Today we’re looking at the Nokia Lumia 830. It’s a midrange Windows Phone device, and it’s one of the last smartphones to have the Nokia branding on it. Because from now on, it’s gonna be all Microsoft, folks.
This phone costs around $400 outright, free on 2 year contracts. Even through it’s priced like a midrange device, it doesn’t feel like your usual midrange phone with compromises. The design is solid, there’s a 10 megapixel PureView camera, and it just performs really well.
The design is pretty great. Like many other Lumia devices, it has beautiful curves all around. The removable back cover has a natural curve to it, and the front glass has a subtle curve that lets your fingers glide off the screen as you swipe through menus. The curved glass is a great design choice, especially since Windows Phone requires lots of swipes left and right in order to get to different menus. Most high-end Nokia Lumia devices have curved glass, and I’m glad they are keeping that trend here.
The standout design change this time is the rim here, of course. Nokia has gone METAL. This adds a little bit of a premium feel to the phone. The unit I have here has the brighter metal finish, I think the darker one looks better. I do like how the metal rim has a curve that connects to the front and back curves of the device.
But this whole metal rim feels like they are borrowing an idea from another company. I actually prefer the polycarbonate material on the older Lumia devices to the metal rim trend that everyone seems to be following these days. But that’s just me.
The 10 megapixel PureView camera is also excellent. It has Zeiss optics and optical image stabilization. Photos and videos turned out very sharp with pleasing colours. I tested it in very dark conditions with no flash, and I was a little bit shocked at how well it performed. There were barely any light when I was shooting these, and everything came out pretty sharp with less noise that I expected.
One cool thing Nokia has done is this live photos function, which records video just before you press the shutter, so you have this context clip leading up to your photos. It’s a little thing, but it adds so much. There are tons of camera options here, so if you are a photographer you’ll really like this phone.
The Lumia 830 has a 5 inch display with 720p resolution, which ends up being 223 pixels per inch. This is lower than most high-end phones today. Some phones are going above 1080p these days. However, this 720p display didn’t really affect my experience in a negative way. Part of that is Windows Phone’s UI has lots of sharp edges and boxes with simple colours, so the lower resolution isn’t as noticeable as it could be. Viewing angles are great, but not as good as something like the iPhone 6.
This phone performs smooth like butter. It has a Snapdragon 400 chipset onboard, which is a bit dated at this point compared to current Android devices, but because Windows Phone is so well optimized, I don’t see any sluggishness here. In my experience, Windows Phone is even better than iOS when it comes to optimization right now. Windows Phone is just really responsive, and apps rarely if ever crash.
And speaking of apps, the ecosystem has been Windows Phone’s achilles heel for a while. Realistically, I don’t think Windows Phone will ever catch up, because it always goes one of the two ways. They launch on iPhone first, then they go Android. Or they launch iPhone and Android, and then come to Windows Phone - maybe a year later.
But that’s only the new apps. When you look at established apps, they’re mostly all there. There’s FIFA 15, so that’s all that matters to me. There’s a BETA version of an official instagram app, but there’s also this really great 3rd party one. I did notice that the Facebook app doesn’t support viewing linked Instagram videos on it. I hope that gets fixed soon. The only app that I use frequently that I couldn’t find on Windows Phone was the banking app. But other than that, I didn’t miss any other apps.
Battery life is amazing. There’s a 2200mah battery onboard, which would get you through a day on other devices, but on the lumia 830 you can easily get two days out of that. Windows Phone devices tend to have really great battery-saving functions.
So overall, the Lumia 830 is a great device. And considering the price of around $400, I can recommend this phone over all the other Android devices that are similarly priced. Windows Phone is great, and the hardware is beautiful. What more could you want?
Oh actually, there is one thing I want. I wish I didn’t have to use the Windows Phone app on the Mac to sync media to this device. Why can’t it just act like a USB storage device? Hmm… Anyway,
Photos taken with the Lumia 830 below.