The Good AT&T’s Nokia Lumia 820 offers Windows Phone 8, 4G LTE, and a terrifically low subsidized price.
The Bad This Lumia is heavy, slightly slippery and has a short battery life. Data rates were different.
The Bottom Line If you’re looking for an inexpensive, affordable smartphone with several more features, the Nokia Lumia 820 price tag is hard to beat.
It may only cost $50 for AT&T after a new, two-year service agreement, but the Nokia Lumia 820 isn’t just a pretty price tag.
The third in a series of phones that also includes 810 and 822 , Nokia Lumia 820 Nokia is less expensive and somewhat smallerexpansive alternative to AT&T’s more advanced Lumia 920 .
This option is also heavier than its group, has less battery capacity and sometimes shows lower data rates than expected.
Nokia Lumia 820
Apple iPhone 11
Samsung Galaxy A50
Samsung Galaxy S10E
Motorola Moto G7
|Price||$299 Amazon||$870 Walmart||$288 Amazon||$650 Amazon||$200 Amazon|
However, it still has a dual-core processor, 8-megapixel camera with 8-megapixel shape, additional Nokia accessories that other Windows phones will not receive (such as voice navigation), and the ability to turn on wireless charging. And so, the 820 also has an extremely low price.
Editors’ note: Since this Nokia Lumia 820 is so similar to T-Mobile’s Nokia Lumia 810 , portions of that review are reproduced here.
AT&T’s deal-good Nokia Lumia 820 (pictures)
Design and build
The Nokia Lumia 820, thanks to its solid monoblock and barely rounded corners, is far more in tune with the 810 T-Mobile than the Verizon courier 822 . Its dimensions, though similar to the 810, adjust just enough to give the smartphone its own silhouette, all 4.9 inches tall, 2.7 inches wide by 0.38 inches deep.
I thought the Lumia 810’s 5.1-ounce mass was chunky, but AT&T’s 820 tips the scale at 5.6 ounces. That’s heavy enough to notice a little shoulder relief when I pulled it from my purse, and it can get heavy holding it over time without a support like a tabletop or your knee. The flip side of course is a featherweight handset so light it feels like a cheap Fisher-Price knock-off that will break apart if it so much as lookson earth. In this regard, Nokia has nothing to fear.
The bright, colorful 4.3-inch AMOLED screen has WVGA resolution (800×480 pixels). It’s not as sharp as high-definition screens, but it still looked bright and clear in my eyes. The ClearBlack display filter, which first appeared on the Nokia Lumia 900, is also making its way to the 810, helping to reduce the glare of the environment. Gorilla Glass helps to eliminate scratches and tears.
Above the screen you’ll find a 1.2 megapixel front camera, and just below it, the navigation buttons sit on the panel too tall. The left ridge is bare, but the right holds the volume rocker, the power button, and the physical camera shutter button. Above is a 3.5mm headset jack.
Flip the phone over and you will see a camera lens and dual LED flash. The back panel is difficult to tear off because you will remove such a large segment of it. My advice is to turn your phone away from you and keep it firmly in the middle so you have something to counter. Then slip your nails into the little seam you see around your face and pull back, hoping, jumping out of the shell, not the nails.
Below the panel are a micro SIM card slot and a microSD slot. I’m not too crazy about having to take out a long, narrow battery to access them.
OS and apps
Windows Phone 8 comes with NFC features like Tap + Send and wallet, Kid’s Corner, resize tiles and new colors, camera lens, Office 2013, wallet application and sync cloud content to another Windows 8. If you’re new to OS , read more in full Windows Phone 8 Overview .
In addition to NFC support, the Lumia 820 has Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth 3.0. Among them, AT&T and Nokia have added a fair number of apps. On the carrier side, you’ll see AT&T’s code scanner, family map, navigator, radio app, and the subscription-based U-verse Live TV. There’s also ESPN, Yellow Pages Mobile, the Weather Channel, and a line into your AT&T account details.
Nokia adds Nokia Drive with Voice Navigation, Nokia Maps and Nokia Music. This latest app has the nice function of downloading up to 250 songs for offline listening. I’m much less fond of CityLens Augmented Reality. This is a cool concept, but it was not relevant in my tests, offering me establishments that have closed for a long time.
Even though I don’t have a wireless charging charger in my viewing machine, you can buy one as an aftermarket accessory and change it. Read my review Lumia 920 for my evaluation of wireless charging.
The Lumia 810 and 820 have an 8MP Carl Zeiss optics camera and are dual LED flash, but all you need to know is that it takes some nice outdoor shots. It also takes some weaker shots, making it a decent camera, which is definitely not a smartphone shooter for victory.
