Given that the Nokia Lumia 822 has the exact same hardware under the hood as the other 820-equivalent models, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core, 1.5 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM, performance is identically good. Very good, actually.
What’s not the same, however, is the carrier. I absolutely panned the Lumia 810 for its service, as it’s a T-Mobile exclusive and that network proved to be a nightmare, both in terms of speed and coverage (signal strength) here in Boston. Not so with the Lumia 822, a device that is connected to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, which has proven to be far more reliable in its performance.
Speeds are vastly superior, undoubtedly due to the fact that this is real 4G and not T-Mobile’s “4G” network, which is actually HSPA+ rather than LTE. And coverage is a completely different ballgame with the Lumia 822, as I consistently got a strong signal in the two major cities in which I tested it: Boston and New York. Admittedly, there were a couple of occasions where it would have to downshift to 3G, but it was still far better than the Lumia 810 and the T-Mobile network, which more often than not told me I was either running on a 2G or 1X network, or had no signal at all.
Since this is still a Nokia phone, the Lumia 822 shares the same preloaded suite of Nokia-branded apps as its sister models, including App Highlights, Nokia City Lens, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, and Nokia Music.
There are, however, some Verizon-exclusive app additions to this particular model, a couple of which are actually worth your while. The first is NFL Mobile, which is great for watching football this time of year, but is admittedly pretty useless the other seven or so months of the year that constitute the off-season. Curiously enough, Verizon also threw in an app for the Univision Spanish language television network. And then finally, there is the much-touted Data Sense app, which will supposedly be available to other carriers eventually, but is currently a Verizon Wireless exclusive.
Data Sense, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is an app that helps you intelligently ration your data each month rather than just monitor usage. On top of showing you your remaining data, the app also offers a detailed breakdown of what exactly is using up your data allotment (e.g. streaming media, app downloads, Internet Explorer, etc.) while also helping you preserve it by mapping out nearby Wi-Fi hotspots based on your location. Data Sense can even be set to limit the usage of background data (from apps that are still running even when you’re not actively using them) when your monthly amount starts to run low.
The only drawback to Data Sense is that users manually set the data parameters; in other words, it’s not actually tied to your account. You simply tell the app the amount of data you’re supposed to have each month and how often it refreshes, and it provides numbers based on that information. So aside from the fact that you need to know the exact details of your data plan to set it up — including the specific date of when it refreshes each month — this may lead to complications at times since you’re technically dealing with a theoretical approximation based on what you told the app (if you’re saying you have X amount of data allotted for this period of time and you’ve used Y amount so far, then you should have Z remaining… but hey, no promises).
Camera and Battery Life
I went into depth on all the features of this handset when reviewing the Lumia 810 variant, so I’ll just summarize that the camera could be better, but the battery life was quite satisfactory.