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Nokia Lumia 830: Hands on review

Nokia unveiled not one or two but three devices at IFA 2014 in Berlin, each one designed to fill a mid-range void in the rangeThe Lumia 830 is the most premium of the three and what Nokia calls ‘the first affordable flagship’ smartphone. We took it for a spin – here are our initial thoughts.

Nokia Lumia 830: Design

The Lumia 830 is the thinnest and lightest Lumia yet. You get the solid Nokia build quality, it just comes in a more pocket friendly package compared with the Lumia 930 and older Lumia 1020. 

The phone is 139.4mm tall, 70.7mm wide, 8.5mm thick and weighs 150g, all of which compares favourably with the 167g, 9.8mm thick Lumia 930. A choice of orange, green, white and dark grey is available.

In terms of styling, the Lumia 930 is the 830’s inspiration. It has the usual hardware buttons and a 5-inch display, which is surrounded by squared-off metal edging. It feels comfortable to hold, though not as much as the rounded Lumia 1020.

At the back is a PureView camera with Zeiss optics, which sits flat in the device. This is down to the thinnest iteration of optical image stabilisation (OIS for short) on a Lumia device. Around that is smooth plastic in one of four colours. 

Overall the Lumia 830 has a simple, stylish design that gets attention – especially if you opt for the bright green or bright orange colour options. The less flashy among us can opt for the old-fashioned white or dark grey.

Nokia Lumia 830: Hardware

The Lumia 830 has more in common with flagship than mid-range handsets. A 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM helps Windows Phone glide along in buttery fashion. Compared with older Lumias, you can really see a difference in the punchiness of loading times. 

16GB of internal storage should prove adequate for most users, especially when you have a microSD slot for adding up to an additional 128GB. It helps, too, that you get 15GB of OneDrive cloud storage, bringing the basic total to 31GB. That’s impressive when the Lumia 930 comes with 7GB of OneDrive storage.

A removable 2,200mAh battery should provide a day of use, but we’ll have to wait for our full review to back up that claim. Interestingly, the Lumia 830’s battery can be removed, unlike the Lumia 930’s 2,420mAh offering. 

On the back is a 10-megapixel PureView Zeiss camera, which seems to offer relatively impressive photography prowess. The OIS element means it should cope in low-light conditions, while the resolution is more than adequate for most people.

Full HD video is supported at 30fps, as well as 4K video at 24fps. A new camera app allows you to grab an 8.3-megapixel still photo from a 4K video. This is done using a slider so it’s a simple process. 

A big change to the Lumia camera is its speed. Camera start up is much faster so you are less likely to miss the moment you want to capture. 

In addition, Nokia claims between three and four shots can be captured in the blink of an eye (42 milliseconds per shot). The mobile world is littered with Android phones capable of rattling off shots, so it’s good to see a Windows Phone get similar capabilities.

Nokia Lumia 830: Display

Like the Lumia 930, you get a 5-inch display. Sadly the resolution of the Lumia 830 is 1,280×720 so there is less detail and clarity, but it seemed bright and clear enough during our hands on. 

In terms of size, 5-inches is certainly pushing it for some users, particularly those with small hands, but we find it a good balance between ease of reading and not needing to have clown pockets. 

Nokia Lumia 830: New features

Nokia has bestowed the Lumia 830 with a number of new features, most of which come via the Lumia Denim update it ships with. There are the aforementioned camera improvements, as well as wireless charging and 4G, features usually reserved for pricier devices. 

A new accessory called Nokia Smart Wireless Charging features lights that can be used to alert you of notifications, or tell you when your phone is charged. 

Another cool camera feature blends two photos together, one taken with a flash and the other without, with an on-screen slider letting you glide between the two extremes. This helps reduce harsh lighting or brighten up a dark image, depending on what you want. It also means you can always leave the flash on just in case it yields a better result.

Nokia Lumia 830: Summary

Based on first impressions, the Lumia 830 looks and feels like a flagship device, even though it lacks a full HD display. We love the styling and Nokia’s impeccable build quality, which has seen our test Lumia 1020 survive many accidental drops. 

We only have a european price to go on so it’s hard to ascertain where the Lumia 830 will sit in the market. It’s definitely going to be cheaper than the, admittedly more powerful, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Apple iPhone 5S, but how does it stack up against the likes of the Nexus 5 and Motorola Moto G? We’ll have to wait and see.

Priced right, the Lumia 830 will be a great way to experience the Lumia eco-system. 

Nokia Lumia 830: Pricing and availability

The Nokia Lumia 830 will be released in early October 2014 in the UK. A UK price is TBC – stay tuned as we head towards its launch.

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