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Fans of Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile platform can be forgiven for feeling left out with the glut of new smartphone releases every fall. New iPhones, BlackBerries and Android phones are commonplace, but Windows? A little tougher to come by. However, Microsoft announced a new “affordable flagship” Lumia smartphone at IFA 2014 in September and the Nokia Lumia 830 is now finding its way into Canada. It sports the familiar colourful polycarbonate shell and a big 5-inch display at an affordable price point.


Nokia or Microsoft?

Yes, Microsoft bought Nokia’s smartphone business earlier this year, but the Lumia 830 still bears the Nokia name. Microsoft has begun to rebrand its Lumia smartphones —the Lumia 535 is the first to be released without the Nokia logo— but the 830 didn’t quite make the cut. 

So consider the Lumia 830 as a Microsoft smartphone that still strongly shows its Nokia heritage. As one of the last such devices, perhaps it will be a collector’s item some day.

Upscale Without the Inflated Price

The Lumia 830 is firmly targeting people who want the look and feel of a big, flagship smartphone without paying the premium such devices command.

It has a big, 5-inch display and a metal band wraps around the trademark colourful polycarbonate shell. This smartphone looks the part.

In order to keep prices down, some compromises were made. Notably, the display has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, the Snapdragon quad-core CPU is an older 400 series at 1.2GHz and the camera —always a strong suit for Lumia phones— is a 10 MP version.

None of these is a deal-killer. The display still manages a respectable 296 ppi, the CPU is more than snappy enough to run Windows Phone 8.1 and the camera’s PureView sensor, LED flash and optical image stabilization should still combine for high quality photos. 

Nokia Lumia 830 Key Specs

 
  • 5-inch ClearBlack IPS LCD at 720p (1280 x 720) resolution, 296 ppi
  • Gorilla Glass 3
  • Quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU @ 1.2GHz
  • 16GB storage, microSD card slot (accepts up to 128 GB)
  • 10 MP primary camera with 6-lens optics, auto focus, optical image stabilization and LED flash
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • 2200 mAh user replaceable battery rated at up to 14.9 hours talk time, 14 hours Wi-Fi browsing
  • Micro USB, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Runs Windows Phone 8.1
  • 13.9 x 7.07 x 0.85 cm, weighs 150g
  • Supports Qi wireless charging

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Lots of Premium Touches, Few Tradeoffs

The Nokia Lumia 830 is not aimed at someone who wants a powerhouse smartphone, with a Full HD or better display and a CPU that will chew through intensive tasks like editing video or playing hardcore games loaded with graphics effects.

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However, it does offer the look and feel of a flagship smartphone, has the ability to run Windows 8.1 smoothly and offers enough horsepower to tackle the everyday tasks most people use their smartphone for. Its camera may not be the 41MP monster on the Lumia 1020, but it should cover the needs of most users quite nicely. And unlike many much more expensive smartphones, the Lumia 830 offers some nice options like Q1 wireless charging support, a user-swappable battery and the ability to upgrade storage on the cheap using microSD cards.

Looking for a flagship smartphone without paying the flagship premium? The Nokia Lumia 830 is worth checking out. 

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Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. After 13 years as a product manager with a leading Canadian tech company, I transitioned into a full-time career of writing about technology. I’ve contributed to a range of publications and websites including Forbes, Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, About.com, MSN Money, the Winnipeg Free Press, InvestorPlace Media, Shaw Media and—combining technology and my three kids—I’ve been a Core Contributor to the award winning GeekDad blog since its launch in 2007.