Lumia 830 review: bringing a Icon down to a mid-range

November 2, 2014 - fall Denim

Lumia 830 review: bringing a Icon down to a mid-range

When Nokia expelled a Lumia Icon progressing this year, it took a polycarbonate pattern truth and went a bit steel — aluminum, specifically. The outcome was a reward phone with a imagination physique to match. But a Icon’s exclusivity on Verizon singular a appeal, and a sibling, a Lumia 930, has nonetheless to make it to US shores. Into that blank comes a Lumia 830, from a creatively minted Microsoft Mobile.

With a Lumia 830, labelled during around $450, Microsoft looks to pierce a steel support and PureView camera branding of high-end Lumias down to a mid-range smartphone level. Of course, there’s always a risk of creation a wrong sacrifices when perplexing to reduce a price, so did Microsoft trim too many corners off of a 830’s aluminum body? I’ve spent a past week with a tellurian chronicle of a phone as my daily motorist to find out.

Lumia 830 review

Summary

The Lumia 830 strikes a good change with a reward aluminum support and mid-range internals. Those looking for a plain camera knowledge during this cost operation should take a good look.

Hardware

While a lower-tier Lumia 735/730 handsets hang to tried-and-true polycarbonate bodies, a Lumia 830 follows in a aluminum-ringed footsteps of a Icon and 930. A plain support of steel surrounds a 830’s squared-off body, interrupted by dual pairs of skinny cosmetic strips on a tip and bottom edges (for a radio frequencies to pass through). At 139.4 x 70.7 x 8.5mm, it checks in during 2.4mm taller, 0.3mm narrower and 1.3mm thinner than a higher-end predecessors. Its 150g weight puts it 17 grams lighter as well.

That steel support is flanked on a front by a piece of Gorilla Glass 3 that rises rather above a aluminum body. Thankfully, a arrangement kindly tapers during a edges, creation for a well-spoken transition from a potion to a skinny steel along a bezels. No sharp, sudden borders here.

Around back, a removable cosmetic cover allows entrance to a swappable battery as good as a nano-SIM and microSD slots. The latter of that supports adult to 128GB cards to further a 16GB of onboard memory. (Sorry, no 32GB or aloft indication here.) The backplate puffs out even serve from a aluminum support than a front display, formulating a winding behind that creates a phone indeed utterly gentle in my palm notwithstanding a flat-sided aluminum frame. Its matte finish feels good to a touch, while also facing greasy fingerprints. If you’re not a fan of my examination unit’s orange hue, there other colors to cruise — nonetheless a preference in a US competence differ from what’s charity elsewhere. Microsoft is also charity several colorful flip cover shells (with wireless charging support) if you’d like some additional protection.

As for ports and buttons, a Lumia 830 mostly sticks to a customary set seen on many a Lumia over a years. On a right edge, you’ll find a volume rocker nearby a top, a energy pivotal in a core and a dedicated camera pivotal toward a bottom. The headphone jack sits front and core along a tip edge. we was rather astounded to find a micro-USB pier adult there as good (it’s been on a bottom on many of my past phones). In unchanging use, we found that chain a bit wily when we had a 830 mounted in a cradle in my automobile — it was a bit peculiar to see a charging wire growing ceiling out of my phone. That said, there’s always a built-in, Qi-compatible wireless charging if we find a assign port’s plcae troublesome.

The many critical underline on a rear, of course, is a Lumia 830’s PureView camera module, located in a top-center of a backplate. Here, Microsoft Mobile mimics a demeanour of a Lumia 1020‘s signature camera, with a black, round row surrounding a 830’s 10-megapixel camera and LED flash. Of course, this is some-more “inspiration” than it is approach “imitation.” You won’t find a 1020’s massive, Ritz cracker-size categorical shooter extending from a back. No, we’re traffic with some-more medium apparatus here, so a front on a 830’s behind is many smaller than a ancestor’s. What’s more, a removable cover adds a slight shallow around a behind camera, providing a bit of protection.

Toward a bottom of a behind row is a 830’s categorical orator grille. While that plcae competence not be as ideal as, say, a 1020’s bottom-edge speaker, it’s placed where a behind starts to taper, giving it a bit of respirating room when a phone is placed face-up on a table.

