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.
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.
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.
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