Nokia Lumia 810 and 820 review

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.

What’s great about the Nokia Lumia 810/820

Camera

There’s a dedicated shutter button for the camera in addition to the touch screen to take pictures. Those on screen shutters always feel unstable to me. The shutter button even supports half press to focus. Preinstalled camera functions include Bing Vision (QR code scanner, OCR scanner, bar code scanner), Panorama, Cinemagraph (a type of animated photo), & Smart Shoot (best shot based on multiple exposures). For some odd reason, Nokia did not enable the volume buttons as zoom buttons. Two finger expand/compress gestures activate 4X digital zoom . The panorama feature is not nearly as good as that found on the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3 but it’s perfectly usable.

Bing Vision

Bing Vision is a camera feature that does text, QR code, and bar code scanning. It can take a picture of text which can then be translated to another language or searched. This can be an invaluable tool for foreign travelers.

Nokia Photobeamer
Nokia Photobeamer

Photobeamer is a slideshow sharing app that allows the Lumia phone to share images with another browser enabled device. Photobeamer is initiated from the phone with the sending photo. The receiving end works by going to www.photobeamer.com where a unique QR code is displayed to be scanned with the source phone. In testing, it worked great between mobile phones including the Lumia 810/820 and Samsung Note but trying to receive the photo on a laptop running Chrome just displayed a black screen. It eventually timeed out and redisplayed the QR code. On Firefox and IE, the images were corrupted. This may possibly be due to bandwidth or browser issues but Scalado touts their solution as non technical, requiring little bandwidth with zero configuration. On phone connected to slower 2G connections, www.photobeamer.com failed to display the unique QR code altogether or only did so after an agonizing 5 minute wait. Nokia acquired Scalado (creator of Photobeamer) in 3rd quarter of 2012 so while the app is available for Nokia running Windows 8, it may not be available for other Windows 8 phones. There was an iOS app but it no longer shows up in the Apple App store.