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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  • kspirit - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    I was hoping to get this as an upgrade to my 925, but it offers nothing excellent. The camera and display are underwhelming. This is still an incredibly good-looking phone though, but nothing exceptional besides that. The cutbacks Microsoft is making on Lumias are pretty obvious... They're kind of ruining the solid hardware reputation of Nokia.
  • BMNify - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    what cutbacks? Why were you hoping to upgrade from 925 to an 830?? you should be looking at 930 or 1520 for proper upgrade not downgrade to 8xx series and then complain about cutbacks.
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    LOL... It's like saying the 2014 Civic isn't as feature rich as the 2013 Accord. Of course not.
  • PubFiction - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - link

    He has a pretty good point, if this phone wants to be a premium phone alternative it needs to have at least something of the major components that would actually be considered premium. It has nothing. Premium phones are 1920x1080 or better, they have 2GB of ram or more, they have snapdragon 800+ chipsets. This phone doesn't have any of that so the reality is it just isn't a premium phone its an average midrange phone.
  • kspirit - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    THIS! Thank you.
  • cheshirster - Friday, November 28, 2014 - link

    Average midrange phones do not have what Lumia 830 has.
    OIS and Qi are not widely presented
    Not every flagman has HAAC mics
    Metal body is nowhere to be seen under 400$ mark.
  • Laxaa - Sunday, November 30, 2014 - link

    Those are very valid points. HAAC mics are a great feature I wish every phone had. I mean, most of the high-end flagships today(iPhone 6 and Nexus 6 in particular) only captures mono sound. It's kind of funny when companies boast their 4K recording capabilities without any decent sound recording to back it up. Not even stereo(Samsung, Sony and HTC does stereo so it's not all lost)
  • garretelder - Thursday, December 4, 2014 - link

    Not one of the top phones (see instead) in my opinion.
  • retrospooty - Monday, December 1, 2014 - link

    I am not seeing it... It is not a high end model. It's a low end model. Why would the 830 be "premium", it's a low end phone? What he should be looking for is the (assumed) upcoming model replacement for the 925, which is a higher end model - not the 830.

    Let me put it another way since the car thing didn't seem to work... It's like saying the 2014 Moto G isnt as nice as the 2013 Moto X. - different model families... Get it?
  • kspirit - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    I thought it was clear...?
    They eliminated Glance on almost all the current lineup to save on display cost.
    They also removed the camera buttons on all phones below the 830.
    In a day where cheaper phones have 1080p displays, they still offer a badly calibrated 720p panel, and a camera with a sensor size that is almost an insult to the name of PureView. This doesn't even touch the upper range, despite being marketed as an 'affordable flagship'...

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