|Style & Handling|
|+ Stylish design||- Quite expensive|
|+ Great camera||- Dated processor|
|+ Lumia Denim||- Poor front camera|
Verdict: The Nokia Lumia 830 would be a great handset if it was slightly cheaper or slightly more powerful. As it is its still good, but not the ‘affordable flagship’ Microsoft positioned it as.
The Nokia Lumia 830 is of course a successor to the mid-range Lumia 820 and it ticks some of the same boxes, with a good camera for the price and a mid-range cost, but the Lumia 830 improves on just about every area, so much so that Microsoft is calling it the first ‘affordable flagship’ Lumia.
Those are big words, so does it live up to them? Read on to find out.
The screen on the Nokia Lumia 830 impresses and disappoints in equal measure. At 5.0 inches it’s a good size, especially for a mid-range phone where displays tend to be smaller, but of course corners had to be cut and in this case it’s the resolution that took a hit, as it’s a 720 x 1280 IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 294 pixels per inch. That’s not bad as such but it’s substantially worse than say the 441ppi Lumia 930 or even the 326ppi original Moto G, which is substantially cheaper.
It’s a noticeable difference too, with nothing looking as sharp as it could, but the Lumia 830 does at least have impressive contrast and like many Lumia’s the display is sensitive enough to use with gloves on, which is handy as we get into the winter months.
The Lumia 830’s design is a real win, thanks primarily to the inclusion of a metal frame. That immediately makes it look so much better than a plastic framed phone would. It still has a polycarbonate back, but even top end Lumia’s do, so it looks every bit a premium smartphone.
The dimensions don’t let it down either, as at 139.4 x 70.7 x 8.5mm it’s fairly slim and compact for a 5.0 inch device.
This isn’t one of the best looking smartphones around, that honour would go to the HTC One M8 or Apple iPhone 6 or perhaps even the Sony Xperia Z3, but the Lumia 830 is one of the best looking Lumia’s and one of the best looking mid-range handsets.
The only other thing that’s worth noting is that it isn’t dust or water resistant, for whatever reason that’s never seemed like a priority for Nokia, but it’s a shame when so many other phones now are.
While the Lumia 830’s design might be a win its power has to be chalked up as a loss, as it has a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM. Those are hardly terrible specs but they’re more what we’d expect to find on a lower mid-range phone or even an entry level one than an upper mid-range handset like this.
Despite the modest specs the Lumia 830 is a generally smooth performer. You’ll rarely experience any real lag or juddering even when playing high definition games, but nor does it feel quite as fluid as many phones. There’s often a slight pause to launch apps and it just doesn’t feel quite as slick as we’d hope for a phone that costs £319.
The Nokia Lumia 830 has a 10 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera with optical image stabilisation. That’s no match for the 41 megapixel Lumia 1020 or even the 20 megapixel Lumia 930, but it is up to the standards of many high end Android phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the HTC One M8.
Photos are sharp and detailed and performance is respectable even in low light. Videos also benefit from optical stabilisation and it can film in 1080p at 30fps.
So the core performance for both photos and videos is good and the Lumia 830 goes further by including a number of modes and settings, such as Dynamic Flash, which will take a photo both with and without flash, allowing you to choose which to keep if you’re not sure whether flash will benefit an image or not.
The only aspect of the camera which falls a bit flat is the 0.9 megapixel front-facing snapper. With such a low megapixel count it’s not really up to much, but it’s designed with selfies in mind so it includes a handful of editing tools, along with a countdown timer and automatic face detection.
Other than the core aspects of the Lumia 830 its main feature of note is that it runs Windows Phone 8.1, specifically the latest version along with the Lumia denim update.
That means you have the very latest version of all Microsoft and Nokia’s mobile software. On the Lumia Denim end that mostly means a whole bunch of new camera features, such as the Dynamic Flash mentioned above.While the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1 includes the Cortana beta, so you can get Microsoft’s virtual assistant to look things up for you and even carry out tasks on your phone, such as setting reminders and calling contacts. That’s alongside the standard features of Windows Phone 8.1, such as Action Centre.
The Nokia Lumia 830 has a 2200 mAh battery, which seems a little small for such a large screen device, but then neither the resolution nor the power is that high.
Nokia claims that it can last for up to 14.8 hours of talk time, 14 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of video or 78 hours of music and we’d be inclined to agree with those figures more or less.
Obviously factors such as screen brightness will affect things, but in general we’d say you’ll easily get a day out of it and unless you’re using it really heavily it should stretch through the night too, but you’ll likely need to charge it by morning.
There’s just 16GB of built in storage but with a microSD card slot that supports cards of up to 128GB that’s not such a problem and the Lumia 830 is well served for connectivity options, with Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and wireless charging all supported.
The Nokia Lumia 830 is almost an impressive handset. Almost because at £319 it’s got an upper mid-range price tag, yet while its camera is upper mid-range and its design is almost high-end its screen and processor more feel like they belong on a lower mid-range phone, such as the new Moto G, which has exactly the same screen and power specifications yet costs just £150.
Similarly troublesome is the fact that the Lumia 930, which outdoes the Lumia 830 in just about every area, can be picked up for around £380, which isn’t a lot more for a substantially better phone. So the Nokia Lumia 830 has struggled to find its niche. It’s not a bad phone, far from it and when it inevitably starts to drop in price it may even become extremely tempting, but right now while it’s good, it’s not quite great, not at £319.
Nokia Lumia 830 SpecificationDDimensions : 139.4 x 70.7 x 8.5mm Weight: 150 grams Screen size: 5.0” IPS LCD (720 x 1280) Screen Resolution: 720 x 1280 display resolution Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 294 Processor: 1.2GHz Quad core application processor RAM: 1 GB On-board Memory: 16GB (microSD card support) Camera: 10MP (rear) 1080p@30fps, (0.9 megapixel front-facing) Operating system: Windows Phone 8.1 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ Yes Battery capacity: 2200mAh Colours: Orange, Green, White, Black Launch Date: Out Now Price: £319