back to article Nokia Lumia 820 WinPho 8 review

The Nokia Lumia 820 is the second of Nokia's two new Windows phones. It's the neglected sibling of the flagship Lumia 920, and is barely mentioned in Nokia's presentations.  But I found it a very capable handset, with plenty to commend it. Why does this sound a bit familiar? Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8 Nokia's Lumia 820: It …

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe on the next incarnation they will have a phone as worthy as the best.

Still not a bad effort from a manufacturer who is looking into the abyss.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe on the next incarnation Microsoft will allow Windows phone to actually sync with Microsoft software. I mean come on, even the I-phone can sync with Outlook, so why on earth can't Windows phone? Why on earth are Microsoft are so intent on forcing everyone to store their personal information in 'the cloud'?

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FAIL

Already in the abyss

1. call quality is poor. Fail, it's meant to be a phone.

2. battery struggles to last a day. Fail, it's meant to be a phone.

3. The above 2 points were always areas in which Nokia excelled over other manufacturers, so now, why buy a Nokia?

4. Nokia phones have no Android versions, only Win 8, so now, why buy a Nokia?

4 fails, and I say this is a former Nokia user who genuinely would like to buy another one. Unless Elop is kicked out and they belatedly get back to producing decent phones which can power for several days and have great call quality including via the speaker phone, and with Android as the OS, then Nokia is definitely toast. They could easily have been where Samsung is today, that's the saddest part of the great Nokia failure.

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Devil

"The story of ordinary phone calls on both Lumias is not, I'm afraid, very good."

So basically, don't bother if you actually want to use it as a phone. OK, I'm sold!

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Anonymous Coward

Thing is, drop outs and other things like choppy sound are likely to be the result of the mobile network. These problems can plague any phone. I used to get it all the time with my iPhone at home.

Did you even think to try another network or another phone on the same network?

As for the 920, the volume is loud, some people say it is too loud even on 2/10. When playing music you can feel the vibration of the speaker in your hand.

The Mac connector is flakey, but it does settle down eventually. The lack of "browsing" of the phone on OSX is Apple's fault for not implementing MTP (media transfer protocol) which this and many other devices use to sync files. MTP is a way of abstracting the underlying filesystem of the device so you can use any filesystem without the OS needing to have a driver for it. But sadly despite this protocol being many years old and officially part of the USB spec Apple have chosen to ignore it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Transfer_Protocol

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

Your're blaming the lack of browsing functionality on Apple? Isn't it the job of the phone manufacturer to provide said functionality? If the OS doesn't provide, you bring your own tools. What is it about Microsoft that has people making excuses for them all the time?

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blame the network ?

I cannot vouch for the reviewer, but lack of call quality, missed calls due to too low ringer volume are (to me at least) pretty big reasons not to buy a phone.

Also a battery that doesnt even last a day ? On a new phone ? That's another reason not to buy it.

While most days I will be near a place where I can recharge my phone (read, behond a computer with a USB port), there are days (oh so joyous days) where I can (and will) be away from those places as much as possible. And while I understand that I can even make those days more enjoyable by not taking a phone, or leaving it switched off, I dont always have that luxury ...

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FAIL

Re: Really?

What is it about Apple fanatics blaming everything else for not supporting their cherished OSX? Standards are there for a number of reasons (even old ones) - One reason, applcable here, is to simplify implementation. If the operating system HOSTING a peripheral supports the protocol, then (hey presto), the peripheral works straight away without fiddling, or even 3rd party software in some cases.

The Browsing function is based upon an established standard - if Apple can't manage that, then why is that Microsoft's problem to fix?

Even playing Devils advocate, I'm sure Microsoft would prefer to keep Windows phones in the Microsoft eco-system in the same way that Apple prefer an Apple eco-system. I'd say Apple are VERY good at this, better than Microsoft. For example, look at the massively locked-in Apple TV platform. Try and get that little box working with a NAS or anything outside the iTunes client on a Mac (or the Apple-derived excrement version that Windows users put up with) and you'll see what I mean.

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Re: blame the network ?

"Also a battery that doesnt even last a day ? On a new phone ? That's another reason not to buy it."

Heh it's a step up from what happened with the Lumia 800. Some phones including mine had duff battery firmware which ran the phone down in 6 hours. And it'd be dead as a dodo after that unless you plugged it into a wall socket. Charging from a USB cable connected to a PC did nothing. Took them many months to fix the issue and even now the phone has to be charged daily.

It's also strange that one of the claimed benefits of Windows Phone is better battery life - that apps can't run things in the background, that stuff like streaming, push etc. are forced through the built-in OS services. The theory being the more the phone is idle the more power it saves. Which is fair enough though in practice it hasn't been realised in appreciably better battery spans for WP devices.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: blame the network ?

