Nokia Lumia 820

Windows 8 smartphone

Nokia Lumia 820 review – Windows Phone 8

Our rating

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Nokia have another Windows winner on their hands with the Nokia Lumia 820. One size down from the flagship 4G Lumia 920, the latest Windows 8 smartphone from Nokia sports a 4.3 inch screen – a size many people consider to be the most manageable size – in a nice solid frame with rounded corners which feels just right in the hand and in your pocket.

Replaceable covers

Though produced in a number of bright colours we are likely to only see boring old black in the UK but the good news is just like the old days the cover is replaceable. In fact an add-on shell is available to enable Qi wireless charging just like its big brother. Do check though that any aftermarket replacement cover you buy houses the built-in NFC aerial just as the original does if you do not want to lose some functionality.

No 4G, but save yourself a packet!

In fact there is a bit of a trick to keep up your sleeve here. It is quite possible to save yourself a lot of money by plumping for the Nokia Lumia 820 instead of the Lumia 920. You get a 0.2 inch smaller screen size but the same Windows internals as on the 920 and the same 1.5 GHz processor to boot, but because the screen is a slightly lower resolution this phone actually runs faster than the 920. Indeed you might find yourself asking the question, “Why pay more?” You don’t get 4G but for most of us, by the time we get 4G we are likely to be ready to upgrade again (and hopefully most of you will come back to 1st Mobile UK)

Bright and clear screen

A further advantage with the Nokia Lumia 820 is that this model has a replaceable battery. The battery-friendly AMOLED screen means you get really deep blacks and bright colours which as you would expect shows it’s best when surfing the web and viewing your photos and recorded HD videos. However the 800 x 480 pixel display does lack a little sharpness. Choosing this display is of course a deliberate decision by Nokia to the price down and it is not as noticeable on a Windows blocky operating system as it might be on an Android or Apple phone.

8 megapixel camera

The included camera is again an 8 megapixel affair and picture quality is again excellent although it doesn’t quite seem to reach the heights of the 920. We’re not sure if there is some difference in the hardware or if the lower screen resolution plays a part. That said it will not disappoint and you would need to compare the two Nokia smartphones side-by-side to notice any real difference.

Smooth, sleek performance

Because the Windows Phone 8 is designed not to be customised with manufacturer bloatware, performance is smooth and sleek and again not disappoint even the fussiest user. It is such a pleasurable experience when you’re looking through your social networking accounts, surfing the Internet and watching your favourite video. Support is of course included for all the popular e-mail clients.

Our summary

Overall Nokia Lumia 820 offers pretty much all the software and features of its big brother and although it doesn’t do it quite as well it does come at considerably lower price. There is nothing not to like here, and it is a huge improvement over Windows Phone 7 devices. It will not disappoint all but the fiercest critics so ultimately you choose your budget and you make your choice.

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