Nokia Lumia 820 8GB GSM 4G LTE Windows 8 Smartphone - Black - AT&T - No Warranty
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- Display: AMOLED 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density)
- Internal Memory: 8 GB storage, 1 GB RAM
- Camera: 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, Carl Zeiss Tessar lens, F2.2, dual LED flash
- CPU: Dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait GPU: Adreno 225
- OS: Microsoft Windows Phone 8
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From the manufacturer
What is an unlocked phone?
An unlocked phone is a device that is not bound to any carrier or plan. It allows you to choose your phone first and your carrier second. Upon selecting a plan, simply insert the carrier's SIM card into the phone and you're ready to go. If you decide you want to change carriers down the road or want to take an international trip, it's as simple as replacing your existing SIM card with a new SIM and activating your new plan.
What are the benefits of an unlocked phone?
Freedom: Choose the carrier with the best service or price. If you find a better deal later, you have the ability to change to a different carrier.
Travel: Take your phone internationally and use the carrier of your choice. It's as easy as inserting an active SIM card.
Selection: Choose the phone with the features you want, whether or not your carrier sells it, and get more service options without a contract.
How do I set up my unlocked phone?
The first thing you’ll need is a SIM card for your desired carrier. When activated, the SIM card will let your phone connect to your carrier’s network. If you decide to upgrade to a newer unlocked phone in the future, you can easily remove the SIM card from your old phone and put it in your new phone—just make sure you get the right size of SIM card (nano, micro, or standard) for your phone. If you want to use your phone while traveling internationally, you can easily buy a SIM card for a carrier that operates where you’re traveling. As long as it’s activated, you can just swap SIM cards when you arrive at your destination.
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The Nokia Lumia 820 with 4G LTE and Windows Phone 8 is truly a value-priced powerhouse. Enjoy the fastest web browsing possible thanks to the 1.5GHz Dual-Core Snapdragon Qualcomm Processor, Internet Explorer 10, and much more. And full Windows Phone 8 interoperability allows unprecedented storage and backup.
Top customer reviews
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The NOKIA LUMIA 820 is SOLID. It's heavy in the hand and has a stable, durable feel to it. The display is vibrant and beautiful. Reviewers and "experts" out there on the web can say anything they want about resolution, rag on the pixel density, whatever - but this phone, in your hand is BEAUTIFUL. Colors pop, photos are crisp and videos look great!
As was the case with my (brief) experience on the Lumia 521, this is quick, nimble, FAST. Every operation is there when called for, tasks present themselves immediately and close just as quickly. There's something about this Windows OS that must be much less resource-intensive, less hungry than other mobile OS's, because things just pop and fly all over the place.
The Tiles ... live tiles, that represent what feels like a living, breathing OS Interface. You see the faces of your contacts and friends rotating in and out of the "People" tile ... Facebook posts of friends "pop up" in live time, as they are happening ... News updates circulate in a tile, the tile suddenly flips over to reveal another breaking headline ... the tile from your Songza app suddenly flips over to say "It is Friday Night" (or late Saturday morning, etc.) ... the Photos tile rotates through your albums, scrolling slowly and continuously ... nothing stands still, this tiled-interface is alive!
More on Tiles ... you can size and re-size your tiles, according to taste; regular (square), large (rectangle that covers width of the screen) or small (one quarter size of regular). You can even Pin your favorite websites to the screen, each in a tile of it's own. I've got four favorite Playlists (from Nokia Music) pinned to my screen, each re-sized to small, and they form a little music "block", the size of a regular tile!
The Lumia 820 has NFC capability and Wireless Charging - something I didn't think I'd ever need or use, but I did fork out for the charging plate and it's been a very nice bonus. I've already grown lazy, with the ability to simply place the phone on it's back for a charge ... no plugs, cables or hassles.
CUSTOMIZATION! Unlike other phones in the Lumia lineup, this one has interchangeable back plates. Once in place, it looks like a solid piece of polycarbonate. You can make this a Cyan phone, a bright Red phone, Yellow, White or Black, simply by putting a different (removable) back plate on it. You can order these with or without NFC and Wireless Charging capability. This phone was black when I bought it, I've since changed it to Cyan (and have other colors on order).
