The Lumia 830 was launched by Microsoft at the IFA trade show in September. As seems to be the norm for most Nokia phones, it has taken a short while for announced phones to be generally available, but the Lumia 830 can now be found in many markets. When it was announced in September, it was marketed as an “affordable flagship” and we will take a look and see how it lives up to that kind of marketing. But marketing phrases aside, what we are left with is one of the best Nokia phones launched this year.

Unfortunately for fans of Nokia phones, there has not been a real flagship phone announced since the Lumia Icon/930 which came back in February. We did review that phone, and while it was quick and had a nice 20 MP camera, the battery life was subpar and it felt very thick and dense to carry around. It lacked Nokia’s Glance display, which is a big downside when coming from previous Nokia phones that support it.

The Lumia 830 is not going to fill a gap here as far as performance, which is a shame. The Lumia 830 shares the same SoC – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 – as the Lumia 630, 635, 730, and 735. There is no substitute for performance, and the quad-core Cortex A7 at 1.2 Ghz is not the quickest chip around. In the Lumia 630 review, I found the quad-core A7 design slightly slower than the dual-core Krait of last year’s Snapdragon S4 Pro in pretty much all benchmarks. It is a shame due to the marketing and price of the Lumia 830 that it did not jump up to at least the Snapdragon 600. With that SoC, perhaps the moniker of “affordable flagship” could have held up.

Let us take a look at what makes up the Lumia 830.

  Nokia Lumia 830
SoC MSM8926 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400
RAM/NAND 1 GB LPDDR2, 16 GB NAND + microSD 128 GB
Display 5.0” 1280x720 IPS ClearBlack LCD Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Network GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSPA/LTE up to 150 Mbps
Dimensions 139.4 x 70.7 x 8.5 (mm)
Weight 150 grams
Rear Camera 10MP, 1.1 µm pixels, 1/3.4" 16x9 CMOS, f/2.2, 26 mm focal length, LED Flash
Front Camera 0.9MP wide angle, f/2.4, 1280x720 video resolution
Battery BV-L4A 2200 mAh, 3.8 V, 7.04 Wh
OS Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim Firmware
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, USB2.0, DLNA, FM Radio
Location Technologies Cellular and Wi-Fi network positioning, A-GPS, A-GLONASS, BeiDou
SIM Size Nano SIM

As you can see, we have pretty standard fare for a Lumia phone launched this year. The previously mentioned Snapdragon 400 is paired with 1 GB of memory, and 16 GB of internal NAND. The Lumia 830 supports microSD card expansion up to an additional 128 GB. With the Windows Phone Storage Sense app, storage should not be an issue - Windows Phone has moved from having practically zero support for microSD to now having the best support of all of the mobile operating systems.

A big part of any smartphone experience is the design of the phone, and Nokia (now Microsoft of course) has crafted one of their best experiences yet.

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  • cheshirster - Friday, November 28, 2014 - link

    There is no available S600 soc now. It is not MS|Nokia's fault.
  • Harry_Wild - Saturday, December 6, 2014 - link

    There is the 610 and 615 SoC!
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the Lumia 830 the last phone designed and launched under Nokia, hence the 'Nokia' name?
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    EDIT: My other thoughts: I agree completely with the review. I love the design of the 830 and there are so many things to like about it, but it is hamstrung by not having either (if not both) a snapdragon 6xx class SoC or a cheaper price.
  • OddTSi - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    None of the phones that are announced or released originated under Microsoft. Not even the ones with the Microsoft branding.

    It takes a long time (well over a year) to take a phone from design to release. Microsoft has owned Nokia's device business unit for about half a year now.
  • Michael Bay - Saturday, November 29, 2014 - link

    Yep, if recent 535 announcement is anything to go by, better phones should be coming soon.
    Nokia was crazy to expect that brand alone will carry their lowend Lumias with those prices. Outdated SoC I can handle, but asking more than your average chink manufacturer for a 5MP camera without flash or autofocus and lowres display is madness.
  • Klug4Pres - Saturday, November 29, 2014 - link

    You cannot use the word chink these days.
  • BMNify - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the detailed review Brett, i agree with you that the SD400 SOC is the single factor which has undermined this phone and Microsoft should have gone with SD800 but you know the product pipelines have long duration and we can't expect Microsoft input until 2015.

    Also, hope you do a review of Lumia 730, its one of the most exciting mid-end phone with dual sim capabilities and Paul Thurrot has reviewed that 730 is better than 830, 50% price difference notwithstanding :)
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    I'd love to see a review as well. I think they could have done fine with a SD610 though. Just not those A7's again. Microsoft is shipping the same SoC in a $400 phone as they are in a $40 phone. >.<
  • invinciblegod - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    I suspect a SD801 would be too expensive. If only they had a hypothetical in between option, a SD600 if you will. That would make the more expensive budget offerings more palatable.

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