So close to being awesome UPDATE November 21, 2012
Reviewer: sandy ay go "Sandy" (San Diego, CA) -
Adding an update now that I have been using the phone for a couple of months solid. the bluetooth issues were completely resolved by the Microst update that came last month. bluetooth works great! battery life is still not great, but I have learned how to tweak some apps and just have a car charger with me, its workable, very, very happy with the phone. i strongly recommend it,
Bought the Lumia 820 after years as an iPhone user. I have been getting bored with iOS and its lack of major innovation, and Android just never felt right for me. I was excited about the prospects of Windows Phone 8, and for good reason.
The OS is very well done. Great layout, easy to personalize, and things just work well.
But... there are two major problems that I just cannot overlook with the Lumia 820 that keep it from being a great phone:
1. Battery life is totally hit or miss. Some days a full charge will last all day, some days a full charge will last four hours or less. I always keep Bluetooth (see issue 2) and WiFi off, and have absolutely no apps running in the background, and still the major fluctuation in battery life. This is not just me, Windows Phone forums are full of people with the same experience. Apparently there are some apps (most notably Nokia Drive (which I love, btw) continues to run even when there is no indication of it anywhere on the phone. What other apps are doing the same? Not sure.
2. The phone does not support all bluetooth profiles. Again, WP forums are packed with frustrated users who cannot use BT in their cars, some older (mine is 2007) and even some brand new. Also cannot consistently use BT with my Monster HD mini speaker. This is baffling that in todays world dominated by bluetooth use that Nokia/Microsoft did not include support of all BT profiles. Windows 7 phones reportedly did not have the problem, it is only the new generation. To their credit, Microsoft is working on the issue and has been very responsive of support requests. Nokia on the other hand immediately blamed the car manufacturers and told me to go to my dealer... ugh.
On the positive side though, there are plenty of great things:
1. The WP8 interface is fantastic.
2. The camera quality is outstanding, even if it does not have the same upgrades that the 920 does, quality is just fantastic on both pics and video.
3. Nokia apps are across the board very useful. Especially Nokia Drive and Nokia Music.
4, Office app integration! Word, PP and Excel and OneNote with included Sky Drive storage space.
5. Wireless charging (when the pods and cases finally come out, should be in the next week or two.
6. Voice recognition works very well, especially in conjunction with texting. Can have full text conversations without ever touching the phone, which comes in very handy.
Conclusion: Its so close to being an amazing phone! I contemplated returning it (today is my last day to do so at AT&T without major penalty), but decided to stick with it in hopes that MS will offer a fix for one of the two problems above. Overall, the positives are outweighing the negatives. I am at least a somewhat happy user of the Lumia 820, with hopes of it turning to a very happy user once updates come out. Such is the life of an early-adopter.
UPDATE: Bumped review up from 3 to 4 stars. The battery issue is for the most part resolved. Per Microsoft's suggestion, I uninstalled and reinstalled the Facebook and Skype apps and it made a huge difference in battery life of the phone. It is still not great, but I can survive the entire work day without charging, which is dramatic improvement over how bad it was. Also, I have been informed that an early 2012 there will be an over the air update that should include resolution to the bluetooth issues. Hopefully at that point I can get it up to five star review.
Lumia 820 is a great phone December 5, 2012
Reviewer: M. Zlatic "Mark Z" (Normal, IL) -
I have used iOS and also Android. In fact, I just purchased a 3rd generation iPad and love it. I bought this windows phone because I was curious about the new operating system.
The phone itself is very well made. To me, it is a great size. not too big and not too small. It has very clean lines and easily fits into a pocket. The screen is very bright and easy to read. The viewing angles are awesome. I actually think they are better than the 920 when I compared them in the AT&T store.
The operating system is very cool to use. it's definitely a different experience than Android or iOS, but I believe a lot of people would really like it if they gave it a shot. Everything runs fast and smooth. It is a VERY easy operating system to get used to and enjoy.
