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Nokia Lumia vs iphone, Galaxy and friends
I have to say, I don't really understand the current need for mobile phones to double up as a lap tray. The size of some of the handsets on the market is silly and when looking for a new phone I struggled to find one that I didn't need both hands to hold it when using the keypad. Hopefully, with the ever increasing popularity of tablets, the people wanting the big screen will switch to these for the entertainment features and the mobile phone can return to a more pocket friendly size. For all it's over-rated, over-priced showyoffyness the iphone is actually one of the better out there for being compact, but I just can't justify the price tag, plus I don't really want one. My make of choice is usually a Samsung but my partner recently purchased the Galaxy S3 and it looks like someone's taken a rolling pin to a perfectly well proportioned phone. So putting features aside to start with, began my phone search based on holdability alone and hoped that one on my short list would also have all the features I desire... all for an affordable price tag. Not too much to ask? Well it was a struggle and I ended up surprisingly, favouring a number of Nokia handsets - a brand which had previously never appealed. The one I plumped for was the Nokia Lumia 820 - bizarrely not much in the spec to the newer 920 and nowhere near as pricey as the 1020, which seemed to want to be a camera 1st and a phone 2nd. The Lumia 820 is still chunky, but it's screen being 4.3" rather than the 4.5" of it's later sisters meant it was the slightly more compact. Rectangular with rounded corners and a slightly domed, smooth matt back, it's quite slick but on the downside of it not being of the super thin variety, it's a little on the heavy side.
Ok, so it looks good... what does it do?
Well firstly, and most importantly, it makes calls. The good thing about touch screen keypads is the number are usually pretty big so it's pretty hard to misdial. On the home screen, the phone icon is the biggest and first on the screen (though you can personalise this). Easy to see how to use it's most important feature at first glance. This phone knows it's a phone. I like that.
The full spec can be found here htttp://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/lumia820/specifications/ but just to sum up here are the key features, or at least the ones I was interested in when choosing a handset -
Software platform - Windows 8
Screen size - 4.3"
Removable battery - 15 days standby 15.4 hrs talktime
RAM - 1GB
Mass Memory - 8GB
Micro SD port, takes up to 64GB memory card
Camera 8.7MP with flash
It has in built a number of applications to get you started, such as maps, weather, train times etc. All of these can be removed if you wish, which is great as other handsets I've owned have their starter apps locked to the phone and even if you'll never use them, you can't get rid of them. Of course, you can also add new applications too and there's plenty of storage to keep going and going.
Windows phones are very much geared to working on the move and a it has office software to create, download and view files on the go. I tend to only use it for viewing as I find creating emails tedious enough on a phone and personally don't have the patience to start making spreadsheets on a 4.3" touchscreen whilst sitting on the train. It is good though, to be able to view attachments to emails and the like and save them to your phone to have with you to refer to.
~Adapting to your needs~
Customising is very easy. It will look a little odd to start with if you've never used a Windows 8 phone before as the main 'start' or home screen menu is made up of blocks which act as the icons to which ever content you decide to keep there. To move the blocks around, you simply hold and drag, very similar to using a PC. A swipe to the left will bring up a list of all other applications and features on your phone and you can add or remove these to the home screen. I probably jiggle around the layout every month or so as I may start to use some features more than others.
Nokia makes a big thing about the cameras on their Lumia phones. This model has a high 8.7MP camera. I use my SLR to take 'proper' photos but obviously don't have it on me all the time. I was excited to have a reasonable quality camera on my phone so I could snap away in the 'aww I wish I had my camera on me' moments and still be good enough for prints.
Unfortunately the camera promises more than it really delivers. Yes, the photos are of a good size but the quality is not really there unless it's perfect light and everything is still etc. The flash is very useful to have if you want to take a photo with minimal light, just for yourself or to record something, but you won't get anything you'd want to frame. Fine for night out Facebook pics though! It does have settings for low light, night portrait etc but none of them really achieve anything and often using the appropriate 'scene' only achieves a worse result than on auto.
I have been quite impressed with the videos I've shot with the phone. You can zoom to begin with but not during shooting. It records well with sound, and can keeps going for as long as you have memory for.
Music and sound quality
It's very easy to download, or transfer music, video and games from a computer. The 'Music and Video' section stores your files under 'music', 'videos' and 'podcasts' for ease of finding everything. There is a useful 'most recent' feature for finding your current favourites rather then searching though everything.
I have to say I haven't played around with the music section a great deal. I already have all my music on my ipod so don't really use my phone for this, however if my ipod ever gets dropped in the bath or trodden on the way it's predecessors have, I will probably avoid replacing it and use the phone instead. The storage capacity is more than ample, with being able to add up to 64GB of additional memory. Earphones are supplied with the phone which are black, reasonable quality ear bud type and, unlike the old days, they use the standard jack to plug into the phone so you can use any earphones you wish.
The sound quality overall is very good. Without the earphones, watching video / playing music the sound goes up to to 30 points and at home, I can easily watch a video with a sound on around 5 and even on the higher volume, the sound does not distort of go too tinny. Even still, please don't play your music out loud on the bus...it's really annoying.
This good sound quality also means that the phone is easy to hear when it rings, and I don't tend to fiddle to much with the ring volume. If it's on loud it's on 30 and if it's on silent, it's on silent. You can choose to have the vibrate with the ring or just vibrate on it's on. I don't use the vibrate on silent as it makes more of a noise that a shake, which kind of defeats the purpose.
The built in ringtones range from dull to outdated to embarrassing, best to download some of your own. One exception is a cat meow alert, which is fun for me, not so fun for my dog who is still looking for that cat.
The Lumia 820 uses Internet Explorer 10 as the browser and there's not a lot you can do about that. It's not my browser of choice for my PC but actually, it's been more than adequate on my phone so far. It's simple to use and to flick between tabs, bring up history and favourites and you can pin links to your home screen for a nice shortcut.
The search engine inbuilt is bing and this can be accessed by the magnifying glass hot key at the bottom of the screen. I use this so often, much more that I thought I would.
The phone uses the now standard charger, with the USB lead plugging into the 3 pin so no need for two leads. I'm so pleased they've standardised phone chargers, save money and hassle for everyone... but wait, Nokia have something else up their sleeves.
The Lumia 820 is capable of wireless charging. There is a component in the back of the case which allows you to charge without plugging anything is. Neat and wire free. There is a catch... they don't supply the wireless charger, you'll have to buy that separately. Which I haven't on principle.
