Nokia Lumia 820 Review: Affordable Windows Experience

Nokia has brought in an interesting and unforeseen wave of next generation mobiles, with its Lumia series. This series consists of mobile phones running on Windows 8 and each phone targets a different group of consumers. The new Lumia 820, comes with a little difference compared to the other Lumia phones. This difference being manifest in its removable outer shell, as opposed to a unibody. The cases can be interchanged between a range of glossy to not so glossy, to rugged cases, and those that afford wireless Qi-standard charging. This fact alone, makes this more affordable phone have a nice spin, apart from the other fantastic features like Live Tiles and colour schemes.


Inside the body of the new Lumia 820 is a 1650mAh removable battery. The memory storage space can be expanded through microSD. The muscle work is managed by same 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor found on the Lumia 920 and is backed by 1GB worth of RAM. There is 8GB of built in space, which can be driven up to 64 gigs. The screen is a 4.3 inch OLED display having a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. The screen is highly sensitive to the exact degree as the Lumia 920 screen.

The Nokia Lumia 820 was given the backseat, in general and in particular at Microsoft and Nokia’s big press event. It was the Lumia 920 that received the bright spotlight and widespread publicity. Perhaps this move was natural, given the need to show off new technologies fit into the Lumia 920. On the basis of design, the Lumia 920 was created along the lines of other Lumia phones, while the 820 was given a few notable differences. The edges of the Lumia 820 are not too rounded as seen in the other handsets. This doesn’t help the phone counter its bulkiness though. The phone is about 9.9 mm thick which makes manning the phone using one hand a deigned task, so the super sensitivity of the phone makes no difference. The Lumia 820 weighs about 160g making it quite weighty, though not as heavy as the glam-set Lumia 920. The removable shell does not contribute much in terms of weight, in terms of utility it adds character to the phone and brings in the important feature of wireless charging.

Nokia Lumia 820 blue

The color yellow, which is the one most sported at all Lumia advertisements, is not as likeable as the neon tone found on the Lumia 920. This yellow sort of just wanes against it. just a The design is inoffensive enough, but it doesn’t look like a Lumia to us. The button layout is maintained, and there is also the three capacitive buttons beneath the screen. Towards the right side are three plastic buttons. The camera works through a two stage button function, apart from choosing it on the screen. On the bottom edge is the micro -USB port sitting besides the single speaker, that is capable of producing very loud sounds. The front facing VGA camera is above the screen for video call purposes.

Connectivity is provided by NFC, 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.1 support and both A-GPS and GLONASS. You will also get support for GSM / GPRS / EDGE (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz), UMTS / HSPA+ (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100MHz) and (on the 4G model) LTE (800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600MHz).

The resolution offered by the Lumia 820 is middle of the rank stuff. For a Windows phone that is meant to compliment its possibilities, Nokia has misfired here. The Lumia 820 surprisingly offers more viewing angles than the Lumia 920 which is stated to have a higher resolution. Unfortunately Nokia has gone with high quality scratch resistant glass, and not the favourite Gorilla Glass.

nokia lumia 820 wp8

As for the camera technology, the Lumia 820 does not have optical image stabilization for its 8 megapixel autofocus camera. Everything else about the camera, works well. You wont find a backside illuminated sensor, though what you will get is a dual-LED flash and Carl Zeiss lens (f/2.2, unlike the Lumia 920’s f/2.0 glass). Other features include white balance, exposure and ISO. When taking shots, the images are processed without much noise, and with quick response time. The pictures have a great amount of detail, and perfect amount of black color concentration. The Lumia 820 camera is decidedly not as powerful as the camera found in the Lumia 920, still the camera worked superbly under low light conditions. The LED dual flash does a good job both under subtle ambient lighting and low lighting.

The AMOLED screen on the Lumia 820 displays the Live Tile interface very well, with the usual function options like rearranging , and modifying the size. More apps are found on the Lumia 920 than on the Lumia 820 however with Nokia adding its own apps, it makes the experience all the better. Some of the Nokia apps are the Lens apps for the camera using which you can get the panaroma, burst shot and lens effect features found on regular cameras, Nokia Music which gives you a cache of free music, and City Lens that makes the phone come alive.

nokia lumia 820 color range

The Lumia 820 has been given a smaller battery, and its life is reduced compared to other devices running on Windows 8. The diminishing of the screen size did not boost the power of the battery by too much, however a spare battery can be lugged around in times of need. The video playback quality did not perform well due to the low resolution on the screen. Hence if you desire 720p, you will have to settle for less. There are two distortion free high amplitude mics through which the call quality is near perfect. These mics assure quality in audio in video shots too.

Despite the shortcomings of the Lumia 820 when compared to the Lumia 920, this phone is highly recommended. On  its own, it offers a wide range of features and functions in support of Windows 8. With the affordable pricing of this phone, minor reductions in size and resolution wont be much to complain about. Apps work just fine even with the lower resolution. On the other hand, the fact that the Lumia 920 is within reach after only a few more savings make it a better option. In this sense, the Lumia 820 seems almost like a filler, or like Nokia used its backup research unit to come up with this model within a very stringent time frame.

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