Hands On: Nokia Lumia 820

The Lumia 820 slots right between the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 620 as far as Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 device portfolio is concerned. Priced at 27,559 it enters the market that is flooded with Android smartphones like the Galaxy S II, the Xperia S, the LG Optimus 4X HD so it definitely has its work cut out. Additionally, unlike the Lumia 920 it does not have any tricks that would woo consumers. That said, if one wants to buy in to the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem then this is a rather affordable start. We went hands-on with it at today’s launch event. Read on to find out our first impressions.

Perhaps the best word to describe the Lumia 820 is solid. Why? Well, it has a boxy chunky design that has a certain heft to it. Of course, the build is not in the same ballpark as the Lumia 920, but if one has to compare it to a Samsung Galaxy S III, then the difference is like night and day.

Unlike the 920, the back panel is removable and Nokia will sell different panels in different finishes and some will even incorporate the wireless charging module. I got my hands on the glossy finish panels and they did share the ceramic like polycarbonate finish on the Lumia 920, but it definitely felt a tad cheap. Back in September I had a chance to checkout one of the matte finished panels and that was definitely more premium to look at.

Internally, the Lumia 820 is powered by the same 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM as the Lumia 920 and there is frankly no difference in performance. In a nutshell, it is blisteringly fast.

The 4.3-inch display utilizes Nokia’s ClearBlack filter and has a resolution of 800×480 pixels. The resolution definitely is on the lower side, but because of the nature of the Metro UI in Windows Phone 8, it’s very hard to discern individual pixels. That said, that may change if one tries to read a lot of text via the web browser.

The 8-megapixel camera on the Lumia 820 is not a PureView camera, but it does feature all the Nokia custom lenses so at it should be a rather decent snapper considering it also has Carl-Zeiss optics. Other features of the Lumia 820 include NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a 1,650 mAh battery and 8GB of internal memory. It has a microSD card slot that can support up to 32GB of memory. This is one area where the Lumia 820 trumps the 920.

Besides this, software wise the Lumia 820 is identical to the Lumia 920, so all the custom Nokia apps are here. May it be CityLens, Nokia Drive or MixRadio, you will not be missing out on anything.

At the end of the day the Lumia 820 seems like a solid contender but its fate will be directly connected with the growth of the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem. It will have a tough fight against the Android army, but in terms of hardware, I do believe it has what it takes to crack the market, the software remains its Achilles heel.

Photo Credit: Rohit Sharma

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