While a 830 matches a 5-inch shade distance of a Icon/930 line, Microsoft strew some pixels (and helped reduce a price) by opting for a 1,280 x 720 arrangement instead of a 1080p panel. We’re also traffic with an IPS LCD here, rather than a AMOLED section found on a comparison siblings. Whether that’s a and or a reduction expected depends on how many we enjoy/detest AMOLED’s rarely jam-packed colors. we find a 830’s shade appreciative for a many part, with accurate colors and good observation angles in many directions. However, we did notice washed-out colors while examination cinema during impassioned positions, generally toward a reduce left and right in landscape mode.

Software

Recent improvements to a Windows Phone OS have some-more or reduction put Microsoft’s mobile charity on an even change (as distant as core features) with a likes of Android and iOS. The latest upgrades to WP8.1 embody support for folders on a home screen, some-more options and languages for a Cortana voice partner and faster browsing by Internet Explorer. In addition, Lumia models will be removing an refurbish called “Denim,” that tacks on camera improvements, some-more options for a Glance Screen underline and voice activation on certain Lumia models — usually say, “Hey, Cortana” to glow adult a voice partner while a phone’s idle. On tip of those additions, a OS also boasts a plain presentation center, home shade wallpapers and swiping support in a keyboard.

The Lumia’s Glance Screen, that offers a time, date and some notifications when a arrangement is off, creates a 830 a ideal bedside alarm time given it stays onscreen while a phone is charging. No some-more groggily perplexing to find your phone’s energy toggle in a core of a night usually to see how many time we got left to sleep.

Out of a box, my unbarred examination section came with a customary Lumia offerings (including Here Drive, Skype and Mix Radio), as good as a smattering of third-party apps like Facebook and Flipboard. Thankfully, if you’re not meddlesome in any of a preloaded options, they’re easy adequate to uninstall to retrieve some storage space.

Of course, it’s not all good news. The continued additions to a OS (plus other, Lumia-specific features) have resulted in an confused and stiff settings menu. The latest incarnation of WP’s batch song actor has we flicking ceiling on a manuscript art to change tracks. After years of swiping right to left (since behind in a Zune HD days), I’m anticipating this new gesticulate irritating and reduction intuitive. And afterwards there’s a app question. While a conditions has severely softened of late, there’s still a possibility your favorite app or diversion competence not nonetheless be charity on a platform.

Beyond that, Google still refuses to offer central options for services like Gmail, Hangouts and YouTube. So if you’re deeply integrated in Google’s ecosystem, nonetheless cite a feel of Windows Phone, you’ll need to examination to third-party options like IM+ for Hangouts or Metrotube for YouTube. Of course, Microsoft offers a possess apartment of tools, like Office, OneNote and OneDrive, that play utterly easily with Windows Phone 8.1.

You competence cruise choice apps even when central support exists. Case in point: While there is a beta-tagged chronicle of Instagram available, it lacks several modifying collection seen on Android and iOS. Meanwhile, a third-party app 6tag offers some engaging options, like collages and letterboxing photos with far-reaching aspect ratios to fit them in Instagram’s block format.

Whether that app necessity indeed affects we depends, of course, on your specific needs. Can we get by nonetheless dedicated Gmail or YouTube apps? Will we be confident with an central Instagram app that’s not nonetheless as strong as a Android/iOS counterparts? Comfortable with resorting to third-party alternatives? we can’t answer that for you, unfortunately. So if we are deliberation Windows Phone, be certain to check a app marketplace to know what you’re removing yourself into.

Camera

With a Lumia 830, Microsoft isn’t bringing usually a pattern denunciation of a Icon and 930 down to a reduce cost bracket. It’s also fixation a “PureView” badge on a some-more affordable choice as well. Sure, a 830 doesn’t exaggerate a fortitude of a 20MP Icon or 930, many reduction a Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixels. Instead, it stakes a explain to a PureView name around visual picture stabilization and a guarantee of softened responsiveness.

