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printed December 18, 2014
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Review: Nokia Lumia 820 for AT&T

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  3  

Menus

The 820 runs Windows Phone 8 from Microsoft. Handset makers and carriers aren't allowed to adjust the user interface, so the experience on the 820 looks and feels just like it does on other WP8 devices.

The lock screen has customizable alerts that pop-up when the screen is locked. You can choose which alerts reach the lock screen and which don't, as well as pick which type of alerts are given priority.

The Start screen offers plenty of customization options. The Live Tiles can be resized in small, medium, and large variations, and of course the Tiles can be arranged however you want to place them. More apps support Live Tiles in WP8, which makes the Start screen even more lively.

Windows Phone supports multitasking, or quick-app switching, and will pick up right where you left off when you return to an open app.

The 820 has a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor. Windows Phone has always been a spritely operating system and the dual-core engine provides more than enough power to keep the 820 feeling spry and quick.

 

Menus

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Calls and Contacts

The phone app is simple to use and offers a standard set of features, such as hold, mute, speakerphone, merge calls, and send to Bluetooth. It’s easy to text or call a number stored in the call log, as well as add it to a contact.

 

Calls

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The People Hub ties in users' Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profile data, as well as their email-based contact database. It's an extremely rich contact app and provides a near flood of updates about those in your various social networks.

 

People

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Messaging

The 820 has the same Windows Phone messaging apps that other Microsoft-based smartphones do. The email app is excellent, though it stops short of being as awesome as Gmail on Android. Social networking - which is built into the People Hub - is quite useful.

The text, video, Windows Live, and Facebook messaging functions are all tied together in one app. Microsoft's idea of keeping all short-form communications in one spot is a good one, and each conversation is threaded separately unto itself. This app doesn't support AIM, GTalk, or Yahoo IM, though. (Keep in mind that Skype is due to replace Windows Live messaging soon.)

Despite being supported in the People Hub, you need to download the full Facebook and Twitter apps if you really want to interact with your social networks in depth.

 

Messaging

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