Is the 920 a better phone? How about the 928? Well, the specs are better on those phones, but for me, this is the sweet spot. It's smaller than the 920, but with the same screen size, and (again), with the joy of body / color customization. Processing speed? System RAM? What are those??? What do I care? When a phone is as fast, fluid, stable and zippy as this is, who cares? When you get a phone that performs as beautifully as this, you can forget about specs (and forget the "expert" opinions from the tech sites). None of it matters.
Apps ... yes, you hear a lot of whining, complaining, hand-wringing criticism of the Windows app store and it's "horrible dearth of apps". If you believe what you read out there on the internet, you probably figure they've got about 10 or 20 apps in the store. I don't know WHO these people are, or WHAT they have on their own phones, but inasmuch as the Windows store has over a hundred thousand apps (126,000 as of last night) ... I feel that is enough for me (and for any reasonable person). Sure, you can bolster your app store to a million, 50 million, a billion, whatever - but when 50,000 of those apps are flashlights (as opposed to one flashlight), how is that improving your app experience?
The 8GB of internal space ... once the OS requirements are subtracted, you've got about 5 or 6 gigs to yourself. Unlike it's bigger brethren in the Lumia family, this one comes with a Micro SD slot. I've got a 32GB card in mine, and have set the phone to load all photos, music and videos to the card (rather than to internal storage). That should hold me for awhile.
The Camera ... with Carl Zeiss optics and Dual LED Flash, the 8.7 megapixel camera and quality of your photos will be excellent. I've also loaded an HDR app from the store and have experimented with it, garnering some very nice results. I've been taking photos for Instagram, Foodspotting, Facebook and Twitter so far, nothing that requires a critical eye or instrument. I have also set my phone to auto-upload all photos and videos to Skydrive, so I've got an instant backup of everything I've taken.
I'm not going to spend any time hashing-out or "reviewing" technical details, you'll get plenty of that in other reviews (and websites). Suffice it to say, this is one of the best and THE most enjoyable phone I've ever owned.
I have purchased *three* of these phones in the last month, and let's start with the bad, but keep reading for the good, and the bad is that God knows where these phones come from, though they *appear to be* more or less new as claimed.
So here's the bad. The first phone was a complete dud and had this problem that others had mentioned out here: the phone just would not charge! When I pulled it out of the box and turned it on, all appeared to be OK. But it was like it was "stupid" about accepting a charger. Once dead, it never turned back on at all, even sitting on the charger for hours! A very strange thing that I've never seen. The seller, who probably didn't know much more about the oddness of this phone than me, thought it was a bad battery and sent me one of those. With this new battery inserted I was again able to turn the phone on! (Because it had irretrievably died.) But the challenge was keeping it running as it would take something like 10 hours to fully charge! I got a battery monitoring app, and this phone was truly weird, taking enormous amounts of time to charge if it was able to charge at all.
Needless to say, this first phone went back.
I then purchased another one of these same phones (masochist?) from a different seller (not a masochist?) and perhaps just by dumb luck, I had no problems. The two phones came identically packaged. Both the bad and the "good" appeared to be completely new. They were still in shrink-wrap in what appeared to be an original Nokia box. They both had a little identification sticker on the outside of the shrink-wrapped plastic. The only difference was that the first "bad" one had no screen protector, and you know, these things always have screen protectors when they're new. Both appeared perfect though and new. Now the bad here from any point of view is that these were both *AT&T* phones that apparently had been somehow unlocked. Both phones (the bad and the good) had the AT&T logo in the upper right corner. Both phones had goofy AT&T apps that I didn't want. Both phones would show the AT&T logo when turning on. (Note that both phones were "Fulfilled by Amazon" which is the only way I will generally buy a product on Amazon that is sold by a third party seller and that appears to be "potentially shady.")
My intent was to use these on T-Mobile, so I wasn't too thrilled about the AT&T background. I figured I'd have some weird problems with the phone, even if it appeared to more or less work. So the first feature I tried was the mobile hotspot, because I use that and it's very easy to access on all these Windows Phones. So that worked a treat out of the box and seemed to be a little faster than my old Nokia 4G T-Mobile phone. Anyway, it was pretty much to me blazing fast for a cell phone hotspot, at about 4000 Mbits/sec.
