Lumia 830 Has An Impressive Camera But I’m Not Buying It


Lumia 830 is one of the outgoing phones made by the original Nokia that we all know. Lumia 830 is indeed a complete overhaul to the range of phones that seats very close to high-end ones. Nokia has bumped it up in almost every aspect. They rather it call it “affordable flagship”. But, it’s priced at a steep $450, which definitely suits a flagship but does it have all the traits to justify it? And, was Nokia right to call it “affordable flagship”?

Design:

Lumia 830 has learned how to dress well from its elder siblings. If my memory serves right, Lumia 830 is the third phone in whole Lumia lineup to feature some sort of metal in its construction. This one uses magnesium alloy for centre piece. It’s so well crafted that it looks like it’s an unibody phone. That’s until you arrive at camera on its back. Lumia 830 has a camera hump which is quite big and the area around it on its plastic back cover is significantly raised. That is, they are not in the same level and camera looks recessed. This was done to protect the camera, maybe; but on Nokia’s part it surely looks. We all know Nokia’s expertise in designing phones but this one little thing spoils everything for me. Otherwise, with the uniform design Lumia 830 would have rocked. Another flaw with that particular portion is that it is also the entrance for dust so it does more harm than good.

Lumia830-Front

However, the front of the Lumia 830 looks beautiful. It actually uses sculpted glass which mixes up very well with the chassis to become a part of it.

Lumia830-Back Lumia830-Undercover Lumia830-Top Lumia830-Bottom Lumia830-Right Lumia830-Left

Hardware, Performance and Battery:

As a mid-range phone, Lumia 830 uses mid-range Snapdragon 400 SoC which has a quad-core processor running at 1.2GHz and 1GB of RAM. Actually, for its hefty price tag (whopping $450 in India and ~$385 elsewhere), I was expecting a better configuration. In other words, Nokia/Microsoft should reduce the price. That is not say Snapdragon 400 is any weaker in performance but doesn’t like more value for money? Performance was quite smooth on Lumia 830.

I also liked its display. Nokia’s mid-range phones anyway come with good quality displays. The one on Lumia 830 is an IPS LCD panel with ClearBlack technology. Although Nokia doesn’t say anything specifically, it appears to me that there’s very less gap between the glass and the display  because of which the display feels lively.

The 2200 mAh battery was excellent too. It could actually pull through a whole day of usage per my habits. Definitely, it will vary for you. Oh, and this one has Qi wireless charging inbuilt, too.

Camera:

Finally we are talking the camera on Lumia 830 which is a key feature of the phone. This is the first time Lumia 8xx series phone is getting a taste of Nokia’s famous PureView technology. On paper, Lumia 830 has a 10MP PureView camera module, complete with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). PureView branding speaks about itself and the image quality.

And just as I expected, Lumia 830 easily produced some great images. Indeed, it’s probably the best camera in its segment. Getting the optimum quality from this camera must have been a challenge for Nokia but its imaging engineers have done a great job. The camera sensor size is close to what Lumia 920 had in the past. Quality of images is awesome. Sure, you’re not looking at a 41MP monster which gives you lossless zoom but nonetheless Lumia 830 proves its might.

But what enhances the experience for users is Nokia’s Lumia Camera app. At the time of review, there was an older version of the app which was too slow but apparently they have improved it with latest 5.0 version. Still, it has a lot of features such as manual focus, shutter speed etc. Latest version also includes HDR functionality.

Better check out the full resolution photos and videos:

Stills:

Video:

Connectivity:

Lumia 830 doesn’t spare anything when it comes to connectivity features. Although, it doesn’t justify paying such a high-price for the phone, it is at least good to know that you get all modern features. There’s NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi etc. The AT&T version of Lumia 830 also sports 4G LTE. So that’s the only plus point for American buyers.

I couldn’t find any issues with networks reception or calling even if I wished. Everything works just smoothly without any interruption.

Conclusion:

So folks, we are at the crucial part of this review. This is where we decide if one should buy this phone or not. Unless you’re in USA on ATT who is offering this phone at $99, although on contract, it is going to be a pricey affair. Another benefit for AT&T customers is that they will get a Fitbit Flex with the phone so that makes the deal a little better. But at the same time, ATT is selling high-end phones like iPhone 5s and Moto X (2nd gen) for the same price tag so it looks like Lumia 830 is trying to aim for the things out of its reach.

Another mistake by Microsoft is the exclusivity deal with AT&T. Yup, it is available on AT&T only. Maybe there are people willing to buy this phone but just because it’s not on their carrier, they would simply avoid it. T-Mobile users with their Lumia 521 are now looking to jump to a new phone and Lumia 830 would have been a great option for them but Microsoft has missed an opportunity by not giving it to them. So if you at all decide to buy this phone, you’d end up shelling out $450, which is a big amount. If Microsoft cuts the price by another $100, I’d totally recommend this phone just for its camera.

Even at $350 you get Nexus 5 or OnePlus One (if you get an invite) and while none of them has PureView camera, they still feature high-end spec sheets and offer a decent value-for-money overall.

Elsewhere too, circumstances are not in its favour and the blame goes to Microsoft and its idiotic pricing. In India, it costs about INR 28,000 ($455). It seems, Microsoft doesn’t understand its markets. Especially, Indian market is the price sensitive one. There are a lot of phones to compete with Lumia 830. OnePlus One is available in India just for $360, about 6K cheaper than Lumia 830. And the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro which I recently reviewed is at INR 30,000 ($490) and I’d definitely recommend it over Lumia 830 because it’s truly a high-end smartphone complete with a great camera.

Sorry Nokia/Microsoft, I’m not gonna recommend this phone to anyone unless you slash the price. And please, do away with those foolish carrier exclusivity deals.


About Swapneel Bandiwadekar

I'm into tech since 2006.You can find me on forums as @swap002. I also used to write reviews for Hindustan Times and been a member of pilot programs. Connect with me on Twitter or Google Plus.