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Nokia Lumia 830 in-depth review (Daily Driver for more than one Month).

Nokia Lumia 830 is a very interesting Lumia device!! Microsoft Mobile has positioned this mid-ranger as the affordable Lumia flagship, and it brings “PureView” tech, flagship Lumia design and material quality to the Lumia mid-range.

Keeping in mind the interest generated by Lumia 830, we have really subjected it to our one of the most extensive coverage. We have already tackled the question of whether it is a worthy replacement to your Lumia 920 and Lumia 925 and now we bring our full in-depth review of the device.

We review the Lumia 830 based on our more than one month usage of the device as our daily driver, per NPU’s tradition.

Lumia 8309 front NPUDesign:

Design wise, it is one of the most beautiful Lumia devices ever created; Slim, Sexy and Suave!!. It feels great to hold in our hand and you would like to show it off to your friends. Sculpted Glass, metallic unibody frame and the beautiful back design gives it kind of aura reserved for a Lumia Flagship. It certainly resembles to Lumia 930 in terms of design, but is slimmer and lighter.

What score brownie points in terms of design is the removable back plate which offers great flexibility (in terms of removable battery, SD card ) and is totally melted in the overall design.

Lumia 830 back NPUDisplay:

Lumia 830 has a 720p 5-inch IPS LCD display. With help of Nokia’s CBD tech, it exhibits deep Black levels and great outdoor readability. In the below video, we tried to test outdoor or sunlight readability of Lumia 830 display and check how wide the viewing angles are on a sunny day, outdoors. Well, seems Lumia 830’s display is perhaps the best you will see on a mid-ranger. It has great sunlight readability and viewing angles are very wide outdoors, even on a bright sunny day.

In this video, we have compared displays of Lumia 830 and Lumia 925. While both have excellent displays, Lumia 830 has a LCD while Lumia 925 has OLED display. With help of Nokia’s CBD tech, both displays exhibit deep Black levels and great outdoor readability. But OLED displays are usually known for punchy and saturated colors liked by many, while LCD displays are known for truer yet colder colors again liked by many, who like to read eBooks on smartphones.

Bend Test & Screen-resistance (Knife) Test:

It is the slimmest Lumia with a metallic frame. So, we dared to do the unthinkable, being pretty confident of the Nokia build quality. So, does it bend? No, your thumbs start hurting after sometime but there is not even a squeak. The back panel is removable, but even that didn’t come out.

One more crazy test after the bend test on Lumia 830. Lumia 830 has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection for its display and it has a super-sensitive touch screen too. Perfect recipe for a “Fruit Ninja gameplay with a knife”.

 Software & Performance:

The Lumia 830 comes pre-loaded with Lumia Denim update and runs on Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor with Adreno 305 GPU. The CPU /GPU combo is one, which has come for some criticism, having been used on even low-end Lumia 630.  But honestly the device is one of smoothest and responsive smartphones, you will ever use. It has been rock solid as my daily driver and I have never seen it freezing or restarting even once during my long usage period.

Still those who want to consider it as an upgrade over Lumia 920 or Lumia 925 may be disappointed, as it doesn’t offer any upgrade in terms of speed, performance and rather Lumia 925 has some edge in terms of resuming of apps, games. Check our Lumia 830 vs Lumia 925 Hands-on performance test, multitasking, Camera speed, browsing video + Benchmarking comparison video below,

The Benchmarking comparison tells us the similar story. Lumia 830 screenshot is on the left.

Lumia 830 vs Lumia 925 benchmark

The Windows Phone 8.1 update 1 brings some new features and customization options to Windows Phone. You can read all about Windows Phone 8.1 update 1 at our dedicated page. Sadly even with Lumia Denim firmware pre-loaded, it doesn’t come packed with Lumia Denim and Lumia Camera imaging enhancements.

PureView Camera & Rich-recording:

Lumia 925 vs Lumia 830

Imaging is one of areas, where Lumia 830 truly shines with its latest-gen 10 MP “PureView camera module”. We have compared Lumia 830 camera to Lumia 925 camera extensively and we will mention the conclusions of our shootouts here. You can click on the links to check the full comparisons.

Daylight stills comparison:

Frankly speaking, Lumia 830 camera is simply better than Lumia 925’s camera when it comes resolving details. In fact, we didn’t need to go to 200% crop level as the difference is pretty clear even at 100% crop levels.

You can easily notice, how much more detailed and sharper Lumia 830 images are as compared to Lumia 925 images. Given Lumia 830’s small sensor-size, the PureView team has certainly succeeded in surprising us.

Low-Light stills comparison:

In extreme low-light without flash cases , Lumia 925 gathers slightly more light but Lumia 830 images have less grain and more details. As the lighting improves, gap between Lumia 830 and Lumia 925 imaging clarity and details widens. So, we can conclude that the trend of better resolved details and sharpness with Lumia 830 camera continues even in low-light, though in extremely low-light situations Lumia 925 images are slightly more illuminated and more grainy too.

When it comes to low-light capture using flash, Lumia 830 simply proves to be the better camera with less grainy and more detailed images. The flash on both the cameras works fine in terms of illuminating the scene and keeping colors natural.

Daylight & low-light video capture shootout:

Lumia 830 has a clear edge when it comes to clarity, details and smoothness in daylight capture. The OIS on Lumia 830 feels improved over Lumia 925’s OIS.

When it comes to Night video, Lumia 925 gathers more light than Lumia 830. But Lumia 830 still produces smoother and less grainy video, though many would prefer Lumia 925 camera for keeping video more illuminated.

In case of low-light capture, Lumia 925 again captures more illuminated video, though Lumia 830 video is again smoother and less grainy.

