Nokia is making a big gamble by choosing Microsoft Windows 8 Mobile as the OS for their line of smart phones. The fate of this once dominant player in the mobile space is tied closely to the success or failure of the Windows OS. By most accounts, adoption of Windows 8 has been less than stellar but Microsoft and Nokia marches on. Whether you like it or not, Windows 8 is here to stay and Windows 8 Mobile is a serious contender. It’s not the juggernaut that is iOS or Android but there may be a niche for a third mobile OS.
Nokia managed to implement Windows 8 Mobile into a sleek, modern handset that’s comfortable to hold and use. The use of tiles makes one handed use of the phone easy and efficient. Over the years, Android has become bloated with so many apps that it may be daunting to some users. The limited apps on the front page of the Lumia 810/820 is a welcome change from the plethora of icons on both iOS and Android.
The Lumia 820 from AT&T is smaller and thinner than the 810 from T-Mobile but the 810 is lighter even though it has a larger capacity battery (1,800 mAh vs the 810’s 1,650 mAh). The huge difference is in the front facing camera. T-Mobile opted for a higher resolution 1.2 megapixel front facing camera compared to the AT&T Lumia 820 at .3 megapixel. This is an important distinction for those who do video chat or record video using the front camera. It’s the difference between 1280×720 (720p HD) and 640×480 (VGA) video capture and the results are clearly visible in test with Skype video calls. The lower resolution Lumia 820 renders blotchy pixelated images while the Lumia 810 renders acceptable video images. The rear camera is nearly identical except the 810 has a slightly wider lens at 26mm compared to the 28mm lens on the 820. Both phones come with the carrier’s own flavor of bloatware with the T-Mobile 810 pre-installing more common apps. By the time you get your phone, you will have to update those apps anyway so it makes no difference.