Its been two weeks since getting the Nokia Lumia 820, and firstly; WOW! The Lumia 920 has been getting a lot of intention, but the Lumia 820 is definitely not to be ignored. It sports a gorgeous 4.3″ AMOLED ClearBlack 480p screen, that makes web browsing, watching videos and playing games a delight. The only downfall is that it does not sport Gorilla Glass, and as such, is susceptible to scratches. (I ordered screen protectors the other day, but found one last night). It has a nice form factor, not as premium as the Fabula design, but yet doesn’t feel cheap.
The Lumia 820 has a great 8MP, f/2.2 rear camera, that takes some impressive shots. And with support for recording in 1080p, its definitely a big jump from what we saw in the the Lumia 800. It also features a front facing VGA camera for Video calling and self portraits, but it is a bit disappointing.
Perhaps the best feature of the Lumia 820 is the removable and interchangeable back cases. Not only can you swap the colour (Yellow, Green, Red, Purple, Black, Grey and Cyan are all available), but you can add features to it, such as Wireless Charging and ruggedised enforcement.
On the connectivity side, it has Bluetooth 3.0, Secure NFC, WiFi, GPS, and an array of Mobile Network bands, including LTE. You will also get a microUSB port for charging and media transfer, as well as the standardised 3.5MM headphone jack. There are 3 physical buttons, and three capacative buttons on the device; Power/Lock, Volume Rocker and a Camera key are the physical ones, withe Back, Home and Search being the capacatives.
Looking to the inside, we have 8GB internal memory, with a further 7GB available through Skydrive. Another great feature of the Lumia 820, is MicroSD support, for up to 64GB cards. Sadly, the external storage is for media only, so some users may find 8GB a bit measly for their app needs, but it should be fine for mass market.
The device is powered by a 1.5 GHz Dual-Core Snapdragon S4 processor, with an Adreno 225 for the GPU. Providing the juice for this power house, is a 1650 mAh BP-5T battery.
Being a second generation Lumia, it runs on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS. It feels a lot more fluid than my Lumia 800, and the screen makes the live tiles look amazing. With a good app offering, and deep social integration, the Lumia 820 is a great contender in today’s smart phone world. Being a Nokia Lumia, you also get exclusive access to various apps and services, such as Nokia Music (a free music streaming service), Nokia Drive (free voice guided navigation), Nokia City Lens (augmented reality Point Of Interest browser) and more.
The improvements that WP8 brings over its predecessor is remarkable. Many new features have been added such as Rooms, Kids Corner, Screenshot, with key functions being enhanced, such as the new sizes of Live Tiles, customisability of the Lock Screen, and the ability for app’s to tie-in to TellMe (Voice recognition platform).
I really like the new style of Live Tiles. Using WP7, it was a more reserved experience, but for some reason, the various sizes to choose from has made it more pleasant. Apps can bring you useful information straight to your home screen, without having to go into the app. Think of them like app launchers, doubling as widgets. What gets cooler, is that devs can choose to create tiles for certain pages of their app. For example, 4th & Mayor, a great Foursquare client, has a live tile that goes straight to check-in, and Ebay can give you tiles for certain items. No need to go through pages and menus. Tap and go!
As mentioned above, there is also NFC, something that MS has added support for in the latest iteration of Windows Phone. It allows for not only great accessory pairing, but for Tap+Send, a new sharing feature, that uses NFC to pair with a device and send via Bluetooth. Since it is secure NFC, it can theoretically be used for Mobile Payments.
All in all, the Nokia Lumia 820 is a killer phone. If you are looking for an affordable upgrade from your current device, this phone is not to be overlooked. With the solid build quality Nokia is renowned for, their exclusive apps, microSD support, and interchangeable covers, you will be happy with your choice. Of course if Photography is more your style, perhaps take a look at the Lumia 920.