We’ve finally got our very own Nokia Lumia 820 review unit and before we did the full-review we figured we might jot down some of our initial impressions.
We already got a chance to play with one at the Lumia 920 and 820 Launch in Sydney last week, but that was a fairly quick affair with limited real interaction. This time we’ve had a few hours to play around with some new features, use the browser a bit more and get a general feel for the Windows 8 UI.
Right now, we have to say we’re even more impressed than when we saw it at the launch.
We can’t say enough how much we love Nokia’s Windows Phone designs. The bright colours and simple, yet somehow different case designs go together flawlessly with the vibrant and contrasting Windows Phone 8 UI. The fact that with WP8 comes even more colour schemes that now allow for the scheme to match the colour of the phone just completes the image for us.
We’re not even mad that other manufacturers like HTC are starting to follow suit; we’re just happy that Nokia has managed to bring colour back in to the smartphone market. For so long the whole market has been black, white or occasionally grey with only the rarest splash of colour. Now, because of Nokia, Windows Phone 8 really does come out of the gate with some of the most fun devices we’ve ever seen that manage to catch the eye without looking tacky or like a short-lived novelty.
Not only that, the Lumia 820 has a removable case that can be replaced with other colours if you get sick of it. Granted, said case is frighteningly difficult to remove. We actually felt like we were going to break it a few times when we were removing and replacing it, but it held up without any damage so we guess that’s something.
The UI has so far been faultlessly smooth. The new layout looked even better once we got a chance to personalise it. There’s a difference between a bunch of pretty icons on a screen and a bunch of your icons being laid out in an awesome and interesting fashion. Once they’re yours you really start to appreciate them on a different level.
Browsing is still fast, unsurprising on LTE, and somehow just feels like a more “smartphone-oriented” experience in some respects. Search results are displayed in the same overall theme as the rest of the UI, giving the impression that you’re being presented with a full smartphone experience, rather than a smartphone that can also do other stuff. It’s difficult to explain, but it really does add to the feeling that this is a well-integrated system.
The screen is incredibly bright, with vibrant colours and dark, inky blacks. We haven’t watched any videos yet so the 480×800 resolution hasn’t been an issue. Text so far has rendered crisply and we haven’t had too much screen lag when zooming in and out. Still, it’s a bit early to tell with these things.
That’s about it for now. We’ll do a much more in-depth review after we’ve lived with the 820 for a decent while. We hope not too much will crop up to change our initial opinion of the 820. So far it really is a cool and funky little device with very little to fault it.