Mid-Range Nokia Lumia 820 Offers Changeable Shells, Windows Phone 8

The Lumia 820 may have been a bit overshadowed by the larger and flashier Lumia 920, but it still promises a solid Windows Phone 8 experience and some valuable upgrades over previous Lumias.

The Lumia 820 has a 4.3-inch screen with 1280 x 720 resolution, which is not as large and dense as the 4.5"  1280 x 768 display on the Lumia 920, but still provides plenty of room for Windows Phone 8 live tile customization. Both phones have a dual-core 1.5-GHz Snapdragon S4 processor with 1GB of RAM, but the 920 offers 32GB of storage while the 820 only has 8GB. Luckily, the 820 does have microSD support for storage expansion.

"The Lumia 820 is an evolution of the Lumia design," said Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, at Nokia and Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 event on Wednesday. The 820 brings numerous brightly colored "shells" that can easily be swapped out to customize the phone's look. Available in black, white, red, yellow, cyan, purple and gray, some of these shells add wireless charging to the Lumia 820, allowing users to simply place the phone on a designated surface rather than relying on power cords or docks. The Lumia 920 doesn't have changeable shells, but it does have wireless charging by default.

The Lumia 820, like the 920, also incorporates NFC technology, which brings mobile payment possibilities and near-range file transfers. Battery life on the 820 won't be as long as the 920, but the 1650mAh battery in the 820 should allow for plenty of use on a charge.

There's no news yet about release dates or prices for these new devices.