Nokia Lumia 820 Review

Nokia Lumia 820 Review

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.

nokia lumia 820

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.

without the back

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.

sample pic

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.

lumia 820 f

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
Bluetooth 3.1
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)
160g (weight)
1650mAh battery

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

Bob Freking occasionally contributes articles to the website. He is a UST Graduate of Commerce & Business Administration, Major in Marketing Management, and a full-time Sith Lord with three dragons.

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34 Responses

  1. Samuel says:

    thanks sa reviews. btw ask ko po if after you buy these phone for reviews, nagagamit niyo rin po agad after couple of days? or binebenta/binibigay niyo rin? curios lang po. thanks

  2. aqaq says:

    not worth the money imo. for the same price you can get sony xperia t tx or v on the grey market.

    • lee says:

      you know what? if hindi mo maapreciate ang windows phone.. wag k n mgsalita, kung ikaw ay magaling talaga sa tech reviews… sana naapreciate mo ito.. pero hindi eh. u know what.. better bumili k nito para mtest mo :D

    • awaw says:

      @ lee

      meron ako lumia 920. hindi maganda ang wp8

    • Ram says:

      @lee walang masamang sinabi si aqaq, its only his opinion whether he likes the windows phone or not. Now, if u really want to put people down, i suggest you look for another outlet or venue for this. Wag dito sa yugatech!

  3. JC dela Cruz says:

    Nice phone but with only 8GB internal is a “NO”. Look how the “other” storage eats the space. Out of the box you can only have 5GB of space. Installing a rich game e.g. ASPHALT 7 HEAT requires a minimum space of 4.2GB! How was that? :)

  4. bdjdjdjsbxjfj says:

    Nice phone! But not so nice freking author.

    • huh says:

      care to explain why he’s not so nice?

    • r41 says:

      Lalo ako nabibilib kay Bob Freking. Sa sobrang galing niya may mga haters talaga. :o

      Crab mentality at its finest

    • von says:

      Alam kong kay Bob to hinde ko pa clinick kasi:

      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…tpos we have yet to know if this phone has what it takes to live up to the promise.

      HAHA :p

  5. jo says:

    Sigh. Sana lahat ng smartphones katulad ng Nokia pagdating sa battery life!

  6. kel says:

    Got this phone from before sa tcp for 14k complete yun lang walang warranty last january, and sold it after a week, downside, yes replaceable yun back cover pero kailangan sobrang maingat ka, madaling magasgas ang back cover nya and yes super fingerprint magnet, siguro kakalinis ko din sa likod kaya madaling nagasgas. Another downside is 8 gig interneal but only about 4 gig available and you CANNOT install apps sa memory card, external sd only stores music, vids, pictures documents. This phone is really snappy and good if umay ka na sa other OS for a change. Weight? Sa akin sapat lang hindi naman ganun ka hefty, at least you know your device is in your pockets.

  7. kel says:

    If you want more app storage i suggest na mag Lumia 920 intead of this, mabibitin lang kayo sa 4gig plus na user available out of the 8 gig, pero kung music vids at pics lang, sakto na to, external sd can accomodate those files

  8. kel says:

    Regarding sa scratch, its more of hairline scratch na madali sya magkaroon kakalinis, not really the hard dents, imagine 2 days palang nagagamit may hairline scratch na agad, pag hindi ko naman nilinis ang likod panget din tignan parang ang salaula tignan ng device

  9. darren philip says:

    Hello, yuga. hav you tested the LTE capability? please. :D

  10. son says:

    for the benifits of the reader here , did u test the unit in use as in browsing the net , facebook .

    the nokia lumia 620 is a disappointment . you have to restart from the begging of an application each time you switch apps , ex : you are on facebook then suddenly you need to check google map for address . by the time you get back to Facebook to reply a post , the screen display is gone .

    i have use several application and it’s all the same .

    poor lumia 620 . hope it’s not the same on lumia 820

    • symo says:

      You have to press the “windows button” instead of the “back button” when switching apps. The app would close if you keep pressing the “back button”. Pressing the “windows button” would hibernate the app with background processes still running and you would see it at the recent apps list when you hold down the “back button”. I’ve noticed this behavior is consistent to all the apps that I have used so far.

  11. Luke says:

    Does anybody hav any word on lumia 520, in terms of web browsing, games and viewing social apps like facebook? I plan to get this for my Mother, who will be a first timer with smart phones. Btw, she used to own Nokia phones thats why I am planning to get her this unit.

  12. AA says:

    I never considered a 9.9mm phone to be thick. Anything less feels flimsy to me. As for the post above re apps starting over everytime u access a different app, u just need to long press the back button for multitasking. If u need to do something else while on fb, press the window button to go back to homescreen then open the app u want. To go back to fb, long press the back button and scroll sideways until u see the fb window. Then youll go back to where you were before.

  13. skid says:

    Thanks for the review.

    Pretty nice phone.
    Great camera,
    Cool apps (Smart Shoot, Cinemagraph, PhotoBeamer, City Lens, Maps, Drive, Kid’s corner)
    Highly customizable interface,
    Durable, kahit mabagsak ayos pa din

    Hairline scratches almost negligible kasi shiny ang cover, kundi pa naicomment ni Boss Kel hindi ko pa iexamine. :) I haven’t had any experience with apps’ slowdown. except for crappy games/apps.

  14. techmole says:

    i went to nokia store in megamall and compared the speed of wp8 lumias (520, 620, 720, 820). btw, i have my lumia 800 with me as comparison and turns out my l800 is much faster in terms of scrolling and application switching. well the camera of l800 is still better than at least 520, 620 or even720. not sure why a single-core processor is faster than wp8’s duals. just my opinion, thanks

  15. jd says:

    I bought a Nokia Lumia 520 for 7990, got the yellow one..:) so far I’m enjoying this phone.. I can say that Windows Phone 8 is a fast Mobile OS, Switching between open apps is fast no lags at all, thanks to the Snapdragon S4 Krait Dual Core CPU, as for web browsing its also ok no problems using mobile data and even wifi, as for games its also great for playing games because of the Adreno 305 Graphics, the battery lasts for a day during normal use, e.g. Calls, Texts, Browsing and Games..

    • mark says:

      thanks jd planning to buy this unit nokia lumia 520 with all the good reviews na sinabi mo thanks…

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  19. Tan lam says:

    You cant install apps on the micro sd. Just pics music movies on the external memory

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