The only extra I have been temped to buy is a different colour back for my phone. In all the ads they show the phone with a funky red or blue or purple surround but on the cheaper providers they tend to only supply the black option. Extra shells are fairly pricey - around £20. I bought what I thought was a cheaper copy on ebay but was in actual fact an extra case to go round the existing one rather than instead of. Using is made the phone very chunky and cheap looking so I ditched it in the end. It's very hard to tell from the pictures of a lot of the online products so best to buy on a shop or go for the official stuff.
This is not Nokia's latest handset, it was launched in 2012 and it still holds up to newer phone in terms of performance. A handset alone at the time writing will cost you around £200 but if you're going for a contract there are many deals where you get this phone chucked in. I got mine through Tesco Mobile around 4 months ago on a £20 per month 'free phone' contract. I think it's good value for money. I can't think of anything else I would want a phone to offer me right now to justify spending more on any of the newer models. The 820 ticks most boxes.
Overall, a good reliable phone, reasonable if not amazing camera, good sound quality, easy to use, attractive. The only downside for me is that it is on the heavy side given it's size. Recommended.
The Nokia Lumia 820 is one of Nokia's Windows based smartphone. What i really liked about the Nokia Lumia 820 was just how well built it was. It has a nice solid feeling to it, even though it is not a really thin looking smartphone it really fitted nicely in my hands, and I liked how you can use the phone with one hand.
The Lumia 820 comes with a 4.3inch screen and it has a relatively small bezel around it. I also liked how the weight of the smartphone isn't heavy. I feel that the design is a really breath of fresh air to the Nokia smartphone series.
I noticed quickly how the 4.3inch uses touch screen technology on its amulet screen and you can quickly see the very vivid colors and it has great contrast levels like for example the black is perfectly black, the screen is very bright and it is very visible when you are outside. A feature that I liked which Nokia introduced was that it allows you to use the touch screen even though you are using gloves by activated sensitive in the settings.
One thing that I was disappointed in was the screens resolution as its white VGA 480X800 pixels which makes the small details on the screen kind of fuzzy. The Lumia 820 comes reloaded with the Windows 8 software as a result the user interface looks modern. It displays useful information such as the calender, emails, reminders and how many message you have received.
I liked how the Lumia 820 has micro SD slots if you decide that the built memory is not enough. I liked the powerful camera on the Lumia 820 it really produces every nice vivid and bright colors which makes the pictures look beautiful.
One of the disappointing factors of the Lumia 820 is the limited internal storage and gets full rather quickly so you will need to invest in a Micro SD. Also the battery life is not very good as it will lucky for battery to last a whole day by you using all the features on the smartphone. One thing that I didn't like was how Nokia made it very impossible to remove the casing on the smartphone.
The phone is a windows 8 smart phone base.It has powerful dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, a Carl Zeiss optics-based 8MP with dual LED flash and 3G with HSDPA at 42 Mbps.I'd say its a good phone but the price is to high compared to that of android phones with better specs out there.
There was a time when Windows tried to introduce the windows phones and well... Let's just say it didn't go very well. However all that's changed, I was bought this as a gift for my birthday and at first I had my reservations about this product as I've never really warmed to Nokia products but I have to say I was wrong.
I purchased the phone sim free, when it arrived I popped my own simcard into it no trouble. Set up was a breeze and I could easily set up my microsoft live account on the device which I'll be speaking about later in the review.
As soon as the homescreen appeared I was really surprised, the screen is a really good quality for a budget smartphone and the touch screen is fluid and responsive. Design wise I love the flat designs and I love how it matches Windows 8. It really is a joy to look at, eye candy never hurts! I've now had the phone a few months and I've had no problems with it at all. The battery life is typical for a smartphone on todays market I usually get around 10 hours before I have to charge it again but that's not a problem, you're going to have the same issue with most smartphones on the market today and I think we as a society are used to charging up our devices so regularly.
So what do I love about the product? Well firstly the design, it's sleek and smart. It has simple touch sensitive buttons on the front of the device which look really elegant and 'business like'. My top feature for this phone is the sky drive feature, sky drive is a cloud based storage application by Windows. Basically it enables you to save something from your Windows 8 machine and it appears directly on the mobile in sky drive, it really is amazing because now I don't have to worry if I forget my USB stick because all my work is automatically saved to my phone.
I'd really recommend this to a college student or a business professional, the skydrive tops it for me having all my documents in one place is perfect as I have a lot of work which I sometimes forget to upload to my USB stick but because of skydrive I don't have this problem anymore.
The camera is great and takes really crisps pictures, easy to share with facebook and twitter and other social networking apps. The windows market place offers a lot of apps however it doesn't beat the apple app store but like I said, for a windows phone this is really impressive and new apps are being developed every day!
A good smart phone for such a good price!
I remember owning a Nokia 3210, phones have jumped so far ahead of the stone age technology I used in my youth. But to be honest that nokia 3210's battery life, lasted days on end, unlike this new Nokia 820 i decided to get. I've never had a windows phone before, to be honest I didn't realise I had a windows phone till the whole putting contacts into my phone was linked to my mircosoft account.
Confuses the hell at of me but i've gotten used to messing around with all the touchscreen buttons, I like how you can lay out the apps the way you want on the main screen. There is another thing that annoys me, getting that back off the phone is a challenge in itself, feels like you got to snap the phone in half just to access its inner part.
I've downloaded a few games, and some weird features i've never really used before. I found the battery lasts about a day if you use a lot of the apps throughout the day, great battery drainer. But it allows you to go into settings and change a few things, like battery life saver, screen duller, phone auto-lock.
I was going to get a samsung s3, maybe I might get that next time, unless I become so accustomed to the way this phone works.
Still can't complain it takes good pictures, clear and beautiful. Depends if you like windows on a phone, in my opinion its not that bad and does its job well enough.
The Nokia Lumia 820 is a great new phone from Nokia; it offers high-spec hardware at an affordable price. The windows phone eight operating system is still new and will only improve, however the range of apps already available is impressive. My everyday needs are satisfied by the excellent built in calendar, office and onenote apps. Third party applications also aid enjoyment, such as TvCatchup and TuneIn radio which will satisfy all customers' needs with regards to watching TV shows and listening to a wide range of variety radio shows, of any genre you could imagine. The interactive live tiles set this operating system far apart from it's rivals such as apple and android. Additionally the small nature of this phone when compared to the Nokia Lumia 920 and even the new Nokia Lumia 720 is also an apparent advantage. If Windows Phone 8 added Instagram this operating system would then be complete.
