Customer Review

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hits the smartphone sweet spot... ALMOST (Music Problem)!, 14 Dec 2012
This review is from: Nokia Lumia 820 Sim-free Windows Smartphone - Black (Wireless Phone)
Edit: 21/12/2012
I'm downgrading this phone to 2 stars today.
The reason is that one of my primary uses of a smart phone is listening to music. Having synchronised my music collection to the phone myself and many others are finding that the music collection on the phone contains duplicate albums with some songs in one version of the album and some in another. I'm also finding over time some albums disappear even though the individual songs are present. A Microsoft Support article blames this on use of XBox music synchronisation with the cloud somehow conflicting with what you synchronise from a PC. I don't use XBox music and have the option to try and improve album info. using it disabled.
So there is currently a bug in the music processing in Windows Phone 8 which also affects the Nokia Music app making the music experience on the phone pretty unusable.
This is seriously going backwards from Windows Phone 7.5 and Zune (Zune no longer used for Windows Phone 8) where music management worked very well.
Get on and fix it quick Microsoft and I'll amend this review at some point in the future.
I'm finding it hard to come up with criticisms for this phone.
Sure you could have a higher resolution display, but the resolution you get does the job brilliantly on a large but not overly large screen that also happens to have stunning contrast and colours. I find the larger Lumia 920 too big with squared corners and it's not comfortable to hold. The Lumia 820 is just the right balance between large screen and portability for me. It slips easily in the pocket, very pleasant to hold with buttons falling in just the right places to be ergonomic.
The back cover is of a good quality mat effect plastic that is not slippery to hold and feels good in the hand. It is tricky to remove but most people will only to do this once when fitting the sim card and memory expansion card (I use Sandisk Ultra 32GB Class 10 Micro SD Card with SD Adapter - The Ultra is higher speed suitable for video capture storage). With this 32GB memory expansion I can take my whole music collection with me and still have over 10GB for video and photo storage. There is another reason I pass on the Lumia 920 (and iPhone), no memory expansion slot.
My previous phone was a HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7. I thought long and hard about moving to Android or iPhone for the greater collection of Apps but when it came to the crunch I simply could not move away from the Windows Phone 7/8 user interface.
In my opinion it is a master piece of a man machine interface. Slick, fast, intuitive, ergonomic, good looking, pleasurable to use and fairly easy to learn for the new comer. I can't overstate how usefull I find the live tile concept and how easy live tiles are to set up. The iPhone doesn't look like a very smart smart phone in comparison, you get a load of pretty looking icons that give you no information about the state of your comminications or information services. Some Android widgets might get you some of the way there.
Between business, personal and clients I have 5 email accounts on live tiles and there all there on my home screen so I can see if email has come in without having to go beyond the home screen. There is even a bit of summary information for up to 5 apps of your choice on the lock screen. Then there is the calendar appointments live tile showing next appointment, tap that and your in the calendar app presents you with a combined view of however many calendars you connect to (2 gmail calendars, 3 exchange calendars) all colour coded.
"People" are your contacts with and you can link profiles for the same person from multiple sources. So people is a view of your contacts from Facebook (the most likely source that profile pictures will be imported from automatically for you), gmail, Microsoft Exchange and your Microsoft account (aka Windows Live ID / Hotmail). You can choose whether to include contacts or not from each of the email accounts you set up. The Windows 7/8 people hub "what's new" is widely regarded as the best Facebook solution on a smart phone and can be combined with feeds from other services like twitter so it's all in one place. Browse around to a specific person's history and you can see a view on all the contact you've had with them, calls, texts etc., look up their "whats new" and see just what they have been posting on facebook/twitter.

