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A less expensive option for Windows Phone fans

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If you've still got some concerns with joining the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem, the Lumia 820 is a hard sell. While its off-contract price is substantially cheaper than the 920, the difference in subsidized cost is so minuscule that we can't recommend it. The screen is hampered by a last-generation resolution and the camera (while not without its charms) doesn't pack the advanced technical skills of the 920.

The display is smaller than the Lumia 920, but the hardware doesn't feel all that much lighter for it. In its favor, there's a replaceable battery for power users and the inclusion of microSD storage. Again, Nokia's propensity for eye-catching color schemes will help these phones stand out from duller, safer hardware designs and the inclusion of a free wireless charging plate and case (both in the UK and from AT&T) is a welcome extra. But we'd just as soon pay the premium for the Lumia 920.

Critic reviews

7.2
14 reviews
  • Reception and call quality
    7.4
  • Display
    7.1
  • Battery life
    7.0
  • Camera
    7.0
  • Ease of use
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    7.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    6.8
  • Media support
    8.0
  • Durability
    7.4
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
    6.3

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User reviews

8.2
18 reviews
7.0
Engadget Nov 12, 2012

Unfortunately the Lumia 820 can't offer enough to warrant not splashing out the extra cash for the 920 model.

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7.0
CNET Dec 12, 2012

If you're looking for an inexpensive, approachable smartphone with a few more features, the Nokia Lumia 820's $50 price tag is tough to beat.

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6.0
Wired Dec 18, 2012

At just $50 with a two-year contract, the phone is a bargain, and it’s perfect for first-time smartphone users.

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9.0
Pocket-Lint Nov 8, 2012

This is a phone you'll be happy to use, a phone you'll enjoy using, and besides a lack of third-party apps at the moment, a phone that for many people will be a fantastic phone they will enjoy for the next two years. If you are tempted by Windows Phone 8, this is the phone for you.

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8.0
Wired UK Nov 15, 2012

It doesn't have all the big-number specs, but the Lumia 820 offers an affordable way to get to know Windows Phone 8 as well as a lot of free extras, including Nokia's impressive music and satnav offerings. Want something even better? The Nokia Lumia 920 might be for you...

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7.0
PC Advisor Nov 21, 2012

The Lumia 820 is a smaller and cheaper version of the 920 but doesn't pack the same punch, especially in key areas such as the screen and camera.

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8.0
phoneArena Nov 13, 2012

The Nokia Lumia 820 is an interesting smartphone – it does well in some things, but falters in others. To be more specific, we like its solid build quality and its overall size and feel. ... However, the weak camera and poor call quality are major flaws, which cannot be understated.

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8.0
TechRadar Nov 16, 2012

Nokia is building a solid line-up of smooth, competent Windows handsets that started with the original Lumia line-up last year and continues through to the Windows Phone 8 era. We feel the Lumia 820 is a building block for that line-up rather than its superstar focus.

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8.0
GSM Arena Nov 22, 2012

It's easy to appreciate the Nokia Lumia 820 for its build quality and level of equipment, but when you realize it's just the sensible, mid-range package by the Finns, you may even begin to be impressed.

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7.0
TrustedReviews Feb 8, 2013

The Nokia Lumia 820 is a solid phone, but doesn’t have any of the stand-out features of the fantastic value Nokia Lumia 620, or the Nokia Lumia 920, with its excellent camera. Its screen is also a disappointment, suffering from ... oversaturated colours.

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6.0
T3 Nov 23, 2012

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

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6.0
Mobiledia Nov 28, 2012

The Lumia 820 is a great phone if you're comfortable trying Windows 8. You won't have the selection of apps, but you'll get a highly-customizable interface backed up by sturdy internal components, and a nice camera for the price.

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8.0
Expert Reviews Nov 19, 2012

A capable little brother to the range-topping Lumia 920, but we think Nokia's more expensive Windows Phone 8 handset is worth the extra

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7.0
IT Pro Portal Nov 26, 2012

I find the Lumia 820 easier to pocket and use than the 920 and it’s therefore my preferred choice of the two. On the downside, the app store is still small compared with that of iOS and Android and the Lumia 820 is physically a bit too brick-like for me.

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6.0
Ihazcheese Ihazcheese

A complete dumpster fire, The only good redeeming quality of this phone is the camera. Everything else about this phone screams remedial at best. Cons screan 800 * 480 really? if it wasnt Amoled the screan would be a waste. The screan has a rainbow affect in the sun and is not readable in direct...

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8.0
darthbadar darthbadar

After using this phone for 3 months, I can safely conclude that this phone is pretty good for it's price tag, but Lumia 820 have 2 things to be fixed in so I can recommend this phone to others: 1. Camera and 2. Battery life. For the Ecosystem rating, it's Microsoft's job.

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8.0
Monaco Monaco

8 GB internal storage is relatively poor for mid-class devices, that should be 16 GB definitely. For my personal opinion, this makes a downgrade of -1 in final results.

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7.0
syedjalalt syedjalalt

Nokia Lumia 820 is one of those phones that you love and sometimes don't love that much. The phone in a sense is great. Never had any issues with freezing, slowing down or anything. The real star hear is Windows Phones and the hardware on which it is running. Although WP was designed to run on...

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9.0
Precognox Precognox

The display resolution is small to comparable devices, however for me it is not a big difference, since letters are also not readable in small size, even with a bigger resolution.

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