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Nokia Lumia 830

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: AT&T
Manufacturer: Nokia

What's Hot: Good camera, quality materials and design. Removable battery and expandable storage.

What's Not: Display is just decent, CPU and graphics aren't for hardcore gamers.


Reviewed November 29, 2014 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)


The Nokia Lumia Icon was arguably the best Windows Phone on the US market, though it seems Verizon Wireless, the exclusive carrier for that phone, has already and unfortunately discontinued it. Overseas it's known as the Lumia 930, and now we have a more affordable counterpart in the US with the Nokia Lumia 830. It keeps the lovely metal sides and matte polycarbonate back, but this time that back is removable, granting access to the battery, nano SIM card slot and microSD card slot. It brings back the Lumia 1020's Cyclops eye camera surround, though this PureView camera is 10 megapixels rather than 41. Still, it's a good camera with a fast Carl Zeiss f/2.2 lens that has OIS (optical image stabilization). That's a very good camera and a chic design for a midrange phone.

Nokia Lumia 830

AT&T offers the Lumia 830 in the US for $99 on contract and $450 full retail. There are quite a few tempting phones in that price range, including some last gen but still solid Android phones and the iPhone 5s. But if you're a Windows Phone fan, it's certainly tempting. Currently, you'll get a free Fitbit Flex to sweeten the deal. The specs are dropped down from the more expensive Lumia Icon, and the Lumia 830 has a 5", 1280 x 720 IPS display and it runs on the 1.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 400 with Adreno 305 graphics and 1 gig of RAM. It has enough RAM to play 3D games and the CPU has enough punch to make Asphalt 8 playable, but the frame rates aren't as high as on faster phones like the Icon and the HTC One M8 for Windows. The phone has 16 gigs of storage, and you can expand that with microSD cards. Other amenities include single band WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and a GPS.


AnTuTu: 11,981 (half the Lumia Icon and HTC One M8 for Windows result)
Sunspider (Webkit): 1241

Design and Ergonomics

The phone feels well made, and it's a bit thinner and lighter than the dense Lumia Icon (that's fine with us). The button design is like that of the Icon, with a large volume rocker, power button and dedicated camera button on the right side and the headphone jack up top. The Lumia 830's micro USB port is oddly placed at the top, where the nano SIM card slot is on the Icon. The rear speaker sounds a bit thin, not unlike many midrange smartphones. Overall, the phone feels like a quality piece, and we only wish AT&T would offer the playful colors that Lumia phones are famous for (black is the only color offering, though we've seen a green backed model on Amazon). We like the straight sides because they make it easy to grip the phone with assurance, but some might prefer the comfort of Nokia's curvy sided polycarbonate designs like the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 on AT&T.

Nokia Lumia 830

Lumia Denim

The Lumia runs Windows Phone 8.1 "Lumia Denim", which is currently the latest release of the OS. That release features active listening for Cortana the voice assistant, but the 830 alas doesn't get that feature. Since Microsoft owns the Nokia phone brand, and AT&T is reasonably good about offering Windows Phone OS updates in a timely manner, we'd expect the Lumia 830 to get OS updates fairly quickly and regularly.


The Gorilla Glass 3 clad IPS display isn't as color saturated as the AMOLED Lumia models and blacks aren't inky. It's an OK display with moderate brightness, but it doesn't wow us in terms of color or contrast. It's decently sharp and it doesn't look grainy despite the fact that there are quite a few 1080p 5" phones on the market and this is just 720p. The display is a casualty of the lower price tag, though it's by no means poor--it's simply middle of the pack to match the price. It has the wonderful Nokia Glance feature where you double-tap the display to wake it up to view the time and notifications. When plugged in and charging that time and notification display stays on at a dimmed level so you can use it as a bedside clock. The display also has touch sensitivity settings, and on high it works with gloved fingers.

Nokia Lumia 830


Deals and Shopping:

Nokia Lumia 830 Video Review


Calling and Data

Nokia makes excellent voice phones and the Lumia 830 delivers clear and full incoming and outgoing audio. They're also known for strong reception, and the phone indeed had strong and stable reception. The speakerphone on the other hand is just adequate with good volume but thin sounding voice. Data speeds were par for the course on AT&T's LTE 4G network in the Dallas area, averaging 19Mbps down and 7.5 Mbps up according to the app.


The rear 10MP PureView camera is the gem here, and it takes photos that look natural and have good dynamic range by camera phone standards. No, it won't beat the 41MP Lumia 1020 or even the Lumia Icon's excellent and higher resolution camera, but it doesn't fall completely flat when put up against the Android and iPhone competition. We love that it has optical image stabilization to reduce hand blur in photos and jittery video footage--that's a feature not usually found on midrange models. The fast Zeiss f/2.2 lens and LED flash help with low light settings, though we still give the edge to the iPhone 6 and higher end Lumias for low light shots.

The camera saves images in JPEG format; sorry there's no RAW format here, and it can shoot video in 1080p at 30 fps (H.264, MP4 format). Photos look sharp with natural colors and video is smooth thanks to OIS. Focus times are tolerable, though like other Lumia models focus speed isn't what we'd call fast. The rear camera has a backside illuminated sensor (BSI) and the lens has a fairly wide 26mm equivalent focal length. The front 0.9MP camera is one of the lowest resolutions on the market in this price range, and as you might expect, Skype chats look a bit dim and grainy and selfies aren't masterpieces.

Battery Life

The Lumia 830 has a removable 2200 mAh battery under the back cover. Not many mid to high end Lumia phones have swappable batteries, so that's a treat. Since the phone runs on the midrange Snapdragon 400 and has a 720p display, that battery capacity is perfectly adequate. The Lumia 830 easily lasted us a full day of use when using the phone to check email, view a few websites, play a handful of 10 minute streaming videos, play music with the screen off for an hour and engage in 30 minutes of phone calls. If you use the GPS for hours or play 3D games for an hour or more, you'll need to top up by the afternoon, but for moderate use it should last until bedtime.


We like the Lumia 830, though it's hard to rave about a phone that's designed to sit directly in the middle in terms of price and features. It's neither an outright bargain, nor is it packed with the best specs currently available. Instead, this Lumia targets those who have some money to spend, but don't want to pay top dollar or buy last year's phone to hit that $99 on contract price point. Clearly, the phone is an easier sell to those who already like Windows Phone and for iPhone converts looking for something different yet easy to use and secure. The design is classy for the price, and we're thrilled that the battery is removable and that you can expand storage via microSD cards. The camera is the high point, and for $99, it punches above its weight.

Price: $99 with 2 year contract, $450 full retail


Related Reviews:

Nokia Lumia Icon Review

Nokia Lumia 1520 Review

Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

Nokia Lumia 635 Review


Nokia Lumia 830


Nokia Lumia 830

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Display: 5" IPS display with Nokia Glance and high sensitivity for use with gloves. Gorilla Glass 3. Resolution: 1280 x 720. Has ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Battery: 2200 mAh Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable.

Performance: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad core CPU with Adreno 305 graphics. 1 gig RAM and 16 gigs internal storage.

Size: 5.49 x 2.78 x 0.33 inches. Weight: 5.29 ounces.

Phone: GSM and EDGE 2G quad band world phone. 3G (bands 850/900/1900/2100) and 4G LTE (bands 2, 4, 5, 17).

Camera: 10MP rear camera with OIS, LED flash and Carl Zeiss f/2.2 lens. Front 0.9MP camera.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated single band WiFi 802.11b/g/n, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0.

Software: Windows Phone 8.1 "Lumia Denim".

Expansion: 1 microSD card slot.


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