Windows Phone 7/8 receives criticism for a more limited apps store compared to iPhone and Android. In reality it is rare I find I come up short for an app and Nokia has added some of it's own in the Nokia Collection. Nokia Drive is worth a mention. From a short drive using it it seems to be a genuine match for a mid-high end sat nav device.
Nokia City Lense, "augments reality" through the phones camera to show information about what is around you. It works very well in the city.
Compared to my previous HTC HD7 wi-fi reception on the Nokia is considerably stronger and more reliable and the whole web browsing experience faster. That will be partly due to a more powerful processor in the newer phone.
On the "basic" job of making calls the Lumia 820 also makes an impression with background noise suppression at the other end of the line so good if the caller is not speaking you begin to wonder if they have hung up. Callers voices also sound natural, almost like they are actually standing next to you when they speak.
Battery life is proving to be comparible with other smart phones I've used. So used heavily enough it will be on it's last legs by the time I'm home in the evening. The wireless charging plate helps here. Optional in some markets but on contract from O2 in the UK you get the charging plate and wireless charging phone back cover as part of the deal. I can place the phone on the plate and it's charging while I'm not using it with no wires getting in the way if I need to use the phone. Not so helpful if your on the move all out of an office all the time. Not sure I'd pay £66 extra for the charging plate and phone cover but I do really like it now I have it.
The one criticism I can come up with will only apply to people who regularly need to swap over batteries in their phone during the day. The cover is too tricky to remove to be doing it frequently.
There will be many who have been too plumbed in to the Apple or Android "infrastructure" for too long or have already bought too many apps from those markets to want to make a change to something new.
For anyone else I would suggest giving Windows Phone 8 a try. If you like Samsung Galaxy S III hardware there will be a Windows Phone 8 version of that available.
Microsoft and Nokia deserve to do well here for turning out a product like this. It's a shame they left it so late to come up with a real contender in a market where they are minority players right now.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Dec 2012 18:20:15 GMT
Margie Scot says:
I found your review extrememly helpful as I plan to order a Nokia Lumia 820 in the near future.
Can you please tell me if the 'virtual' keys are very sensitive on this phone as it is something I would like to avoid when ordering a new phone.
I currently have an HTC Desire and the keys are so sensitive, you just need to barely touch them and your unfinished text goes whizzing into drafts. I had a go on my friend's iPhone and noticed that there is a definite click when you press the 'keys' which I found very helpful. Is there anything like this on the Nokia? Thank you in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2012 20:03:34 GMT
AGH says:
The one key on the iPhone is that physical button at the bottom in the middle. All 'keys' on the Lumia 820 are touch sensitive like my previous HTC HD7, however the positioning is better so I'm not accidentally touching search or back like I used to on the HTC. If you can find an O2 or other store with a demonstration model you can have a play with.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Dec 2012 00:05:31 GMT
Margie Scot says:
Thanks for your help. I went ahead and upgraded to this phone and so far I am delighted with it. My main concern was the sensitivity of the keys by comparison with my old HTC but there really is no comparison and you get a definite click on the Nokia keys which makes it much less sensitive than the HTC. Thank you again for your reply and also for your very helpful review. I learned a lot from the very detailed reviews about this phone.

Posted on 22 May 2013 14:56:35 BDT
L. W. Bowler says:
With regards to your music problem, it's all about your MP3 Tags. Basically, I import my music via Itunes (from CDs and various MP3 albums and compilations i've made myself). ITunes is quite happy to 'lump' together individual tracks that make up an album even if the album name is slightly different in each of the MP3 tags. For example, I imported's album Willpower, made several changes to it and then attempted to play it on my Nokia 820. I ended up with 3 albums called Willpower - why? Well, when I looked into it, the album name in the MP3 tags were 1) Willpower 2) willpower 3) Will power. Windows OS recognises there are 3 variations of the name and then makes them into individual albums. Only solution (for me) - rewrite the MP3 tags individually within iTunes and then re-sync with my Nokia 820 - problem solved. Yes, it's a time consuming and annoying. A very easy solution would be for the Windows 8 OS on phones to have an MP3 tag editor app (like Android has) and you could rewrite tags from source and keep your music catalogue error and duplication free. I just want to point out that this is not Nokia's error, but the Window's OS on all mobile phones that run it. NB it will also separate albums due to Artist Name and Album Artist Name - if both tags don't match or are missing, it splits your album

Posted on 1 Jul 2013 08:31:07 BDT
Lozzie says:

My music synced very well on the phone - (similar comment to L.W Bowler) I use an mp3 tool called MP3 tag and Tagscanner which allows you to rename artist, remove and add (tag) album covers and remove additional comments from the mp3s. This might be why they appear twice - because they are the same artist but a different album, for example. I have an excellent Mp3 player called Cowon z2 which runs android and I must stress I spent a long time sorting all of my music out and even now I browse by folder, not artist. It is the same for all smartphone OS - music appears twice or strangely named on Android phones too ( I cannot comment on iphone though). If I am honest, Nokia 820 displays music much better than my Android devices (after tagging), but I love both Android and Windows for different reasons.

Posted on 15 Aug 2013 22:15:25 BDT
E. F. C. says:
Thank you very much for your detailed description and I hope you got the music problem resolved. I am not into music I just want a decent camera, which I did have with the Nokia N8, 12mp, plus HD video. However, the Ovi Suite was a nightmare and was searching the internet non stop until I got a warning from 02 about the amount of data I was using when I wasn't even going on the internet and so invested in the Samsung S3 mini which is hopeless for taking photos and so I have to use the old Nokia for photos and then Bluetooth to the Samsung. Anyway, what I wanted to ask you mainly was is there just a querty keyboard or can it be changed to an abc keyboard whatever they call it, also does it have the capacity to memorise words, and of course how do you find the 8mp camera? Thanks.
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