Nokia Lumia Icon review: Perfect frame

GSMArena team, 23 March 2014.

Excellent Office suite

Office is one of the key selling points of Windows Phone. Document viewing and editing is absolutely free and integrated into the OS. SkyDrive integration is available as well. Docs are automatically synced between the phone and your computer through SkyDrive.

The Places tab lets you browse Office docs stored on the phone, in SkyDrive, email or in Office 365 (a paid service that includes Office web apps).

The Office hub breaks down into three sections - Documents, Places and Notes.

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Office app

Let's look at the two most important apps - Word and Excel. They share the Documents panel, which lists all available documents of the relevant types (in order of last used). Both viewing and editing is supported.

The Excel section of the Office hub has the all-time favorite Auto-sum function and you can tap and drag to select multiple cells.

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Editing a Word document Editing an Excel doc

Editing is pretty straightforward and easy to use even on a mobile device. You type in the text and you can use the Format key to change the formatting of the selected text. You can also insert comments.

Formatting options include the standard bold, italic and underline, as well as text size, highlighting and font color. For highlighting and font colors you have only three colors to choose from, which is a little limiting but should be enough for most cases.

PowerPoint files will thrive in the Documents section too - but they are for viewing only, you can't edit them or create new ones.

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Viewing a PowerPoint file

Collaboration for both Word and Excel files is enabled with SharePoint. It allows syncing, sharing and web publishing but you'd need to use the right SharePoint server. You can attach those files to emails, though you need to do that from the Office hub. You can't do it from the email editor, which caused a little confusion at first.

OneNote is Microsoft's collaborative note taking tool. It has great (and easy to use) support for lists of multiple levels, you can add photos and voice memos and you can send notes via email when you're done. OneNotes can be synced with your SkyDrive or Windows Live account so that they are accessible from everywhere. Pin-to-homescreen is available too and so is the To-Do feature that turns the selected line into a to-do item that can be checked off.

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The apps support pinch zooming and work very well for viewing even complex documents. But Microsoft's fondness of simplicity may have over-simplified the editors.

Organizer and apps

The Calendar can view sub-calendars for each account you have and can color-code to make them easier to tell apart. You can also disable sub-calendars if they're getting in the way.

The calendar offers day and agenda views too for more comprehensive hour-by-hour browsing of your appointments.

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Calendar Day view Agenda view

To-dos can be created too. Those can only be synced with Live accounts, and not a Gmail account for example. Each to-do can have a priority reminder, due date and notes. Later, to-do's can be sorted by priority.

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To-Dos Creating a new appointment

The WP calculator is nothing extravagant - it has the simple portrait view of basically all calculators on the planet, while turning it over to landscape reveals the more complex scientific mode.

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Calculator app

The alarm app is very simple to use. You get the alarm time with an on/off switch to the right. Each alarm can have its own name, sound and repeat.

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Alarm app

Lumia exclusive apps

There's Zinio, which isn't made by Nokia but is exclusive to Lumia devices on Windows Phone. Zinio creates a reading list based on your interests and you can set it to download them for offline reading (only over Wi-Fi). Zinio is also a shop for digital magazines - you can buy single issues or subscribe for 12 issues.

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Zinio reader

Nokia has pre-installed its cool Creative Studio that is really powerful and offers some awesome features. After you choose a photo you must select an effect you want to apply (it's optional, of course). Then you can use focus+blur mode to focus on an object and blur the rest of the picture. You can also pop up a color and make the rest of the image black and white. Collage maker is also included. Naturally various image editing options such as color balance, brightness, crop, rotation, auto fix, radial+tilt shift, etc. are available too.

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Nokia Creative Studio

Finally, there is an app called Nokia Storyteller. It's quite similar to Samsung's Story Album. After a shooting session you are able to group all the new photos into an album. Albums can be created based on location, the people in the photo and when the shot was taken. Storyteller is much better looking than Samsung's Story Album, more intuitive and easy to use.

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Nokia Storyteller

Reader comments

  • AnonD-520714

My lumia 929 in-call screen goes dark whenever I make or receive calls such that I cannot end calls myself. Please any suggestions?

  • Allan

Stop saying things that you have no idea about. The battery life is bad because CDMA Network drains the battery at least 1.5 times faster than GSM. CDMA phones should be a little thicker to fit larger battery or come with two battery opt...

  • kamza

Wow I love it I even just want 2 buy it and want the perfect frame 4 it