Feeds
80%
Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8

Nokia Lumia 820 WinPho 8 review

Smaller, cheaper... nicer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Put on a charge

Punters might want to consider the 920 for the astonishing camera – and some may decide to put up with the discomfort – because the 920 is a tank that struggles to stay in a jeans pocket. But if you want a solid alternative, are attracted to the Nokia apps (Drive, principally) then this is worth a look.

Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8

Touch charging becomes an instant habit

One other nice surprise was the inclusion of Qi-standard inductive wireless charging. This is fitted into the removable backplate, but it doesn't take up any additional room – a non-inductive backplate will be just as thin. It's one of those things you're sure you do without, then immediately take for granted. With a charging plate around, the phone is always "topping up". Nokia is trying to seed the market and many channel partners are bundling the plates at low cost or for free, and Nokia is taking a similar tack with the 820: many will have the inductive back cover.

You won't get the amazing photos you get with the Lumia 920 – which features image stablisation that isolates the camera assembly and produces superb results in low light too – but it is pretty good. The phone will happily do 1080 HD video and if you're keen on this idea, you'll be glad of the storage expansion.

One downside is the battery, at 1650 mAh, might barely get you through a day. Once conditioned, I found it was fine to squeak through a day but it's touch and go by 5pm, and could really use a top-up. This is typical for the class of device, yet at 160g you'd expect a bit more juice, especially given some of the extras. As with the 920, Nokia bundles its superb vector-based Maps program, the turn-by-turn navigation app Drive (which can utilise offline maps), CityLens, an improved local listings app with a gimmicky augmented-reality overlay, and Nokia Music.

Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8

8Mp stills shooting and full HD video too

When it comes to yer actual phone calls, both new Lumias are a curate's egg. They're superb on HD voice calls, in other words, if both parties have an HD voice handset – such as the iPhone 5 – and the networks play nice. I found HD to be almost as good as Skype-to-Skype over broadband, if the background environment is consistent. When it works, it's wonderful.

Where HD voice fell down in my tests is when there's a loud but intermittent background noise on one end, such as a pub. Then the call got choppy, so choppy it was hang-up time. I suspect the phone's noise cancellation is playing havoc with the nice orderly sequence of compressed packets that the HD protocol expects – but this is just a hunch.

Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.