Review

Review: Nokia Lumia 822 for Verizon

The Lumia 822 is the rekindling of a relationship for Verizon.  Not only are they seriously perusing the Windows Phone platform but they are also bringing Nokia back to their retail shelves.

This important establishment will hopefully bear fruit in the long run as Nokia is known to build quality high-end phones like the Lumia 920 that we hope to one day see on big red. But for today, we have the Lumia 822, an entry level smartphone that is priced at a budget-friendly $49.99.

The Lumia 822 comes with a 4.3in AMOLED 800×480 display, 8 MP rear camera, 1.2MP front facing camera, LTE, 16GB built in memory, Dual core 1.5GHz processor & 1GB of RAM and a boatload of other features that you can read about here.

While the specs are not top of the line by any means, you have to remember that the device is priced at $49.99, which is a fantastic price for a smartphone. In addition, the smartphone hits the marks on the low end for meeting above “entry level” specifications. Meaning that while the price may be low, there is a lot more under the hood than your traditional entry level device, such as LTE and front and rear cameras.

When you pick up a new device for the first time, a bond is formed, and as we all know, first impressions are everything. The Lumia 822 does not disappoint in the fit and finish and is generally a well-rounded device, despites its thickness.

The phone feels fantastic in your hand. The rounded corners and hard back plastic make the device feel confident and lends it a satisfying feeling of mass. Like all other Nokias, the Lumia 822 feels like a tank that can survive a fall or two.

The screen is clear and easy to read. The 4-inch display uses Nokia’s ClearBlack technology and, even in sunlight, is easy to read. Color reproduction on the device is accurate and while our display was a bit warm on the coloring, this never impacted use.

The screen is accurate and responsive. We had no issues with touch accuracy while browsing the web and the device scrolled, zoomed and swiped with no lag.

The Lumia 822 never left us hanging or waiting, all actions were met with an immediate response and we can’t forsee anyone having any issues with performance.

One item that places the Lumia 822 ahead of similarly-priced competition: it comes packing LTE, which you don’t always see on entry level devices. Verizon has done a fantastic job of deploying LTE and the Lumia 822 takes advantage of these high speed airwaves.

One of the defining factors of Nokia are all of the first-party applications that ship with the device. While some vendors include bloatware, Nokia’s Lumia 822 comes with a bunch of cool first party applications like Nokia Drive, CityLens and a few others that separate Nokia’s products from those such as HTC or Samsung.

These bundled applications add value to the phone and in no way bog down the device. In fact, we love that Nokia has found a way to separate itself.

However, while the device is a peach to use, not everything is perfect about this phone.

There is no doubt that the device is thick. There's a lot of heft to it and it’s up to the user to decide if they prefer a smaller device. The weight of the phone is not excessive despite being thicker but as consumers get used to thinner and lighter phones, it wouldn’t hurt the Lumia 822 to hit the gym.

In addition, the phone looks a bit boring too. The sold black shell is quality in its own right but when you see the vibrant colors of the 8X sitting next to this device on the shelf, it instantly feels dated.

Battery life is a bit "hit or miss" with this phone. We could get a full day of use out of the device with average use, but when we really put the phone to heavy testing, it would succumb to its demise at around 6 hours which is borderline unacceptable. That being said, we really hammered on the device during our heavy testing and sent over 30 emails, watched 30 minutes of video, sent hundreds of messages and tweets. Under normal operating conditions you will be able to get around 8 hours of usage which will suffice for most, but not all, consumers.

Call quality was average and on speakerphone, when the volume was turned up, it would sound quite tinny as you approached max volume.

The camera has its high points and can take excellent photos. We had issues taking photos in low-light as motion-blur was prevalent in several of our images--but if you are in well-lighted areas, the camera is easy to use and takes above average images. When in anything but low light, camera response time was snappy which makes it easy to capture nearly any type of image.

Video recordings are average as well with the device performing well in highly-lit areas, but as soon as you enter a dimmer scenario, the quality drops off.

Conclusion:

The Lumia 822 is a fantastic device for the price and is slotted perfectly below the HTC 8X. The durable (albeit somewhat bland) exterior may not deliver any surprises, but the build quality of the device will make sure the phone survives its two year contract and then some.

For a first time smartphone buyer, or someone on a budget and wants a Windows Phone 8 device, the Lumia 822 fits the bill and will reward the end user with a reliable and satisfying experience.

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20 Comments

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This past weekend (Dec 14 through Dec 16), Verizon had a sale and the 822 was FREE. I got a white model. Maybe Verizon will put it on sale again soon.

I am extremely happy with my 822, after using both iOS and Android devices. It feels great to hold. It responds quickly. Takes decent pictures.

What I don't get is how not having a rainbow of color shells is so important, but that's just me. I'm sure in a bit someone will come out with an exo-shell.

I don't get the logic of calling this the 822. With such a tiny model number difference from 820 to 822, it should be almost the same. This looks like a completely different design from the 820...

Why is it that bigger WP8 phones are done as high end phones and the smaller ones as entry level phones? Must I get a brick to get a top notch WP8 phone?

I have this phone and quite like it but I do average around 8-10 hours of battery life depending on how much LTE i use and other stuff...good phone tho!

I dunno; honestly - there ought to be some standardized battery "burn-in" test for cell phone reviews, like there are some measurements for PCs. I am surprised about that number myself. My 822 barely ever goes under 70% of battery after a full day of use. But I guess my use varies greatly from what they did... it does make me wonder if they ran into the Nokia Drive Beta bug where it sucks down the battery even if it is not running... (based on today's results, BTW, I am still not convinced that this was fixed with Friday's update)

Many reviewers should not write about battery life on smartphones if they haven't use the device for more than 3-5 days. All batteries take that time to reach they rated capacity and charging cycles.

The author didn't state if he had the device for a few days or he reviewed it the day he got it.

ingramator said,
The lumia 920 should get a 10 there is literally nothing bad about any part of the phone.

it has wp8. it should propably get 6

The lumia 920 should get a 10 there is literally nothing bad about any part of the phone.

Questionable battery life, random restarts, still budding app store.... just to name a few. Don't get me wrong, it's a great phone... but there's plenty of room for improvement.

my battery is just fine, have had no restarts and the app store is just fine for me, not everyone is interested in 10,00 crappy apps or instagram

korupt_one said,
my battery is just fine, have had no restarts and the app store is just fine for me, not everyone is interested in 10,00 crappy apps or instagram

Agreed. I have no issues with the App Store at all.