Feeds
80%
Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8

Nokia Lumia 820 WinPho 8 review

Smaller, cheaper... nicer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

"Hello. Hello? I'm on a Nokia"

The story of ordinary phone calls on both Lumias is not, I'm afraid, very good. All calls on this handset sounded muffled, the treble appears to be clipped, leaving the incoming caller muffled. I regularly received complaints of drop-outs. And as with the 920, the ringtone and volume are nowhere near loud enough. On both phones I missed far more calls than usual.

Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8

Key concerns: the case for spacebar space

The on-screen keyboard also posed some problems. The space bar is too small, and I regularly found strings of words separated by commas: rather,like,this. Microsoft's word correction is terrific, but it doesn't help with this one. As you can see from the photo, the keyboard designers chose to include dedicated keys for a language button and smileys – leaving the space bar very cramped. Some visual differentiation of the return and modifier keys – a bog standard usability feature of every other smartphone – would also be very welcome.

We've covered the latest cut of Windows Phone and the Lumia 920 in some depth already – so the pluses and minuses will be familiar to you. The platform is terrific for social media integration, and Facebook users love it. Nokia is right in wanting to put WinPhone in front of people, and let it speak for itself. For a Facebook user the experience really blows the rivals out of the water.

Even so, the WP app marketplace hasn't improved much, if at all in the past year, and Windows Phone hasn't received a year's worth of improvements. It's gained tethering, a kid's zone, and sizeable tiles, but it's got some way to catch up. Microsoft urgently needs to make user land improvements – having done the grunt work of putting the new OS on a stable new kernel, it still lacks some bullet-point features standard elsewhere.

Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8

Quirky in places, but likeable all the same

Mac owners should hold off until Microsoft can ship a stable version of the Mac connector client, Windows Phone – it simply isn't usable. You may get one or two successful syncs of small batches of media at first, if you're lucky, but it consistently crashes after that. The device isn't 'browseable' either, as it is on Windows.

Verdict

From my experience, there are question marks over the muffled calls and loudness issues with the Nokia Lumia 820. Likewise, the pace of evolution of the WP8 ecosystem, gives pause for thought. Hopefully a firmware fix will sort the call audio out, which impacts on its review rating a little here. It's a pity because overall I found the handset surprisingly comfortable and reassuring. With the Lumia 820, Nokia has made a solid (no pun intended) mass market phone, looking for a mass market. ®

More Handset Reviews

Acer
CloudMobile
S500
Nokia
Lumia 920
A History of the
Smartphone
Sony
Xperia T
Apple
iPhone 5

Application security programs and practises

80%
Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8

Nokia Lumia 820 WinPho 8 review

Nokia's less imposing WP8 handset comes at a lower price but with a lower res screen too.
Price: £400 RRP

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.