Nokia Lumia 822 Review: Verizon's Take on the Lumia
When Nokia created the Lumia line, it marked a turning point for the company -- it jettisoned Symbian, since the operating system was aging quicker than a meth addict in a tanning salon. By teaming up with Microsoft, Nokia bet its chips on Windows as the software for its comeback.
Now, Windows still lags far behind Android and Apple in terms of mobile popularity, but Nokia's second generation of Lumia phones are worthy competitors, especially its sleek flagship, the Lumia 920. But not everybody wants a flagship phone, and for Verizon customers, there's a mid-range option that gives you the Lumia experience without obliterating your budget. That's where the 822 comes in.
If you want to try Windows 8, but you don't want to pay a premium price, the Lumia 822 is just the phone for you. It's a better choice than Samsung's Ativ Odyssey, which, frankly is a weak excuse for a budget device. Now, the 822 won't come close to the 920, not by a long shot, but it beats the Odyssey in several ways: a bigger screen and a better camera with more megapixels.
But consider your options before you buy it. For a little more, you can upgrade to a 920. Why the 822 over those siblings? It's cheaper. So if you'd rather save money -- that's understandable. Still, take a look at the 820 -- the two are nearly identical -- really comes down to which design you prefer. Personally, I think it's a no-brainer: the 820's bright colors pop out, while the 822's dull design blends in with the crowd -- it could almost pass for a low-end Samsung device. And that's not a compliment.
Back to the 822. The hard plastic casing is surprisingly heavy, and it's far rounder and thicker -- at 0.4-inches in girth, to be exact -- than the 820. It comes in black and white instead of Technicolor Disney-vivid candy colors, which is a shame, because it looks cheap. The 822 is about the same height and width as the Galaxy Nexus, but noticeably fatter and with a smaller display, giving it a weirdly clunky feel. Still, I will give one thing to the boring design -- since the battery cover doesn't wrap around the front like on the 820, it's easier to pop off.
If you concentrate on the 4.3-inch screen, you may forgive the cheap frame. The AMOLED display isn't in the same league as the one on the 920, of course, but it's pretty good for the value, and exactly the same as the one on the 820. The 800-by-400 resolution makes Windows 8 look great, but the 217-ppi pixel density is a bit on the low side. I didn't notice any obvious pixilation -- possibly because it doesn't use the inferior PenTile layout -- so even though it's not as sharp as other devices, it looked clearer than other high-end devices that use the pixel matrix.
But the best part is its responsiveness. Like the 920, the 822 comes with a "glove mode" that lets you use it through clothes. That may be a drawback if you tend to whack the screen with your elbow, but as long as you're not Mr. Bean, it's a perk -- especially if you live in cold climates or work on a construction site and wear gloves. No need to freeze your fingers to send a message on frosty days.
The 8-megapixel camera, meanwhile, falls into the "exactly the same as the 820" camp -- and that's a good thing too. The Carl Zeiss auto-focus lens takes clear, detailed shots and the mid-tier camera, in many regards, outshines fancier handsets. The software is great too, with an app that creates GIF-esque moving images. If you'd rather shoot longer clips, it'll capture high-definition 1080p video too.
The Lumia 822 runs on Windows 8, and in addition to the standard software, which is intuitive and easy to use, Nokia added some helpful features like Navigation to give turn-by-turn directions. The "live tile" configuration is beautiful -- I love how streamline it looks compared to Android's cluttered layout. Most of the Nokia apps are genuinely well-designed and useful too, including the City Lens, which recommends where to eat and what to see. It comes with NFC, so you can send data with others. Even though the hardware pales in comparison to the 920, the software is on the same level.
Oh, the 822 comes with one fantastic Verizon feature: it works with Microsoft's Data Sense, which compresses files as you send and receive them. That means your data bills are cut, which is a budget-conscious win. The program can save you up to 30 percent -- and that makes a difference. It's just a great function if you run up data bills and I'm surprised it's not on more phones.
The 1,800 mAh battery life is great, too: I lasted about 12 hours for talk time and well over a day on standby on a single charge. You can also wirelessly charge it with a special pillow, sold separately. Meanwhile, the 1.5-gigahertz dual-core chip keeps everything humming along smoothly -- it's actually the same processor as the one on the 920. There's also 16-gigabytes of storage, so you'll have plenty of space -- especially since you can boost it with a 64-gigabyte microSD card. With that amount memory, you can stockpile goofy photos or go on a Mr. Bean binge.
Overall, the Lumia 822 is a funky combination of boring design, some mediocre features and some standout options. If you just look at the frame, you'd never want to buy it. But if you focus on perks like the software and processor, it stands out as a mid-range companion to the 920. If you're looking for a cheap Windows phone, it's a good choice -- especially if you're tied to Verizon. But if you're also deciding between carriers, the 820 is just as good. The 822 has a leg up with Data Sense, but the 820 is, in my opinion, the better-looking device, so it depends what you prefer. ♦
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AMOLED (Polarization Filter / Light Time-Out / Ambient Light Sensor)
November 23, 2012
Lumia 822 Review
If you're on Verizon, and you're looking for a Windows phone, the Lumia 822 is a great choice.