I took a variety of photos in different lighting conditions and different subjects to give you an example of what you can expect. I made sure the settings were automatic across the panel, and resized the photos just as they would if I shared them online or with family and friends.
My biggest complaint (which I also had with the 810, 822 and 920) is that there are fewer camera options than on other smartphones. You cannot change the resolution, sharpness or saturation, but you can set the ISO and white balance. There are also no additional effects. The lens function certainly brings more features with external applications, but if you don’t have the required lens for effects, you’re stuck.
Panorama is the only preinstalled application that adds more photographic power from the viewfinder. It works quite well, but a little more than I used to. You have to move smoothly from left to right, which means calculating the shot in advance. SmartShoot and Cinemagraph are two more that you can download through the lens section.
The 820 shoots good HD video, but the colors outdoors will look more natural and better-tuned than indoors. Keep in mind that the phone is capable of receiving 1080p HD video, but by default up to 720p HD. You will have to change the quality in the settings.
You can flip the viewfinder to take a picture with a 1.2 megapixel front camera. The photos are subtle, but of course less clear and crisp. You will basically use it for video chat if you are like me. You can also record yourself in 720p HD.
Compare studio test photos from other smartphones here in our gallery.
CNET mobile editor Brian Bennett stepped in to help me test the Lumia 820’s call quality — he in New York from his CNET landline and me in San Francisco, using AT&T’s network (GSM 850/900/1800/1900). Call quality sounded pretty good on my end, but something was missing. Brian’s voice came across fairly loud and also mostly clear, but it lacked a roundness and depth I’ve heard with other handsets. Instead, he sounded a tad blunted. I did notice a soft, hazy undercurrent of white noise, but there was no distracting distortion.
Meanwhile, Brian said the call quality was “good” without static. However, he said, if he tensed to hear, he could detect a slight hissing background. My voice sounded rich and warm and clear, though I also sounded a little flat and a little tiny.
Nokia Lumia 820 call quality sampleListen now:
One of my favorite parts of the Nokia loudspeakers I tested at the hip level is that they usually transmit the sound from the rear speaker where other phones say it. The sound quality was clear and concentrated, and clear enough without unnecessary echo or reverb in the hand. Brian’s voice was clear enough, but the voice quality was shaky and uneven.
For his part, Brian said I sounded clear but heard more echo, and the loudspeaker also amplified the static hiss that he heard when I spoke through the front microphone. I also cut one or two times, he said.
The Lumia 820 is clocked at 1.5GHz with a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, the same set of chips that is also available in phones such as the Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S3. Navigation was smooth and fast, though it took a while to load the phone.
AT&T’s LTE network kept the 820 well-fueled with fast data transfers, at least part of the time, according to the Free Speed Test diagnostic app. I’m used to seeing download rates (Mbps) in the 20s and 30s and upload rates ranging from 10Mbps to the high teens. However, a large portion of these tests showed some uncharacteristically very slow speeds.
On the network coverage front, it seemed fine during my tests; I didn’t experience any dropped calls or moments when I couldn’t load a Web page. However, some pages did load a tad slower than I was used to for AT&T.
|Nokia Lumia 820 tests|
|Download Endomondo (3MB)||37.8 seconds|
|Load up Endomondo mobile app||2 seconds|
|CNET mobile site load||3.7 seconds|
|CNET desktop site load||13.8 seconds|
|Boot time to lock screen||41.6 seconds|
|Camera boot time||3 seconds|
|Camera, shot-to-shot time||2 seconds with flash and focusing (using shutter button)|
The Lumia 820 has a rated battery life of 7.5 hours talk time over 3G and 10.8 days standby time over 3G on its smaller 1,650mAh battery. Nokia promises a video playback time of 4.2 hours. We’ll continue testing battery life in our CNET Labs and will update this review with more details.
According to FCC radio emission testing, the Lumia 820 has a digital SAR of 1.27 watts per kilogram.
As it is stored, it has 8GB on board as well as 7GB of free online space with Microsoft Skydrive. This microSD expansion slot will keep you in movies, music and photos for up to 64GB. The phone also has 1GB of RAM.
Who should buy the Lumia 820
Buy the Nokia Lumia 820 if you:
– Want an inexpensive Windows Phone
– It’s like a big, clear screen
– As additional Nokia applications
– Like the idea of a touch screen
Skip the Nokia Lumia 820 if you:
– I don’t like a heavy body
– Look for stylish design
– Aim for long battery life
– Need the best camera phone on the market