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Nokia Lumia 830 review

Nokia Lumia 830 review

Nokia and Microsoft’s so–called ‘affordable flagship’ aims to offer top–end functionality in a device that won’t cost the same price as your average monthly mortgage payment.

With a capacious 5–inch screen, high-end camera and sharp metal frame, it promises much.

But can it stand up to similarly priced rivals? Read our review and find out.

First impressions and design

nokia lumia review 1 back

Lumia phones are by and large well designed, whether they’re all plastic affairs, such as the budget 735, or a combination of plastic and metal, like Lumia 830.

The metal frame gives the device a premium feel, up there with HTC’s superb One M8.

The removable battery cover, however, does rather compromise the overall look of the phone.

nokia lumia 830 review 2

Essentially a plastic backplate, it cheapens the design, even if it does give users greater control when it comes to adding a different power unit (or using Nokia’s proprietary wireless charging tool).

Software

nokia lumia 830 review 3

As with all Lumias, Windows Phone is the order of the day on the 830.

It’s packing the latest 8.1 version, which means a three column home screen design and a generally more snappy performance all round.

Nokia’s superb Here Maps are native to the handset, as is its Here Drive+ GPS app.

For our money, both are a match for Google’s more popular nav services, with easier offline options and intuitive UX.

nokia here generic

Otherwise, everything is much as you’d expect with Windows Phone.

The app offerings still don’t fully match up to those on Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

But they’re fine for those not too concerned with loading up on the latest add–ons from independent developers.

Features

nokia lumia 830 review 4

The biggest draw with the Lumia 830 is unquestionably its camera.

A 10-megapixel effort with Carl Zeiss optics and optical image stabilisation, it’s an absolute stunner and matches up to the efforts found on top end devices such as the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

Not only does it take impressive point–and–shoot images, it also offers users some serious options when it comes to manual control.

A sharp–looking scroll wheel allows you to tweak white balance, flash, shutter speed, brightness and ISO easily.

It’s a powerful tool which puts comparable compact cameras in the shade in terms of usability.

Its main features though are the excellent Dynamic Flash and Rich Capture options.

nokia lumia 830 sample photo

These let you merge two identical images together to get perfect results.

The former by pulling together one image taken with the flash and one without. The latter by offering a high ISO and low ISO image taken in low light and letting you decide how to bring them together.

These features are clever, effortless and put the Lumia 830 well ahead of the pack.

Chuck in a series of excellent tutorials and it’s hard to argue against this phone’s imaging prowess.

Usability

nokia lumia 830 front and back

Windows Phone devices are very easy to use, even if you need to jump through countless menus on initial set-up.

The three-column redesign of the OS does make things feel a little cluttered, however.

The 5–inch screen means it’s just on the edge of acceptability when it comes to one–handed use.

And although the display is 720p rather than Full HD 1080p, it doesn’t impact too badly on viewing performance.

Only true phone geeks can tell the difference anyway.

Verdict

The Lumia 830 is another solid effort from Microsoft and Nokia.

Its camera alone is worth the money, even if there are cheaper devices that have more impressive spec sheets (the new Moto X especially).

If you want a phone that primarily takes pictures, then look no further.

Key specs

  • Screen: 7–inch, 1280 x 720 HD - Dimensions: 139.4mm x 70/7mm x 8.5mm
  • Battery: 2220 mAh
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, quad–core 1.2GHz
  • Cameras: 10 megapixel rear with Carl Zeiss optics and OIS, 0.9 megapixel front, Full 1080p video @ 30fps

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