Good battery life; Less heavy than the Lumia 920; Bright, sharp display; Great Nokia apps; Capable snapper.
Still quite weighty; lack of Windows Phone 8 apps.
The Nokia Lumia 820 is a smaller incarnation of the Lumia 920, which still includes all its most impressive features, including Nokia’s excellent apps and wireless charging, as well as 4G support. Battery life has been improved as well, offering a good day’s use from a full charge.
When Nokia released the Lumia 920, one of the things that we noticed straight away was just how big and heavy it was. Now Nokia has produced a slimmed-down version of the phone in the shape of the 820 – it has a slightly smaller screen, but otherwise includes all of the 920’s best features in a neater chassis – and most importantly, it supports 4G.
If you’re after a 4G phone, the Lumia 820 will do the job for you – if you can afford the contract it will let you download data at fabulous speeds – so you can enjoy an HD movie without any stuttering. But even if you’re using 3G, the 820 offers a neat and speedy web browser. The 4.3-inch display is responsive, reacting to every poke and swipe, so that you can move around even complex websites easily. The screen is bright, offers great viewing angles and lets you read even the smallest of type under the harsh glare of direct light. The screen is vibrant, offering great colour reproduction for films and photos.
Under the hood, the Lumia 820 boasts the same chip as its bigger brother – a 1.5 GHz dual-core model which, combined with 1GB of RAM, offers really smooth performance. The operating system, Windows Phone 8, runs remarkably well, and we were able to load and run apps easily. The 820 also offered us a good day’s use out of a full battery, while streaming media saw it last a very decent seven hours. The handset is charged using MicroUSB, although there is also the option to charge wirelessly (if you buy a separate charging pad).
Social media fans will love Windows Phone 8, which offers the People hub, where you can aggregate all your contacts’ social updates into one place. The impressive Office app is useful if you want to work while out and about, and Nokia has included a good range of its own apps, including Nokia Maps, and Nokia Drive, which offers voice navigation if you’re driving. A good way to find local restaurants and so on is by using Nokia City Lens, and Nokia offers a way to download music and mixes for free and without adverts in the shape of Nokia Music.
It’s just a shame that there’s not the great range of Windows apps on offer as yet, so if you’re switching from Android or iOS that could be a bit of a shock. But this will change in time.
Do it bright
You can choose to have your Nokia Lumia 820 in all manner of colours – our review model was bright yellow – at least you won’t lose it easily! It’s a design you’ll either love or hate – it might look like a child’s toy to some. We rather like the bright finish and the curved body – it’s also quite scuff resistant, which is good news. It’s rather weighty as we said before, but at least it’s lighter than its predecessor.
Getting the back plate off was a tad difficult, but once inside you’ll see there’s a micro SIM slot plus removable battery. If you want to expand on the 8GB of onboard memory, there’s a Micro SD slot as well. If you want to download apps or carry some music around with you, you’ll definitely be wanting to buy a memory card.
The Lumia 920 had a ‘PureView’ camera, but while the 820 doesn't it still boasts an eight-megapixel Carl Zeiss lens and produces decent images. There’s a dedicated shutter key on the right edge of the device, which fires up the camera app automatically. Hit it again and the snapper focuses and takes a picture. There’s a second lag between hitting the key and the shutter firing, so you need to have a steady hand, but nevertheless our snaps were vibrant and bright.
Low-light and night pictures showed little noise, although there was quite a bit of lens flare if our image included bright lights. A bit of tweaking would be needed to sort that out. There’s flash for low light indoor situations.
One feature we did like is SmartShoot, which takes a number of shots over three seconds, so you can choose the best one – handy if you’re taking a snap of a group of people and want to get the best one without anyone blinking or pulling a silly face.
The Nokia Lumia 820 is a smaller version of the Lumia 920 that still includes its most impressive features, including Nokia’s great apps and wireless charging, as well as offering 4G support. Battery life is improved too – with a full day’s use on offer from a fully charged battery.
|Type of device||Smartphone|
|Operating System||Windows Phone 8|
|Dimensions||124 x 69 x 9.9mm|
|Processor speed||1.5GHz dual-core|
|Screen size||4.3 inches|
|Display type||16 million colours|
|Memory card slot|
|Special camera features||LED flash|
|Music player||ASF WAV MP4 AAC AMR MP3 M4A WMA 3GP 3G2|
|FM Radio description|
|Handsfree speaker phone|
|What's in the box||Charger|
|Battery life multimedia||7 hours|
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