The battery thing doesn't seem to be a big issue for real-world users - otherwise it would not be the norm - which really surprises me.

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Law
Happy

"The Mac connector is flakey, but it does settle down eventually. The lack of "browsing" of the phone on OSX is Apple's fault for not implementing MTP (media transfer protocol) which this and many other devices use to sync files."

Also have you tried downloading the android file transfer tool for mtp file systems. Not sure if it only works on android, but when Sony failed to release a stable/working version of Sony Bridge for Mac for my Xperia S (their sync software, and it sucks) I just took to getting photos and music on/off the mac using the file transfer tool manually. My guess is knowing google, it just implements an MTP device browser rather than being tied to Android devices themselves.

http://www.android.com/filetransfer/

Apple have no reason to implement the standard because they want people to use ipods/ipads - they don't care that some people with OSX arn't fanatics who buy every iDevice regardless.

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Anonymous Coward

Missing MTP

The MTP protocol is a MICROSOFT protocol. Apple have their own alternatives. But in any case OSX does implement MTP. Blaming OSX for the flakiness of Microsoft's connector is silly.

Microsoft can roll their own client connector. I get annoyed by the very suggestion anyone than MS should be blamed because that company has such inexcusable form for allowing the shoddiest of QA standards.

This is the company where for at least 3 major releases of Word, if you edited references at the same time as having the document map open, you would, without fail, within 2 hours of work, have a irreparably corrupted document. They left that fatal flaw, a known problem, in Word for at least 3 major releases (I haven't tested the latest release - I now won't touch it unless I absolutely have to). I know this because the problem caused me weeks of work after the corruption got backed up undetected into my back-up set for an extremely valuable long document. Over the course of Word's use by many millions of people, there may well be instances of people committing suicide due to discovering very important work has been lost at inopportune times. Also, it was most likely, NONE of the (many, many) MS suggested alternatives for fixing document corruption would work (I know I've tried them all). This isn't one isolated case, with MS, there are many others. This is also the company that, for two major releases, shipped versions of Outlook, where without warning, your email database would get corrupted if it grew to exceed 2 gigabytes - WITHOUT WARNING, KNOWN PROBLEM, SHIPPED FOR TWO MAJOR RELEASES !! Again with the corruption quite possibly infecting past back-ups before it is encountered (but once it is encountered - AAARGGHH!!) Sorry if the caps make it seem as though I'm incoherent and shouting. I am. MS quality standards have institutional lapses is so bad a new word is required to describe them "shitasmic" (in truth a word made up by a Guardian journalist whose name I forget)

Look at the article by the OS2 developer working during the MS/IBM collaboration years, published a few days ago in here, and you get an idea of why they are so bad. It comes from the very top. He wrote (and I even remember this problem in OS2 being reported on when it launched !!) how when testing single tasking DOS apps run in a windowed DOS session, he realised CHKDSK could be run twice, in parallel, with catastrophic results for anyone who did that (disk utility, designed for single tasking, running twice in parallel - OUCH). He referred it on to the project leader, who told him he was being too picky and left the issue in the build for release. Who was that man? Ballmer.

Sorry for going over the top, but please don't ever give MS any slack for buggy craptastic software. Yes they have some excellent developers, and have also done some good work as well. But they are like someone who has grown used to a messy room and cleans just parts of it, leaving inexplicable piles of dirt and shit in place because they have always been there. Now we live in the world where devices like the iPad and Nexus demonstrate computers can be like as appliances. The room can be properly cleaned. Sure you can still find occasional bugs but not the kind of system destabilising, 3-days-of-your-life-down-a-void-of-back-up-and-system-rebuild bugs Microsoft tried to pretend are a normal and expected part of computing. People are beginning to see the standards have been kept unacceptably low by an unacceptable monopoly for far too long.

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Silver badge

Too little, too late

The future is Android - certainly on mobile.

Lumia phones are nice (I have one) - the HTCs running WP8 are nice. Their all nice.

Unfortunately, they have no market traction, and I haven't seen anything that indicates that they're likely to gain market traction.

That they still haven't announced anything to do with the promised "WP7.8" update shows their commitment to early adopters, and anyone contemplating making the switch will be looking at that.

All in all, not good.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Too little, too late

Give the whole "Android is best" thing a rest will you. Just because something is popular doesn't make it good. Look at the top 10 music charts. Some of us don't want to wear blue jeans, trainers and a football shirt even though they are popular too.

The 920 is selling very well, demand is very high. This is from the Wall Street Journal (so not a fan site):

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20121119-705404.html

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Pint

Re: Too little, too late

There is an 800 in the office. It has great battery life; it easily outstrips my hand picked kernel/firmware S2. Sure I can do just as much (plus more most of the time) on my S2 but as a phone the 800 at least works just as well in *stock* format. I have no idea what the modding scene is like for WPhones. Not played with any of the true WP8 yet.

