Nokia has given us some of the most impressive devices that seem to eclipse the expectation when it comes to hardware. With great optics and, more often than not, great build quality, Nokia gives its last hoorah before officially becoming Microsoft Lumia. The Nokia Lumia 830 is considered a mid tier device by most, but puts up a great fight against most flagships today. From where the Lumia was years ago till now, is the Lumia 830 worth considering? Let’s find out!
It’s no surprise that in most cases, Nokia builds their devices like tanks. Or at least make your investment feel like it was worthwhile. The 830 metal frame is similar to that of the Lumia Icon, along with a removable plastic back and gorilla glass 3 protecting the front. Getting down to the nitty gritty, you have a 5″ 720p display (720 x 1280) with a ppi of 294, a Snapdragon 400, 1gb of ram, 2200mAh battery with 16gb of internal storage with expandable memory by micro SD (up to 128gb). As for optics, you gave a 10-megapixel shooter on the back and a .9 megapixel front facing camera to round out a pretty premium phone.
I’ve always been a fan of the soft touch plastic that came with your usual Lumia device but this frame gives the 830 a bit of value. It’s always welcoming when you pick up your device in the morning and it is cool to the touch due to the metal. The removable back is a nice addition especially since it reveals the removable battery and the expandable storage. You can also customize the back piece so that it’s the color of your choice. Our review unit included two different colored back pieces (black and lime green), though personally I prefer the traditional black. Overall a solid piece of hardware which is not a surprise coming from Nokia.
This isn’t my first time with a windows device but it is my first time with the Windows 8.1 update on a device, so consider this a mini review. The biggest changes that I’ve found, aside from the almighty Cortana, is the notification drawer that you see plenty of other platforms have. It makes a huge difference since you can see all of your notifications grouped together rather than wait for the live tiles to show what you’ve got waiting for you. Another pleasant feature, which should’ve been added long ago, is the wallpaper. It’s the ultimate form of customization and finally its here. Being able to throw a unique wallpaper combined with the live tile colors makes it much more appealing to mess around with.
If you know Windows, you know it doesn’t require much power to run smoothly and with the Lumia 830 combined with the Snapdragon 400, I experienced very little slowdown or studders. I found that when I opened the camera I get a bit of a loading screen. The area that you’ll probably feel the biggest difference in horsepower is when playing graphic intensive games or games with a lot of action, like Halo Spartan Assault. You get a few frame rate drops when there are a lot of explosions but to be honest it still runs better than I expected.
We have a 10-megapixel shooter (ZEISS Lens) with optical image stabilization and if its anything like the past performers, you have a pretty darn good shooter here. Fortunately, much like its brethren before it, it hits its target more often then not. I found that colors can be a bit cool on the auto setting but with Nokia’s camera app you can adjust most of the picture accordingly. I was more impressed by how well it performed at night, though, downtown New York City isn’t exactly the darkest area in the US. I still found that it performed better than most cameras and in some cases beat some shooters that should out perform the 830. Its also worth mentioning that it has a very responsive dedicated shutter button on the same side as the power and volume rocker, so it becomes that much easier to take those pictures.
The 830 comes with the very decently sized 2200 mAh battery and it does a great job getting you through the work day. Much of it may have to do with the amount of power needed to push Windows mobile OS and the lower resolution display, but it still get you through the work day and then some. Battery life is also fair even with a heavy work load. Windows Mobile doesn’t take much power to run anything so even zooming back and forth between apps wont do much harm to battery life and overall stability.
Our AT&T powered device also held up well with great LTE service in the Bronx and Manhattan.
Its always great to see a mid-tier device like the Nokia Lumia 830 perform like a top-tier phone. It proves that you don’t always need maxed out specifications just to get great performance. I am beyond impressed with what the Lumia has brought to the table. What still hurts it is the availability of apps and it hasn’t changed. Yes, you have your slew of social media applications that are finally available but your still missing core, everyday applications that people enjoy using. I’m one of the few that lives and dies by Dropbox since it carries photos of mine dating back almost 5 years. That is just one of the few applications not available. Nokia already has the battery life and camera down, the software has a small learning curve and all that is missing is the app support. Give us that, and you have a winner, time and time again.
UPDATE: Dropbox was recently added to Windows Mobile shortly after our review was finalized.
- Great build quality
- Very good camera
- Good battery life
- Apps are still missing
- Front-facing camera is not worthy