So that was great. And the phone seemed to work just fine on T-mobile without any issues with texting or with voicemail, etc. But I thought that too soon because there was one issue, and that was with sending pictures in text messages. I noticed this only after a couple weeks with the phone when I needed to do this. It flat out didn't work. I would send the message and like 5 minutes later I'd get a message from the phone that the message could not be sent. The fix for this was to set the APNs of both "internet" and "mms" (in Settings:cellular:"edit internet/mms apn"). After that all was well with texting.
So, it's now about a month later, and this second phone has had no battery issues whatsoever. It seems to charge completely normally and it takes almost precisely 1.5 hours from dead to full charge. As I mentioned I have a battery monitoring app and it is quite nice and tells me exact info on these things. ("Battery Sense" is the name of the app and I'd strongly recommend it, though it has ads.)
The battery life when the phone is on is not spectacular, but previously I had a definitely brand new and "unshady" Nokia 521 and its battery life was none too fantastic either, and overall this phone I would say is about the same. The crazy bright screen on this phone which cannot be dimmed much is probably a big reason the thing sucks down juice quickly when being used, because it does seem to run down more quickly when it's doing something I would say, but when not much is going on with the phone, the steady drain seems normal and if I'm not using it as a hotspot during the day or doing a long video, it should make it through the day fine. I would say for sure it has to be put on the charger every night though.
So I bought a second phone from the second seller (making three Nokia 820s total, the first from the other seller) and that one too has not had battery issues (knock wood). It charges normally and has normal battery life and everything seems OK.
So I have to say I really like this phone except for the stupidly bright (and battery draining) screen and it seems like a very nice upgrade over my Nokia 521. This phone fills the gaps that the 521 had, like the 521 having no flash.
I have always had smartphones with a flash, so it was a little irritation with the 521 to not have that. Now I have a flash again, and it's been great, particularly as a flashlight which is probably the main purpose of a flash on these phones. And this phone has a great flash that also enhances the pictures, more than I would expect of a cheap LED flash. Pictures are great on this phone, as I think they tend to be on this vintage of Nokias. This one seems to have an upgraded camera as well over the 521 and it is very nice. The 521 has an amazing camera for its price, and takes quite nice video again for the price, and so this phone does that and does it better. The flash really seems to improve picture quality more than I would have expected and the pictures have a really tightly focused and nicely lit and color balanced quality. The flash particularly helps I think because the phone uses the flash to figure out exposure settings even when you have the flash turned off and that seems to work fantastically. For example, close-ups with this phone come out great. So this phone is much better than the 521 camera-wise and the 521 as I say was very good.
There's also a front facing camera which honestly I don't use much but I know to lots of people this is a key feature.
The major big upgrade with this phone is speed though as it is observably faster than the 521, and I'm talking about user interface responsiveness and such. With the 521 I wrote a review saying that the Windows 8.1 upgrade was *not good* partly due to the slow-down. With this phone I can tell that that would be less of a concern, but still I am not upgrading to 8.1 as I particularly don't like the "androidization" of the top of the screen and I also don't like that stupid and overdone Cortana thing as it's a dumb form of Siri imitation and it *makes things take longer.* This phone still has that same female voice, but it's not irritating and making everything slower and it's not in your face with its clever "personality." It just works and shuts the hell up as much as possible which is how it should be.
Anyway, back to performance, the huge selling point of this phone has to do indirectly you might say with speed, and it's the 1 GB RAM versus the Nokia 521's 512 MB RAM. So this phone doubles the RAM, and RAM is a critical need on these phones, especially when you're talking about potentially doing the updates.
So even though there was the initial problem with one of these, I really like this phone and the main bad feature is the stupidly bright screen, which contributes to the other bad feature which is the battery life not being a huge improvement over the 521 I previously had. Note that every iPhone out there allows you to dim the hell out of the screen *out of the box* - no app needed! This feature is sometimes a critical need when you are somewhere where you cannot charge and need to conserve juice at all costs! This is not an "optional" feature on a cell phone but a must have! Let us turn down the stupid screen ffs!
So that's the massive bad feature in this phone which was not a problem on the 521. The 521 has the same limited settings but has a fairly dim screen at the lowest settings. But all in all, this is a nicer, quicker, more full-featured phone than the 521, and still at a ridiculous price! (Note: I paid $110)