Nokia Lumia 820 review: Backup squad
Back up against the wall, Nokia looks to the launch of the first Windows Phone 8 smartphones as a make or break moment. It’s not essential for the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 to become bestsellers, but it’s absolutely vital that they convince users of Microsoft’s mobile platform's potential.
Android and iOS made short work of Windows Phone 7 and had it relegated to an also-ran. Now, one thing Nokia simply cannot afford is let history repeat itself. However, the Nokia Lumia 820 is, in a way, the luckier of the two global Nokia flagships. It will compete in a lower price bracket than the Lumia 920, safely out of the way of iconic devices like the Galaxy S III, the One X and the iPhone 5.
Yet, the Nokia Lumia 820 is not without its advantages - even over the almighty flagship 920.
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Quad-band 3G with 42 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
- 4.3" 16M-color ClearBlack AMOLED display of WVGA resolution
- 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, 1080p@30fps video recording
- VGA front-facing camera
- Windows Phone 8 OS
- 1.5GHz dual-core Krait CPU, Adreno 225 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset, 1GB of RAM
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
- GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support
- Free lifetime voice-guided navigation
- 8GB of inbuilt storage, expandable through the microSD card slot
- Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
- Built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- microUSB port
- Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and EDR, file transfers
- SNS integration
- Xbox Live integration and Xbox management
- NFC support
- Digital compass
- Nokia Music
- FM Radio
- App catalog falls short of Android and iOS
- No system-wide file manager
- No lockscreen shortcuts
- Pretty large and heavy for the screen size
Unlike its premium sibling, the Nokia Lumia 820 kindly offers a microSD card slot for cheap memory expansion, a user-replaceable battery and exchangeable covers. What’s more, it even has a counter-argument against the advanced PureMotion HD+ display of the Lumia 920 - and it's good-ol' AMOLED. We won’t get tired of saying that Windows Phone’s Modern UI feel most at home on screens of infinite contrast such as the one on the Lumia 820.
The spec sheet isn't likely to make geeks do backflips, but the level of flexibility, combined with the more attractive price tag, might earn the Nokia Lumia 820 the popular vote. And as we said – it’s all about gaining traction for the Windows Phone 8 army now. Cashing in can wait for a few more months.
We’ll have a better idea of where the Lumia 820 stands by the time we are done with the review. Join us after the break for our traditional unboxing and hardware checkup.