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Review: Nokia Lumia 822 for Verizon Wireless

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Dec 20, 2012, 5:17 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The Lumia 822 from Nokia packs some mid-range punch for Verizon Wireless. Find out where this Windows Phone shines and where it comes off a little dull.

Is It Your Type?

The Nokia Lumia 822 fills the mid-range Windows Phone gap for Verizon Wireless. What this chunky handset lacks in panache, it makes up for in raw power. At just $50, there are plenty of reasons to like this smartphone from Nokia.

Because hardware makers aren't allowed to customize Windows Phone 8's basic behavior, and because the 822 is so similar to the 820 and 810, portions of this review were carried over from Phone Scoop's reviews of the Lumia 820 and Lumia 810. We paid special attention to the 822's potentially unique aspects, such as hardware, signal, call, and battery performance, as well as the camera and other network-dependent factors. Phone Scoop's full review of Windows Phone 8 can be found here.

Body

The Nokia Lumia 822 is a close cousin to the Lumia 820 and Lumia 810. It shares the compact form and Windows Phone platform, but Verizon's variation makes some drastic changes to the hardware.

Most importantly, the 822 loses the appealing interchangeable and colorful shells of the 820 and 810; it sports its own look that’s not designed to be customized. To be frank, this is exactly the sort of anti-customer behavior I've come to expect from Big Red. Not only does it lose the shells, but Verizon isn't offering it in any of the fun colors being sold by AT&T and T-Mobile USA. Instead, it's only available in white, gray, and black. Boo, Verizon Wireless. Hiss.

Ignoring the loss of the colorful shells, the 822 is a stout device. It is thick and weighty. The overall shape and design are fine on their own, and I don't have any problems with the way it looks. It manages to include Nokia's industrial design language, yet stands apart from its Lumia stablemates.

 

Body

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The matte polycarbonate feels good against the skin, but the overall footprint of the 822 is a bit awkward. Many devices have a front panel that's larger than the back panel. This design choice means there's a smaller amount of surface that needs to rest in the palm of your hand. The 822 uses the opposite design aesthetic. The back surface is large (mostly wider) than the front surface, and there's a hard angle that makes gripping the 822 tightly feel unpleasant. It easy to grip tightly, though. It'll still find its way easily into a pocket, but the corners and sheer magnitude of the hardware will constantly remind you that the phone is there.

The display, framed in a black bezel, consumes about 75% of the 822's front surface. There's a really thin lip that circles the display. This lip protects the display when it is placed face down on a flat surface. There are three capacitive buttons below the screen (Back, Start, Search) that are used to interact with the user interface. These buttons worked well.

As with other Lumias, all of the buttons are on the right edge of the 822. The volume toggle, screen lock, and dedicated camera button all have a shiny look that contrasts nicely with the dull, matte gray color of our review unit. The buttons are certainly easy to find, but the travel and feedback doesn't compare favorably to the 820 or 810. The 822's buttons feel stiff and make an awful "clacking" noise that sounds cheap. The camera button, in particular, is crummy. These buttons could be much better.

The microUSB port is on the bottom edge, and the headphone jack is on the top.

The 822 has what I would call a normal battery cover. Unlike the interchangeable shells of the 820 and 810, which wrap all the way around the device, the 822's battery cover is flat, and only covers the back surface. It comes off easily. The battery has to be removed to access both the microSD card and the SIM card.

For what the 822 is, it is an OK design. Knowing that Verizon stamped down the fun features of this chassis, however, makes it a bummer to me.

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Voice Phone Riot_Act Dec 20, 2012, 7:28 PM
 
 
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