I was recently loaned the Nokia Lumia 830 for a couple of weeks to review. It’s a decent mid-range phone, with Windows 8.1 installed. I did this review as a video, but if you prefer to read the review instead, scroll down…
The phone itself is quite good looking with a black bezel around the screen and a silver/metallic casing around the edge. It’s more of a square phone when compared to others on the market – I’m not sure I how I feel about it. It’s certainly distinctive, but I sort of feel like it would be nicer without seeing the silver coloured casing from the front of the phone. There are three buttons located on the right hand side of the phone – volume controls, power button and a button for taking photos. The buttons don’t protrude very much so they’re not prone to being accidentally pressed – I did find however that I would get the power and camera buttons mixed up – something that I’ll have to get used to.
At the top of the phone is the headphone socket and the micro USB port for charging. You don’t have to use that however as the phone comes with a built in NFC chip and wireless charging. There are gaps at the top and bottom of the phone for the antenna. These don’t really show up much compared to the colour of the casing and is far more subtle than the ugly gaps found on the iPhone 6.
The back of the case is available in 4 colours – Orange, Green, White and Black. The orange looks really nice in the promotional videos and under the lighting for the video above, but in real life, doesn’t look amazing. However, the back of the case is removable allowing you to replace it with one of a different colour.
The downside to having a removable back cover is that it makes the phone feel a bit cheap. The plastic creaks when you press down near the camera lens and it doesn’t really look very nice. Being able to add extra storage via a MicroSD card though, makes this slightly more bearable.
Inside the phone is a 2200mah battery which seems to last pretty well under our testing. There is also a microSD card slot which allows you to put in up to 128GB extra storage space. This phone comes with 16GB onboard storage.
The phone is fairly light, weighing in at 150g which isn’t too much heavier than my iPhone 5s which weighs 112. This is despite it being slightly thicker and having an extra inch of screen space. Holding it certainly feels comfortable.
The screen has a 5” IPS display at 720p HD resolution. As it’s not in full HD it only has a ppi of 296 which is pretty low compared to other phones such as the Nexus 5 which has 445ppi and the Lumia 930 which has 441ppi. When looking at the screen however, it still looks pretty good – in fact the only issues we saw with it were in small text such as those on the live tiles of the home screen. Some of the words look a little fuzzy around the edges – other than that though, it’s an impressive screen. The IPS display shows colours vividly and photos look great. It doesn’t have an OLED display like the Lumia 930 does though, so the blacks aren’t as dark as they could be. The viewing angles are also very good and finger prints show up a lot less than other phones we have used.
The phone does a decent job of handling graphics-intensive games, but as it’s a mid-range phone, don’t expect to be blown away. On some games, it does feel like it’s struggling on occasions so serious mobile gamers may want to look elsewhere.
The screen adjusts it’s brightness automatically although you can adjust it yourself. At it’s brightest setting it is very bright – certainly enough to give me some serious eye strain – but this will be useful on very bright sunny days.
The phone has a 10 megapixel camera with an aperture of f/2.2. This makes is very good for capturing close up detail and capturing images in lower light situations. It can also record video in 1080p HD up to 30 frames per second.
As you can see from this picture, it does a reasonable job of taking photos in low light conditions. There is some noticeable motion blur and grain however, but for a mid-range phone, it certainly does a respectable job.
Powering the phone is a 1200Mhz Quadcore processor and 1GB of RAM. This is definitely enough for a phone like this and for general use, it feels pretty quick. Only on a few occasions have we experienced any lag.
Now this phone comes with Windows 8.1 preinstalled which is actually a very nice operating system. Operating it seems very intuitive and even things like re-arranging and resizing live tiles is done with ease. More and more decent apps are being added to the Windows App store so it’s definitely getting more competitive with Android and iOS. We really like the Live Tiles on the home screen. It’s a nice compromise between the app icon focussed iOS operating system and the more widget friendly Android.
There are however some baffling design decisions in the operating system. For example, trying to change the settings of the phone is an absolute chore with the different settings displayed as one giant long list which doesn’t appear to be arranged in any sort of sensible order. It would also help if there were some icons to help people find what they’re looking for a bit quicker. Menus aside, it’s a nice operating system to use.
If you’re looking for a decent mid-range phone and want to give a windows phone a try, then you can’t go far wrong with the Lumia 830. The expandable storage options and thin design give it quite an advantage over not just it’s competitors, but other phones in the Lumia range.