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Nokia Lumia 830 review

Katharine Byrne
25 Nov 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
295
inc VAT SIM-free

The Lumia 830 is well-made phone, but it’s too expensive compared to the Lumia 930

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Screen Size: 5.0in, Screen resolution: 1,280x720, Rear camera: 10-megapixel, Storage: 16GB, Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 139x71x8.5 mm, Weight: 150g, Operating system: Windows Phone 8.1

The Nokia Lumia 830 is a cheaper version of the excellent Lumia 930, and this beautifully made handset looks just as high-end as its range-topping big brother. Admittedly, the Lumia 830's quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor is a big step down from the 930’s 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, and it puts the Lumia 830’s performance roughly on par with more budget-orientated phones such as the Lumia 630 and the new Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen). For instance, the Lumia 830 only scored 1,230ms in our SunSpider JavaScript benchmarks, which is just over 200ms faster than the Lumia 630 and the new Moto G’s scores. The Lumia 930, meanwhile, is streets ahead with its score of 512ms.

However, we found the Lumia 830 was responsive on a day-to-day basis. It occasionally stumbled when loading images on The Guardian's desktop home page, but this was only a problem when we were scrolling particularly quickly when zoomed in. Otherwise, we had few problems while web browsing and Windows Phone 8.1 felt very snappy and smooth. 

Nokia Lumia 830

DISPLAY

Web pages looked sharp on the Lumia 830’s 5in 1,280x720 IPS screen, and our colour calibrator showed the screen displayed 95 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, which isn’t bad. A measured peak brightness of 471.52cd/m2 is also good, but the disadvantage of a very bright display is that blacks can appear grey, which was confirmed by our high black level reading of 0.42cd/m2. However, the Lumia 830 has three different brightness profiles and all of them can be adjusted to your liking, so it’s easy to get deeper blacks. The screen's contrast levels were excellent, measuring 1,109:1, and we had no trouble seeing the screen from a variety of angles.

We liked the Lumia 830's new Glance Screen feature, which lets you see the time, date and any notifications you'd normally see on the lock screen. It's similar to the Moto X's Moto Display feature, and it adds an extra layer of convenience that minimises battery use if all you want to know is the current time. Unlike the Moto X, you'll still need to turn the Lumia 830 on and unlock it to interact with those notifications. There's also a driving mode that disables all notifications except texts and phone calls while you're on the road. 

FORD CORTANA

One of the most anticipated features of Windows Phone 8.1 is Cortana, which is Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri. Cortana acts as a personal digital assistant that can search the web to answer questions, make calendar appointments via voice control and help you keep track of your diary. When you first turn Cortana on it'll ask you a couple of questions to get an idea of your main interests. It'll then use this information to populate Cortana's home page with useful bits of information, such as the current weather, news and any calendar appointments. You can then either type or speak a question and it'll do its best to answer that question. 

To see how Cortana performed against Siri, we asked both assistants a list of questions at the same time to see how quickly and accurately they dealt with our requests. Both produced answers with similar speed, but the usefulness of their answers varied greatly. Simple questions such as "Where am I?" and "What's the weather going to be like on Friday?" produced smart, personalised responses from both assistants, but when we asked Cortana "What's the date today?", all we got was a web search for "today's date" rather than a straightforward answer.

Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana screenshots

Siri proved to be the more intelligent assistant when asking more general questions. When we asked "What's the latest celebrity news?", Siri gave us specific stories from newspaper sites such as the Daily Star and The Mirror, providing far more interesting results compared to Cortana's general search for "celebrity news" which turned up vague hub pages from Now Magazine and Top Celebrity Diary.

Siri was also better at helping us make appointments. When we tried making a doctor's appointment for "Wednesday morning", Siri immediately asked us what time we'd like to make it for and if we'd like to schedule it. Cortana, meanwhile, defaulted to 8am and didn't check whether this was the correct time. Instead, we had to ask another question in order to change the time, but this involved a long-winded process of Cortana searching for the correct event, us then selecting the appointment we wanted to edit, and then saying which bit of information we'd like to change.

Cortana wasn't as useful in helping us manage any conflicting appointments, either, as it’d only notify us of a conflict when we’d created a new event and put it in our calendar. Siri, on the other hand, noticed the conflict immediately and asked us what we wanted to do. Cortana was better at creating reminders, though, asking us when and what time we'd like to be reminded about our request. Siri simply created the reminder and didn't ask us any additional questions. However, neither assistant was able to pick up conflicts between reminders and calendar appointments. Cortana has a way to go before it can truly rival Siri, but it's important to note that Cortana's still in beta.

CAMERA

On the back of the Lumia 830 is a 10-megapixel camera, and the Lumia 830 has a proper shutter button and optical image stabilisation to help reduce hand judder. There's also the option to rotate and re-crop your photos after you've taken them, and make them the ideal size for uploading to Instagram and other social media sites. Our outdoor shots looked great. Colours were a fraction warm, but the camera coped well in both sunny and cloudy conditions. The sky was exposed correctly in both circumstances and there was plenty of detail on show in every part of the frame. There wasn't much noise either, even in larger expanses of the sky.

Nokia Lumia 830 camera test

^ Another great camera from the Lumia range, with well-judged exposures in a variety of conditions

CONCLUSION

The Nokia Lumia 830 is a well-made Windows Phone with a great screen and lots of useful extra features, but now the price of the Nokia Lumia 930 has come down to around £380 SIM free we feel the Lumia 830 is a little too expensive to make it a good-value alternative. The Lumia 830 is a decent phone, but we’d probably pay more for the superior Lumia 930.

Hardware
ProcessorQuad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
RAM1GB
Screen size5.0in
Screen resolution1,280x720
Screen typeIPS
Front camera0.9-megapixel
Rear camera10-megapixel
FlashLED
GPSYes
CompassYes
Storage16GB
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
Wi-Fi802.11n
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
NFCNo
Wireless data3G, 4G
Size139x71x8.5 mm
Weight150g
Features
Operating systemWindows Phone 8.1
Battery size2,220mAh
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Price SIM-free (inc VAT)£295
Price on contract (inc VAT)Free on £21-per-month contract
Prepay price (inc VAT)£280
SIM-free supplierwww.ebuyer.com
Contract/prepay supplierhttp://shop.tescomobile.com / www.ee.co.uk
Detailswww.nokia.co.uk
Part codeRM-984

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