Its been almost two months since I've had the Nokia Lumia 820, and I must say, I have never been happier with a phone since the days of Nokia 3210, Snake and the changeable cover. Although the Lumia 820 doesn't have Snake (boo!) and the changeable cover is a little harder to take off, it makes up for it in many other ways.
First thing I noticed when first using this phone, is the really organised layout with the option to move around the tiles in location and size. This makes my life a lot easier, especially as I use my phone a lot for work and have to be able to find people and documents quickly. This along with the social aspect of Nokia Music and the People section, which links all the big social networking sites by people, so instead of scrolling through pages and pages of updates from those who you don't want to know about right then, you can click on their name and voila.. all is there!
Nokia Music allows the indecisive music lover to listen to track upon track by selecting a specific genre, latest chart hits or by the mix radio. Drains the internet usage, so is only really useful if you are on unlimited or by wifi.
I have to admit there are aspects of this phone I haven't used yet, mainly the sky drive options, but what I have used, I love. Although I have to admit the camera swings from really good to really pants, depending on who you are taking a photo of! For some reason, when you switch the camera to take a photo of yourself, the quality becomes terrible! But as mentioned, the camera on the whole is really good - quality brilliant, plenty of editing apps, most of which have been a positive addition to the phone.
So all in all, considering the main reason I got this phone was because its on Hollyoaks (haha!), it is actually a really impressive phone and one which has really enriched my busy, working life!
Ill start of with talking about the key features of this phone it has a Dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon Krait CPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory, expandable, 4.3-inch 480 x 800 pixel AMOLED screen.
In my opinion I think that you should stay away from this phone as there are many betters ones out there.
The phone is not able to meet even the slightest expectations. I've found that its unbelievably frustrating to get a 3G connection , if I do manage to get a connection its very short lived and only connects for about 30-60 mins, I've also found the Bluetooth to be horrendous it doesn't sync, 802.11 connection just vanishes for no reason. I think that the camera is also very unpredictable with its quality and performance, one picture may be ok but the next picture may be lacking in quality, this can get frustrating. I think that if you are thinking about getting this phone, stop looking and search for another. I will however give one positive, its pretty quick and it doesn't seem to lag at all.
Connection problems - with Bluetooth and 3G
Pretty low resolution screen
When the nice Royal Mail man brought my new Nokia Lumia 820 to work, I squealed. Everyone else sighed with relief. I had been going on about it for rather a while. They were all keen to see it in action, but none were as eager as me. However, two things stood between me and being able to play with my new toy. One was that it needed a micro Sim and I currently had a normal one. But this we did not realise for a while because, crikey, was it hard to get the back cover off this bad boy. I tried. My admin tried. In the end I had to bring in the big guns and in doing so managed to answer the question "How many doctors does it take to prise off a Lumia's back cover?" Answer: two, with the aid of Google and, later, a Youtube video. We got there in the end, I left work early to pop to the O2 store at the Trafford Centre to swap my Sim, and the rest, as they say, is history. It's only been a couple of weeks but I am seriously in love with this phone. If I thought my last one (and LG Optimus chat) was a smart phone then this must be a (non-Apple) Genius. It seems to know what I want to do before I do and then does it bigger, does it faster, and does it better.
The Lumia is a big phone. It's bigger than my old one, even with its slide out keyboard. It's bigger than an iPhone (I kidnapped one off one of my reception team to check. As a side note: the Lumia's screen is also much more, well, luminous). For a while my phones were getting smaller, almost to the stage you could conceal one in your hand, but this one is a big old brick. Except it's not like the bricks of days gone by. This one is cool. It's heavy but it's flat, stylish and shiny. It won't fit in my pocket (and if it did you might mistakenly think I was VERY happy to see you) but it slides easily into my bag (though not the phone-shaped compartments designers now think we all need). It's probably teetering on the edge of what could be called a phone rather than a tablet, but it's definitely far more portable than, say, a mini iPad. And here's the kicker: it does a hell of a lot of things a tablet might do, despite its compact size.
The Lumia 820 runs Windows, which is just rather cool, isn't it? I've been a fan since the days of 3.0, and despite a few misadventures with NT and XP, I now rock Windows 7 on most of my computers, and do so happily. I'm definitely a Windows girl rather than an Apple one, and proudly so, so it's fantastic to be able to have Windows on my phone and make the world jealous. (Random drunk man in a bar last Friday: "Wow you have a Windows 8 phone! That's so cool! Can I have a look?" Me: "No, now go away").
What would Windows be without Office? you might ask but with this phone you never need find out because it comes with Word and Excel and Powerpoint preloaded which means you can work on things on your phone and then email or transfer them via USB to a computer to finish off and print, or vice versa. I also downloaded Adobe, for free, so I can view PDFs. The attention to detail of the Office elements is magnificent - there's a special icon to start the slide show for example - and because the screen is so big and so clear, it makes working on documents on the go a doddle. The keyboard (a touchscreen affair) means I wouldn't want to trade my laptop in permanently, and I might not want to write a full policy on my phone, but you can certainly make notes or amend an existing document with no trouble.
The downside to this operating system? It's not as established for phones as Android or iOS are. Some of the apps aren't quite as stable (Facebook often 'has trouble getting data' even when Twitter is updating just fine). Usually this resolves itself, but sometimes it requires the old standard switch-it-off-and-back-on-again.
I previously preferred physical QWERTY keyboards, like on my LG or my work Blackberry, but I was pleasantly surprised with this and have had no trouble typing quickly and accurately with the touchscreen. It's just the right amount of sensitive so it picks up movements you want it to, without spiralling out of control if someone sneezes nearby, and though it took me a while to find my ë or the _ in my email address, they are sensibly located once you know where to look, and also make typing in a foreign language quite straight forward. Which is good for those of us who tweet in German and Spanish, y'know?
The camera has a high spec and takes remarkably clear photos much to the aggravation of the doctors I was showing it to at a training session last week. I used to have a separate digital camera but with this phone I genuinely cannot see the point of carrying two devices round with me when this takes such good photos and does so much more. The video is great too, and I like being able to have photos on my start screen, but I'm not really sure I'll use the 'albums' feature rather than keep them in the 'Camera roll' where they all go by default. The option to search by date is highly useful though, or I imagine it will be once I've had it for longer. For those cool (ahem) outstretched arm poses, the phone features a front facing camera so you can see the shot before you shoot, and the extra features (flash, adjustable aspect ratio and exposures, crop, rotate and autofix) all make it feel like a proper camera rather than 'just' a camera on a phone.