There isnt really anything wrong with the 800 so its probably just a WP image thing. I came from WM6.5 to android (1.6 initially - the original tmobile was a good phone if you ignored the 12 hour battery life) and would probably go back if I saw a need to. Perhaps when W8 is used more then i'll have a look at WP phones.

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Headmaster

Re: Too little, too late

Well not sure where the Wall Street Journal gets its information, but when I look at the Amazon best sellers list, there's Android, and Android, and iPhone, and Android. Yes there is also the Lumia true - but not as high up as Wall Street Journal claims

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FAIL

@A/C 08:45

To be fair, the OP did not say Android is the best in that post. He didn't even say it was good.

He said Android has more market traction and is going to come out on top for that reason.

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Facepalm

Re: Too little, too late

Wall Street Journal? Owned by St Rupert of Murdoch, canonized for his services to Truth...

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Silver badge

Too expensive for what you get..

... But this is the kind of spec that should be mainstream. If they had Android on this, and slashed a whisker over a hundred quid off, it would most likely sell in high numbers.

Removable battery and microSD along with a reasonable spec, seems good to me. I've used a Desire HD with an 800x480 screen at 4.3" for a long time now, and I've used iPhone 4 and 5, Galaxy S III, and honestly, I don't give one damn about the higher res screen. 800x480 at this size looks absolutely fine, is cheaper to make, and will no doubt drain less power.

But forget all that, because this device (as decent as it is, especially with inductive charging built in, reminds me of my TouchPad), has been tied to the boat anchor that is Windows Phone. Sorry, Nokia.

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Coat

Re: Too expensive for what you get..

Yeah I think you're right. You can get the HTC 8S SIM-free for 239 notes...much lighter, higher-res screen, a few downsides as well (especially no Nokia Drive) but I doubt I'd ever pay almost twice the price for not much more device. Make it 250 and I'm there.

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Happy

Re: Too expensive for what you get..

plus (I know this is a WP discussion - not flaming!) the venerable galaxy S2 is buyable for £270 too. The S2 is still a mighty fine phone for over £100 less than this.

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FAIL

Re: Too expensive for what you get..

Just a correction, 8S and 820 have identical resolution. They are both 480*800, the same as all WP7 handsets. The only other resolutions allowed are 720*1280 (as seen on the 8X) and 768*1280 (as seen on the Lumia 920)

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Anonymous Coward

Apple

I wonder how big a cross-section there is between people wanting to try out new devices, and people who own an Apple computer. Either it's very small, or Microsoft doesn't want their business. Of course, with their luxurious marketshare, they can well afford to be haughty.

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Facepalm

That bright yellow one

Certainly sends out a loud clear message.

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Megaphone

Re: That bright yellow one

HI! YEAH, ITS NATHAN! YOU KNOW, NATHAN BARLEY!

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Happy

Re: That bright yellow one

I love it. It's sooo YELLOW!!!!

Sadly I wouldn't have one though, I use my phones for work, so I'm Mr Boring Black.

[Big yellow smiley face, for obvious reasons.]

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Headmaster

both new Lumias are a curate's egg

The curate's egg was off. Despite what he said there are no good bits of a bad egg, the curate in the story is just being obsequious when he says some bits of the egg are good.

So do you really mean "these phones are totally shit but we don't want to say so"?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: both new Lumias are a curate's egg

You're taking an idiom literally :-)

There's good bits and not so good bits. And you heard that from the mouth of my horse.

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Re: both new Lumias are a curate's egg

El Reg doesn't have any horses. The closest thing you've got is Lester's ass.

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Silver badge

Re: There's good bits and not so good bits.

So not like the Curate's egg at all then.

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WTF?

"On both phones I missed far more calls than usual."

Nokia call quality has always been legendary. Clearly, something bad has happened to cause this now. Can't think what it could be - any ideas?

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Meh

Re: "On both phones I missed far more calls than usual."

Probably glitchy firmware. Every manufacturer gets it.

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Holmes

Re: "On both phones I missed far more calls than usual."

Yes, of course. it's that nasty firmwares fault, and it was a coincidence it just went faulty for them, and only them, right at the same time the NoWin (aka loser) Nokia Windows phones appeared.

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Facepalm

Re: "On both phones I missed far more calls than usual."

Of course, Bob. Of course. Nokia's legendary call-quality is always legendary except when there's a Microsoft product involved because everything Microsoft sucks because it says Microsoft on it and you hate it.

Alright. You can stop now, we get it.

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Terminator

Re: "On both phones I missed far more calls than usual."