I really like the Nokia included apps, especially the mix music feature. It's like Pandora, but you can download music for offline listening which I like. I also like podcasts and it is easy to find and subscribe to my favorites. There are plenty of apps out there to meet my needs. The game selection is pretty good.
I put a 32 GB micro SD card into the phone so I have plenty of storage. I also like that there is a removable battery in case I need a replacement.
All in all, I think it's a great phone and hopefully more people will give Windows Phone a shot.
awesome so far November 13, 2012
Love it. While the app selection is not as robust as android, I found plenty of alternatives for what I was missing. Especially with nokias extra apps. Will never go back to Android.
camera quality is outstanding. Great phone for the money. November 21, 2012
Reviewer: Ram Wats "Ram Wat"
The WP8 interface is fantastic.
The camera quality is outstanding, even if it does not have the same upgrades that the 920 does, quality is just fantastic on both pics and video.
Nokia apps are across the board very useful. Especially Nokia Drive and Nokia Music.
Office app integration! Word, PP and Excel and OneNote with included Sky Drive storage space.
Wireless charging (when the pods and cases finally come out, should be in the next week or two.
Voice recognition works very well, especially in conjunction with texting. Can have full text conversations without ever touching the phone, which comes in very handy.
Great phone, way better than reviews December 9, 2012
This is a great device, which I found to really exceed the reviews and attention it has received. I was originally hoping to get the Nokia 920, but it was not offered by Verizon. After a careful review of the specs between these two phones, I came to find that they are virtually identical with 4 main differences.
822 has over the 920: Removable battery (very important for me as I use my phone for tracking long bike rides and hikes using GPS and need to replace the battery) and Expandable Memory using a micro SD card.
920 has over 822: Improved screen (not really that noticeable side by side), image stabilization in the camera optics.
This phone does everything I want. The NFC (Near Field Communications) is great for sharing photos and contacts with a friend. Its very fast and snappy, and the Microsoft Windows 8 software really impressed me. Everything (settings, photos, videos, etc) syncs to my private web storage on Skydrive, so when I take a photo, I can easily access it via the web site. The integrated Microsoft office is also really a nice feature.
This phone is a great combo of quality hardware and well designed software. I'm really pleased with my switch from Android to Windows Phone 8.
Exceeded expectations December 9, 2012
Reviewer: Steven Pena (Westlake Village, CA United States) -
I was expecting to purchase the Nokia 920 (or the HTC 8X) but when my daughter purchased the Nokia 820 (because it was larger than her Focus Flash yet small enough for her pocket), I seriously considered getting one myself because I could install additional memory, it had replaceable backs, the camera was perfectly adequate for my needs and it had the same processor as the 920. After reading a few favorable reviews, I bought one and have been extremely satisfied with the phone having used it now for 2 weeks.
Poor Battery Life Holds Back This Otherwise Excellent Phone January 8, 2013
Reviewer: James K Polk "Napoleon of the Stump" (Bothell, WA USA) -
First off, I own this phone. No I did not buy it through Amazon, but I am also not just an "Apple fanboy" trolling the reviews. I have no particular love for Apple nor any other corporation. I'm not brand loyal on anything, I buy what I like.
With that out of the way, I will keep my comments about this particular phone short and sweet. There's no shortage of reviews around the web of both the features of this phone and of the Windows 8 OS, so I'm not getting into all that. I will say that personally I am very pleased with both WP8, as well as the Nokia Lumia 820 phone in terms of physical look and feel. What I do not like, and what is ultimately keeping me from recommending this phone however, is the inexcusably poor battery life. I am currently on my 3rd warranty replacement phone and 5th (!) warranty replacement battery through AT&T and I still cannot manage to get a simple 8-10 hours out of a full charge, even with minimal or no use of the phone. To give you an idea, if I unplug my Lumia 820 at 7:00am after charging all night, do not touch it at all during the day -- not even unlock it to check the time -- by roughly 8:00pm it will go into automatic shutdown due to a fully-drained battery. If I make even 2 or 3 calls during the day, or God forbid use the internet browser, it won't last past noon. And before you comment: Yes I have all the latest phone updates, no I do not have Facebook or Skype accounts, and I've never even played Angry Birds. I have done all the "tips and tricks" for long battery life and have had each of my warranted phones checked at the AT&T retail stores to ensure there weren't any apps running in the background draining the battery. There weren't.