Apart from the PureView camera Lumia 830 comes packed with high-end features like Dolby surround sound capture and playback support which are not as easily noticeable as the design and camera. While capturing a video with Lumia 830, you can use the option of recording surround sound audio with “Dolby Digital Plus 5.1″. The audio comes out as really impressive and on eof the best you get from any smartphone.

You can listen to two audio / video samples captured by Lumia 830 with “Surround sound” on by clicking here.

Lumia 830 side NPULumia 830 Gaming:

Lumia 830 has everything that can make it your favorite gaming tool. Great display, louder and richer audio output and last but not the least good gaming performance. Though, some games like Asphalt 8 can make use of some updating help for better compatibility, overall you can play games for quite long and still it doesn’t get too heated. In the below video, we have provided a gaming demo of 10-12 minutes. Watch how games like Fast & Furious 6, Asphalt Overdrive and Asphalt 8 run on Lumia 830.

Video watching, Music output quality

We have compared music playback quality and volume output of Lumia 830 to Lumia 925. Lumia 925 being the last-gen Lumia flagship with outstanding display and audio quality serves as a proper benchmark. Lumia 830 has louder and richer volume output than Lumia 925 and it has “Dolby surround sound” support even without headphones, while Lumia 925 has Dolby support with headphones on only.

We have also compared display quality between two in terms of video watching and while you can check our detailed display comparison between Lumia 925 and Lumia 830 above, results arr pretty much similar here too display quality wise. Though with its 5-inch display, Lumia 830 may be preferred by many over Lumia 925.

Battery Life, Call quality, Motion Data:

Lumia 830 has very good battery life and I have been getting around 30-32 hrs of battery life with heavy “blogger” usage of the device which involves lots of browsing, apps testing and daily chores. Consider it around 34-36 hrs for a moderate to heavy use and that is really very impressive.

Though for better battery life you may like to give our earlier posted tutorial a try. Frankly speaking, the battery life of Lumia 830 is really impressive for a 5-inch display and it has 30-35% more juice on offer than Lumia 925

Lumia 830 offers stellar call quality (both over 2G and 3G) and the reception is usually very good. I didn’t face any issue like call drops etc and it holds well even during long conversations.

Again worth a mention is the “SensorCore” feature. This allows Lumia 830 to log physical movement data including steps under “Motion Data”. This data can be used by apps like Bing health for keeping track of your physical well-being.

Lumia 830 top NPUApps Scene:

Windows Phone store has crossed 320,000 apps and games per the latest information. Since Lumia 830 runs Windows Phone 8.1 out of box and has MicroSD card support, one can install apps on MicroSD card and can even move the apps from Phone memory to card memory. So, with Lumia 830, you can really install any number of games and apps available on store and have a blast.

In fact, the apps and games scene has never been so good for owning a Windows Phone as it is now. Major official apps like Uber, Instagram, Spotify, Vine etc have come to Windows Phone and other wise have very capable 3rd party alternatives. Many major games have come to Windows Phone in last few days along with their iOS and Android counterparts. The app momentum is really there and big game makers like Gameloft are supporting Windows Phone platform very well.

Lumia 925 / lumia 920 vs Lumia 830 comparison review:

Our conclusion,

In a nutshell, if you want better camera, battery life, more screen real-estate and some new features, consider Lumia 830 as a good replacement for your Lumia 920 or Lumia 925 and being a mid-ranger, it will set you back much less than what Lumia 920 or Lumia 925 could have done in their prime.

But, if you are looking for a serious Flagship to Flagship upgrade, consider Lumia 930 or Lumia 1520!!

Read our comparison review in full here.

Conclusion:

Negatives

  • The CPU / GPU combo could have been better (for justifying the affordable flagship title and the RRP)
  • Performance wise not an upgrade over last-gen flagships
  • That FFC is a let-down

Positives

  • Better than expected PureView camera
  • Iconic design with added flexibility of removable back plate
  • Very smooth performance overall
  • Awesome display with best-in-class outdoor readability
  • Glance screen is back with Lumia 830

Final words:

Lumia 830 retails for an official price of Rs 28249 in India and can be bought for a 2-year on-contract price of $99 from AT&T in US. In UK, it is available for a Sim-Free price of around £292.92 from various retailers.

For the price it commands, you can’t go wrong with Lumia 830, if all you wanted is a smooth operator with stellar camera, iconic design, great display and some high-end unique features like Glance screen, Dolby surround recording and playback, Motion Data sensor and more. In fact, if camera quality is a priority and you don’t want the bulge on back, nothing comes closer to Lumia 830. It can really challenge flagship competition, when it comes to camera.

If you are in specs and cutting-edge hardware, however, you can still look up to Lumia 930 or Lumia 1520 and be ready to shell more. Though, we still feel Microsoft could have made it more desirable by packing an upgraded processor even if that had meant slightly higher retail price. That FFC is also a let-down, more so when newly announced Lumia 535 has a 5 MP FFC.

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Nayan

Nayan has more than 10 years of experience of covering Technology and innovations. He is a big Nokia fan and Tech disruptions aficionado. He loves to review new cool gadgets and writing about Android, iOS, Gadgets and general Technology stuff. He has been associated with other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and GadgetOx since long.

He currently sports a Lumia 950 XL and Nexus 5X. Other interests include listening to Nu-Metal Hits and Kick-Boxing.
Write to him at Email: [email protected]

http://www.nokiapoweruser.com
  • Thanks a ton for your review. It tipped me finally in favor of this device.

  • ankit

    gr8 review bro….

    • Kamal

      Lumia 830 is indeed a good device 🙂

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