Nokia's Lumia 820 is the new latest generation Windows Phone 8 model from Nokia, combining the latest Windows Phone OS with some incredible tech evolutions you simply won't see anywhere else.

The first and biggest option that’ll arrive with the Lumia 820 is wireless charging. The phone can be augmented by changing the back cover to one that doubles as a Wireless Charging Shell, which, when coupled with its charging plate, means the battery takes a charge through simply being sat on its little charging pad. No wires required, no fiddling, just a phone that’s always at full power and ready to go.

These charging shells also serve a less clever but equally important role for today's vain tech fans, in letting users customise the colour of their phone. They come in yellow, for example. If that's too much, they come in red, too. If that's also likely to result in your phone being left in your pocket on silent mode, there are more traditional black and white options out there too, so your Lumia 820 can always match your socks.

 

Ample App Store

If you're more worried about what your phone can actually do than the colour of its case, Nokia and Microsoft have already covered that critical base. The Windows Phone Marketplace has been filling with apps over the last year or two, with over 100,000 separate apps from the likes of Paypal, the Trainline and Netflix now available to install and help customise your Nokia Lumia experience from day one.

Some apps have already been pre-loaded by Nokia, with its clever City Lens augmented reality browser installed on the Lumia 820 from launch. City Lens is a location-aware app that pulls in data about your surroundings, popping it up over the Lumia’s 4.3" ClearBlack display when your point your phone in a certain direction.

City Lens will tell you if that promising-looking burger bar is actually a one-star health and safety nightmare, or if that fish and chip shop cooks its stuff up fresh or is basically just microwaving fish fingers. City Lens will also pull plenty of shopping data and restaurant reviews from its listings, with support for table bookings and the power to generate directions to the place, also letting you share your destination through social networks.

Also pre-loaded from Nokia is the phone giant’s Mix Radio app, a free music streaming service that comes with access to 17 million individual tracks. You don’t need to sign up, pay, download anything or worry about storage space, just start listening to Nokia’s automatically generated radio stations, or start building your own playslists. You can download the music to your phone, too, for easy listening when away from a data connection.

 

Luminescence

The camera itself is another area where Nokia has innovated within the Lumia 820. Coming with a Carl Zeiss lens stuck over the top of an 8-Megapixel sensor with dual LED flash, shots will emerge at a huge resolution of 3264x2448, plus there's a 4x digital zoom integrated for easier closer shots.

Images can be geo-tagged with location data, plus Nokia's included a Smart Group Shot feature within the camera's software, which has the power to fire off a rapid group of photos, then combines the images into one, estimating who's smiling and who's got their eyes open to create an ideal composite pic everyone will be happy to whack up on Facebook.

Plus, if you're the sociable sort of person who is easily entertained by looking at your own face, there's a secondary front-facing camera for easy use with the many video chat applications out there on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

And all this ought to run very smoothly indeed, thanks to the internals of the Lumia 820, provided by famed chipmaker Qualcomm, which has almost single-handedly raised the bar in terms of mobile performance in recent years. The Lumia 820's powered by  Qualcomm's S4 processor, its current cutting-edge dual core chip which is big news in 2012, making the phone fast, responsive and generally great fun to use and enjoy.

As an all-round package combining looks, innovation and performance, the Lumia 820’s as good as they come. [Nokia Lumia 820]

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