One of the key features of the Lumia is the ability to 'tile' different apps to your start screen, enabling you to customise your phone completely. You can not only rearrange the tiles, but you can resize them too depending on how often you use them, so I've kept Internet Explorer and the Store ones, but shrunk them down a bit to make room for massive Facebook and Twitter as these are ones I use more frequently. They also allow me to keep up to date without having to click into the various apps as those two flash most recent updates to you from this screen - Twitter tells me the latest action from others (who has followed me or mentioned me) while Facebook likes to tell me my latest status, perhaps in a subtle nudge to update it. You can sync email accounts too - I added my Yahoo mail in a matter of seconds, and this refreshes regularly to let you know when mail comes in, even when your phone is on standby.
Something else I find quite entertaining is the language predictor which goes beyond predictive text to predict the next words in your sentence. So I'll type in 'what' and it will suggest 'is' before I've even hit the letter 'i'. After 'what is' it suggests 'the' or 'it'. It's polite, as well. Text someone 'Can you' and it will suggest 'please' as the next word, ahead of 'get', 'send' or 'do'. What's more, it also learns from what you tell it. I trained at a certain Olympian's gym in Liverpool last week, and it now seems to think 'The Tweddle' is an appropriate word combination because that's exactly what I tweeted last week. The language engineer in me thinks this is amazing, and I quite want the job of putting together the most common collocations, though I imagine even that has been outsourced to corpus scanning machines.
The Lumia 820 is a thoughtfully and intuitively designed phone and in keeping with the Windows aspect, seems to have been designed with the computer literate in mind. I like the way you can adjust the volume on the side of the phone, or switch to the camera with the other button on the side, without having to navigate through menus. The search button on the front means you can whizz straight onto the internet without bothering with the IE icon and the back button, also on the front, is exactly what has been missing from all the internet-ready phones I've used before. The phone has everything you need from a smartphone, and more. It's like having a mini computer on hand at all times, and the fact that it interfaces with my home and work Windows machines is a brilliant bonus.
There's so much going on I've not even bothered to seek out the ringtones yet, and pass a careless hour or so playing them all, repeatedly, to find the best one. I could ramble on for days without covering everything. For example, I've not mentioned the music player, or the ingenious Mix Radio that lets you instantly play or download, free of charge, pre-selected tracks with themes from Christmas to 70s Disco, 80s Dance and 90s RnB plus the UK and US Singles Charts. There's Nokia City Lens with tips on where to eat, stay, shop, wherever you are. It knows I'm in Manchester now, but I'm excited to try it out when on the Continent in a few weeks and in need of more local recommendations. There's a built in map app, and there's Sat Nav too.
This is by far the most exciting phone I've ever played with. It has everything you could possibly need but keeps the items accessible so you don't have to go ferretting, and it's so lovely and fast you never feel they've scrimped on the memory. I find the battery life quite good and it's only fully died on me once, which was a day of particularly heavy usage. I would previously turn my internet on and off throughout a day, and rarely had my GPS on, but even leaving both on permanently on my Lumia it lasts a full day with sporadic internet use instigated me, and constant FB and Twitter updates instigated by itself.
Best features in a nutshell:
- Attractive and intuitively designed
- Inbuilt Microsoft Office
- Great camera
- Innovative music features
- A bit bulky (though still smaller than the Lumia 920)
- Some of the apps a little unstable
- Not much grip as the entire phone is smooth and ridge free - I keep worrying I'll drop it, especially when I'm using it at the gym
- That darned back cover!
This phone comes in lots of colours, and I expect other manufacturers may bring out custom covers soon which I'll happily trade my plain white in for, assuming, that is, I can ever get the back off again...
I received my Lumia 820 for free as part of a Ciao User Test. So thanks to the lovely folks at Nokia (and Ciao) for making Christmas come a bit early this year. I'm thrilled and know I've barely scratched the surface of what's on offer (while of course not having physically scratch the surface - I'm far too careful with it for that!)
===Back in the Stone Age... ===
For years and years I was quite content with a little brick of a phone that could text and make calls. The internet was something I wasn't going to be interested in via a phone until it was giving useable results instead of poorly thrown together mobile sites that were impossible to navigate on a tiny screen. In the last few years, however, I was dragged, kicking, screaming and downing a few strong margaritas into the Smartphone revolution. Since then I've played with an Xperia x10 and a Samsung S3 to varied results (x10 was pants, S3 wasn't) and came to the realisation that, actually, I quite like my Smartphones now. I still insist that I could live without it if I really had to, but at least I'm not still dragging a club around with me to beat the ground with if I want to send a message to someone. Progress!
===How I met the Nokia 820===
Being that I'm skint and trying to save up for Christmas, I decided to review both of my phones. Someone up at Ciao Towers noticed this and, long story short, I was contacted to do a user review on the new Nokia 820. I nearly wet my pants when I got the final email to confirm I was being sent one. After the initial email, I'd seen a couple of things about the phone and it only served to get me more excited about test driving one of them. The two things I was most excited about were the Camera (which looked to be taking amazing photos) and the new "wireless" way of charging the phone. The bright coloured cases were, in my mind, swaying somewhere on the border between ridiculously cool and naff as hell. Would the phone live up to the hype or would my knickers stay decidedly dry once I bumped up against it? Armed with a direct comparison to my own Samsung Galaxy S3, I counted down the days till I received it so I could find out.
===In the box===
Nokia have managed to get this down to an art. Not only is the box well packed and neat with plenty of room, its easy to put everything back in. My S3 box was a bit like a jack-in-the-box and soon as I took stuff out it refused to go back in. In this box you will find a charger and wire, headphones, the phone and a small user manual that gives you the basics for getting your phone on the go. It's mostly packed in cardboard so it's pretty much completely recyclable too!
===Fat bottomed girls===
The Nokia 820 I received is white (not the colour I would have chosen and falls a little on the naff side of the fence) but they are available in a few different colours. The box alone features red (I'd have went with this one), yellow, black, blue, purple and grey phones. From behind it looks alright, but from the front it looks a little too square for my liking. According to the advertising the phone is perfectly symmetrical from every angle. I assume they mean if you don't take the buttons into consideration.
