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Nokia Lumia 830 review

 Review: February 2015  

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Nokia Lumia 830 offers premium styling and a super camera for around the 300 mark. But all-round performance is no better than average for a phone costing this much.

Today's best buy: Nokia Lumia 830 5 inch UK SI ... from Amazon (£139)


Design and looks

The Nokia Lumia 830 is a higher-end Lumia phone, and it has premium elements to its design. Most striking is the combination of smooth polycarbonate finish and metal frame. The front is sculpted glass, and on the edge you'll find volume keys, a power/lock key, and a camera key. Like many Lumia handsets, it's quite heavy, but reaonably slim - slimmer than the flagship Lumia 930 for instance. It definitely feels like a solid, dependable handset.

The standard model is black, with metal finishing, but it's also available in Orange and Green. The back covers are replaceable.

The screen is one of the largest we've seen on a Lumia phone, measuring 5 inches across. It's a reasonably bright IPS screen, and has HD resolution with 1280 x 720 pixels, giving it a fairly sharp pixel density of 296ppi. That's standard for this higher price range, and slightly less than the cheaper Lumia 735. Overall the screen is good enough, but nothing special. We much prefer the ClearBlack OLED display in the Lumia 930.

Windows Phone 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1 Denim looks good on this phone, with the new 3-column layout making the most of the HD screen. Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant, also puts in an appearance in the Lumia 830. A solid base of key apps is included, and there are now more than 300,000 available, although Windows Phone still lags behind iOS and Android where 3rd party apps are concerned. But don't let this factor rule out Windows Phone - in many ways it's our operating system of choice, here at S21.

Quadcore processor

Like the Lumia 735, the Lumia 830 uses a Snapdragon 400 quadcore processor running at 1.2GHz. Again, that's typical, and not in any way special. The 1GB of RAM looks decidedly cramped. Still, Windows Phone 8.1 runs very smoothly under this configuration, and we experienced no problems in day to day use. But if you're into demanding 3D games, then this processor probably isn't going to be fast enough to run the latest and greatest.

The 16GB of built-in memory is adequate, and you can easily add more with a microSD card. You also get 15GB of free cloud storage.

An excellent camera

Nokia phones often excel when it comes to photography, and it seems that the camera is the Lumia 830's star feature. The rear camera is a Pureview 10 megapixel camera with a BSI sensor and optical image stabilisation. This combination enables it to produce detailed images even in poor lighting conditions. There's a wealth of options for controlling image settings, and the Creative Studio app gives you Photoshop-like post-processing ability on your phone. We'd rate the Lumia 830 as one of the best camera phones in the £300-or-less price range.

The rear camera can record video at Full 1080p HD resolution, and features Lumia Rich Recording with 3 microphones for surround sound in videos.

The front camera is decidedly more average. It's a 0.9 megapixel job, capable of recording 720p HD video only - much less impressive.


The phone has all the connectivity options that we demand, including 4G with a wide selection of LTE bands. You'll also find Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, NFC and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Location services include A-GLONASS, A-GPS, BeiDou, Cellular and Wi-Fi network positioning.

Battery life

Nokia is rarely generous when it comes to the size of battery it installs in its Lumia phones. The Lumia 830 has a 2220mAh battery, which is average, and gives reasonable performance - around 10 hours of continuous use, perhaps slightly more. Heavy users may find that they go right down to the wire at the end of each day, but moderate users can probably stretch to a couple of days between charges.

The 830 also supports Qi wireless charging.

Conclusion - a great camera on a nice but mediocre phone

The Lumia 830 has the makings of a great phone. We like the metal and polycarbonate construction, and the camera is an excellent performer. But the rest of the phone is just cruising, just getting by. The screen is unexceptional, as is overall performance and battery life. Apart from the camera, there's not much to get excited about.

That's not to say that the 830 is a bad phone - for the price it offers good value, and it looks good too. But the cheaper Lumia 735 is a better deal, offering pretty much the same capabilities for significantly less money.

Nokia Lumia 830 features include:

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Nokia Lumia 830 user reviews

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Average rating from 4 reviews:

Reviewed by The Hedge from UK on 8th Nov 2015
Initially it seemed quite a capable smartphone. Good for texting and email. Good camera with dedicated button. Then realisation dawned... awful quality apps and a terrible store with a lack of apps that you are used to on ios and android. But the worst and most annoying problem... you are forever hitting the camera button when you hold the phone to take a call... its too sensitive!!! Sold on Ebay after just a couple of months!!!

Reviewed by Tris from UK on 26th Jul 2015
Picked up this phone very cheap off a well known auction site. The reason why I opted for this over the 735 and the 640 are more for minor reasons as the internals are all the same. The first is obviously build quality. It's first rate and sturdy for a upper end mid class device. 2nd is the dedicated camera key. Being this is a pure view device it's a great feature that's lost from the 735 downwards on the more modern devices made by Microsoft. 3rd is the capasative keys. I much prefer them. The reason being is the swipe gesture to flick them away can result in an action annoyingly and on some things like Iplayers or games, a little white line is present that can be quiet distracting. The screen isn't brilliant ,but it's far from bad. It's got enough power if you don't want to play demanding games. It's got one redeeming feature that's more related to the OS rather then the phone and that's the micro sd storage. Everything can be stored to the sd which makes for a true 128gb device. Other things are great too such as the camera and the fact you can swop batteries and QI wireless charging. I bought this to use for navigation and watching films and music on the train. It's not worth it's original price as the 640 and 735 can deliver the very same experience other then the build quality for far less money........ And that's one of the problems with wo devices. Just for general use they are all the same. The 930 is even hindered by the fact it has no sd storage which is why the 830 is for some a better option. No glance either on the 735 and 930 due to the display type. The 830 is a great little device for storage and build and camera.............. But unless you can get it cheap, it offers nothing at all that the 640 wouldn't be able to do, and I honesty think the 735 is one of the very best alternatives to the iPhone 6 full stop.

Reviewed by prakash from india on 9th May 2015

Reviewed by Nick from England on 8th Feb 2015
Had this since December, previous phones were Lumia 800, 920, and 925. Even though the processor is technically slower than the 920 and 925, because it is quad core rather than dual core it is faster in day to day operation, the screen is brilliant, much better than the 925 even though it is bigger with the same resolution it just seems crisper and small text is clearer, micro sd card slot is a bonus, camera is awesome, battery life is better than 920 or 925 I get a day of heavy use easily. Highly recommend this phone if you like style and decent performance at an affordable price.

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