So in conclusion, did I just happen to get a bad batch of batteries? Or maybe a bad batch of phones? Both? Doesn't matter, regardless of the possible cause(s) it wouldn't change the fact that this phone cannot be considered at all reliable for daily use, and therefore I do not recommend it.
Windows Phone 8 -- what WP7 should've been November 17, 2012
Reviewer: Lauren Glenn
Had this phone for a few days and I'm loving it. xBox music is great and with the internal micro SD card slot, I don't worry about space even though the device only had 8GB onboard. Unlike the old Windows Phone 7, this doesn't replace the system memory and doesn't appear to encrypt the contents. I have no issues with it.
Performance is great and Windows Phone 8 runs just like WP7 but it's a bit better.
Sound sync seems off on the video player. It seems that it's probably a software bug.
Bluetooth works fairly well and sound quality is decent.
Aside from that, the screen size is fairly nice and the phone is great. My first Nokia phone since my simple-phone from many years ago. It's a normal Windows Phone experience. But with the equalizer and Dolby Sound options with headphones plugged in, it's a nice phone for what little I paid for it.
superior phone! April 30, 2013
Reviewer: Mr. J. E. Cox "gooney71" (cambridge) -
Had this phone now for about a week now, and what a cracking piece of kit it is. I fancied a change, had android and my last phone was a iphone, I'm really pleased I did. After doing all the updates and sorting out where I wanted my live tiles I've done nothing but play on it..... I heard that a lot of people where struggling to put music on the phone, I had no problem.... I had a spare 4gb micro sd card,waiting for a 32gb atm from amazon £9:95 delivered. The way I done it is, I've got a usb stick which has a side slot on it which the sd card goes in the side of it. Then a connected the usb to my ps3, and just copied my music straight to the sd card, put the micro sd card back into my phone changed the settings on the phone to save music,video and photo to sd card on the the phone and all my music was ready to listen to, how easy was that..... The speed of the phone when loading web pages is super fast, beats my old phone hands down. Still waiting on a case, just incase I do drop it. But the gorilla glass is brilliant on it, its been in and out of pocket with my change and no scratches' what so ever. Yes there is a few apps missing, but there are loads to choose from, what's app is free on windows... I do miss bejewelled, but i can play it on my tablet. The satnav is a bonus too, over all very pleased with the lumia so far. If your thinking of a change, you wont be disappointed the look,the feel, and the speed is amazing.
Not a great device; a great OS notwithstanding March 29, 2013
Reviewer: B. Wagner (Miami) -
The hardware folks failed on this device. The only saving grace is the Windows Phone 8 OS.
First, the device is entirely too heavy. What is all the weight for? I just don't know, because usually it's the battery that carries the bulk. And yet the battery life is terrible, as many other users have reported. I can charge in the evening, unplug when I go to bed, and have it at half-charge in the morning. What happens overnight? Gremlins use my phone?
The camera is as mediocre as other phone cameras I've used. Takes too long to focus, the flash is very spotty and the colors are underwhelming. I know some folks are very pleased with it, but I don't understand how it's better than any other camera-phone.
The one thing it does well is run the OS well (while using too much juice). I really enjoy Windows Phone 8, especially the integration with cloud services and social networks. Messaging, email and web all work very well with smart features that don't add bloat or leave me wanting for functionality. It's a very nice refinement of WinPhone 7.
After six months with this device, I'm afraid I won't make it to the end of my two-year contract. I may just go back to my Samsung Focus. The weight, battery life and fragile screen are tough to bear. I could live with WP7, if I had to. Next time, I'll go back to Samsung for a Windows phone.
Excellent phone... with a few gripes March 14, 2013
Reviewer: TS 2912 "TS"
-Slick Windows User Interface (an oxymoron?) and the software seems more nicely put-together than my previous Android device (which ended up with a ton of bloatware).