There are three buttons down the left hand side that are full-on push buttons and three along the bottom that are touch-screen buttons. There's a front and back camera emblazoned with Carl Zeiss. It's not terrible but it does feel and look a little bit chunky and not very delicate.
Talking of being chunky the weight of this phone was the first thing I noticed when I took it out of the box. In fact, it's the first thing everyone I've handed the phone to has commented on without any prompting The Nokia 820 is roughly the weight of a brick. Ok, well, maybe not a brick but it's noticeably heavier than a lot of models out there Literally two minutes before typing this I handed it to my friend who I haven't said anything to about it and she jokingly hit the floor due to the weight. It feels like it's almost double the weight of my sleek S3. What do the scales say? The Nokia 820 comes in at 176 grams. Compare that to my S3 with its rubber cover on (153 grams) and you'll find it's a whole 23 grams heavier. Take the rubber cover off the S3 (132 grams) and its 44 grams heavier. So not quite double the weight but a significant amount.
According to Nokia, the phone is 100% recoverable, which I assume is the same thing as recyclable. At least all that weight can be neatly disposed of!
===Sea shells at the sea shore===
Getting into the shell of the Nokia was quite difficult at first. You'll need to take the shell off to put your sim card and micro SD card if you have one. It does support a micro SD card but for some reason has trouble reading my one (my normal phone has no issue). To take the shell off basically prise off the top corner with your finger and then do the same to the other one. I was having to use quite a lot of force to start with, but it seems to have become a bit more flexible after a few cover removals and comes off a little easier now. It was, however, a total struggle the first time. I also need to give you a small warning that the battery does NOT stay in place once the cover is removed so be careful or the battery may fall out when you take the case off.
A good point of this shell is that it is durable. Possibly due to the fact that it's white. The case on my Samsung was scuffed and mauled within about 5 hours of having it. This one seems to be withstanding the scuffing on being sent sliding across my desk on its back. Well done.
The three push-buttons on the right hand side have a fixed purpose. The top button is the volume which will bring up a small section on the screen. The button changes the volume number up and down; it goes from 0 to 30 with a warning showing up at the higher volumes about using headphones at high volumes. Also in this section there is an on screen button that you can use to pick how you want the phone to ring (the options being "Vibrate" and "Ring and Vibrate") though there is no option here to turn the vibrate off though you can do this by accessing the "Settings" menu and going into "Ringtones".
Next down (the middle button) is the on/off button which you will use to turn the phone off and on and reactivate the phone when it goes to sleep or turns the screen off. The last button at the bottom left is the camera button used for taking pictures. Simple!
The three touch screen buttons along the bottom are fairly standard. The one on the left of the phone is the back button which is pretty self explanatory. The middle button with the windows icon takes you back to your main home screen with all your tiles. The button on the right has a little magnifying glass to signify it's a search button. If you push this it automatically takes you to a Bing search screen. Personally I can't abide Bing at the best of times so I guess it's up to you how useful you'll find that. If you are using it, you may want to take a look at the settings as there are a few tick boxes that are automatically ticked which allow Microsoft free reign over the information you are searching on. If I was going to be using it I'd really want these buttons to be un-ticked first.
One of the other tick boxes is an "allow search button from lock screen" button which I assumed would mean you could access Bing without having to open your lock screen. If that's what was intended it doesn't seem to work on the phone I have (both with and without the security features enabled).
Now, screen wise I am spoiled already at least Size wise. My Samsung with its 4.8 inch HD screen made from the finest Gorilla Glass 2.0 already beats anything the Nokia offers while not teetering over the edge into "almost-a-tablet" territory. The screen on the Nokia 820 is 4.3 inches which is a whole 0.5 of an inch smaller than what I am used to. It doesn't use Gorilla glass instead opting for their own "scratch resistant" glass. Does the size cause a problem? Not really. In fact it's barely noticeable. My typos have increased very slightly probably due to minutely smaller keys but nothing that I wouldn't get used to given time. As for scratch resistant it seems to be holding up. Kudos.
Display wise I do have to concede that the Nokia beats the socks off of my S3. Side by side they look fine when you are inside. Go outside on a bright day and your S3 instantly becomes pretty much impossible to see while the Nokia display is shining brightly showing you everything in its full glory.
This is due to Nokia's ClearBlack technology. They basically put a layer between the glass of the screen and the display that catches all the glare in a little box, puts that box in a shredder and empties the shredder into the bin. At least that's how I imagine it in my head. While this tech seems to be specific to Nokia, the results aren't. The X10 (that horrid little phone) was also perfectly readable in the sunlight though I think that was down to the incredibly bright screen rather than an anti-glare layer. Either way, the ClearBlack is great and means that if you are chilling out on the grass in the half day of summer we get in Britain, you'll be able to successfully ignore your surroundings and stare at your phone. The screen is perfectly visible at all times which is brilliant. My S3 is a bit more vampirism and runs away crying when it sees the sun leaving me unable to catch up with the latest stuff on my phone.
There are, however, a few downsides; the first being that the 820 display is NOT HD. The next downside is that the screen doesn't seem to be quite as responsive as the S3. It's by no means bad... it's just not as good. There have already been a couple of instances where I was trying to push what I thought was a button/ link only to be utterly convinced that it wasn't a button/ link . Finding no other reasonable way to access what I was trying to access I tried again and found out that it WAS a button and that it just hadn't responded the first few times I had tried to push it. It looks like that was an extreme instance though and overall it seems to have a decent response to my fingers.
The phone has been marketed as "super-sensitive" stating that you can use it with gloves and nails (I assume finger nails) so I was surprised that it doesn't seem as responsive as the S3. I put my gloves on to test this out. To my surprise it does but only if I push fairly hard. I do have leather gloves though. I was certain my S3 doesn't work with my gloves so I tried that and apparently it does if I push as hard. I wouldn't recommend using it with your gloves on however as all that pushing will be bad for your fingers and you'll probably end up dropping it!
===Wireless charging? Hmm===
All the adverts go on about wireless charging. "Wireless" charging sounds quite cool. But what does it really mean? Well, first of all it's not really wireless. You plug in your charger which is a little oval disc on a wire ... AHEM... and it looks a bit like a coaster. In theory you simply place your phone face up on the charging disk and the phone absorbs the energy through its special shell. When you open your phone up (which by the way is quite difficult to do; I have full use of my fingers and I'm 26. I struggled to get the back off) you'll see the charging pad kind of stuck to the inside of the case. I assume it absorbs the energy from the charging disk and uses the little pins to transfer it to the battery.
