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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The 830 sits between the Lumia 735 and the Lumia 930 in terms of power, being an upgrade over last year's Lumia 820.

Taking many clues from its flagship brother, the Lumia 830 comes with a metallic frame and 5-inch screen as well as a cut down 10MP PureView camera in a bid to help it compete against its biggest 'Mini' rivals; the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini and HTC One Mini 2.

We liked

Microsoft Lumia 830 review

The camera is a particular asset for the 830

That 10MP PureView camera is certainly one of the better options on the market, able to make the most of some really decent optics and that PureView technology. A dedicated shutter button is also very welcome

Battery life is also much appreciated. It might not be the best on the market but I never once found that I was left wanting for my charger at any point during this review. The Lumia 830 should be able to make it through 2 days of light to medium use, but will easily make it through a standard day with heavy text and calling.

Media consumption is also well catered for with the Lumia 830; its larger screen makes movie viewing easier (although does detract slightly from the clarity), the external speaker is loud and clear, and storage is well catered for with the ability to throw in 128GB of microSD storage.

We disliked

Microsoft Lumia 830 review

The colour range should be an asset, but the design is never quite successful

Going right back to basics, one of my biggest qualms with the Lumia 830 is the design. It borrows a lot from the Lumia 930 with the metal frame and bright back, but is implemented really poorly. The colour scheme of the back is far too showy, the metal frame doesn't follow the glass front well and the positioning of the charging port on the top means it gets in the way.

The Lumia 830 also felt extremely sluggish throughout my time with it. Using the same 1.2GHz CPU, 1GB RAM and Adreno 305 GPU as the lower powered Lumia 635 and 735 is nothing short of a mistake when it has a larger screen to cope with and commands a higher price tag.

Finally, I still have real problems with the Windows Phone 8.1 OS. On its face the Live Tiles give a styled sense of organisation, but dig just a little deeper and Microsoft's mobile operating system stutters. The settings menu felt all over the place, as did the contacts integration. Elsewhere Microsoft suffers from a poor keyboard, and a real lack of apps.

Final verdict

Microsoft Lumia 830 review

The cuts that make the 830 come in on budget are just too many for success

With a cheaper price tag than its flagship brother, the Lumia 830 can be forgiven for taken a few cuts in performance. One of the key features of these being the internal grunt, but it seems Microsoft has given it a cut too far.

How Microsoft can justify the inclusion of identical internals to cheaper handsets is beyond me, especially as there is a middle step between the Snapdragon 400 and 800 SoC's. This lower power leaves the Lumia 830 struggling, with a very noticeable lag whilst moving between different areas of the handset.

It is also let down heavily by a poor design and equally poor operating system, with neither living up the quality of the Android powered HTC One Mini 2 and Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini. With the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact also coming in at a similar price bracket, I really struggle to see how the Lumia 830 will compete.

First reviewed: October 2014