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Nokia Lumia 820 expert review

The new Nokia Lumia 820 smartphone comes with Windows Phone 8 software pre-loaded, plus a whole host of new camera features, including an app that lets you animate part of an image! Agent Chris Tufts took a Lumia 820 for a test drive, here's his expert review.

Nokia Lumia 820 - Geek Squad expert review

Nokia's close relationship with Microsoft has brought forth another entry into the expanding smartphone market, the Nokia Lumia 820. This slim, powerful phone runs the latest and greatest Windows Phone 8 Operating System, and comes jam-packed with hardware and software features, including support for wireless charging, NFC (wireless Near Field Communication technology), expandable memory and a host of integration and cloud capabilities. Nokia bring even more to the table with their exclusive applications, in a bid for the Windows Phone 8 flagship crown.

Nokia Lumia 820 pros

Solid build quality, exchangeable, colourful covers that enable NFC/Wireless charging, expandable memory options. Cloud syncing and exclusive Nokia apps, which provide you with even more functionality than the already efficient Windows Phone 8.

Nokia Lumia 820 cons

Wireless charging / NFC isn’t as standard, and requires another case/additional hardware. App store isn’t as fully populated yet as Android/iPhone.

Nokia Lumia 820 design

The new Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 are both very much in keeping with their predecessors the Lumia 800 and 710 when it comes to design. The colourful shell has comfortable corners and clever button positioning, which allows you to easily use your phone with just one hand. The Lumia 820 is notably longer than the Lumia 800, and positively dwarfs some of the first generation Windows Phones, but this is due to it having a larger, higher resolution display. Despite the roomy touchscreen the phone is still light and slim, and very easy to hold. Nokia have taken great pains to design a range of colourful, stylish and modern accessories that match the colour options of the Lumia 820, including wireless charging pads and pillows, plus colour-coded wireless speakers and headphones, with monster technology for better sound.

Nokia Lumia 820 hardware

The new Lumia 820 is faster and more powerful than it's older brother the Lumia 800, thanks to a speedy dual core Snapdragon S4 processor, that provides a clockspeed of 1.5GHz (pretty fast, by smartphone standards). Couple this with 1GB of RAM and the sheer efficiency of the Windows Phone 8 Operating System, and the phone is very rapid. With 8GB of fixed storage there’s a fair bit of room for your pictures, videos and music, but this is expandable up to an extra 32GB via a microSD card, although you will have to remove the battery to access this.

The “ClearBlack” screen is 4.3” in size, so it’s nice and large, definitely roomy enough to fit all your favourite tiles and displays videos and photographs with vivid colour, although it is let down by the resolution of only 480x800, which is the standard Windows phone 7 resolution, and notably less than its competitors and sibling the Lumia 920.

The battery (which can be charged wirelessly with the additional case and requisite charging pad) is a respectable 1650 mAh, which should provide nearly 14 days of standby, 8 hours of talk time, and up to 55 hours of listening to music. The 8 MP camera with Nokia's preferred Carl Zeiss lens can record video up to 1080p, and for those who need super-fast data on the move, the phone is fully 4G compatible. A standard 0.3 MP camera is located on the front to integrate

Nokia Lumia 820 software

The phone comes fully up-to-date with the latest Windows Phone 8 Operating System, as well as a plethora of built-in applications from Nokia, such as their own free music server, Nokia Music, and even offline turn-by-turn navigation provided by Nokia Drive. City Lens comes as standard, allowing an augmented reality view around you to locate nearby restaurants, hotels, points of interest and more.

The start screen will look familiar to existing Windows Phone users, or anyone who has recently upgraded to Windows 8, since it keeps the fantastic tile interface, allowing you to get the information important to yourself at a glance. It’s even more customizable than ever, since every tile can now be one of three different sizes, meaning you can prioritize what’s important to you. Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are more integrated than ever, as is Microsofts Cloud service SkyDrive, which now even syncs your settings and text messages up, so if you change phone or get a replacement, you’ll be up and running again in even less time than before.

The software is wonderful in its simplicity, so isn’t bogged down with thousands of options, and scrolling and moving through apps is fast and responsive.

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