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Nokia Lumia 822 [Review][HD]

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Published on Nov 28, 2012

Three years. That's how long it's been since Nokia has offered a phone for the largest carrier in the US: a unique (and yet wholly forgettable) device known as the Twist. Needless to say, the arrival of the Lumia 822 at Verizon Wireless comes at a crucial time for Nokia, which must quickly establish itself in the United States if it hopes to remain a legitimate contender in the smartphone realm. That's a lot of weight to carry on one's shoulders -- even for a mighty Finn.

Fortunately, the Lumia 822 is well-suited to help establish a beachhead on Lady Liberty's shores. At just $100 on-contract, it's a good value and deserves genuine consideration from OS switchers and first-time smartphone buyers alike. Granted, it lacks the premium display and camera wizardry of the Lumia 920, but with greater built-in storage and a better front-facing camera, it narrowly bests the Lumia 820 for AT&T and the Lumia 810 for T-Mobile. Add to that Data Sense -- a new data monitoring and compression feature of Windows Phone 8, but currently exclusive to Verizon -- and the Lumia 822 easily becomes the most compelling of Nokia's mid-range Windows Phone lineup. Even if its design is a bit... bland.

Have you ever lied and told somebody they looked good only to spare their feelings? That rationale may be fine for humans, but it's completely unnecessary with smartphones. Unlike the elegant Lumia 810 or the quirky Lumia 820, the design of the Lumia 822 lacks any semblance of style. For starters, in a change from its siblings, the phone's face isn't a clean sheet of glass, but rather features a plastic lip at the bottom that prominently displays the Verizon logo. What's more, the Lumia 822 is available only in black, white and gray, and it also lacks the unique removable shell that's characteristic of the Lumia 810 and 820. Instead, you'll find a run-of-the-mill plasticky rear cover that contains Carl Zeiss branding on the camera pod and a 4G LTE logo at the bottom. Put simply, if the Lumia 822 turns any heads, it's probably for all the wrong reasons.

The Lumia 822 is also quite thick, and we'd be tempted to suggest that it lose some weight -- if only it didn't feel so damn good in-hand. Each of the phone's controls are laid out on the right-hand side, which includes the volume rocker, power button and dual-stage camera button. While the Lumia 822 may not be much to look at, its design is partially redeemed by the excellent placement of the controls and ports. Whether you're left- or right-handed, you should have no issue cranking up the volume or waking the device, and even the camera button is well-positioned for landscape use. Up top, you'll find a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack and a secondary microphone. Along the bottom, a micro-USB port is situated between the loudspeaker and primary mic. If you pay close attention, you'll also discover ambient light and proximity sensors to the left of the front-facing camera. One thing you won't find, however, is a notification light, which is included in the more expensive HTC 8X. via engadget

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