Hands-on with the Nokia Lumia 820 (Video)

The Nokia Lumia 820 is less a successor to the 800 than a re-imagined and heavily upgraded Lumia 710. While it chops off some of the great features from the high-end 920, it retains a sense of unique style and capacity for greatness that makes the Lumia line so intriguing. If it can debut at the same price point as the 710, you’ve got yourselves one of the best prospects on the market.

First, the basics: a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display with a resolution of 800×480 (WVGA), 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage (with a microSD slot, thankfully), an 8MP camera and plenty of customization potential. The removable backing allows users to replace the stock colour with any number of selections, including one with wireless charging capabilities and another with extra protection against scratches and marks. It contains the same 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and we’d imagine a similar 8MP camera sensor to that of the Lumia 800. The 1650mAh battery is removable and Nokia advertises eight hours of talk time over 3G.

Nokia promises that, for the most part, the same Windows Phone 8 experience will be present on the 820 and on the superior 920. That includes many of the camera enhancements, improved lenses and whatnot, that the 920 has been boasting of since its announcement. While the low-light quality is unlikely to compare, and the screen technology can’t match its bigger brother, it’s certainly an improvement over the Lumia 900, even with the same resolution and screen size.

The phone in theory supports LTE, but we’re not sure whether it will come enabled out of the box. At 9.9mm thick, it’s still quite hefty, and we’re a little disappointed the screen resolution isn’t slightly higher, but we’re hoping for a decent entry price point for the Lumia 820 when it hits the market later this year or early next year.

For a mid-range phone, it’s interesting that Nokia is forgoing the smaller form factor of the Lumia 800 in favour of a “minimum” size of 4.3-inches. We found that the Lumia 800 embodied the perfect blend of size and function, and though the 820 is compact, it’s much closer in size and width to the Lumia 900 than the 800. We’re wondering whether Nokia is catering more to the North American market here and leaving fans of its smaller-sized devices behind.

Learn more about the Nokia Lumia 820.

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