Some nuggets from the official Nokia Lumia 820 Q&A panel

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A couple of days ago, two of Nokia's Lumia 820 product managers and various PR people opened themselves up to questions from the tech public, including myself - queue a few probing questions and, in some cases, interesting answers, some of which are applicable to the Lumia 920 as well, and even other Windows Phone handsets. I've picked out the nuggets, the most interesting ones below, for your interest. For example, did you know how microSD cards will be handled under Windows Phone 8? Or that the Lumia 820 and 920 will be compatible with both older OMTP and newer AHJ stereo media headsets?

Nokia Lumia 820

Questions (obviously) are in bold type:

Ben @ Nokia Connects: Answering your questions today will be Camilla and Tuukka, both from the Nokia Lumia 820 product team, as well as myself and Tom from Nokia Connects

There is a microSD card slot in the 820. Is it safe to assume it will be hot-swappable? 

Tuukka @ Nokia: the battery needs to be removed in order to access the memory card

Will the 820 support 64GB SD Cards? SD XC?

Camilla @ Nokia: Lumia 820 supports up to 64GB microSD cards. SD XC is also supported

How does the microSD appear in the Lumia 820 interface? As an extension of internal storage? Is there any distinction made with where a file is?

Tuukka @ Nokia: the MicroSD is visible in 2 ways: there is a specific set of settings for it: you can set which data is stored in the card and also you are able to see free space on the card. secondly, in the apps, for example Gallery, the data in the device and card are shown to the user - so you can see all your content regardless where it is stored

Is the 820 camera similar to the Lumia 800's in performance? Is it the same physical unit?

Ben @ Nokia Connects: The Camera experience is made out of 3 different elements: the hardware module, integration between hardware and software and the user interface for the camera. In the Lumia 820 we are completely changing the camera UI and the integration between the HW and SW. while the camera module will be the same, the experience for our consumer will be greatly improved and new

Why do Nokia Lumia phones not work with standard Nokia multimedia headsets? Is this a Microsoft limitation??

Tuukka @ Nokia: the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 support also the older Nokia multimedia headsets. we have incorporated an audio jack that is capable of handling both OMTP and AHJ headsets.

Re: speaker volume, guys.... Is it better than the 800/900's?

Tuukka @ Nokia: we have a totally new loudspeaker element on the Lumia 820 and 920 - the improvement is considerable compared to, for example, Lumia 800

Why did Nokia go for glossy covers instead of those state-of-art matte cases they used for Lumia 800 and 900?

Tuukka @ Nokia: we have both glossy and matt covers for Lumia 820. The standard covers are glossy while the wireless charging and protective covers are matt - so it is really up to the consumers on which one they prefer.

Will you be allowing 3rd-party exchangeable backs for the 820 and can companies make them wirelessly charge?

Tuukka @ Nokia: the Lumia 820 interchangeable shells allow 3rd party innovation and we welcome that as it will only build up our great ecosystem. When it comes to wireless charging, we are using the open Qi standard and we want more and more companies to join in creating great products for our consumers

Any reason why the 820 has a lower battery capacity (1650mAh) compared to the 900??

Ben @ Nokia Connects: For battery life: we are improving in 3 different areas. Firstly, we have the Snapdragon S4 engine with improved power management capabilities. Secondly, we are adding Nokia know-how & expertise on the power management and are starting from Lumia 820 & 920 and, thirdly, with wireless charging people will have a convenient and intuitive way to keep their devices charged

Since the Lumia 820 uses an Amoled screen, will we see a comeback of the standby clock/ sleeping screen present in the N9 and Symbian devices?

For the standby clock and sleeping screen, we are definitely looking at the possibilities in that area
Does the Lumia 820 sport Corning Gorilla Glass?

the glass on 820 is scratch-resistant, but it’s not Gorilla Glass.

Will there be an appreciable difference between Windows Phone 8 on 512 RAM such as on the 820(?) vs 1 GB on the 920?

both Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 have 1Gb RAM because we want to offer the best performance in these specific product categories

Does the Lumia 820 supports USB OTG ?

it doesn’t have USB on the go specifically, but it does have a great USB experience including browsing files etc.

(NB: Some of the questions above were asked in an earlier session, summarised here.)

Quite a few interesting revelations above. I'd highlight that the 820's camera is the same physical unit as the Lumia 800's, that the new speakers will be much louder, and that the new devices will support the older (OMTP) Nokia Multimedia headsets as well as newer (AHJ, think iPhone) accessories.

I wonder if there will be a corresponding Lumia 920 Q&A? Watch this space!