The successor to the first ever Nokia Windows Phone, the Lumia 800, is here. We’ve been using the Nokia Lumia 820 in our hands and it feels extremely promising. With an 8 megapixel camera, a dual-core processor and an AMOLED display, we have yet to know if this phone has what it takes to live up to the promise. Read on our full review to find out.
Design and Construction
Like other Windows Phone devices, color is dominant on the Lumia 820. The phone is fairly huge but the bezels are quite thick for our taste. It sits comfortably in the hand and it feels solidly built. Fingerprints are easily attracted though, and it has quite a bit of heft.
On the front is the screen, the earpiece, the sensors, the front-facing camera and the three Windows Phone buttons. There’s nothing on the left side while on the right, you’ll find the volume rocker, the power button and the two-stage camera key. Up top you’ll find the audio jack, while down below, you’ll find the micro USB port, the speaker and the microphone.
The back is entirely removable. It brings back the idea of having different cases to dress your phone up with, and we like the whole thought of it. However, the Lumia 820, without the back cover, looks better in our opinion. It even feels compact and sleek. Of course, nobody would use it that way, but it’s nice to entertain the idea since the rectangular design feels better and the colored casing just makes the phone feel fat.
The device sports a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display with a resolution of 480×800 pixels. These does not bring anything new and spectacular, but we have to say that the Windows Phone interface still looks better on an AMOLED screen. Blacks are portrayed as true blacks and saturation is done well.
Resolution is on average though and qHD screens are quite a norm already for phones in this price category. It didn’t turn out to be an annoying problem unless you’re a pixel enthusiast. No issues viewing angles either so you won’t see yourself ranting on the display.
OS, Apps and UI
The handset runs Windows Phone 8 — and it’s kind of different but in a good way. The company has been pushing the software a lot and that’s very evident — with Nokia Here, Cinemagraph, City Lens and more.
Windows Phone 8 still lacks the most important apps but we’re here to say that all of Nokia’s apps are of good quality. Other than that, there’s nothing else to note here since the WP experience is pretty much the same all around.
Multimedia & Camera
Sound quality is more than acceptable. It is loud and clear and, if we may add, our red Nokia Lumia 820 comes with a similarly-colored headset of really good quality. We were impressed with the audio on this one. Video playback was great as well, but not exceptional since it is held back by the display size.
This one is no PureView, unlike its bigger brother the 920, but we have to give praise to Nokia for still making the camera on the 820 fairly impressive. Shots gave out lesser noise than most phones, and the 820 did really good in flash management with its dual LEDs.
Video recording was above average as well. It could be shaky on occasion, but it did well in adjusting to lighting and continuous auto-focus was exceptional as seen above.
Performance & Battery Life
The Lumia 820 runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and it’s extremely fast on the interface, just like any other Windows Phone. However, we have to say there is quite some slow down on opening apps. No, not dropped frames or something like that, but the phone keeps us on the loading screen usually for apps like Twitter & Cinemagraph.
Battery life was awesome. We had it for days on standby, and while taking so much pictures and video, it only drained a portion of the battery for that day – considering those were HD videos and flash-utilizing photos. On WiFi, it did average just like the others, and will last you a day’s use.
The Nokia Lumia 820 is a great phone. It’s not exceptional, but it easily beats the average on most aspects. Nokia’s apps aren’t much of a liability, and it isn’t bloatware either. It adds a lot of value onto Windows Phone than you’d expect and there are no gimmicks here. It produces good multimedia materials, be it with photos, videos or audio.
While Windows Phone is still hard to consider because of its lack of apps, Nokia rekindled our hope for it because of the push it is making. For Php18,990, it’s hard not to look at the Lumia 820.
Nokia Lumia 820 specs:
4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display (480 x 800, 217ppi)
Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz dual-core CPU
Adreno 225 Graphics
8GB internal memory, micro SD up to 64GB
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct
GPS w/ aGPS, GLONASS
8 megapixel AF camera, dual LED flash
1080p HD video recording
VGA front-facing camera
Windows Phone 8
123.8 x 68.5 x 9.9 mm (dimensions)
What we liked about it:
- Great Nokia Apps
- Impressive camera
- Loud and clear audio
What we didn’t like about it:
- Slight slowdown on loading apps