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Windows Phone 8 Device Impressions: Nokia Lumia 822

Scott finds that there are pros and cons to being a Lumia 822 user -- but it's mostly pros.

Lumia 822
During the hour it took me to upgrade at a Verizon Wireless store in December, there were three of us buying Windows Phone 8 Nokia Lumia 822 devices out of about seven or eight customers at the counter. In the two-and-a-half months since, I've never been surrounded by that many 822s.

The Nokia is still enough of a novelty that people ask me what it is and how I like it. In the positive column, the best aspect is the Start screen. Picking, sizing and placing apps, hubs, Web sites, and documents never gets old. I'm constantly tweaking which tiles appear in which spots and at which of the three tile sizes depending on my shifting needs. Unpin an app from Start and it's still never more than two or three taps away in the alphabetized list on the next screen.

One of the most useful things pinned to my Start screen is a free-form To Do list and scratchpad in OneNote I call "What's Next." For that matter, the entire Office Hub, with its SkyDrive integration, is fantastic. Excel worksheets created on the PC, with formulas and multiple sheets, are viewable and editable from the phone. Outlook e-mail is fast and clean.

I'm finding plenty to do among the 130,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store. Game selection is great; Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, Archer and Contre Jour are first-rate time wasters. My biggest complaint with my Windows Phone 7 device was a lack of hobby apps. Those are filling in. (For me, a trail-distance tracker called Outdoor Navigation marked the platform's maturation.) Meanwhile, Nokia offers an array of flashy camera effect apps, and Nokia Maps gives Google Maps serious competition.

The LTE connection screams. Combine that with the 4.3-inch screen and browsing is a delight.

The phone does have some negatives. Supporting that monster screen is a bulky, heavy body that's an awkward fit in certain pockets. (The big, gray Otter Box case I added doesn't help, but the peace of mind is worth it.) While many apps are there, it's still an iPhone-first, Android-second world. You remember you're on a third platform sometimes.

With the 8MP lens and the Carl Zeiss optics, I expected to be wowed by the camera. It does take some great pictures, but in low light I'll often get auras and excessive blur. I'm also having some trouble clearing storage space to fit more stuff. I'm sure I'll figure it out, but it raises another problem -- documentation and online help for the 822 can be hard to come by.

So to answer the questions, that Toughbook-looking beast is a Windows Phone, and, yes, I'm happy with it. Have a great app to recommend? E-mail me at [email protected].

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About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.