Reviewing the Nokia Lumia 820!

Nokia Lumia 820So I’ve had it for about 3 weeks now, my mobile phone upgrade, the impressive Nokia Lumia 820.

To be fair, there is not much difference between my previous phone, the Lumia 800 and this one, the most notable however being the screen size, 4.3″ as opposed to the 3.7″ on the 800. For years I have listened to men telling me that size matters and in this case it certainly has made a difference and put a smile on my face.

The AMOLED screen is bright and responsive and features Super Sensitive Touch meaning it can still be used, even when wearing gloves.

Windows Phone 8 allows for live tiles with 3 sizes, meaning with just a couple of presses you can customize your home screen to suit your lifestyle adding people, apps, weather and any other tiles you desire.

A feature I was glad to see introduced, was the ability on this phone to adjust text size through various key places on the phone, i.e. text messaging. Sometimes on the 800 I had struggled with text, especially in low light, which is not something you want when you are a spectacle wearing geek!

Notable in its absence however, is the option to change your keyboard layout, it’s qwerty or nothing I’m afraid. I loved my alpha numeric keypad on previous phones and miss it dearly, I have not been able to warm to the presence of the full keyboard and find my texts and e-mails littered with comma’s as they are so close to the space bar. I am fully expecting the glass to wear away in the position of the back space.

Another thing lacking is the ability to be able to personalise your phone with text message tones. After reading through various forums I see that I am not alone in my despair over this. I can only hope it has been considered and will be added when the new software update rolls out in the next couple of months.

The integrated Xbox app works well and seems to have fewer of the connection problems I experienced with the 800. Smartglass has been built in and your avartar is now larger and can be customised from the comfort of your armchair using your phone.

Geek Screenshot
Heya Eejits!

You certainly wouldn’t be buying a Windows Phone if you are an App fanatic, as the Windows marketplace holds nowhere near as many as the likes of the Play store on Google. It is not hard to tell, that at the moment Windows phone are seriously lagging behind the competition in sales, as they are not very well supported, some companies being unable to confirm if this will ever change.

My main reason for buying a Nokia however, was for the signal strength, and from the options available within their range, the Windows operating system was the best of the bunch, in my opinion.

I live in a low signal area, which few networks support and had changed to the Nokia Lumia 800 from my previous HTC Sensation due to the fact that I was not able to send or receive text messages and make or receive calls.

The 820 seems to be fairly good, however I would say the 800 would have had slightly better reception, and for this reason I am a little disappointed with my upgrade, but so far so good, it’s still early days.

I was excited this week to learn about O2’s new app called Tu Go.

No signal? Download our TU Go app to call or text from your O2 number over wifi

Sounds great right, especially for someone like me who has signal issues. Downloading the app would allow me to be able to make and receive calls in the house by using my WiFi connection. You usage is still taken from your monthly allowance, but in the grand scheme of things that wouldn’t matter as much as being able to make and receive telephone calls!

One snag – there is no App for Windows Phone. At present it’s only available for Iphone, Android, and Windows 7 PC’s. Worse still, it doesn’t look like one is coming any time soon, if at all. Another large company not supporting Windows phone despite Telefónica announcing a Windows partnership, tut tut! Better get that sorted.

The introduction of this one app would make me consider Ebaying the Lumia and replacing it with an Android phone again, however as the Tu Go app is relatively new, I’ll give them a little time to get their act together.

Overall I’d give the Nokia Lumia 820 a hefty 8 outta 10. For what I need it for, it’ll do just fine…for now!!

Mobile Madness!

Just a tad confused!

Who’d have thought that choosing a mobile phone would be so difficult!

Two years ago I entered into my first contract in about 10 years. I wanted a new phone and my monthly spend on Pay and Go was going up and up, so taking everything into consideration a contract seemed like the best idea.

I got everything set up and my shiny new HTC Sensation was delivered the very next day. Being the good and obedient person that I am, I placed it on to charge and refrained from using it. When I did switch it on… didn’t work!

There were no signal bars. This in itself is not that unusual in my house as the coverage is sporadic to say the least, even though there is a mast with a half mile of the house. I took the phone upstairs and placed it into the cradle and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw it rise up to 3 bars. I picked it up to give it a little cuddle of joy and the bars disappeared. This went on for about a half hour or so, me picking up the phone and praying, it dying in my hands, only to revive when placed back into the cradle.

The next morning I phoned the company back, was told to return the phone and in less than 48 hours had a replacement. It wasn’t much better signal ways, but I was able to occasionally receive calls and text messages.

Skip forward about 12 months. I just happened to be online with my network provider and discovered they had a tariff for the same money I was paying, only it had better benefits. I phoned and inquired if it would be possible for me to be moved onto this instead of my current one and as a goodwill gesture they agreed. The next day I fell and met Alien leg.

After a couple of weeks I was really starting to lost the plot with not being able to make or receive phone calls or send and receive texts. I phoned my network provider and explained all this and one lady on the phone agreed that I did indeed have a limited signal and as a result I may be able to buy myself out of my current contract. I’d been researching phones and the Nokia Lumia 800 seemed to be the clear leader with regards to signal strength much due to it’s polycarbonate casing. The first lady put me through to another lady,  who told me there was nothing wrong with my signal. Her solution, if I was having problems, was to turn off my 3g and just use 2g within the house. A debate ensued, which I lost and in the end I purchased a Pay as you Go Nokia Lumia 800 with the vain hope I might be able to get a signal.

It arrived. I charged it. It had signal. I lifted it up. It still had signal. I made a call. I sent a text. I was delighted.

Fast forward another 12 months and my contract is coming to an end. There are a lot of phones I would like, however most of the newer ones start at £32 a month, which is £10 more than I pay now and I just can’t justify it.

So here are my choices:

Nokia Lumia 820 – The phone will be free and I will be able to carry on with my existing tariff for £22 a month.

Nokia Lumia 920 – This is the one I would like. It’s a free phone, however the tariff comes in at a slightly higher £27 a month.

Samsung Galaxy S3 – Various prices, but I have seen comparisons for a free phone between £22 to £27 a month.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini – Been offered it as an upgrade. Free phone, £22 a month.

HTC One – Although the reviews are great and my top reviewer Lee from Geeky and Freaky can’t wait to get his hands on one, it’s a little out of my price range at £32 a month.

So those are the main contenders. My apologies to Apple and Blackberry that you do not figure in my list. Iphones have no signal here at all for some reason, and I hate paying for apps and my fingers are to clumsy for a Blackberry.

There are pro’s and con’s to the other 5. Obviously with the two Nokia’s still having polycarbonate casing, I am guessing they would have the better signal, but there is a definite lack of apps compared to Android. That said they also have built in XBox Live which I love, it makes messaging and keeping in touch with gaming community so much easier.

Google Play for Android is hard to beat, especially the range and quality of the free apps available. I’d be able to play my games again on the train and also blog, given that the Android WordPress app is much better than the Windows one.

So if you had a budget and the choice, which would be your pick? Or do you have any other suggestions?