As you guys maybe aware that we have been trialling a Nokia Lumia 820 recently and while we have been publishing updates as we went along, here is the final post, that tells you how we like it, what didn’t make the grade, and most of all, will this be the next phone I’ll be getting or not.
The thing to consider is that the question about how good the phone is twofold. You have to look at it as a piece of hardware, where Nokia have done a beautiful job, and then you have to look at it as a piece of software, where you have to consider both Windows Phone 8 as an operating system as well as all the Nokia add-ons you get with it.
We’ll try to keep it as simple as possible, and cover the aspects:
The Lumia 820 is not the top of the range device from Nokia, that one goes to the 920. However, the hardware between the two is very similar, the only differences being a better resolution screen on the 920 as well as built in image stabilization with the camera. As a result, the hardware was found to work perfectly, there were no lags or slow operation or anything of that sort while we were playing with it. It was very responsive.
As far as the layout of the phone is concerned, there were a few points that were definite winners. The phone looks to be a unibody design, but it isn’t. It actually opens up revealing a battery, and slots for a SIM card and a microSD card. Nokia also ran a design contest where you can create your own backs for the phone, and give it different fasciae, much like the days of old! (I also just discovered that the plural of the word fascia is fasciae!) Customization and personalization has been something Nokia have always won with, and it is good to see them sticking with it.
It also has a camera button, something that has been missing on the latest smartphones.
Overall the phone looks and feels good, and you don’t mind showing it off to your peers!
The phone comes packed with the brand spanking new Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone has come a long way since my very first brush with it back in the days of Windows Phone CE. It can accept thumbs as an acceptable form of touch and it is cleverly designed with a ‘smart tile’ system that we are also starting to see on Windows 8 computers and tablets. It is Microsoft or Windows’ way of giving you a unified feel whatever device you are using. While that probably works quite well if you do, I found Windows Phone 8 to be lacking in a few areas. While I have covered most of that in my last posts, simple things such as lack of notification bar, a keyboard that doesn’t work as well as you’d like, having to go into settings to turn Wifi, Mobile Data on or off, and the fact that to be able to shift from desktop view to mobile view on the browser you actually have to go in the settings means that there is quite a lot holding it back from becoming the main stream OS quite yet.
Will it work as a business phone? Yes, probably, as email is very well integrated. Push services from Hotmail work well. However, integrated Office will only work well if the keyboard does, and the on screen keyboard just didn’t work well enough for me. Sadly other keyboards such as SwiftKey etc are not available for the phone as yet.
This was a clear win for Nokia. They have included software such as Nokia Maps (which works offline), Nokia Drive (which also works offline, and for most countries around the world!), and little quirks like Cinemagraph work quite well. They definitely give the phone a WIN to sound a bit crude.
This is it. The phone is good. The Nokia bits are very good. I found the headphones to be a bit bassy but that is just how it is. Where the phone fails is Windows Phone 8. If Nokia produce an Android phone, they might just get ahead. However, this is not their flagship phone and we don’t know how much better the other one is.
So our verdict? At the moment I will not be adapting this phone as my main phone. However, I can see WP8 getting to a stage where it can start to match Android and iOS. Once that happens this might start to be the phone of choice. Till then, we wait, and we wait hopefully!