Nokia Lumia 830 review: midrange yes, flagship no (Video)

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The Lumia 830’s model number might be a full hundred digits below Windows Phone’s true flagship, but the step down in prestige also brings a step down in size: at 8.5mm and 150g, the Lumia 830 is a very palm-friendly, very pocketable little Windows Phone. The sides are cool aluminum and the back is a polycarbonate panel available in several colors and adorned with the old NOKIA logo – one of the last uses of the legacy branding you’ll see on a Windows Phone. Popping it off reveals a removable battery and a MicroSD expansion slot, increasingly rare customizations these days and welcome news for those who need more power or more storage. Up front, the display is nice and big at 5 inches, protected by Gorilla Glass 3 that almost seems to pool at the corners. On the whole, it’s a very nice piece of hardware, especially for the midrange.

Dig a little deeper, though, and the disappointments start to show. That display isn’t so good-looking when viewed from anywhere but directly in front. The Snapdragon 400 SoC isn’t always up to the task of keeping up with the increasingly weighty Windows Phone 8.1. And the so-called “Lumia Denim” update the 830’s running isn’t the Denim you think it is – at least, not when it comes to all the fancy camera improvements we saw in Vegas. For the most modern Windows Phone out there, the Lumia 830 has plenty of handicaps.

If you’re shopping for a new smartphone, all these ups and downs beget some major questions. Does the 830’s low(ish) cost justify its many compromises? How many of its shortcomings actually impair the user experience? Should you consider jumping to the 830 from another smartphone? Wouldn’t it be better just to spring for the 930 instead? What would possess a company to put a USB charging port at the top of a phone? These questions and more (mostly) answered below, in our Lumia 830 review video!

Lumia 830 review

Looking for more Windows Phone coverage to flip your live tiles? Check out our Lumia 830 vs Lumia 930 comparison video, and our video review of Microsoft’s glow-in-the-dark DT-903 wireless charger! Then, plug into episode 133 of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast to hear us rail against the banks for leaving Windows Phone in the dust, while reading Adam Lein’s editorial on the new UI direction of Windows Phone 10!

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About The Author
Michael Fisher
Michael Fisher has followed the world of mobile technology for over ten years as hobbyist, retailer, and reviewer. A lengthy stint as a Sprint Nextel employee and a long-time devotion to webOS have cemented his love for the underdog platforms of the world. In addition to serving as Pocketnow's Reviews Editor, Michael is a stage, screen, and voice actor, as well as co-founder of a profitable YouTube-based business. He lives in Boston, MA.Read more about Michael Fisher!