The Lumia 830 is all things you would expect from a Nokia smartphone. It slides right in the middle of Nokia’s range, borrowing the bright colours of the Lumia 635 and the exceptional craftsmanship that sets the Lumia 930 from the swarm of smartphone flagships.
Note: The Nokia Lumia 830 reviewed by Good Gear Guide is on loan from Yatango Shopping, which is currently stocking the smartphone for $469.95. GGG will update this article once we receive an Australian loan unit from Nokia.
Stand it besides an ordinary iPhone 6 and it measures a single millimetre taller, and this is in spite of the Lumia 830 having a larger 5in screen. However, even though it is Nokia’s thinnest smartphone at 9mm, it is still 2 mm thicker than the iPhone 6. Aluminium has been used for the chassis and the premium material, with its softened edged and cold texture, feels wonderfully solid in the hand. Each of the buttons lining its left has been milled from the material in the same fashion as the Lumia 930. Nokia claims the 830 will be cheaper than Apple’s iPhone 6 and , but you couldn’t tell based on the build quality.
The only sign the Lumia 830 is an inexpensive smartphone comes from the low resolution of its screen. The 5in screen makes do with a 1280x720 resolution. The strong brightness can’t make up for the modest 294 pixel-per-inch density, which leaves the Lumia 830 behind its Samsung and Apple rivals. Seeing the pixels somehow takes the magic away from captivating content.
Come launch and the 830 will be one of the first smartphones to run the Lumia Denim update for Windows Phone 8.1. Denim brings an alpha version of Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant, quicker camera processing and the ability to add folders to the live tile interface. These might sound like frivolous updates, but little-by-little, Microsoft’s Windows Phone is bridging the divide between iOS and Android.
Even the application store is making headway. Nokia claimed the Windows Store hosts 320,000 apps at last count. It trails its established rivals, but it should cover the core apps most people rely on daily.
Largely differentiating the 830 from the flagship 930 is its camera. Whereas the 930 weighs in with a 20 megapixel camera, the thinner 830 packs one 10 megapixels in size. There is a secondary front camera, though it has a low 0.9 megapixel resolution.
Microsoft trash-talked Apple and Samsung’s flagship at the unveiling of the Lumia 830 by claiming it will outperform Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy as a value buy. Taking a look inside reveals the 830 comes with less powerful hardware. The 4G smartphone has a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. An extra 128GB of memory can be added as it takes a microSD card.
The Lumia 830 leaves a positive first impression. It reminds us of the cheerful Lumia 635, although laden in the premium body of the Lumia 930. How much value it offers will boil down to its price, which, at the time of writing, Nokia Australia has not announced.