Last updated: February 19. 2013 9:52PM - 751 Views

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On Tuesday I looked at the HTC 8X running Microsoft's new Windows Phone operating system.

Today I take a look at another Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 822.

Nokia doesn't seem to get the exposure that it deserves – it's the world's third-largest smartphone manufacturer, and yet this Finland-based telecom giant is often overshadowed by manufacturers HTC and LG.

It's been quite a while since Nokia has had a device in the Verizon lineup, and the Lumia, with a low price point and good overall performance, might be the phone that changes all that. Originally heavily devoted to the Symbian mobile platform, Nokia has had a change of heart and thrown in with Microsoft – all forthcoming Nokia mobile devices will be powered by Windows Phone.

Lumia's thick case and rather sedate styling might not make it stand out in a crowd, but small details – the 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera, the startlingly solid, comfortable feel of the phone in your hand and the 4.3-inch AMOLED display with crisp colors – tell a different story. Hiding within the case of the Lumia 822 is a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor, with a full gig of ram backing it up. The 822 is no slouch when it comes to performance, and some of the extra features, like Near Field Communication and global readiness, are things that you usually see in a phone that's double the price of the Lumia. It also seemed every bit as snappy as the HTC 8X, which is more than double the price.

There are some nitpicks I had with the phone, mostly that it didn't have a status light that flashed if I received an email or missed call while the screen was off.

To make a long story short, I was very pleasantly surprised by the Lumia 822. It's inexpensive, it has great build quality, it's fast and it has processor power to burn. I noticed that even with a day and a half of relatively normal use, the Lumia had a decent amount of charge. Although it might not be the most stylish phone to hit the stores this holiday season, the Lumia 822 definitely has good bang-for-the-buck. Looking at the Lumia, I would have expected it to cost upwards of $150, given its performance. Instead, I saw that, with a contract, it was just $50, which is certainly a bargain.

The Nokia Lumia 822 is $49.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon Wireless, and $449.99 without. It comes in gray, white and black.

Nick DeLorenzo is director of interactive and new media for The Times Leader. E-mail him at ndelorenzo@timesleader.com.

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