile back with the update that touch of mobile has been replaced and also tested now it will work fine.

    On 6th march I again submitted my mobile in the same nokia care center because touch was not working and on 8th march I received a call that mobile has been repaired and when I went to take my mobile back I was shocked they replaced a very old screen which was having so many scratches when I asked they simply said we have repaired it does not metter that installed parts are new or old.

    And then when I asked from manager (sunita) she was not able to a single answer of my question because screen was really old and I requested to sunita to investigate the case.
    I also talked with sunita over phone she told me that screen was old on 8th March and Now we have replaced the screen with new one then It is clear that they do customer harassment also.

    Mobile is still with nokia care center they had done lots of RND on my mobile now it looks like a 1 year old phone.

    How I can believe what is the guarantee that they do not replace other parts of my mobile with old one.
    I am continuously taking followup with nokia customer care but didn't get any response also made so many call they are not ready to give me a single resolution of my problem.

    Now 20 days gone but no resolution I received from Nokia.

    Following are the details of complaints and Job sheet details:
    Complaint Id1 1-15015769024
    Complaint Id2: 1-15029704004

    Job Sheet No1.: 153433527/140306/4
    Job Sheet No2.: 153433527/ 140225/4

    Tags: Nokia Mobile Review, Nokia, Nokia Lumia 720, Nokia Customer Care Service


Thanks for your feedback! It'll be published once I approve it. Inflammatory/abusive comments will not be posted. Please play nice.