Nokia’s Lumia 820 was unveiled late last year as the first gen Windows phone 8 devices, you could call it a second gen Windows phone device, together with the Lumia 920. This was when Microsoft slightly got it’s act together with a mobile operating syste that could actually work and convince an existing smartphone user to give it a second look. Windows phone 7 was that bad. Now the Lumia 920 has been for some time been playing second fiddle to Nokia’s flagship device, the Lumia 920, till some few days ago when two Lumias came back to back, Lumia 928 and Lumia 925, making the Lumia 820 go back two steps. In a later review we might actually see whether it’s three steps when we get our hands on the Lumia 720. Back to the subject.
Lumia 820 is the ugly friend of Lumia 920, but the modest one enough to be the preferred one. Remember me telling you I had an issue with the Windows phone 8 boot when it completely drains out? with this one you can atleast switch batteries if you had a backup one. This is also the phone I got to experience wireless charging with, so this is the time I can talk about it.
Before we go to the recipe, let’s see what ingredients we have, shall we?
Here is the specs sheet from Nokia:
Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100 LTE 800/900/1800/2100/2600
• Speed: LTE Cat3 100Mbps/50Mbps HSDPA+ Dual Carrier cat24 (42 Mbps) HSUPA cat 6: 5.8 Mbps
• Display: 4.3” OLED WVGA 800×480, ClearBlack, super sensitive touch for nail & glove use
• OS: Windows Phone 8
• Memory: 1GB RAM, 8 GB mass memory, support for microSD cards up to 32GB
• Camera: 8Mp with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash
• Front camera: VGA
• Video capture Full HD 1080p @ 30fps
• Size: 123.8 x 68.5 mm x 9.9mm
• Weight: 160g / 83.5cc
• Connectivity: NFC Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 3.1, AGPS/GLONASS, micro-USB, 3.5 mm audio
• Sensors: accelerometer, proximity, compass, ambient light, gyroscope
• Processor: 1.5 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4
• Audio: 2 distortion free high amplitude mics, Dolby Headphone, HD Voice
• Battery: 1650 mAh with support for Qi wireless charging
• Talk time: (GSM/WCDMA) 2G – up to 14 hours, 3G – up to 8 hours
• Standby time: (GSM/WCDMA) up to 330 hours
• Music playback: up to 55 hours
Nokia Lumia 820 does come in an array of colours, Nokia loves colour, 7 to be precise; Yellow, Red, Cyan, Purple, White, Grey and Black. I got the Yellow one for review, just to get something different. I have liked white phones for some time, and of late I have been picking other colours, just to prove to myself I can. The colour can be changed at will since the front is an all black glass display and the back is where colour varies. So with this one you can do with colour options mistakes since colour change is only a back cover away.
Lumia 820 is a phone with curves, unlike the Lumia 920, it feels easy on the hand and even with long use you won’t feel the strain on the fingers, particularly the pinky when typing. All the buttons are on one side, the volume rocker at the top right, power button in the middle and the lower right has the dedicated camera button. Comes in handy when you have oily hands and still wish to take photos. The top harbours the 3.5 mm sound jack slot. At the back we have the camera with LED flash side by side horizontally at the top and the only other thing is the bold Nokia logo. On the left there is just curves. The front camera, earpiece and another Nokia logo stand out at the front top while the bottom has the trademark windows touch sensitive controls.
The back cover is removable by hooking your fingers on the right top corner and pressing on the camera to ease it off. Tricky if you don’t have this information. You can remove this to replace with a wireless charging cover, these don’t come out of the box but you could be lucky if your retailer has an offer for these. Inside the back we have the micro SIM slot and microSD slot behind the tall slim battery.
Features and performance
Lumia 820 runs Windows phone 8, 8 GB internal storage which can be complemented by microSD upto 32 GB, the RAM is 1 GB. Performance-wise this phone does some justice,and it’s not far off from the bigger sister, Lumia 920. Actually, before there ever was Lumia 720 in the shops or press, we felt the Lumia 820 was the most use-able device as it had almost everything going on for it. It does come with all the Nokia specific apps that make all the difference, example Nokia Xpress, Smart shoot, HERE Maps, HERE City Lens, HERE Drive and Cinema-graph. I believe most of thee we had talked about in the Lumia 920 review, nothing’s different.
Camera is one of Nokia’s key strong points, they have enough to show off without even mentioning the phone itself. The 8 MP shooter on the rear is able to do very clear shots, both indoors and outdoors. Low light shots are quite outstanding. See one here that was taken at a restaurant late after the sun had set, in the lobby. Another daytime shot, close-up and full of detail below here: That bird hit the office window at full speed, the windows happen to be full-size, from top to bottom, so that death is excusable. You could click on the image to see the full one.
The battery does some good 8 hours on optimal use, if you are something above the average user, this will go down to 5. Taking photos, Bluetooth, Internet tethering and gaming. With this one you have an option to carry an extra battery, or use the wireless charger in the office. It can feel abit bulky trying to answer calls when you have it tagging onto the back of the phone like a sandal. While I haven’t bought to much into this wireless charging idea that still requires you to have a cable all through to the wireless charging pad/mat, you will find it easy to have it rest on the charger as opposed to it plugged in. Makes for a good unnecessary spending to feel good you own an accessory. It would feel better if it was a desktop dock or extra battery pack.
Lumia 820 was the Lumia I used to recommend to Windows phone users, that was right before there was Lumia 720. Things changed, but it’s still a good device in the you can change the colour of the 820 and not on the 720 (I wonder how many use that as a selling point though). If you love a device that feels compact, this is your device, it weighs 160 grams and is 9.9 mm thick. You might as well feel good talking about wireless charging to your peers who haven’t had that luxury and take great photos while at it, including GIFs.