Before we dive into a details, though, it’s value saying that my examination section didn’t arrive with a Lumia Denim update. So, we was incompetent to exam that firmware’s biggest additions, including much-improved altogether speed, a Lumia Camera app that replaces Nokia Camera and a constraint mode that lets we combine a formula of peep and non-flash versions of a same shot, vouchsafing we set a offset demeanour for a final image. I’ll be certain to refurbish my thoughts once we spend some peculiarity time with a new features.

Even nonetheless those Denim improvements, we enjoyed my time holding photos with a 830’s 10MP categorical shooter. On a daytime wander by downtown Tacoma, Washington, a phone capably rubbed any shot we attempted. White change in good light was accurate, nonetheless it spasmodic took a few seconds to settle on a right tone temperature. It did tend toward cooler (bluer) temps in low-light situations, nonetheless a Nokia Camera app’s primer options let me repair that quickly.

Interestingly, a 830 also elite bluish white change when we attempted to take orange-heavy photos of autumn leaves or pumpkin patches. For what it’s worth, images of a same tumble leaves taken with an iPhone 6 constructed many some-more accurate colors, nonetheless that’s admittedly competing in a totally opposite cost bracket.

Quirky white change aside, a camera’s visual picture stabilization let me take some plain photos in low-light environments, both indoors and out. Close-up shots of sushi in a dim grill and portraits of associate passengers on a rough automobile float constructed comparatively purify photos, nonetheless if your jitteriness is simply out of control, a 830 won’t furnish miracles.

Image peculiarity starts disappearing when a light gets severely low. A few interior shots of a dark, dull chapel showed a poignant volume of noise, a detriment of fact and pale colors, nonetheless not utterly what I’d tag as “unusable.” Of course, what’s unsuitable for a outrageous wall imitation isn’t a same as what’s unsuitable for an Instagram post. By that we mean, if we keep your expectations in check (e.g., regulating a mid-range phone for amicable network-worthy photos), we should be excellent with a formula in many settings.

The behind shooter’s stabilization also relates to video recording (up to 1080p/30). Quality in good light is good and sharp, nonetheless it tends to onslaught in darker settings. It also takes rather longer to adjust to opposite lighting levels than an iPhone 6. On a and side, that stabilization underline does a critical pursuit smoothing out video, generally when you’re on a move. We’re not articulate container Steadicam here, of course, nonetheless back-to-back videos of me jogging around with an iPhone 6 and a 830 resulted in steadier footage on a Lumia.

Unlike a selfie-targeting 5MP front shooter on a lower-tier Lumia 735/730, a 0.9MP section we have here is particularly average. It’s excellent for discerning snaps and Skype, nonetheless not many else. Fortunately, a accessible Lumia Selfie app lets we use a behind shooter for self-portraits (an audio evidence signals when your face is in a frame).

For a many part, a Lumia 830 does a PureView name proud. It doesn’t have a megapixel count of a 1020 or a Icon/930, so you’ll have reduction space when it comes to cropping. But it’s a mid-tier camera we would be happy to use on a daily basis. The automobile white change could be some-more arguable and a LED peep is simply average, nonetheless these are teenager flies in a mostly effective ointment. If a Denim refurbish usually improves things, I’ll have even reduction to protest about during this cost level.

For high-resolution print samples from a Lumia 830, click here.

Performance and battery life

The quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 and 1GB of RAM powering a Lumia 830 competence be decidedly mid-range, nonetheless a ubiquitous opening doesn’t leave too many to be desired. Apps launch and tighten swiftly, and ubiquitous navigation around a Windows Phone 8.1 UI is liquid and stutter-free. Browsing mobile web pages was a pleasing experience, nonetheless there was a good bit of tiling when zooming in and out of desktop sites. If we cite tough numbers to tummy feelings, have a demeanour during a benchmarks below.

In general, we’re articulate about a plain performer here. Push a phone tough enough, though, and we can see a boundary of a mid-level hardware. In a fast-moving, 3D diversion like Asphalt 8, a Lumia 830 turns in merely adequate, and unequivocally not silky-smooth, support rates. And if a game’s graphics don’t idea we in, a visit audio dissection during races should be a transparent pointer this isn’t going to be a mobile-gaming powerhouse.