-Email alerts on tiles (very nice)
-Nokia Drive (beats Google maps IMO)
-I like the weather tile
-Sturdy build (dropped it a couple of times, no damage)
-Camera was not as nice as expected (still quite decent)
-(Big gripe) My 'Plantronics' Bluetooth occasionally (about once every few weeks) dies out mid-conversation. I can either hear the other party (and they cannot hear me) or the other way around. Need to reboot my phone at that point.
-(Another big gripe) I cannot figure out how to set my navigation destination on the (otherwise excellent) Nokia Drive via voice command. So if I am driving, I have to stop and type in my destination (a big pain)
-Pandora is (so far) not available on my phone, I use the default music radio station which is not as good
-(I don't really like the quality of the black colored outer casing... looks like a run-of-the-mill smartphone when not used)
All told, an excellent phone kudos to Nokia and Microsoft. (I would have got the 920, but it is not available on Verizon)
Screen is fragile. March 11, 2013
Reviewer: Garmin 800 fan
Nokia penny-pinched on this phone by not including Gorilla Corning Glass. Today, my screen broke, just by having it in my back pocket of my pants and sitting on a chair. Either I have buns of steel, or the glass on this phone is extremely fragile.
Not bad, but should be better March 9, 2013
My review is more about the software than the hardware. To give it to Nokia, the have developed (as always) a very sturdy and well built handset, albeit now looking a bit stale, having seen the same form factor on the 800 and 900. Nokia needs to freshen its hardware up a bit.
Now for the software. WP8 is very easy on the eye and quite easy to use, but it needs to considerably improve in it's next iteration, before it frustrates its users. Let me categorise my review:
CUSTOMISATION: The software is not customisable enough and this needs to improve. For eg apps are only in a list and not a grid.
APPS: WP8 store may have 125,000 or so, but I can't seem to find most of the android ones I use regularly like Pulse, Yahoo, Eurosport, Goal, IMDB,Swiftkey etc.And unlike a comment by someone else,I cant seem to find suitable replacements. I can however understand why the Google favourites like google maps, google earth, you tube, gmail etc wouldn't be here. Quality games too are missing.
FUNCTIONALITY: I notice I seem to need more presses to get things done than I would need in Android. For eg, to make a call I need to go to people, find the contact, press on it, then press call (3 steps). However, with my S3, I need only 2....go to contacts, find the contact by scrolling, then swipe right or left(on the same screen) to call or text. In many areas, android seems so much more thoughtful than WP8.
Also, I notice that when I have multiple numbers for the same contact, the "send sms" works for oonly the first number. I haven't found a way to send a sms to the other numbers. Also the keyboard isn't good enough. I find it rather annoying to have to go to a seperate screen everytime I want common special charachters like exclamation marks, or numbers. That is a major inconvenience.
BROWSER: Not bad, but also suffers from a lack of functionality when compared to Chrome. For eg changing tabs is clumsy and I would also like to be able to open new tabs in the background and continue with what i'm reading, rather than the new tabs opening in the foreground.
CAMERA: I also don't know why there is always such a fuss about Carl Zeiss optics and Nokia camera's in general. I think Nokia cameras are average at best (except maybe the 920 which i havent seen). I had a Nokia 5800 expressmusic before and I felt the camera of the Blackberry bold 2 was better and they were both 3.2megapixels. Likewise, I compare this with the Samsung S3 and the SGS3 is much better (or is it because of the display). I took same shots on both of them and the shots of the SGS3 were obviously sharper and clearer, though maybe with a tad too much colour saturation.
CONCLUSION: Like I said, not a bad OS, but Microsoft will need to step up a lot of things when the upgrade WP8 or move to WP9, but WP certainly has lots of potential.
what an ugly brick December 1, 2012
I like the Windows Phone 8 operating system, but most of the devices are either too big (Nokia 920, HTC 8X) or too ugly (Nokia 820/822). What a shame, there is nothing that compares to iPhone 5 in size/weight. If only there were an option to install WP8 onto iPhone 5...