Review: Nokia Lumia 820

The 4.3 inch screen is a touch smaller, and while the resolution is vastly different, you wouldn’t notice it from the menu.

Windows Phone 8’s contrasty screen layout is still as clean as ever, but it’s when you start browsing the web you wish that Nokia had brought that high definition screen over, or at least something better than the Lumia 820’s lesser pixel per inch count of 216, around one hundred lower than the iPhone 4’s Retina grade level.

Here on the Lumia 820, full-size webpages show text with a slight blur, as the pixels are too large to discern an obvious difference without zooming. Compare that with the HD-capable 920, which is readable from afar.

PPI demonstrated: the lower pixel per inch count on the Lumia 820's 4.3 inch on the left, while the Lumia 920's 4.5 inch screen with HD on the right is far more readable.

Windows Phone 8 has a few things that we love, such as the volume meter which has 30 points of control, and not just the 10 or 15 most smartphones seem to stick with. We love the simplicity between two menus, and it’s easy for anyone to pick up and use.

Performance of this device is more or less the same, however, with the same clock speed, memory, and even 4G capable modem.

As such, we were able to run multiple applications easily, with speedy performance jumping between menus and different apps.

Good download speeds are here on this handset.

Mobile performance was equally speedy, with our 4G download speeds rating between 24Mbps all the way up to around 50.

There are some downsides to having a smaller version of the Lumia 920, though, with some of the same problems shared through the design.

One of these is the weight, and this is one hefty handset. Despite the Lumia 820 not being made from the same unibody polycarbonate design, it still manages to be heavier than you might expect, with the 4.3 inch device weighing down our pockets more than any other similarly-sized handset out there.

Overall, it’s a balanced handset, but it will feel heavy in your hands, and that’s not a good thing.

Battery performance also needs to be improved considerably.

Before Windows Phone 8 rolled around, we found that the battery life in Windows Phone 7 would often pull in more than a day.

In the Lumia 920, it only reached barely a day, and here in the 820, there’s not much difference, with this phone needing an overnight charge if you plan on using it daily.

The eight megapixel camera isn’t as good as the one we saw on the 920, either. Images seemed slightly soft when we looked at them, and similar to the 920, the metering wasn’t great, handling only one type of light balance, and generally not the one we wanted.

Conclusion

Making a decision between a flagship smartphone and something of slightly lesser quality has never been easy, but if you don’t want a taste of Windows Phone and desire 4G without the heavy weight of the Lumia 920, this is an option.

We’re not sure if it’s the best option entirely, especially since it competes with the slimmer and lighter HTC Windows 8X, but it does bring with it an SD card slot, which is an option we prefer usually over fixed storage by itself.

 

Overall
Features
Value for money
Performance
Design
Reader Rating0 Votes
Performs like its brother, the Lumia 920; We're always fans of a 4G connection; Inclusion of a microSD slot makes it more expandable than its big brother; Supports wireless charging;
A reasonably heavy handset; Battery only lasts for a day;
3.7