We’ve reviewed a lot of smartphones since we started this blog but we have not reviewed a mid range or high end Windows Phone. So we decided to buy a Nokia Lumia 830. This is the last Lumia device with a “Nokia” badge. Next year, expect more Lumia devices with Microsoft’s branding. By the way, the first Lumia with Microsoft branding is now available locally. The Microsoft Lumia 535 is now available for only P5,990.
Anyway, going back to the Lumia 830. This phone is dubbed “an affordable flagship smartphone” by Microsoft. For only P18,990, you can get a 5-inch HD smartphone with top notch camera, quad core processor, and excellent metal build. It is worth your hard earned money? Let’s find out!
Nokia Lumia 830:
- 1.2GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
- Adreno 305 graphics
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage expandable via MicroSD up to 128GB
- 5-inch HD IPS LCD display (1280 x 720 pixels) 294 ppi with ClearBlack technology
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- 10 megapixel rear facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilization, autofocus and LED flash
- 0.9 megapixel front facing camera
- LTE, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
- 2,200 mAh Li-Ion battery
- Windows Phone 8.1
- SRP: P18,990 (sale price as of this writing)
- Status: Available in Nokia stores and retailers
HARDWARE AND DESIGN:
Nokia’s old mobile division, now called Microsoft Mobile, has been known for making excellent Nokia handsets. When quality comes to mind, everybody will think about Nokia. The Nokia Lumia 830 is a very solid, well built device. You’ll feel it once you get a hold of it. The metal frame makes the phone premium looking and beautiful to hold. Remove the polycarbonate back and you’ll see the removable battery, a nano SIM card slot and a microSD card expansion for up to 128GB. Sweet!!! More photos and videos to store!
The 5-inch IPS LCD display may only have 720p resolution but it is surprisingly bright and vivid. It is manageable outdoors and under direct sunlight too. Viewing angles are great so watching movies and You Tube videos is a joy. We understand why Microsoft kept it on 720p and that is to meet its affordable price. The compromise is just understandable.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE:
Just like we’ve said before, Windows Phone is not for everyone. That is because of one big drawback – the apps. All the essential apps are present – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Swarm, etc. But if you are looking for apps popular on Android and iOS like Retrica, games like Clash of Clans and Dead Trigger 2, etc then look somewhere else. For us, we are not really into apps. Since all the apps that we need are on Windows Phone already, it is our OS of choice. Why? It has the best of both iOS and Android – software updates gets in to devices quickly, smooth performance even on a low end hardware, clean user interface and it stands out in the crowd.
Just like any other Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 830 is smooth, fast and simple. Gaming is superb but we have not tried to download graphic intense games. Most intense games are not free. Playing Asphalt 8, a very intense and memory hog game runs smoothly here. Android’s most popular game, Candy Crush Saga is now on Windows Phone as well.
And now for the highlight for this review- the camera. We had some trouble at first because we are not used to review Windows Phone. Photos appeared blurry and we don’t know why. And then when we learned how to use the Nokia Camera app properly, photos are great. Even photos in low light are just stunning and bright. The 1 megapixel front facing camera is generally ok but nothing so spectacular. Sometimes photos appeared to have a red hue just like our selfie sample photo below.
The Nokia Lumia 830 comes with LTE connectivity so expect internet connection is blazing fast. This phone uses a nano SIM slot so if you are getting one better go to your network provider for a change of SIM size. We used our Globe SIM and LTE is generally fast within its coverage. Call quality is excellent and voice from the other end of the line is crystal clear. WiFi and Bluetooth works excellent too.
The 2,200 mAh battery might underwhelm you but we remind you that this not an Android smartphone. Just like Apple’s iOS, Windows Phone consumes less power because the OS is not as complex as Android. The battery is surprisingly above average. We managed to get 6 hours of screen on-time and around 10 hours on a single charge with 15% power left. That is on our moderate to heavy usage which includes 1 hour of gaming, about 2 hours of video streaming and You Tube videos, email, calls and texts.
Is it flagship worthy? Not really. But its the smartphone we can use as a daily driver for a year. Solid performance, excellent build quality, and outstanding camera – these are the factors that makes a good smartphone. It may not be at par with flagship smartphones, but its far better than any other mid range smartphones. It closes the gap between the two. At P18,990, it is a very good buy.