Nokia Lumia 820 review

The Nokia Lumia 820 is a smaller, more affordable Windows 8 smartphone

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Nokia Lumia 820 review
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Nokia Lumia 820 review
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Nokia Lumia 820 review
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Nokia Lumia 820 review
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Nokia Lumia 820 review
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Nokia Lumia 820 review


  • MicroSD storage


  • Bulky
  • Poor battery
  • Low res screen

The Nokia Lumia 820 packs Windows 8 like its bigger brother, the giant Nokia Lumia 920, albeit with a smaller screen

The Nokia Lumia 820 is pitched squarely against the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini - but can the latest Windows operating system help the Nokia Lumia 920's smaller sibling compete with the big boys?

Nokia Lumia 820: Size and build

There’s no getting around the fact that the Nokia Lumia 820 is fat, with a 170g weight, including cover. Put that against the 112g weight of the iPhone 5 and you’ll see how chunky this smartphone actually is.

The colourful removable covers are solid and scratchproof and house the tech for the wireless charging mat, which is an optional extra. The rounded edges define the fun look of the smartphone, though we don’t think it’s the most rugged smartphone option. Remove the cover and the innards look delicate and skeletal too.

Nokia Lumia 820: Features

The biggest surprise concerning the Nokia Lumia 820 feature set is the presence of a MicroSD card slot, the first time Nokia has used the storage format with the Windows OS, which makes up for the 8GB storage, the new minimum of any new smartphone. There’s 4G skills and NFC as standard, a 4.3-inch screen and the brilliant extras like Nokia Drive and Nokia Music apps.

Nokia Lumia 820: Screen

The 4.3-inch screen is a decent size but the pixels per inch resolution is low at 217 ppi compared to 329 ppi for a cheaper iPhone 4. The Samsung Galaxy S2 has the same resolution screen and we’re talking smartphone tech that’s 18 months old.

The WIndows 8 OS and images look sharp thanks to Nokia’s own image wizardry but web browsing isn’t the same experience that you get on newer Android smartphones.

Nokia Lumia 820: Performance

The dual-core Snapdragon processor keeps Windows 8 running at speed but we experience start up issues while the Nokia Lumia 820 paused for 20 minutes to ‘install apps’. The 8 megapixel camera produces clean, sharp results and it’s fast.

The camera user interface now features Bing Vision, Microsoft’s own QR reader and giant text overlays when you turn the flash on or off, which feels a bit like overkill to us.

Web browsing is fast and Bing on mobile works really well - it’s fast and reliable, even if the general operation can be hit and miss - aside from the installation issues, battery life seemed to vary dramatically, echoing the power issues of the slimmer Nokia Lumia 800 running Windows 7.

Nokia Lumia 820: Battery

The 1650mAH battery size respectable and expected given the weight of the Nokia Lumia 820. The battery lasted around a day and around half a day during our tests, suggesting that there’s software issues or the general chipset and 4.3 inch display asks too much of the battery.

Nokia Lumia 820: Verdict

While the Nokia Lumia 920 brings the full WIndows 8 experience to smartphones, the cut-down processor, internal storage and inexplicable bulk make it an ugly proposition - it’s heavier than the original Nokia Windows smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 800. 4G and MicroSD storage are useful but we’d rather use those talents on a smartphone with the power and display to really take advantage of the extra hardware.

Nokia Lumia 820 release date: Out now

Nokia Lumia 820 price: £399