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There is a growing set of problems for customers who are looking for a new affordable smartphone with high end specifications these days:

  • The affordable smartphone is likely a year old device with dated specifications i.e a year or two old flagship with no support of software or hardware.
  • “Me Too” high end specifications smartphone, affordable but nothing special.
  • Ok smartphone in terms of high end specifications and design with affordability but no game changing features and almost impossible to purchase thanks to very selective distribution.

Microsoft Mobile have exactly tried to solve these issues with new Lumia 830, positioning it as an affordable flagship!

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So I have been testing Lumia 830 since few weeks which was sent to me from Bloggers Mind and have decided to share my thoughts on same:

Specifications:

Lumia 830 has got it almost right in terms of specifications to justify its positioning against flagship devices with easy to hold 5 inch HD display protected with Gorilla glass 3, quad core Snapdragon processor with 1 gb of ram, 16 gb internal storage with support upto 128 gb memory through micro sd card, 10 Megapixels main camera with Optical Image stabilization, 1 Megapixels front camera, 2200 mah removable battery with Qi wireless charging support.

Lumia 830 is available in four colors: bright green, bright orange, white, black

Design and build:

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The front of device is a mix of 2.5D curvy glass and metal. Front is a bit inspired, albeit modified from iconic Lumia fabulla design first featured in Lumia 920, here the modified part is rounded corners instead of sharp corners featured in Lumia 920 and other Lumias, so because of these rounded corners and  metal frame, Lumia 830 is comfortable in hand and it would not heart palms during a long video recording session or a long session of playing games in landscape.

WP_20141224_11_22_01_ProThe back of device is an instant eye catcher because of the rounded black camera module. Now this camera module may look like a hump but actually it is an excellent indicator of Microsoft Mobile’s cutting edge imaging innovation, the camera is world’s first slim camera module with built in Optical Image Stabilization technology which I’d talk about it later in camera section. Another noticeable part is loudspeaker grill.

Micro-usb port, 3.5 mm audio jack are located on top, right hand side of the device have three standard Windows Phone buttons, Volume rockers, lock/power key and camera key.

Lumia 830 measures in size of 139.4 x 70.7 x 8.5 mm with 150 gm weight, not too heavy and not too light.

Display:

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The display is 5 inch in size with HD resolution at around about 294 PPI and of IPS lcd technology. As you can see from above, it is almost impossible to see any pixels and thanks to high brightness mode and Lumia color profiles, the display is one of the best IPS lcd I’ve seen in smartphones and with innovative clear black display technology, Lumia 830’s display is perfectly visible in bright light and during day time in outdoors.

Another cool Lumia display innovation is Glance. Check out Glance screen below, which basically is ultra low power display mode for displaying notifications in most awesome way.

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User experience and UI: 

Latest software release Windows Phone 8.1 update 1 from Microsoft and Microsoft Mobile’s fine touch in form of Lumia Denim update has taken user experience to next level with the key highlights being Cortana (best in class personal digital assistant) , more customization in terms of home screen wallpapers, Folders support in tiles homescreen, all new pull-down notification center and a lot more.

Windows Phone operating system’s tiles user interface in general, looks and works great on bigger screens so Lumia Denim works great on 5 inch screen of 830. Check out below Lumia Denim features in brief official Microsoft video:

Performance:

Since the inception of Windows Phone operating system in 2010, it doesn’t really require as much powerful cpu and gpu as those flagships running android. The quad core snapdragon 400 processor with 1 gb of ram enables lag-free experience and overall smooth performance.

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In general, do not get confused by snapdragon 400 processor’s mid range positioning on Android platform as this processor is powerful enough on Windows Phone operating system for flagship grade smooth performance.

 

Camera:

Lumia 830 comes with great 10 Megapixels Pureview ZEISS lens with 1/3.4”″ sensor size,LED flash and optical image stabilization which enables blur free pics and video for our generally shacky hands while taking photos/videos! . OIS also enables terrific low light image capabilities. Camera is definitely on par if not above in comparison with many high end and even flagship devices.

It is quite rare that even though Lumia 830 is not a flagship device but it still features OIS technology which is only present in very few flagship devices like iPhone 6 plus, Galaxy Note 4 and Lumia 930.

This Lumia also comes with 4 high amplitude audio capture mics, thus joining in world’s few smartphones( Lumia 930 and 1520) with Dolby 5.1 audio capture during full HD and HD video recording. Clearly, the audio in recorded video is of professional quality.

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There is more good news as up coming Lumia Camera 5 app update from Microsoft Mobile, it will enable Lumia 830 to capture images during its video recording along with Rich capture modes like action shots etc.

Lumia camera application in terms of user interface is commonly found in all other Lumias with lots of control options:

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Check out the images captured by me with Lumia 830’s 10mp camera below:

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Overall, as you can see the 10 megapixels camera module with OIS outputs great shots in all light conditions and imaging is overall flagship kind of quality. In terms of camera quality positioning within Lumia lineup, I’d rate Lumia 830’s camera slight below the  flagship 930 Lumia because of the missing Pureview loss-less zooming technology.

Entertainment experience:

Lumia 830 delivers great user experience for media consumption, thanks to its bright and beautiful display. 1080P videos look so great that now I’d prefer watching movies on my phone rather than on my laptop or tv.

Dolby has done awesome job in partnership with Microsoft mobile to bring new feature with Lumia Denim update, called Dolby Dialogues which amplifies the human voice while watching movies or videos.

Music listening experience is also class leading on Lumia 830 as the Cyan update brings Dolby virtual surround sound enhancement replacing old Dolby headphones and also the equalizer access is now also possible for music listening through phone’s speakers.

Lumia 830’s single loud speaker is loud enough for not missing calls and ok during video watching experience.

Lumia 830 also has Mix Radio app built in, which is great for streaming free music mixes without creating an account with no advertisements in between. Mix radio also provides personalized music experience from its Play me feature and it also looks fantastic with the above new Dolby enhancements.

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Battery life:

For normal usage scenarios, the battery life is just fine as it lasts for just more than a day on a single charge, while for heavy usage in terms of playing resource hungry games or using location based apps for hours then the battery life is about 10 hours which is still acceptable compare to others.

Conclusion:

I am impressed with my Lumia 830 experience of about 4 weeks as my main phone. My findings are:

  • Design and build quality is top notch and is comparable to current top 1% of flagship smartphones like iPhone 6, Galaxy Note 4 and Lumia 930.
  • The display is vibrant, bright and colorful in indoors and outdoors, 294 PPI display resolution is not ground breaking but acceptable.
  • The camera is of flagship quality with best in class add on features and world’s first Dolby 5.1 audio in full HD video
  • Performance is solid, in fact I never had a moment where I felt “too slow to load”
  • Battery life is average

So yes, Lumia 830 certainly has flagship quality hardware experience, software can be a matter of taste though Lumia Denim has done most things right in terms of interface and user experience. Its affordability in terms of price positioning, I think it is just right because of all the innovations inside and that premium design with solid build quality.

 

 

 

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