Friday, April 19, 2013

Nokia Lumia 820 Review - Windows Phone 8 Fail

The Hardware

Call Quality - Excellent (Typical of all Nokia Phones)
The Build Quality - Excellent (Typical of all Nokia Phones)
The screen - Good, vibrant, scratch resistant and repels facial grease, IS NOT GORILLA GLASS and is noticeably more fragile.
Loudspeaker - A little on the soft side

The Software

I have been an avid Windows user since Windows 98, and a Windows Phone user since Windows Phone 7.

Windows over the years has gotten more capable and much faster with time. Windows XP to Vista was a little buggy but it worked. Windows Vista to 7 was just a case of slothering Vista in butter and polishing it up to a fine sheen.

Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8 has been the experience nightmares are made of. It was basically going from Windows 7 to Windows 95.

Windows Phone 7 was an elegant experience for me minus some minor quirks here and there. The most noticeable one was the inability to assign more than one mobile number to any one contact which was rather odd. Others were like not being able to multiselect files or difficulty putting ringtones and audiobooks on the device.

They weren't deal breakers and there were some workarounds. That said, everything else in the OS was fully functional. The phones available has very limited storage, most maxing out at 16gbs. However as many figured out, the 1st generation WP7 devices uses MicroSD cards in place of soldered in onboard memory and with a little trick and the right SD Card, could take a 8gb phone and transform it into a 32gb phone. I did it with no problems on my 8gb Dell Venue Pro. Even better, integration with the Zune Desktop Software (ZDS) made syncing music, pictures, podcasts and videos to a lesser extent, a breeze.

When i got home, I put my phone to charge, it would ping my desktop wirelessly, fire up the ZDS and start syncing my new podcasts and music automatically to my phone. When I left for work the next morning, everything just worked.

Window Phone 8 is nothing like that. With this new OS, expandable storage is natively supported except on my Lumia 820 it doesn't work at all. When i put in my Sandisk 64gb MicroSDXC card, and fired up Windows Media Player to Sync my playlists as I did with my Zune and Windows Phones on the ZDS. (I did this with my old sandisk E250 player back in the PlayForSure days as well)

My first thought, "Wow this is slow!!"

Second thought, "why is song taking to long to transfer?"

10 minutes later "why is the same song still transferring"

30 minutes later "oh *uck it froze"

Then something that never happened on my WP7 Dell Venue Pro happened, my Music and Video app crashed, so did my settings app. On shutting it down, it was permanently frozen on the goodbye screen.

I forced restarted it by removing the battery.

When i powered it up, the SD Card was missing... I turned off the phone, removed the card and put it back in, powered the phone on and it was still missing. I took the card out and put it in a card reader on the PC. The disc check utility detected an inconsistency on the Card and ran but found no errors. Once it was back in the phone, the phone saw it once more. I tried syncing a playlist again, it transferred on playlist and froze in the middle of another.

This happened over and over. Then I quick formatted the card back in exfat on my PC and tried syncing playlists directly to the card without the phone between them. Every song synced perfectly.

Once back in my phone, all the songs turned up but... for some odd reason, some songs would turn up with no artist or album information. If i resynced them, or copied them manually, they would then show with the correct info, but then other songs would start doing the same thing, to no fault of the songs themselves because they all worked fine on my Zunes and DVP.

Using explorer to drag and drop lots of small numerous files, music and pics mainly, always results in some sort of freezing during copying.

In the end I gave up although I was able to do some podcast subscriptions directly on my phone by changing my country to USA so I could have some sort of entertainment on my phone for when I was driving or waiting in line. This is still a problem because when I want to view podcasts on my TV or desktop while I work with my nice sounding speakers... I can't.

Over the last 2 days something else has started happening which is doubly annoying. For some odd reason, my music videos and pictures have started duplicating and triplicating themselves.

If i plug in the phone and navigate to the directory, there is only one physical file even thought the phone sees 2 or 3 of them.

Whats worse is if I delete even one of the duplicates, all of the duplicates including the original are deleted.

The Nokia Lumia 820 is a horrible phone

This is coming from someone who has owned only Nokia phones his whole life aside for a Dell Venue Pro and an Ericsson and has been a massive fan of Microsoft's Zune Software and Hardware devices as well as the Windows Phone 7 line of devices.

NOTHING works like it ought to and despite how much I loved WP7, I cannot recommend this phone to anyone out there.

I cannot even return it for a refund because it was bought in the USA and I live in Trinidad and Tobago.

If other Windows Phone 8 handsets give the same problem as this Lumia 820, I recommend avoiding them until Microsoft and the OEM's get their house in order and fix what was not broken in Windows Phone 7.5 to begin with.


  1. I agree with your ideas but i would like to add something more, if we compare this smartphone with other brands mid range mobiles then it's better.
    Maybe problems occurs in some Lumia 820 mobiles.

    Windows Phone

  2. hi...Im student from Informatics engineering nice article,
    thanks for sharing :)

  3. This is a poor unjust review, I have used both WP7(htc trophy) & WP8 (Lumia 820), I used a 32gb Kingston micro sdhc class 4 with no such issues mentioned above, in fact everything syncs quite well I actually like the sync tool better than the Zune player which I always hated. The contacts are now far more flexible than wp7 and you can select multiple files, Microsoft Tell me is far more improved, voice commands run much better now and thanks to multiple core support the OS is far much faster.I suggest that the reviewer try changing his sd card as it either a defect or compatibility issue.

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