As exciting as the 8X and Lumia 920 are, no phone lineup -- especially not one launching a new OS -- is complete without a midrange competitor. Nokia has answered that call with the Lumia 820, a modestly specced and marketing gimmick free Windows Phone 8 device that's ready to combine all the advantages of Microsoft's latest mobile platform and AT&T's growing LTE footprint with an easy to swallow price point. Or, at least so we assume. Price is still up in the air on this glossy polycarbonate device, but we can only imagine that the 4.3-inch WVGA screen and PureView-less camera won't be commanding top dollar.
Outside of the tiny AT&T logo in the top right corner of the front panel AT&T doesn't appear to have squeezed any concessions out of Nokia on the 820 -- and that's a good thing. The trend towards less carrier interference and customization seems to have taken off recently and the new Lumias are just some of the handsets benefiting. Sure, there usual crop of AT&T services are installed, including Navigator, FamilyMap and U-Verse Live TV. There's even a couple of pieces of third party bloatware in the form of ESPN and Weather Channel included. Sadly, we were still limited in how deep we could dig in the UI and can't really offer much more insight on the OS, which is set to launch later this month.
On the hardware front things haven't changed one bit from the international version we played with in early September. While the same polycarbonate is used here that made the 900 and 800 such lust worthy devices, the glossy finish and surprisingly light weight (considering its reasonably bulky frame) make the 820 feel a bit cheap. We'll give AT&T some credit for minimizing the gaudiness of the handset by skipping on the veritable rainbow of loud hues available and sticking with a solid black for the lower-end Lumia. Of course, You can always pop off the shell and add a splash of color later on if you like.