Nokia's flagship smartphone for 2012 is the Lumia 920 but the Finnish giant hasn't neglected the rest of the market. The Nokia Lumia 820 is a mid-range smartphone that will ship with the latest Windows Phone 8 platform. It boasts an 8-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, has a microSD card slot for expandable memory and uses interchangeable backplates.
The Nokia Lumia 820 is a smaller version of the flagship Lumia 920, but unlike what the Lumia 800 was to the Lumia 900, Nokia hasn't simply downsided the phone. The Lumia 820 gets a different design altogether and appears to have more rounded corners. Weighing 160g and measuring 9.9mm thick, the 820 is actually thinner and lighter than the 920. It remains a little heavier and thicker than many of its Android-based rivals, but the design does appear refreshing.
The Lumia 820 is not constructed from a single-block of polycarbonate like its bigger brother, either. The back of the phone is a removable shell that clips on and off. This design offers two advantages over the Lumia 920 — the battery is removable and there's a microSD card slot for extra storage. Nokia will sell back plates for the Lumia 820 in red, yellow, purple, grey, black and white colours, allowing users to mix and match colours.
There's also another backplate accessory that will add wireless charging capabilities to the Lumia 820, called the wireless charging shell. With this accessory attached, the phone becomes compatible with a range of first party charging accessories including a wireless charging plate, a charging pillow, a charging stand and a wireless charging speaker developed in conjunction with JBL.
The Nokia Lumia 820 has a 4.3in AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 800 x 480, so it won't be able to display the same crisp text as the higher resolution Lumia 920. The Lumia 820 also lacks the PureMotion HD+ technology used on the Lumia 920 but the touchscreen can be used if you're wearing gloves, which is a pretty nifty feature.
The Nokia Lumia 820 has an 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens, but it doesn't boast the same floating lens technology or optical image stabilisation as the Lumia 920. The interface has been improved though, with pinch-to-zoom and a smart shoot feature that will crop out unwanted elements from a photo.
The Lumia 820 is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, has 1GB of RAM and comes with 8GB of internal memory. NFC connectivity is also present and allows a range of accessories to be paired with the phone simply by tapping the two together. There's also 4G connectivity for Australia, too. The Lumia 820 will be sold through Optus and Vodafone, though the latter won't have a 4G network up and running until sometime in 2013.
The Lumia 820 is one of the first phones to run Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8 operating system. There's a completely new interface with support for small, medium and large tiles, more colour customisation options, built-in Skype integration, a data use monitor, and a revamped backup system that now includes the ability to backup SMS messages.
There's also a 'Kid's Corner' function where only pre-selected apps can be accessed, and the expansion of the People Hub with a new 'Rooms' feature that shares lists, calendars and photos.
The Lumia 820 will sell for $699 outright and will be available from late November, but carrier pricing on Optus and Vodafone is yet to be announced. You can view a promotional video of the Nokia Lumia 820 in action below.