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IFA: Nokia Lumia 830 hands-on review

We get a close look at Nokia's latest affordable, high-end Windows smartphone
Thu Sep 04 2014, 16:20

BERLIN: NOKIA ANNOUNCED the Nokia Lumia 830 at IFA in Germany on Thursday, taking on rivals Samsung and Apple by offering "premium features" at an affordable price.

Unveiled at the firm's first event as part of Microsoft after the Redmond firm bought Nokia's devices division a year ago, the Lumia 830 adds to the firm's recently announced models such as the Nokia Lumia 530 and Nokia Lumia 630.

Nokia Lumia 830 hands on - screen

The Lumia 830 is the formerly Finnish company's "thinnest and lightest" high-end Windows Phone yet, priced at €330, or around £300.

Design
The main design feature of the Lumia 830 is that it offers a feature set similar to the flagship Lumia 930 but in a more compact chassis. Measuring 8.5mm thick and weighing 150g, the Lumia 830 is one of the lightest Lumia phones, and thus fits more comfortably in the hand than previous high-end Lumia iterations such as the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 1020.

Nokia Lumia 830 hands on - side

The handset measures 139x70x8.5mm from top to bottom, a little bigger than the Lumia 930's 137x71x9.8mm chassis but a lot thinner, which makes all the difference. It's also 17g lighter than the Lumia 930 at 150g, meaning it won't slip as easily into a skinny jeans pocket like its predecessor but does feel a touch easier to hold. We found that we liked the handset's design and feel, with the aluminium edging adding to its overall robust impression.

Nokia Lumia 830 hands on - side

It might be Nokia's first release since being bought by Microsoft, but the good news is that the firm has kept the Lumia brand's splash of colour. Like the Lumia 930, the Lumia 830 will be available in vibrant orange and green models, which certainly will turn heads on the street. Nokia has also opted for matte polycarbonate for the colourful casing rather than the shiny plastic often found on its Windows Phone devices, which means that it sits comfortably in the hand and likely won't be too prone to picking up fingerprints.

For the more conservative punters, the Nokia Lumia 830 will also be available in black and white models.

Display
The Nokia Lumia 930 has a 5in IPS 1280x720 resolution display that we found crisp and bright during our hands-on time with the smartphone.

Nokia Lumia 830 hands on - camera

Thanks to its Clearblack display technology, Nokia boasts that the Lumia 830 offers 180 degree viewing angles, and the phone lived up to this during our time with it on Thursday at the launch event. However, we found the display quite reflective, and it struggled under bright fluorescent lighting.

Camera
In our hands-on tests, the Lumia 820's 10MP camera seemed to respond brilliantly when we took pictures of the greenery outside the launch event window. Shutter speed was reasonably fast and images taken were crisp, due its Pureview image sensor. Nevertheless, it isn't quite as impressive as the Nokia Lumia 1020's 41MP rear-facing camera.

Nokia Lumia 830 hands on - camera lens

We have yet to put this camera fully through its paces, but early impressions suggest that it will produce images of similar quality to those taken on the Nokia Lumia 930, which impressed us with its crisp and natural image-taking capability.

Performance and OS
Powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, the Lumia 830 seems fast and fluid when swiping between different apps. Nokia said that its new smartphone's performance is "either better or on par" with its Samsung flagship competition, without naming which smartphone it was referring to.

The Nokia Lumia 830 arrives running Windows Phone 8.1 and thus is pre-loaded with Microsoft Office for productivity, Onedrive for cloud storage, and the Cortana voice control app "for markets it's available in".

Nokia Lumia 830 hands on - Windows OS

We have yet to test all of the features of Windows Phone 8.1, but it also delivers Microsoft's Cortana personal assistant, WiFi Sense, Word Flow and enterprise additions.

Of course, all of Nokia's usual additions are also in place, including Here Maps, Nokia Music and the Finnish phone firm's custom camera applications.

Wireless charging
Like the Lumia 930, the Lumia 830 supports wireless charging and Nokia has announced an accessory alongside it at IFA - the second generation wireless charging plate. The device charges a wireless phone via NFC so when users tap their phone on it, they can customise notifications via the plate's lighting feature. They can then choose between different blinking patterns.

The wireless charging plate requires Windows Phone 8.1 and will be available in green, orange and white to match the covers of the Lumia 830.

First impressions
While the Nokia Lumia 830 didn't immediately strike us as a breath-taking smartphone, our hands-on has convinced us otherwise, and we think that this could one of Nokia's most popular Windows Phone yet, mainly due to its relatively low price.

Not only is the screen the most impressive we've seen on a Nokia Lumia device, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system adds some impressive features such as built-in VPN support, low system requirements, meaning its more nippy, and integrated Skype access, which means that people might be more open to switching from more popular operating systems such as iOS and Android.

Check back soon for our full Nokia Lumia 830 review. µ

 

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