Nokia launched a pair of new smartphones running Windows Phone 8 in New York at the beginning of September 2012, with the Lumia 820 and the Lumia 920 set to replace the Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 as the firm’s flagship mobile duo. The Lumia 820 will be the mainstream model, with the Lumia 920 pegged as the company’s new high-end offering.
Form, look & feel, size & weight
The Lumia 920 is available in yellow, red, grey, white and black, while the Lumia 820 can be had in red, yellow, grey, cyan, purple, white and black flavours – no sleek blue hues like with the Samsung Galaxy S3, or HTC’s recently launched Windows Phone 8 series. As for look and feel, the Lumia 920 inherits much from the Lumia 900, featuring a bizarre but attractive synergy of rounded vertical sides and sharp horizontal edges and corners – at times, it feels like a flattened elliptical cylinder. The Lumia 820 on the other hand is all about curves, a decision partly driven by the fact that it features changeable shells. The Lumia 920 is bigger, thicker and heavier than the Lumia 820, though both handsets can be described as being chubby and sizeable.
The Lumia 920 has a 4.5in display with a 1,280 x 768 pixel resolution (WXGA), the highest of any smartphone on the market barring the original Galaxy Note. It equates to a pixel density of 332 PPI, which is a smidgen higher than the Retina featured on the iPhone 5. The Lumia 820 has a slightly smaller 4.3in display with a disappointing 800 x 480 pixel resolution at 217 PPI. In real-life life, the translation is simple: images a considerably less sharp.
The screen on the Lumia 820 is an OLED model, while the one featured on the Lumia 920 is PureMotion HD+ IPS, complete with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass . In non-geek lingo – and according to Nokia – it means that the Lumia 920’s scratch-resistant screen is noticeably brighter than the competition and boasts a refresh rate that’s nearly twice as fast to boot. Both handsets benefit from ClearBlack technology, which allows for improved readability in direct sunlight.
Storage & memory
The Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 both come with 1GB of RAM. The former has 32GB on-board storage, while the latter has only 8GB but does come with a microSD card slot capable of expanding capacity up to 32GB. It’s an affordable option, as you can pick up a card for as little as £10 these days, so owners of the Lumia 820 users will have access to additional storage for next to nothing.
Both smartphones use the same chipset, a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, the MSM8960, which is etched using a 28nm manufacturing process for lower power consumption. It’s clocked at 1.5GHz, is based on the new-gen Krait architecture, and uses an Adreno 225 GPU. Moreover, both devices offer LTE capabilities, with the the Lumia 820 therefore emerging as the arguably the most affordable 4G-ready handset on the market.
That same MSM8960 model chipset also features on a number of other high-end smartphones, like the HTC One XL, the Samsung ATIV S, and the newer additions to the Motorola Droid RAZR series. The fact that both the 820 and the 920 use the same SoC is reminiscent of the similarities between the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710.
Both devices will run Windows Phone 8, which offers 7GB of online cloud storage to new users as a sweetener. The new Lumia devices also offer a number of exclusive applications, like Nokia’s comprehensive Maps suite – the company recently claims it is streets ahead of rivals Google and Apple with regards to digital cartography – as well as the Nokia Music Store, though Mix Radio won’t feature apparently. On the whole, Windows Phone 8 should be as fast on the Lumia 820 as on the more expensive Lumia 920. For more on Nokia’s latest handsets and Windows Phone 8, check out our feature on the Lumia 920 and the potential pay-off of adopting Microsoft’s new-gen mobile OS.
The Lumia 820 has a 1,650 mAh battery, while the more expensive Lumia 920 has a 2,000mAh engine. The 21 per cent extra capacity means the latter device claims superior longevity specs: talk time of 10 hours vs 8 hours on the Lumia 820, standby of 400 hours vs 330 hours respectively, better music playback duration (67 hours vs 55 hours), and superior video playback time (5 hours vs 6 hours). Both boast the ability to wirelessly charge, utilising Qi technology.
The Lumia 920 borrowed some tricks from the PureView 808. Although it doesn’t top the best-of-class 41-megapixels offered by the 808 , the optical sensor on the 920 still reaches an impressive 8.7-megapixels. It features an innovative optical image stabilization technology, a BSI sensor, a superfast f/2.0 aperture, and a dual LED flash. As for the Lumia 820, it hits 8-megapixels, has a f/2.2 aperture speed, but lacks the BSI sensor of its bigger brother. Both come with Carl Zeiss optics, full HD video recording capabilities, and camera resolution of 3,264 x 2,448 pixels. There’s also an HD ready front facing camera on the Lumia 920, though the Lumia 820 has to make do with a secondary VGA snapper. As you would expect given the pricing, the 920 clearly outpaces the 820.
Exactly the same across the two devices, which is a refreshing gesture on Nokia’s part given the general trend for mid-range smartphones to offer inferior connectivity features. Both have NFC capabilities, Bluetooth 3.1, Wi-Fi, a microUSB port, and are compatible with 4G LTE networks. Neither features an HDMI port for high-quality external connections, though, and there seems to be a dearth of decent accessories, with a paltry eight add-ons currently listed for the Lumia 820 on Nokia’s website. Hopefully this is an area that will improve once the two handsets hit shops, but thankfully both come readied for the best and most modern wireless technologies.
Price & value
The Lumia 820 costs about £165 and the Lumia 920 slightly more.If you cough up the premium for the Lumia 920 and you get a bigger, better screen with a higher-quality display, a different design, vastly superior cameras, and a more durable battery – in short, a much better handset, though the Lumia 820 looks superb value, especially with regards to 4G. Is it worth it? For me, yes – but what do you think? And what about how the Lumia 920 matches up to the iPhone 5?
|Nokia Lumia 820||Nokia Lumia 920|
|Resolution||800 x 480 pixels||1280 x 768 pixels|
|Pixel density||216 PPI||332 PPI|
|Processor and battery|
|Battery||1,650 mAh||2000 mAh|
|Claimed 3G talk time||8h||10h|
|Storage and memory|
|Resolution||3264 x 2448 pixels||3264 x 2448 pixels|
|Flash||Dual LED||Dual LED|
|Network||4G LTE||4G LTE|
|Wi-Fi||802.11 a/b/g/n||802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Size||123.8 x 68.5 x 9.9mm||130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7mm|
|Operating System||Windows Phone 8||Windows Phone 8|
|Price (speculative)||£163||£300 approx.|