Other games can give a 830 a examination as well. While unconstrained curtain Temple Run 2 stays well-spoken many of a time, certain turns, generally during H2O slip areas, means things to delayed down a bit. It’s not usually fast-moving 3D games, either. Strangely, support rates in a comparatively simple Jetpack Joyride dip noticeably whenever we strike a vast patch of coins. You’d consider that would make a raging diversion easier, nonetheless it’s unequivocally a bit jarring.

On a splendid side, a Lumia 830 offers plain battery life with a removable 2,200mAh cell. In a customary video-rundown test, where we loop an HD video while email, Facebook and Twitter run in a background, a 830 managed 10 hours and 39 mins before job it quits. That’s indeed a bit longer than a 10 hours Microsoft estimates for video playback. In real-world use, a phone frequently saw me by full workdays filled with emails, amicable networking, lunchtime Instagrams, gaming and even a few tangible phone calls.

Speaking of, voice calls featured transparent conversations on both ends and a speakerphone achieved superbly in my car. Even with a phone face-up on a table, a winding behind allows adequate clearway for sound to be listened nonetheless being muddled. That rear-facing orator puts out voice and song during a decent level, nonetheless don’t design much, if any, drum to gleam through

Overall, if mobile gaming is critical to you, it competence be value investing in a phone with a bit some-more oomph to tackle stream and destiny games. If you’re especially regulating your smartphone for more… critical pursuits, a Lumia 830 should hoop those needs nonetheless violation many of a sweat.

The competition

Since ATT hasn’t nonetheless announced a US recover date or cost for a Lumia 830, it’s a small wily to distance adult how it’ll transport opposite a foe here. That said, it is accessible elsewhere and in a UK, for example, EE is charity it on pay-as-you-go for £280 (about $450). Meanwhile, Amazon is charity an unbarred ubiquitous chronicle for around a same price. On EE, that puts it in roughly a same joint as a 8GB iPhone 5c and a Ascend P7 (both listed during £300). I’d be discerning to boot a 5c, as it offers reduction onboard storage (and no microSD slot) and what’s radically two-year-old hardware. The P7, on a other hand, represents a plain aspirant during this cost range. You won’t get a Lumia’s full-featured camera app, nonetheless it does exaggerate a 1080p arrangement and an 8MP front-facing camera.

If we can do nonetheless a 830’s solid, aluminum framework and stabilized camera, take a demeanour during a lower-priced sibling, a Lumia 735 (around €219, or about $279). It offers a same Snapdragon 400 heart in a polycarbonate body, with a many improved 5MP selfie camera on a front. Although, if you’re looking in that reduce cost bracket, don’t forget the Moto G ($180), that also facilities identical quad-core internals, along with central support for Google’s ecosystem.

Wrap-up

In a end, a Lumia 830 is clearly a “bridge” device. It’s got a high-end looks and able camera of flagship-level phones, along with a opening and arrangement fortitude of mid-range and bill models. Whether Microsoft Mobile done a right trade-offs unequivocally depends on what we wish out of your smartphone. Does carrying a plain camera (that’s due to get even better) trump normal gaming performance? Does regulating an ever-improving voice partner meant some-more to we than carrying central support for Google’s ecosystem? Personally, we can live with many of a sacrifices that have been made. we don’t consider I’m blank many with a 720p shade and merely normal front-facing camera. But a uneven opening in games and Microsoft’s stability onslaught to land a latest and best apps give me pause.

If you’re in need of an anecdote, here’s one: After some-more than a year of happily regulating a 41MP Lumia 1020 as my daily driver, we done a switch to a iPhone 6. Then, a week or so after that switch, we perceived a Lumia 830 to examination and went about regulating it as my bland phone. And theory what? For a many part, we didn’t unequivocally skip my shiny, new iPhone. Of course, it’s by no means a finish deputy — there are still games, facilities and apps on iOS that we can’t get elsewhere (hello, AP Stylebook Mobile). But in general, life was rather pleasing with a 830. It’s an Icon(ic) phone that cuts many of a right corners.


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