Hardware and Specifications

The processor used is a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor, which is the same one used in the Samsung Galaxy S3 (in some markets with LTE) and Lumia 920. Positive impressions of this processor were made on this reviewer, and apps by and large were able to load very quickly.

Where memory is concerned, it has an internal storage of 8 GB, with a microSD expansion slot capable of 64 GB.  The supplied RAM is 1 GB, which is comfortable enough for most usage models.

IMG 1721 Nokia Lumia 820 Review

The phone display makes use of AMOLED technology, which while being a major step up from the normal LCD screens that many phones still use, is still not nearly up to the standard of Super AMOLED screens used by Samsung, or Retina displays used by Apple. The resolution is only 800 x 480 pixels, which is even less than the 854 x 480 pixels of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc used by this reviewer since early 2011. To the trained eye, the lower resolution becomes glaringly obvious.

The battery capacity is 1650 mAh. Charging it from a dead stop to full capacity took 135 minutes via the supplied microUSB cable plugged into a wall socket. Nokia has rated the battery as being capable of 7.5 hours of talk time and 10.8 hours of standby time over 3G. However, moderate battery use over the course of a normal working day (a few calls adding up to 30 minutes, some light web surfing, a couple of videos during a train ride) drained the battery by an alarming 76% over an 8 am – 6 pm working day. While it is true that smartphones in general have poorer battery lives than their ‘dumb’ cousins, this is still a cause for worry. If you are able to, it is highly recommended to plug this phone in to your computer’s USB port to drip-feed it power over the course of the working day.

Benchmark Tests

Three benchmark tests were run on this phone, namely Futuremark Peacekeeper, Sunspider, and AnTutu.

The Futuremark Peacekeeper browser test (below) gives a mediocre score of 326. This is marginally lower than the score of 334 by the close cousin of this phone, the Lumia 920. By way of contrast, the iPhone 5, for all of its quirks and faults, manages a far more impressive score of 907.

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On the Sunspider Javascript peacekeeper test (below), a score of 927.2 ms was obtained. This flies in the face of the previous Peacekeeper test, because it is one of the best scores obtained by any smartphone. By way of contrast (the lower the score, the better), the iPhone 5 had a score of 914.7, the Galaxy S3 had a score of 1442.9, and the LG Optimus G a score of 1626.9. It has to be noted that techies have been questioning the validity of Sunspider as a reliable smartphone benchmark.

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We had wanted to carry out a Passmark test, but it could not be found in the Windows Apps store, which is surely a negative point about this phone. Instead, AnTuTu (below) was ran.

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A score of 11849 was obtained on this benchmark, which is impressive compared to other phones on the market such as the Optimus 4X HD (Score: 11756) or the HTC One X (Score: 10288). So we have two benchmarks giving the thumbs up to this phone, and one giving the thumbs down. This just goes to show that in the evaluation of phones, it is important to use more than one benchmark test in order to make a decision on its performance characteristics.