Nokia is renowned worldwide to produce high-quality handsets that have excellent construction durability and robust software. The Nokia Lumia 820 is one such phone.
The design of this phone is nothing out of the extraordinary. But yes, you can’t deny the robust look and feel of this phone. The well-engineered shell of this phone may not defy your imagination. But at least it can instill confidence in you that you can use this phone for a long time.
The shell is glossy. The edges are smooth and rounded. Nokia has moved away from its traditional design to manufacturing phones with glossy exteriors. But it has not compromised on the thickness part. The phone is slightly chunky at 9.9 mm and weighs around 150 grams. This aspect allows you to hold on to the phone comfortably. You need not always be on a “handle-with-care” mode as with ultra-thin and lightweight smartphones.
There are staid hardware ports and jacks on the device. There is the microUSB port, mono speaker, 3.5 mm jack, power, volume controls, and the camera button ergonomically placed on the phone. The rear panel of the phone is replaceable. There are various panels of different colors for the taking.
The device is powered by a powerful processor. The dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor renders an impressive clock speed of 1.5 GHz. The graphics rendition is courtesy the Adreno 225. There is enough primary memory to enable you to multitask, render graphics intensive games, and use heavy applications. The 1 GB RAM specification is impressive and complements the fast processor. The screen is an impressive 4.3” AMOLED display based on the ClearBlack technology.
Being a Nokia smartphone, the camera is always one of the best features. Featuring Carl Zeiss optics, this 8 MP camera has plenty of inbuilt features. You can take pictures in any ambient light courtesy the dual LED flash. You can shoot HD videos of up to 1080 pixels using the camera. There is also a front facing camera that you can use for making video calls.
The music and multimedia rendition abilities of this phone are good. The 820 supports MP4 music. It renders H.263/264 and WMV files without any latency. You can also install a 3rd party video player to help you play multimedia content in various formats. The video player renders HD videos of 1080 pixels without a glitch. The speakers of the phone are good, given that even at high decibels there is no jarring. The audio quality is good, and will never strain your ears no matter how much system sound you listen to.
The 820 has enough connectivity options. There is HSDPA, WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth, and even LTE. The WiFi is dual-band and lets you access the Internet from any WiFi hotspot. The HSDPA technology comes integrated with 3G support. HSDPA delivers speeds in the range of 42 Mbps.
Running on the Windows 8 platform, the interface is typical Windows with superb fluidity and plenty of jazz.
There are no glitches when navigating to different application contexts, or invoking multiple system responses. The interface does not have any lag whatsoever. It is swift and responsive. You can integrate 3rd party apps with Windows 8 apps, and the interface lets you do this with ease. The interface allows you to seamlessly jump between apps. For instance, you could be watching news on the CNN app. You can take a seamless jump from this app to the Music and Videos app and the interface handles this transition excellently.
The AMOLED display on the Nokia Lumia 820 delivers sharp and crisp images with deep black levels. The screen performs really well at all viewing angles. The ClearBlack display technology makes this possible. The screen has a good contrast ratio as well.
What’s not so great?
The screen size is large, and is based on the AMOLED technology. But why only 480 x 800 pixels of resolution? Is not the vividness of this screen undermined with this low resolution? The PPI (pixels per inch) is just 217. Although the picture quality is up to the mark, do not expect superior color reproduction, crystal clear graphics, and optimum black levels.
The internal storage of the Nokia Lumia 820 is low. At 8 GB, only 5 GB is available for storing data. The rest is for system data. There is provision to buy the 32 GB expandable memory version or the 64 GB one.
The device does have impressive connectivity options. It could have been better if the 820 had HDMI out. This is at a time when even entry-level smartphones and tablet PCs have this facility.
Windows 8 does have its advantages. But if you are switching to this operating system from Android, Symbian, or Java, you could take some time to get used to it. So this could be a disadvantage, as you would typically love to start using the phone right away. The user interface is not optimally designed like other operating systems. System actions are never within “arms-reach”. Rather, they have to be accessed in a roundabout manner.
Performance-wise, this smartphone is slower than several other high-end smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S 3 for example. The processor’s ability to deliver performance is also dependent on the operating system. So the way Windows 8 handles the processing capabilities of the processor influences overall performance levels.
Vs. HTC Windows Phone 8X
The HTC Windows Phone 8X has several advantages over the 820. It has a higher resolution screen. The pixel per inch density is at an unassailable lead of 342. But on the downside, there is no microSD expansion slot. Overall, both the devices are neck on neck.
Vs. HTC Windows 8S
The 820 has better specifications than the HTC Windows 8S. It has a bigger screen, and better camera resolution. Although both devices have a dual core processor, the Lumia 820 is ahead on the primary memory front with 1 GB of RAM. The Lumia 820 also has the NFC (Near Field Communication) feature which the HTC Windows 8S does not have.
Vs. The Sony Xperia S
The Xperia S is an Android phone. It has the same screen size as the 820, but has better resolution of 720 X 1280 pixels. However, it lacks the battery time that the 820 has. On the camera front, the Xperia S beats Lumia 820 with a 12 MP camera featuring a slew of inbuilt camera technologies.
Being a Windows 8 phone, the 820 has an excellent interface. The performance of the interface is consistent and stable. You can use the Lumia 820 as a camera phone given its high camera resolution and a host of inbuilt camera technologies. If you are new to the Windows 8 operating system, it could take some time to get adjusted to the UI. But after some time, it will be smooth sailing. Windows 8 offers excellent UI personalization features to keep you interested in your phone at all times.From a buying standpoint, this phone is for you if you are looking for a mid-range smartphone. In fact, if you have never bought a smartphone, this could be your first one.
Price and availability
The Nokia Lumia 820 is priced at Rs. 22999 and is available at all leading online stores and electronic outlets.