Nokia Lumia 830 review: Punching above its weight
The most fleshed out Windows 8.1 Phone yet
- Aluminium chassis
- Long battery life
- 10 megapixel camera
- Ordinary 294 pixel-per-inch density
- Modest hardware
Few smartphones scream personality like a Nokia. All across the range are phones dressed in bright ‘look at me’ colours, each one standing out from the pack of drab white, black or grey that adorns everything from iPhones to HTCs. Not everyone will be lured to Nokia's design, but the people that buy Nokia phones often love them loudly.
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.
Borrowed from the flagship is the sense it was crafted and not assembled. The smartphone is built upon an aluminium chassis that is milled from a single block. It feels cold, taut and rigid, but in the best of ways. Buttons forged from the same material punctuate its side.
Nokia touts the 830 as its thinnest smartphone to date with a waist of 9mm. Other smartphones are thinner — take the 7mm iPhone 6 for instance — and yet the proportions of this Lumia feel right. Nokia has rounded the rear subtly in an effort to make it more comfortable. The efforts make the large smartphone a little more comfortable to hold, but it remains a tough phone to pocket.
The screen of the Lumia 830 spans 5-inches, is well backlit and benefits from a wide viewing angle. The downside is the 1280x720 display has 294 pixels in each inch, and that’s just not enough to hide pixels from a naked eye — although it falls short by the faintest of margins.
Nokia devices nowadays run Windows Phone 8.1 and the Lumia 830 packs the Lumia Denim update. Bundled goodies include the test version of Microsoft’s personal assistant, Cortana, and the ability to create folders on the home screen. These seemingly minor updates inch Window Phone closer to Android and iOS so that the jump across no longer frightens.
The version of Cortana available in Australia holds great promise under the proviso Microsoft irons out some of the kinks. Cortana will schedule calendar entries, send texts and draft emails promptly and without error. The personal assistant also has a flair for online searches, even though it doesn’t yet exhibit the same level of maturity showcased by Google Now or Apple’s Siri. Our only qualm is the alpha version couldn’t playback music, even though it recognised the songs and albums we requested.
Windows Phone is more minimalist in design than Apple’s brightly-lit iOS, and the light footprint means the Lumia 830 can do without cutting edge processing hardware. Housed in its body is a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, though if that’s not enough, the smartphone can take microSD cards up to 128GB.
The modest hardware runs Windows Phone admirably, but the Lumia 830 feels like the 635 in that it gets by, and less like the flagship 930, which offers the sense there’s always more power burbling inside.
Come battery life and the Lumia 830 will blow the flagships from Apple and Samsung away. Good Gear Guide found the 830 averaged 30 hours of use as our primary phone, as it diligently handled calls, texts, emails and social networking, in addition to some YouTube, GPS and camera use.
Dominating the back of the 830 is a 10 megapixel camera joined by a single LED flash. Photos captured with the camera are vibrant in colours of all hues, although blowing the photos up to their native resolution reveals the kind of image noise that plagued the Lumia 635's camera. The absence of an HDR mode often results in detail going to waste in either shady or strongly lit areas.Read more: Nokia Lumia 735 review: Perfectly ordinary
Nokia’s Lumia 830 is a well rounded smartphone that, as Nokia promised, could replace a flagship from Apple or Samsung. The well designed and feature-rich device doesn’t have many drawbacks, other than the mediocre display. We worry only about the price.
We believe the 830 will cost more than the inferior Lumia 730, which has an Australian RRP of $399. How attractive a buy the Lumia 830 is will go down as the price hikes, and if it climbs past the $600 mark, it’ll be running low on value amidst the stiff competition.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 3 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
- 5 Parrot Mambo Drone review
Latest News Articles
- Google releases Android 7.1.1 images for Pixel and Nexus devices
- Lenovo promises 12 new Moto Mod add-ons per year
- The Samsung Galaxy Note7's extreme thinness may be behind battery explosions
- Random iPhone 6s shutdowns due to faulty battery component, Apple says
- The mysteries of the GPU in Apple's iPhone 7 are unlocked
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSupport EngineerNSW
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- FTSOE Team LeaderWA
- TPChange ManagerQLD
- CCIteration Manager / Scrum MasterSA
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTSoftware Implementation ConsultantVIC
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- FTSolution Architect - Application IntegrationQLD
- CCSales Support AssociateNSW
- FTLead Frontend DeveloperNSW
- CCProject Manager - Software DevelopmentQLD
- CCiOS Developer - 6 Month ContractNSW
- CCCloud Automation Engineer. Work Location - CanberraNSW
- FT.Net & Oracle Developers - Agile, Digital/ Portal DevelopmentNSW
- CCIT Service Management Delivery SpecialistNSW
- CCChange & Release AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior Automation TesterVIC
- FTEnd Point Security AdministratorACT
- FTSystems Engineer - Managed Service ProviderVIC
- FTUX ResearcherVIC
- CCWinforms Developer - European Integration ProgramNSW
- CCGIS ConsultantNSW
- TPWordpress DeveloperWA