Nokia Lumia 830 review

Not top-of-the-range, and not budget - but the Lumia 830 isn't just right either

Nokia Lumia 830 review
Piggy in the middle

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Given that the Lumia 830 comes with a 5-inch screen, it can easily be argued that the 830 is handset that is far more targeted to the consumption of media than its smaller Lumia brethren. It is much less suited than its bigger brother the Lumia 930 though, for a number of reasons.

Looking only at the Lumia 830, the 5-inch IPS LCD screen comes packing a HD 720 x 1,280 resolution giving a density of 294ppi. This gives a lower density than its smaller rivals (326ppi), with both the HTC One Mini 2 and Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini offering 4.5-inch screens at the same resolution. Which of the density or size is most important to you is something you'll have to decide.

Microsoft Lumia 830 review

A comparitively low-res LCD screen is a disadvantage

I never found that lower resolution was all that problematic, but is heavily highlighted compared against the 5-inch Full HD (441ppi) Lumia 930. The 930 flagship also has another trick up its sleeve that is missed on the 830, with the bright AMOLED screen replaced with an LCD option to save money.

Normally I would accept this as a given, but as the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini comes with a Super AMOLED option, I do wonder just how much Microsoft is pushing its profit margins here.

The other key hardware here is the loud speaker located on the back of the Lumia 830, which thankfully worked rather well. Compared with the likes of the One Mini 2, the 830 is a definite step down, but unlike many handsets the Lumia 830 doesn't suffer from any problems at higher pitches or louder volumes.

With the hardware performing well, it is a shame that the software doesn't appear to hold up as well. Again those that have used any of Microsoft's other products, such as Windows 8.1 on a PC or even the Xbox One or Xbox 360, will feel at home with the video, music and photos app.

Microsoft Lumia 830 review

Microsoft's apps are familiar but imperfect

On the surface it seems that this might be a good move by the Redmond firm, but I would argue to the contrary. It might ensure a uniformity and continuity across all platforms, but the apps themselves have always been poor, and push the sale of video and music more than most users will appreciate.

Neither app comes with any functionality worth mentioning above the standard options, which is a real disappointment because competitors are making strides in this area. Samsung might not have hit on a winner with its music square, but it shows some effort to innovate.

Gaming is handled through the Xbox Games app, which is much the same as the aforementioned media apps. This app will prove far more useful to those that play across platforms, especially those with an Xbox console.

In truth though, I found it to be a little pointless as all games can be found via the Microsoft app store and then accessed via the menu.