Microsoft Lumia 830 first impressions: the not-so affordable flagship

“The smartphone offers a flagship-like experience with its stylish design, great camera capabilities and decent specs, but its pricing seems steep”

Last year, Nokia (now Microsoft Mobiles) had an entire portfolio of WP-toting Lumia smartphones ranging from the Lumia 520 in the budget segment all the way up to Lumia 1020 in the top-tier price band, allowing consumers to opt for one based on their budget. However, this year, it seems that the company has focussed only on the budget segment, launching three devices in the form of Lumia 525, Lumia 630 (review | FAQs) and Lumia 530 (review | FAQs) so far. In fact, the Microsoft-owned brand only introduced a single device above Rs 15,000 (the Lumia 1320) this year, as highlighted in our Mobile phone landscape report for India in H1 2014.

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But, now the brand is aiming to change that as it has launched the Lumia 830 in India, which is a successor of the Lumia 820, which arrived more than a year and a half ago. We managed to get our palms on the device during its launch event at Delhi and have to say that the 830 looks absolutely gorgeous. But what else do we feel about the device at first glance? Read on find out.

After the Lumia 930 (first impressions), the Lumia 830 is the second smartphone from the brand’s stable flaunting a 5-inch display. However, its resolution has been pared down to 1,280 x 720 pixels, resulting in lower pixel density count of 294ppi. But pixel count aside, like all displays offered by the brand, the one on the Lumia 830 reproduces vivid and bright visuals. It also gets a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 layer, making the display resilient to scratches.

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The device oozes premiumness thanks to the metallic band around its sides. What’s appreciable is the fact that unlike the 930, the Lumia 830 isn’t heavy because of the use of metal. It’s quite sleek too with the frame measuring just 8.5mm.

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The fascia of the Lumia 830 is largely covered by the display panel, along with housing navigation keys at the bottom and an earpiece, secondary shooter and a few sensors above. The right edge houses the volume rocker, power key and a dedicated camera key. The audio socket and a micro-USB port can be found at the top and bottom sides respectively.

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The polycarbonate rear panel is available in a riot of colours such as bright orange or green as well as classy white or black. Prying the back cover gives you access to the battery, microSD card slot and a nano-SIM slot. At the back, you get a 10-megapixel primary shooter featuring Carl Zeiss optics and the proprietary PureView imaging technology. The camera also has hardware optical image stabilisation, to compensate for shaky hands while shooting images or recording videos. You can record full HD videos at 30 fps with the main camera.

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For selfies and video calls, the smartphone comes with a 0.9MP camera at the front. It supports video shooting at 720p resolution.

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On the software front, the Lumia 830 features the latest Nokia Denim update that offers the feature-set brought by Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1. Some of the useful features of the OS are Live Folders, an enhanced Glance Screen and updated Nokia Camera app. The Nokia Camera app has a useful feature called Living Images, which is similar to HTC’s Zoe functionality and allow you to capture a bit of video before your actual shot.

Powering the show is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor mated with a gigabyte of RAM. Windows Phone has never been a resource-hogging OS and the same feeling continues here as well, since navigation and multitasking was very smooth on the Lumia 830. Although, graphics-heavy games like Asphalt 8: Airborne hog system resources, and playing such titles should give us a better indication of hardware prowess of the smartphone. In the memory department, the device is equipped with 16GB internal storage, out of which 12GB is user-accessible. As mentioned earlier, the Lumia 830 has a microSD card slot and it supports memory expansion by up to 128GB.

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Microsoft is promoting the Lumia 830 as an affordable flagship. We partly agree with the statement since the smartphone does offer a flagship-level experience with its stylish design, great camera capabilities and decent specs, but its price tag of Rs 28,799 seems steep. At this price-point, its rival Android platform has devices that feature full HD screens, faster Qualcomm processors or even octa-core chips and more RAM. However, in the end, it’s the usage experience that counts, and hence we will have more to say on the device as a daily driver when we get it for review. So stay tuned.

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