To start, the design of this device is wonderful -- it's more alluring that the photos make it out to be. Go check it out in person.
Unfortunately, it's made of plastic. The material is thick and sturdy, with a partial flat, partial gloss finish, but it can feel a bit cheap compared to higher-end devices. The back lacks a rubbery coating other devices have, but fortunately, the sides slant in from the bottom to the top, giving it an easy-to-hold design so it doesn't accidentally slip out of your hand.
There's wireless charging -- not included -- but you'll need to buy a separate back for that feature.
I found the phone wider and thicker than most, but you won't have problems fitting it into a pocket or purse. The keys have a nice firm click to them on the edges, and the power button is nicely placed for your right thumb. But if you're left-handed, it's going to be a pain. Also, if you're going to take a photo, the camera key uses is a two-step process, which took me a little time to get used to it.
Meanwhile, the 480-by-800 pixel resolution seems low, but don't let it fool you. It's a great touch screen with bright colors that pop. Nokia included a super-sensitive touch that you can use with gloves, but thicker gloves, like leather, won't work. Gorilla Glass ensures it's all protected, and when the screen is off, the black blends into the bezel nicely for a sleek look.
I was pleasantly surprised by the camera. Low-light shots came out sharp, thanks to the flash, and the colors were pretty accurate -- no oversaturation here. Some of the filters, like white balance, aren't that great. But that's a software issue, which hopefully can be fixed with an update.
For added fun, Nokia has software like Creative Studio for editing and Cinemagraph to make animated pictures. It's actually pretty neat and a great feature for post-processing. Love it.
The speakerphone on the back is plenty loud, so you won't have to worry about muffled sounds; you can hear everything on this phone. The earpiece is good too and there's Dolby audio with an equalizer for your music. It's akin to Beats Audio from HTC -- you can boost frequencies and tune tones to your liking.
Windows 8 is new to me. I've been using an iPhone, so I was a bit worried. But I have to say, I love it. There are enough apps in the store to make it worthwhile. It's not near the level of Apple, but it's not a desert. The software loads quickly, and there's no stalling, lagging or crashes. Nokia even adds exclusive photo apps it calls "lenses" to let you add cool effects to your photos. The apps work wonderfully with Creative Studio. Nokia has about 30 or so exclusive apps in the Windows store.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the Lumia 822. It's a beautiful phone with easy-to-use software. For the price, you can't go wrong, and I'd recommend this to anyone.
The battery is on par with most power-chugging smartphones on the market. I can get around 16 hours on a charge, which last me through the workday. But if I forget to charge it when I go to bed, I'm screwed the next day. I recommend you get a second charger to leave at the office.Was this review helpful to you?
26 out of 26 people found this review helpful.
December 01, 2012
Elegant, Innovative Phone
The Lumia 822's camera is great -- pictures and videos are sharp and colors come out natural. The music player is equally great too -- not only can you sync with iTunes, but Nokia offers a free Pandora-like service to enjoy music.
For navigation, Nokia's mapping service is amazing. It's very accurate -- much more than iOS, which isn't saying much -- and even tells you stops to take on route when you need them.
Like others, I was skeptical of Windows 8, but the software is pretty nice. You can customize the home screen and change the location and prominence of apps. You can also pick live updates. So, for instance, when you pin a contact to the home page, you can choose to see his Facebook and Twitter updates on the app. Now you don't even have to login to view updates. Very cool.
Another big plus is Microsoft Office. You can edit Word and Excel documents directly on the phone, which is nice if you need to step out of the office. There's also an app that let you sync to-do lists with people on Facebook or email accounts on Hotmail.
I'm very happy with my Lumia 822. It's an elegant phone with a great camera and screen. The software is innovative, and I'd highly recommend it.
I have big hands, and it's a bit hard to type on this thing. But I'm getting better at it. Also, the app store is kind of thin. It's not a wasteland -- there are new apps going up every day, so it's just a matter of time. Still, there are some apps on Android I wish I had on Windows. Aside from that, I don't have any issues.Was this review helpful to you?
19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.
November 20, 2012
Stylish, Functional Phone
I manage mobile devices for a corporation in Rhode Island, USA and chose the Nokia Lumia 822 when we switched our account over to Verizon. I couldn't be happier.
I previously had an HTC HD7 from T-Mobile, and here some of my observations:
I switched to the Lumia 822 from the HTC HD7 and I couldn't be happier with my choice. First, the display is one of the best I've seen. Gorilla Glass protects it from scratches and an ambient light sensor will automatically adjust the brightness to your surroundings, keeping the colors bright even in sunlight.
You might think the lower resolution is a turn off, but for me it wasn't very noticeable. Did I mention Nokia used a new high-sensitivity glass so you can use it with gloves? Now when it's snowing outside, you don't have to freeze your hands off trying to tap tiles or switch songs. Nice!
The 1.5-gigahertz processor is plenty quick and there's no lag at all. Of course, it runs on Microsoft's touted Windows Phone 8 software, which is a big change for me. But I haven't seen much not to like. The experience was pleasant and launching apps take less than a second -- with the splash screen most apps load.
In short, the Lumia 822 is a stylish device with fast speeds and a growing marketplace. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in Windows Phone 8.Was this review helpful to you?
12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.
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