A bit of a nasty surprise awaits you if you DO want to charge wirelessly though. If you want to charge wirelessly you have to buy the wireless charger separately for £45 - £50. In the box you will find your normal bog standard wire charger that you have to plug in to the phone. Not a big deal, but a little disappointing. It does, however mean that the phone is compatible with any other Smartphone charger out there at the moment which is always a good thing. I'd also imagine sitting your phone face up to charge could cause issues with notification lights during the night if you are like me who has the room pitch black. My current phone sits face down wrapped in a t-shirt over night to stop any light escaping.
As for charging, the phone comes with around 40-50% battery already in it. This lasted me around four and a half hours of playing around with the camera, surfing the internet and generally giving the phone a good test drive. Sounds about similar to my S3 for usage then. I took the advice given to me for my old phone and let this run out completely before charging it again. At which point the phone crashed. "Goodbye" was left on screen for at least five minutes before I gave up and removed the battery. When I plugged it in to my USB cable via my work computer to charge, the screen displayed a large battery icon to indicate it was charging and wouldn't let me turn the phone on any further than this screen. Five minutes later it turned back on but didn't give any indication that it was charging. I played around some more and it turned off again.
It seemed like it wouldn't allow me to charge and play at the same time but I later realised that the phone wouldn't charge via the computer at work because the computer at work wouldn't let it link up to it as an information device. The computer doesn't let my S3 link up with it either due to data security. It does, however, still let it charge. It leaves me wondering why Nokia would require to access the computers information to have the phone charge via USB. It also means that, if I had bought this phone I'd have quickly been very annoyed that I couldn't charge it at work. If I had a plug socket available then it may not be an issue, but my work use all the sockets. Unless I want my colleagues' computer to go off, I can't use them.
So, having met these issues with charging, how did it fare when plugged directly into the mains? Thankfully there were no issues with mains charging. It wouldn't allow me to turn the phone on for about a minute while it regained charge but from that point onwards I was able to fully access the phone while it charged. The plug socket is quite funky too in that you have to slide the top pin up to use it. This means that travelling with your charger in your bag will be easier as it slides back down and is more compact when it's not in use.
One other plus side about the charger is the length of the wire. It is slightly longer than the S3's charger wire which means lying in bed at night with the phone plugged in is less of a struggle. Fantastic!
===Setting it up===
One of my big worries about switching to this phone was the fact that it was not an android phone. I envisioned hours of transferring all my contact information from Google to another server so that my windows phone could do the job. I had prayed there was some sort compatibility between a windows phone and the services I already had with Android. Thankfully I was not disappointed! The 820 allows you to use both your Google and your Hotmail/Microsoft accounts to sync your information. The only small downside is that it won't allow you to remove your hotmail/Microsoft accounts once you've given them the information. Your hotmail account information stores any contact info from MSN messenger in it which I haven't used in years. This meant that a load of old contacts resurfaced including pictures, email addresses and old phone numbers. Once that had happened I couldn't remove them without factory resetting OR going through them one by one. As such three photos of different ex-boyfriends have been circulating on the start menu of the phone.
As for setting the phone up, it's fairly easy. The phone will walk you through anything that you need to do. There is even an option to sync contacts with your old phone via Bluetooth so I made sure I did this. One thing I didn't like was that I had to set up an x-box account to use the app store. It only told me this in the middle of downloading a new app though and made it look like it was optional. I clicked no; it told me I can't download my app. I try again, it says the same. I give in, it gives me the app. I sob gently into my crotch and call Microsoft some bad words.
As for turning it on it does take a little while for it to load up. I turned both phones off and set them side by side. Turning them both on at the exact same time it takes about 30 seconds longer than the S3 to be ready to use from the off position. Not overly impressive but then it's also not quite something to worry about. How many times do you really turn your phone off and on?
===When I'm cleaning Windows (8)===
This Smartphone operates on windows 8 which is very different from the Android operating system I was on firm ground with. I had only one experience of windows 8 prior to having this phone gently placed into my hands. It was not a good one. My partner (a medium-level tech-wizard) had installed it onto the main computer which we use to watch DVD's on. It lasted no less than half an hour before we got so frustrated with it that we wiped it and re-installed windows 7. Personally I lasted five minutes with it before I threw my hands up. My partner wanted to give it a chance so he took over. 25 minutes later he gave up. Oh dear. I had said at the time it may have been a better system for a phone, but not for a "clicky-mouse and screen" computer (you know, a desktop).
So, is it any better on the phone? Yes and no. Navigating on a phone is much, much easier than it is on a computer. Rather than having symbols for your apps, it's got a fairly uniform system where you have a scrollable start screen with square tiles. Swipe to the left and you'll see an even more basic list (straight up and down) of your apps. You can move tiles to the main screen and change the size and colour of them. You can't have any background photos. You can either choose to have a black or a white background. The colour you choose for your tiles will set the theme for your whole phone. While the tiles are an Ok idea, I find they ultimately end up looking a bit messy. So, yes, it's a better operating system on the phone....but, No, it's not as good as it should be.
So, it's clear that me and the new OS don't quite see eye to eye on what is pretty. That, however, isn't everything. How does the Nokia 820 perform with the basic functions such as phone calls, texting? What about the slightly less basic but ever more important internet browsing? Let's have a look!
Starting with a tiny gripe, unlike every other phone I've ever had, the bars to show if you have signal aren't a permanent feature on the phone. They are there on the main screen. Open any screens or apps and the information along the top about signals goes away unless you prompt it. That can mean a bit of work to find out your signal strength before you make a call. It is, however, a tiny moan. The clarity of phone calls is perfect and the sound on the phone is plenty loud to hear even for those without impeccable hearing.
Ringtones are very loud when the sound is up which is rather handy, the vibrate function is also very strong. If you do want to use music as a ringtone you will have to make sure the files are under 30mb (which is quite small) so you'll need to either edit the music before you transfer or download an app to help out.
The internet is fast. Faster than my S3 too! The browser provided isn't my favourite (internet explorer) but if you really have a grudge about it, you can download a browser to suit you.... that is if you live in a fantasy world where Microsoft let you choose for yourself. In actuality you are firmly locked to internet explorer. There are no other safe / well known browsers that you can download from the store function. Upsetting.
