There may be some people out there who looked at the Lumia 930 and thought “actually, that looks a bit chunky, and I don’t like that.” I rather liked the phone myself and could forgive it its thick proportions, but even so, I can see that these people may have a point. Enter the Lumia 830, which Microsoft is dubbing the “affordable flagship”. That moniker does make sense, but another equally appropriate might be a “Lumia 930 Lite”.
Lumia 830 Design
What you’re getting here is very similar in design to the Lumia 930 flagship – complete with a flat aluminium surround and a brightly coloured polycarbonate back panel. The plastic is high quality and features a matte finish just like the 930. But it’s a smaller, thinner (8.5mm), more compact device; something which automatically makes it seem sleeker and more refined. It’s lightweight too at only 150g.
The corners are slightly softened and we see a return of the little decorative “tabs” along the edges previously appearing on the Lumia 925 – indeed, there are a lot of similarities with that phone, including the pleasantly designed buttons along the right-hand side (plus a dedicated camera key). The top panel houses both a microUSB port and 3.5mm headphone jack.
As with the Lumia 930, the Lumia 830’s display is contoured and projects slightly from the front of the handset (2.25D).
The Lumia 830 has a different camera sensor design which is large but fits flush to the back panel. The phone comes in Nokia’s current selection of colour options – orange, green, white, or black.
All in all the Lumia 830 continues Nokia’s legacy of excellent design work. It’s a pleasure to handle and operate, as well as being eye-catching.
Lumia 830 Display
Capable touch displays are another area of Nokia expertise and the Lumia 830 doesn’t disappoint. It’s a 5in IPS LCD with Nokia’s ClearBlack tech on top. The resolution is 720p, but remember this is an “affordable” device, so something’s got to give.
Despite the lower resolution the picture quality is still high, it’s reasonably sharp at 294 pixels-per-inch while the IPS screen provides excellent colour and brightness levels, as well as wide viewing angles.
Lumia 830 Hardware
As usual with these launch events, I was only able to have a quick go on the Lumia 830 and a more extensive testing period will be necessary to really determine the lay of the land. That said, in my brief time with the device it did seem to sit well with previous Lumia experiences. Windows Phone 8.1 is well optimised and the Lumia 830 packs a fairly capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip clocked at 1.2GHz – this is backed up by an Adreno 305 GPU and, sensibly, 1GB of RAM.
Onboard storage is 16GB with the ability to boost by up to 128GB on microSD cards. Connectivity is pretty standard stuff with 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB 2.0. The battery, which will also need further testing before any kind of conclusion can be drawn, is rated at 2,200mAh and also support wireless charging.
Lumia 830 Camera
The imaging capability is the really interesting component of Microsoft’s “affordable flagship” pitch. It’s a 10MP PureView 1/3.4” sensor with Carl Zeiss lens and optical image stabilisation, as well as an LED flash, 1080p video and stereo sound recording. Naturally it also has access to Nokia’s full suite of camera apps, including Nokia Pro Camera and Creative Stuido. In short, it is not a watered down camera offering by any means.
Again, this will need a proper field test, but to date I’ve been tremendously impressed with Nokia’s PureView tech and I fully expect this latest iteration to deliver excellent image and video quality.
Lumia 830 Software: Windows Phone 8.1 "Lumia Denim"
Of course the software is Windows Phone 8.1, however, the Lumia 830 debuts the “Lumia Denim” update (following Lumia Cyan). The main feature of Denim is that it fully integrates Microsoft’s much-anticipated Cortana personal assistant. Rather like Google’s “OK Google,” voice command, Denim adds “Hey Cortana,” which when uttered from any part of the software will initiate the assistant and allow you to issue voice commands.
Nokia has also sped up camera capture in the official Nokia Camera app, and on top of that you can wake the camera from the phone’s sleep state by press and holding the camera key – this means you can instantly start shooting, with Microsoft quoting a speed of 1.5 seconds.
Aside from these tweaks it is largely business as usual for Windows Phone 8.1, which means you’ve got the new alphabetically sorted app menu, and the drop-down notifications and quick settings menu, all of which are very handy indeed. Customisation has also been improved with the ability to use photos as a background wallpaper behind your tiles, as well as support for an additional row of Live Tiles.
Lumia 830 Price & Release
Microsoft has quoted an RRP for the Lumia 830 at €330, which is about £263. That’s quite a reasonable price for this much high grade tech and almost takes it into Google Nexus territory in terms of bang for your buck. The Lumia 830 will be landing with retailers and carriers during September.