I have been sent this device by Nokia to play around for a couple of weeks, these are my initial impressions.
A Nokia Lumia 820, a Windows Phone 8 device, has arrived at my household and I have had 30 minutes to have a brief look around and just wanted to get my very early initial impressions on the surface level stuff of the device down.
The first thing anyone notices when they pick up a phone is the industrial design and build quality, and I think this does a little extra to stand out. It is a hefty phone, packs more weight than my Nexus 4 and feels better because of it. The seamless construction is also impressive, so impressive that I actually had to look at the instructions to see how I get the back off to put my sim (micro sim) in the device.
Nokia have managed to pull off the all-in-one "Unibody" build except they have not sacrificed the ability to access the battery, like other companies have done such as with the iPhone and HTC's One X. That may seem like a simple thing, but I appreciate design like that, it is thoughtful and clever.
I want to keep the software impressions for this post to a minimum as I want to go in-depth in a full review, but I wanted to mention the performance of the device. It is smooth, you don't notice any stuttering, it is as smooth as you probably perceive is possible in navigating the OS and applications, I'm sure you may notice performance differences if you compared phones side by side, but I think they'd be insignificant in your general day-to-day operation, despite the fact this phone is probably classed as a (higher) mid-range device, it handles the OS better than 99% of other phones out there, including most of those quad core Android phones.
My initial impressions have been very positive, I expected to like it, so I wasn't expecting many surprises, but I have been. I look forward to using this device more.