The Nokia Lumia 820 is our first brush with the Finnish company’s next generation of Windows Phone handsets. It has a relatively small battery (1650mAh), smaller than even HTC’s Windows Phone 8X juice pack. And that one certainly didn’t impress us much with its battery life.

The Lumia 820 has a dual-core Krait processor running at 1.5GHz inside (like most other WP8 phones) so we don’t expect this to make any difference, but that 4.3” AMOLED screen probably will.

Just over 7 hours had passed since the beginning of the call test when the Lumia 820’s juice ran out. That’s much better than what the AT&T version of the Lumia 900 did, but not as good as the 800 or the HTC 8X. The result comes up short of the official 8 hour rating on 3G networks, too.

 

Talk time

  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)21:18
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE (LTE)7:21
  • Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G7:14
  • Nokia Lumia 8207:09
  • Sony Xperia acro S7:09
  • Samsung Rugby Smart I8477:09
  • Pantech Burst4:46

Web browsing usually takes a heavy toll on the battery, especially when there’s an AMOLED screen involved. At about 4 and a half hours, the Lumia 820 goes near the bottom of the chart. Then again, Lumias were never very competitive in this test, but at least it matches the Samsung Galaxy S II, which has a similar screen and battery.

Web browsing

  • Apple iPhone 59:56
  • Meizu MX4:35
  • Nokia N94:33
  • Nokia Lumia 8204:24
  • Samsung Galaxy S II4:24
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V4:20
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus3:01

Finally, video playback is less demanding on both the processor (dedicated decoding hardware does most of the work) and the screen (the image is darker overall, compared to the mostly white websites).

This allows the Nokia Lumia 820 to last for 6 and a half hours, beating previous Lumia phones we’ve tested and matching the HTC Windows Phone 8X. Still, the result is average at best.

Video playback

  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)16:35
  • HTC Desire V6:26
  • HTC One X (AT&T)6:26
  • Nokia Lumia 8206:25
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos6:25
  • LG Optimus Vu6:23
  • Nokia Lumia 7103:27

The Lumia 820 proved to be quite efficient in standby mode, which helped it achieve an endurance rating of 40 hours (time between charges if you do an hour each of calling, browsing and watching videos).

The Nokia Lumia 820 will get you through the day, maybe two work days if you’re frugal with the web browsing, but hooking up the charger at night will probably be quite common. That wireless charging shell is starting to sound like a must-have accessory for the 820.

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