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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  • CaedenV - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    Totally agree, with SD800 I would not hesitate to pick this device up. The issue is that this was supposed to be launched along side new flagship and phablet devices that had the SD800 (or 801/805?) which had all of these features, better specs, plus 'hey cortana' and 3D Touch support. Sadly the 3D touch was not ready, so both devices were scrapped and we get the 830 by itself which is an OK device... but would make more sense in a larger product lineup.
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    The 830 could not easily be recommended with a price adjustment. Canada has it right, the Blue Deathstar does not. American carriers don't do WP any favors by mispricing or poorly supporting available models. Verizon did a bad job with Icon, though it doesn't seem like it's that great of a phone. The 1520 is the best thing you can get, IMO, provided you can deal with the size.
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    "The 830 could easily be recommended with a price adjustment."

    Price is too high. Mark it down and it would be a good phone.
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    Verizon is the worst offender. Not so much with pricing (well, on-contract pricing anyway), but with sales and support. If you walk into a Verizon Wireless store and ask about a Windows Phone chances are very high they are going to fight you tooth and nail, even if you just want to look at and play with a particular model. If you already know you want a certain model of WP, just order it online and save yourself the headache.

    Then there's situation with Verizon and WP updates. When every other major carrier worldwide has pushed 8.1 and Cyan to their Lumia devices (the ones they planned on updating in the first place anyway) and VZW still has zero ETA? Not cool.
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    Just got word that the Lumia 735 will be shipped soon, so keep an eye out for that.
  • BMNify - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    Awesome, waiting for your Lumia 735 review.
  • djds20 - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    Comparing this to the Moto G (2014) should be $250.
  • BMNify - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    Moto G should not be compared with Lumia 830 as there are a lot of other factors in a phone apart from the SOC, you can compare Moto G with Lumia 630 or Lumia 730.

    Infact Moto G ($250) can be compared with another Android giant Xiaomi Redmi 1S ($89), Xiaomi is selling 100k Redmi phones every week in India apart from few thousand sales in Indonesia and Millions in China and HongKong.
  • Flunk - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    Yes, this actually sounds a lot like a competitor to the Moto G as basically the only two mid-range phones worth buying.
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    Not to mention they should be selling them like the Moto G... From their own website (Microsoft Store) unlocked with GSM/LTE bands for the major carriers.

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