Shant.

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Super-sensitive screen?

The review implies that the 820 doesn't share the 920's super-sensitive touchscreen, but Nokia implies differently (in typical Nokia style, this standout feature isn't explicitly stated on the specsheet for either model)

So who's right? Does the 820 have the glove-friendly touchscreen or not?

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Silver badge

Re: Super-sensitive screen?

(Talking to myself... tch.)

Nokia are right. The 820 shares the same Synaptics Super Sensitive Touch controller as the 920.

"Like the Lumia 920, the Lumia 820 can be used with regular gloves, rather than just those laced with silver. That's great, if you plan to use your phone out and about during the winter. Handy then that during our time testing the Lumia 820 it's been bloody cold, and yet we've been able to keep our hands toasty warm."

Source: http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/6054/nokia-lumia-820-wp8-review

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Thanks for the review

Looking for a Windows 8 Phone for compatibility testing and despite the nice things Andrew has to say about this, it looks like it won't be a Lumia.

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Meh

Sunnyvale

The screen shot shows it's in Sunnyvale. Bubbles must be doing well at the kittyland love centre if he can afford one of these phones now.

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WTF?

So this is a 160g phone that doesn't work very well as a phone? And it needs to have more memory added by the user to increase the low memory? As an absolute minimum I would expect that a phone from Nokia would be a good phone to make and receive calls.

And it costs £400! Have I missed something?

Shame on Nokia.

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Facepalm

"Have I missed something?"

Yeah, i just tried calling you but it went straight to voicemail. Is your phone on?

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Gold badge

I disagree with you on the memory bit. Most users don't even get through 8GB. Therefore it's much better to have a cheaper phone with either an SD card slot (so you can upgrade if you need it), or reasonably priced models with more. Extra models cause extra production costs, so as long as the OS doesn't go wrong if you have many files on your card, then that's fine. I've not used Win Pho with an SD card, so I've no idea if this creates the problems it sometimes does with Android.

Did you hear that Apple? I said reasonably priced memory upgrades! I don't believe the extra flash chips in my iPad are made out of unicorns' toenail clippings - so stop taking the piss on price.

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Lower Dev Subscription Costs

The review mentions the lack of improvement of the Windows Store one year on from the last review. I'd love to port my Android apps to Win Pho 7 & 8 but I'm not prepared to pay the $100 yearly subscription. Also are apps able to run on both 7 & 8?

Searching for crossword solver apps on Windows Store reveals less than 10 apps, and they're very poor compared to the many Android crossword solver apps. Admittedly this lack of competition means I may be able to place my apps on to Windows Store and even have the gall to charge for them.

*ahem* CleverDic *ahem* 'cuse the plug!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lower Dev Subscription Costs

You can write apps for 7&8 (uses a derivative of silverlight, xna etc.) or 8 only (which has some interesting new apis for games etc. with the C++, Direct3D etc.).

Personally, if I'm going to write/port an app I don't mind about the $100 but I'm a year or so away from needing a new phone so will pass on evaluating my app ports for the time being. Unless Microsoft or Nokia decide subsidising dev. phones is a smarter move than filling the airways with adverts.

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Re: Lower Dev Subscription Costs

Hi AC, I'd write them in C# and Silverlight. What worries me is the App framework API and lifecycle management differing between the 2 versions of OS. Android in IMHO does a good job with keeping compatibility between flavours.

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Go

Re: Lower Dev Subscription Costs

There are also a number of ways to get the fee free or reduced for the first year, too. Got mine off a Dream-Build-Play sign-up a couple of years back.

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JDX
Gold badge

Apps

What I still fail to understand is why MS don't hire a few developers to work on nothing but creating a slew of half-decent apps for WP8. Not MS-brand apps even, simply bung cash at developers to make specific apps.

For 1% of the marketing budget they could pay for 1000 apps probably.

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Linux

Re: Apps

"For 1% of the marketing budget they could pay for 1000 apps probably."

Or try investing some of the $5 per handset they extorted from the Android manufacturers. But you're right, as usual R&D, quality of the product and customer satisfaction takes a back seat to marketing when it comes to microsofts spending priorities.

Convincing simpletons they need a bright yellow appless phone with an unusable UI, with call quality as reliable as an MP's expense claims, is the business they're now in.

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Silver badge

Re: Apps

Having used WP7.5 for nearly a year now, I forget what all this "apps" business is about. Weren't they supposed to increase functionality in order to add value to an extremely limited device?

Most everything I use is baked into the OS. The obvious exception here is Nokia Drive which is an app, even if it did come preinstalled, which is way up there in "best GPS SatNav on the market" stakes. Beyond that, I rarely bother with apps at all and its tough to see what all the fuss is about.

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