Nokia Lumia 830 hands-on: the Denim demon
The Lumia 830 is intriguing for Windows Phone fans as it represents a reasonably downscaled version of the leading Lumia 930. It is priced aggressively and makes the best of both former Nokia and current Microsoft workforce's engineering and design prowess, and of Windows Phone 8.1's uncanny ability to perform smoothly on restricted hardware. The result is a compelling smartphone at an attractive price, and we appreciated the opportunity to have a go with it.
The Lumia 830 is designed like the Lumia 930, made of plastic while having a metallic rim. While it has only half of its premium looks, the handset is well built, thin, and quite solid - like most Lumia phones are. The buttons feel great and add to the satisfying feel of the construction. The latter is somewhat diminished by the phone's sharp edges, which tend to dig a little into the palm, but aren't a flaw otherwise. The handset has a matte finish, which is much better than glossy plastic! Characteristically for Lumia phones, the 830's colors are bright, almost neon-like, but the black and white colors are conservative enough to appease those with stricter attitudes.
We have mostly positive impressions out of the Lumia 830's 5-inch 720p LCD display. It has good brightness and sunlight legibility, there's no visible pixelization, and the viewing angles are great. No compromises here.
Windows Phone is a very distinct, familiar operating system and there's nothing of particular note to talk about. The Lumia 830 does, however, run the OS' latest version, titled Denim. The Lumia Denim update makes Cortana easier to use. It introduces a "Hey, Cortana" phrase that launches Cortana for filing reminders and other actions. Denim also brings geofencing powers to Cortana, too, which can recognize geographic areas for assisting in reminders and tasks.
Processor and memory
The Lumia 830 makes do with a pretty modest configuration - a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 2200mAh battery. Then again, it has no demanding OS or display to look after, so the configuration is fine. The performance is pretty good, although the interface did exhibit some lag - it's probably due to the unfinished software. We are sure the phone will operate smoothly at launch, because Windows Phone devices don't lag in menus. Ever.
Nokia's newest has a 10-megapixel PureView main camera with a single LED flash and the very welcome optical image stabilization feature on-board. Combining it with the Denim update's improvements in camera performance - the start-up process is faster, and the camera is quicker to capture individual shots. Notably, the camera can take two photos - one without flash, and one illuminated, and combine them to achieve the best lighting. The front camera is a simple 1-megapixel snapper, which sounds quite unimpressive when compared to the newly announced HTC Desire 820's 8-megapixel selfie machine. Then again, the latter doesn't run Windows Phone, right?
The Lumia 830 is shaping up to become another solid addition to the Windows Phone 8.1 Lumia line-up. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it, and for the price of around 330 EUR unlocked (not sure about the US price at this time), it could end up being remembered as as successful product.