Nokia unveiled two new Windows Phone 8 smartphones in New York at the beginning of last month; of the two, the Lumia 820 appears to be the more interesting (check our hands-on article (opens in new tab) of the handsets) as it is set to replace both the Nokia Lumia 800 (opens in new tab) and Nokia Lumia 900 (opens in new tab), while costing less than both at launch. The Lumia 920 may be the flagship model but the Lumia 820 will almost certainly be the one pulling the most sales for the beleaguered Finnish company.
Form, Look and feel, Size and Weight
The Lumia 820 can be had in red, yellow, grey, cyan, purple, white and black while the Lumia 900 is available in black, white and blue, and the Lumia 800 in all three colours as the 900 - plus pink. As for the look and feel, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 (above) shares the same mixture of rounded and sharp edges and feel like a flattened elliptical cylinder, a feat made possible thanks to the polycarbonate unibody enclosure. The Lumia 820 on the other hand is all about curves, a decision partly driven by the fact that it has changeable shells, a feature that just works better on an enclosure with curves. The Lumia 900 and the Lumia 820 weigh the same at 160g and just slightly heavier than the Lumia 800. Of the three, the Lumia 800 is the thickest and the Lumia 820 the thinnest.
Both the Lumia 820 (below) and the Lumia 900 have a display at 4.3in with a 800 x 480 pixel resolution which translates into a rather disappointing 217ppi. The Lumia 800 has a smaller 3.7in display with translate in a slightly higher pixel density. All three models use the same AMOLED display with ClearBlack technology which allows for much better readability in direct sunlight. Note that the Lumia 900 and the Lumia 800 come with an overlay of Corning Gorilla Glass whereas the Lumia 820 comes with a super sensitive screen that which you can use with a glove.
Storage and memory
The Lumia 820 comes with 1GB of RAM while the Lumia 900 and 800 have only 512MB, one of the reasons why they are not compatible with Windows Phone 8. Both however have 16GB onboard storage while the former has only 8GB but does come with a microSD card slot (a first for Windows Phone 8); one that can accommodate 64GB cards and you can pick up a decent 32GB one for as little as £10. That’s an important consideration given that the Lumia 820 users will have access to more than twice the storage capacity for next to nothing.
The Lumia 820 uses a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon system-on-chip, the MSM8960, which is etched using a 28nm manufacturing process (lower power consumption), is clocked at 1.5GHz, is based on the newer Krait architecture, uses an Adreno 225 GPU and offers LTE capabilities. The Lumia 800 uses an older, single core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255T, clocked at 1.4GHz, etched on a 45nm process, using the Scorpion architecture and an older Adreno 205 GPU. The Nokia Lumia 900 uses a slightly different version of that chipset called the APQ8055 which doesn’t have an onboard modem.
The Lumia 820 runs on Windows Phone 8 which offers 7GB of Skydrive storage, Nokia City Lens, City Transport and Lenses app (check our coverage of Windows Phone 8, running on the Lumia 920 (opens in new tab)). Both the Lumia 800 (below) and 900 runs on Windows Phone 7.5 and will be upgradable to Windows Phone 7.8 rather than Windows 8 because they only have a single core SoC. All will come with the usual set of Nokia apps (Drive, Maps and Music).
The Lumia 820 has a 1,650mAh battery, the Lumia 900 a 1,830mAh one and the Lumia 800 a 1,450mAh model. Surprisingly, the Nokia 800 has a better battery life (both in standby and in talk time) compared to its siblings. The Lumia 900, despite having the biggest battery, comes out last with only 7hrs talk time due to the fact that it uses a 2-chip solution rather than an integrated one. Note that the Lumia 820 comes with wireless charging capabilities using the Qi technology.
The cameras on all three phones have similar resolution, the same Carl Zeiss Tessar optics, the same dual LED flash and the same aperture number (f2.2). The Lumia 820 has a better digital zoom and a two stage capture key plus it can do full HD videos rather than just HD video. There’s also HD ready front facing camera on the Lumia 900 and a VGA one on the Nokia Lumia 820. The Lumia 800 doesn’t have a front facing camera.
The Lumia 820 has NFC capabilities, Bluetooth 3.1, Wi-Fi bonding, a microUSB port and does LTE. Both the Lumia 800 and 900 have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 plus DLNA for the latter. No micro or mini HDMI port as for all Windows Phone handsets.
Price/Value for money
The Lumia 820 has yet to be priced, the Lumia 800 is on sale for £149 (opens in new tab) while the Nokia 900 costs around £280. Other than the poor front facing camera and the lack of unibody chassis, the Lumia 820 is vastly superior smartphone compared to its two siblings and whether or not it will be a massive seller will depend on its price. On paper at least for now, the Lumia 820 is a clear winner.
Nokia Lumia 820
Nokia Lumia 900
Nokia Lumia 800
800 x 480 pixels
Pixel density (PPI)
OLED with ClearBlack
Processor and battery
Clock speed (GHz)
Claimed 3G talk time (h)
Storage and memory
3264 x 2448 pixels
123.8 x 68.5 x 9.9mm
130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7mm
116.5 x 62.4 x 12.1mm
Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone 7.8
£280 (opens in new tab)
£149 (opens in new tab)