You may notice the text looks a bit strange on the browser. On my S3's basic android browser the text appears as it would on a computer. On the Nokia 820's browser (IE) for some reason the text is a bit weird. It seems like it's bigger than it should be and bolder than it should be. It reminds me of the early days of internet on phones where nothing looked like it was supposed to. As well as this the text seems to be a little difficult to read when you are zoomed out from the page you are looking at. When browsing the internet it's almost like you are reading a visually impaired version of everything. There might be a way to change this but I'm not the most tech-minded person and I simply can't find a way to do it. So, while it's faster, it's a bit awkward to look at. It is not, however, like this on every page I view. My partner Allan had a quick browse through the sites he usually visits and everything seemed to be fine. Very odd indeed.
The bookmarks function is decent and unlike my S3 you can remove the pre-installed bookmarks (or favourites as the phone calls them). Hit the menu button on screen (three little dots to the right of the browser bar) and then favourites and you'll be given a list in alphabetical order of the favourites. It's a simple black and white text list with no fancy pictures or anything which again feels a bit messy and also a bit over simplified. I'd give the internet 4 stars out of 5.
===Texts and layouts===
Text messaging seems a little bit over complicated on this device. The tile that deals with it has a small speech bubble which then takes you to a message screen that seems to deal with more than just your text messages. It's titled "threads" and the screen next to it is titled "Online" which says something about seeing your chat status. I'm not quite sure what chat it is referring to though. Very confusing.
While the keyboard is responsive and has a decent predictive function, again, the message functions downfall is that it looks messy. While I'm sure it's just trying to be helpful, it's making it a lot more complicated than it needs to be. Adding to this, when you are typing you don't seem to be able to move your cursor to the middle of words so as to correct your spelling manually. If you touch the word it highlights the whole thing. This means if you do miss a letter and it doesn't suggest something you'll have to delete the whole word and start again rather than just adding a letter. This is another thing you don't seem to be able to turn off.
I would say that this messiness is my main gripe about the operating system as a whole. The operating system also seems to impose its incredibly basic look on the apps you download too so your Facebook on a windows phone will look completely different to your Facebook on an android phone. Personally I find the windows version to be very messy.
The same is true with the messaging app I usually use called Whatsapp. On android it's a very pretty app. On windows it's almost like you are operating on an old DOS computer (which, by the way, is the look of a lot of the menus throughout the phone). Black and white. Boring. Facebook looks like screeds of text with no real way of separating posts. Even Hotmail, Microsoft's OWN email system looks terrible with stuff jumping all over the screen.
The menus within the phone have small parts of the next menu to the right showing on the right hand of the screen, encroaching on the space you are currently looking at. Some of the menu's have the titles cut off as if the operating system was built to be used with the phone sideways even though if you hold it sideways the start menu and some of the apps like Nokia Music don't rotate with the phone. It all just seems very ill thought out.
Now, I had gotten terribly excited by the information I had seen about the camera before I had even got the phone. The 820 came with an 8 megapixels camera which is the same as my current phone but less than the 920 model. Nokia make a big deal out of the fact that both the 820 and the 920 models come with a Carl Zeus lens but I didn't have a clue what importance this name dropping held. After a quick Google I found out that Carl Zeiss was born on the 11th of November 1816 and was a dab hand with cameras. His company is (apparently) quite well known for making high quality lenses not only for cameras but for microscopes, telescopes and all kinds of other things. In short a Carl Zeiss lens is a good thing. The 920, however, also comes with Nokia's magical "Pureview" technology which promises blur free photos in any light. The 820 doesn't come with this which I was a little sad about.
To activate the camera, simply push the camera button. This can be done even if the phone is locked which to me is a little bit of an issue. I don't want one-million photos of the lint in my pocket thank you. I can't find any way to turn this feature off but hopefully the fact that you have to hold the button for a couple of seconds will stop a plethora of pocket pictures.
As "pureview" isn't included in the 820 I was left wondering if the camera would be any better than my current S3 one which doesn't claim to have a fancy lens. The answer is complicated. In well lit areas it looks much the same as the photos I take on my S3. That means that occasionally it can look a bit washed out if you take a photo with the light coming from the wrong angle. Low light photos, however, turn out a lot nicer than they do than on my S3. The flash on the S3 tends to bounce off of whatever is in the foreground and blacks out anything in the background. After a few test shots with the flashes on both cameras it became clear that the light balance was much better on the Nokia 820. The background and foreground were as vivid as each other making the photos look a lot more natural and well lit. I have noticed, however, that the pictures seem a little blurry. While the S3 has the lighting all wrong, it at least makes the subject of your photo sharply in focus. The Nokia gets the lighting right but doesn't give you a fantastically sharp image.
Taking the photos is a bit easier with the Nokia due to the fact the camera button is a physical button. I find with my S3 I can't always take a steady shot as the button is on the screen. The button on the Nokia 820 is roughly the same place it would be on a camera giving it a much better grip. Pushing the button half way down prompts the camera to focus, push it all the way down and the picture is taken. It's fairly quick and dumps your photos into your gallery though it is a little slower at this than my current phone but only by a smidge. Overall an acceptable phone camera but not quite what I'd expect after the fuss made over the lens.
The front facing camera is, to be frank, abysmal compared to the S3. The front facing camera shoots with a meagre 0.3 megapixels which falls drastically short of the 1.9 megapixels offered by the front facing camera on the S3. There are lines and interference on the photos at the best of times and the colours are occasionally completely out of whack. Video calls would be a bit shoddy from this.
As with most other smart phones you can also take videos with the camera. The quality of the videos taken on the Nokia 820 is alright. Not any better or worse than what you will get on most other phones. It picks the sound up very well (and in fact it picks the sound up better than my actual camera does)
Despite not having the "Pureview" that I so lusted after, it does come with a Smart Shoot app which basically takes 5 of the same shots and then allows you to pick the best elements and mash them all together. Sounds great in theory but does it work in practice? The five photos are taken one after another and take around 5 seconds. This works best on group shots. Basically the app lets you pick the best picture but if you thought someone's face looked better in a different photo you can tell the system to superimpose that face onto the better picture. It also allows you to remove certain things though the only objects it's ever let me change was a wrinkle in my sofa and my shoulder which my jumper fabric was sitting funny. If you've got the time to sit and look at the photo for five minutes afterwards it's decent. If, however you would prefer to just take the picture and then get on with the social situation it's maybe not the best app. Still an interesting addition.
===Safe and secure===
When your phone goes to sleep it automatically goes to the lock screen which you have to swipe upwards to unlock. If you don't want just anyone accessing your phone you can put extra security onto it in the form of a "password". I use inverted commas as the "password" entry screen is simply a number pad so it's more like a pin. This is the ONLY security option available. If you don't like pins then tough. I don't mind it myself, however, there is an outstanding lack of personalised approaches available. The all hallowed S3 has about 5 different security options that would suit everyone. Not a huge issue but one to consider if you'd prefer a larger range of security features. Given that you can use this phone to pay for things via NFC (Near Field Communication, which is that funky thing where you tap your phone against a pay point and it pays for stuff. Never used it, never will, but cool that it can do it!) and store all of your card information, I'd probably prefer a bit more security on the phone if I was going to use this feature.
===Life through a lens===
The Nokia 820 comes with a couple of apps installed already that Nokia have made a big deal about in their advertising. City Lens is the biggest one and is a very interesting little app. You need to allow Microsoft to have your location to use it. Turn it on and turn your phone sideways (the app is set this way so can't be viewed any other way) and you will be greeted with some options on tiles similar to your start menu. These options are as follows: nearby, food, hotels, shopping, famous, fun, sights and transport. Select one of these and your camera will flicker into action. Use the phone as a sort of view finder and scan around your location. If you have selected "food" then as you scan round small tags will appear on your screen indicating restaurants and eateries in the direction you are looking. It's similar to Google Skymap except it's for stuff that's much closer than the nearest pit in the moon.
I found the compass to be slightly out from a distance but the closer you are to stuff the more accurate it becomes. I'd probably use this in conjunction with a map but I can see this coming in handy if you don't know the area all too well and need to find something. It'll give you a general direction to head in. A fun little app to help you explore your surroundings.
===Dance to the beat of my drum===
Nokia Music is the other big selling point. This app basically allows you to browse, download and stream music to your phone all for free. It's got a radio function too. I tend not to use my phones for music but I know a lot of people do so this would be a fantastic little tool if you like your tunes. As the phone comes with headphones you can also not be a horrible anti-social person on the bus while you listen to your tunes! Huzzah! Fantastic... at least it would be, if the sound quality of the speakers was up to scratch. If you aren't listening through the headphones the sound levels on the phones speakers are completely out of whack. I used a couple of songs to test this listening to them first on the S3. Most sounded a little muffled and noticeably tinnier than on the S3. One in particular was noticeably bad quality. The song in particular was this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdmv_xHadgw (We started this O'pra S**t from Repo the Genetic Opera) There is a part near the start of the song where there is a crowd in the background shouting responses to the singer. Both Allan and I know the song incredibly well so we were really shocked when the crowds responses were completely in-audible at any volume.
In this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I8pneJkxBY (No Good Deed from Wicked) the orchestra was quite noticeably over the top of Idina Menzel and her fantastic vocals were coming out incredibly muffled. I was not impressed. While the ringtones are all perfectly audible, you cannot expect decent sounding music from this phones speakers while I'd happily play music from the S3.
Battery power used to be the bane of my existence. The battery power seems pretty standard for what you get on a smart phone. It lasts me a whole day while I've been browsing, texting and calling people lightly. Similar to my S3 if I'm sitting constantly on the internet all day (it occasionally happens) then I'll find myself running low on battery after about 9 hours. This isn't much of a problem if you are able to jack into a plug point but it can start to be an issue if the only source you have to charge from is a secure computer USB that doesn't allow information transfer. So overall, battery power is meeting the current standard nicely.
===Other annoying things===
Over the course of the last few days I have been bumping up against one other glaring problem with this phone. About five times now I have wanted to access a tile and the phone has looked like it was going to open it and then just flipped back to the start screen. This has happened on more than one tile and once it starts happening it seems the only way to fix it is to turn the phone off and on again. When you do turn it off, a few times it has frozen on the "goodbye screen" to the point I've had to remove the battery to get it to go off. As I type, it's stuck on this screen. Not overly impressive.
Obviously I got mine for free but having had a quick Google you can purchase this handset for £33 a month for 24 months from Vodafone. This gets you unlimited calls and texts with 1gb internet (which is practically unlimited) There are other cheaper deals out there starting from around £25 a month but you'll get less minutes, texts and internet allowance. Obviously deals will change daily so you'd be best to do your own little bit of shopping around. You can buy the handset for between £350 and £433 if you wanted to put your own Sim into it. Contract wise that's similar to what I'm paying for my S3 so not bad at all.
So here's a very quick run down of the pros and cons of this device as I see it:
Glare resistant screen
Easy to transfer contacts from old phone
Easy to transfer contacts from your Google Account
Compact charger plug
Comes with headphones
Good light balance in photos taken in low light
Free access to Nokia Music
USB charging issues
Security options limited
Contactless charging not included
Not very customisable
0.3megapixel front facing camera
Internet explorer is the only browser available
Poor music quality on phone speakers
Photos not incredibly sharp
Issues with opening tiles/ freezing when turning off.
So, after having used it for a while now, I think I can safely say that I'd much rather be using something else. I fully admit, however, that had this been my first foray into the world of Smart phones I probably wouldn't mind it that much. It does the basics fairly well. As it stands though, I've tried a few different phones now and this one, compared to what I have already, feels like a bit of a step backwards. While it mostly all works, I just don't like the operating system; it's not as smooth and tidy as Android. Throw in that the apps available for windows 8 are a bit more limited (which may change with a bit more time) and downright ugly and it doesn't seem as high flying as it's made out to be. I think if I had a Nokia 820 phone with an android system on board, it would be a great little phone, if not a touch heavy. I'm unsure if the freezing issues are the phone or the operating system.
They have some fantastic ideas here that just haven't had the edges smoothed. The camera is alright but not as sharp as I'd like, the speed is brilliant but the look of the operating system really drags it down. It really is a decent try from Nokia but I feel they were let down by Windows 8's messy system, the weight of the device and Microsoft's information hungry charger. I'll be giving it three stars out of five stars, losing one star for the weight and one star for the folder opening and freezing issues. I was sorely tempted to take a star off for the Windows 8 system but I know some people won't mind the look as much as I do. While not a terrible phone, I simply don't feel like it's as good as it could be.