10-10-2014 08:41 PM
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  1. hasasimo's Avatar
    So my Lumia 830 arrived yesterday and I've already had a chance to put it through its paces a bit. I've been using a Nokia Lumia 1520 since May and I really have very few complaints. The 1520 is a multimedia beast whose only drawbacks (IMO) were the cumbersome dimensions and the occasional swipe/tap/scroll bug that seems to affect almost every 1520. I fell in love with the aesthetics of both the 930 and 830 and considered each as replacements. The 930's lack of Glance was a deal breaker for me. My previous Lumia devices (prior to the 1520 and 830), if anyone is wondering, were the Lumia 800, Lumia 900, and Lumia 920.

    Box contents

    box.jpg

    Pictures and videos don't really do justice to how minimalistic the Lumia 830's packaging is. I put my 1520's box next to it for reference. It comes with a pretty solid set of headphones as you'd expect from a device being marketed as an "affordable flagship." Apparently most Lumia 930s were not shipping with headphones, but 930 users were able to get a free pair simply by requesting them from Nokia. Good to see that they're including them again. They're pretty much exactly the same as the yellow headphones that came with my yellow Lumia 1520.

    Design

    Aesthetics are, of course, subjective... but generally speaking, if something is nice enough, more people will notice and agree than not. This is one sexy slab of smartphone. It feels premium in the hand and while it's light, it certainly doesn't feel too light to me. It's substantial enough for me to feel like I'm holding yet another quality device from Nokia/Microsoft Mobile.

    The back cover lifts easily from bottom to top, but it's very secure so you must lift carefully. When secured, the back cover is totally flush with the frame of the phone. There's no way you could tell that the back cover is removable if you didn't otherwise know.

    formfactor.jpg

    Set-up

    Set-up was a breeze, although I initially thought something was wrong because it took hours to sync everything up from my Microsoft Account. I entered my account details and every app, text message, etc. downloaded to the phone. Even my live tiles were downloaded in the exact same arrangement as they were on my Lumia 1520.

    I was impressed with the fact that the phone really didn't get hot during the entire process, which is very power-intensive and a strain on the internals. Which brings me to my next topic...

    Heat dispersal

    Probably the best heat dispersal engineering I've seen from a Lumia. The phone stays cool during most tasks. The only time it was anywhere close to hot was when I charged it while it was still downloading my apps, syncing my account, etc. It was warmest in the top-right, probably the area you'll touch least if you're right handed. That's a big improvement on the 930 which apparently would get hot in the lower part of the phone, where it's being held. Then again, complaints of heat with the 930 were widespread... my early impressions tell me that won't be an issue with the 830.

    Signal/reception/connectivity

    It was bittersweet deciding to move to the Lumia 830 because I was dreading missing the 1520's battery life (I'll get to that later) as well as LTE connectivity on T-Mobile. I ordered the RM-984 variant because I wanted Denim, Glance, all new camera enhancements, and I wanted the phone in orange. I can't get that (for now) with the prototype RM-985s being sold on Ebay. As soon as the full RM-985 is commercially available, I may get that and sell my RM-984.

    However, I've noticed absolutely 0 drop off between LTE and HSDPA. I'm very pleasantly surprised by this. I've streamed video, used Nokia Drive, etc. and everything worked flawlessly. That doesn't shock me necessarily, as I routinely get better H+ download speeds than I do LTE when running speed tests. Upload speeds are a bit faster with LTE though.

    Signal strength is better on my Lumia 830 than my 1520. It's not necessarily bad on my 1520, but the 830 gives me a full bar more of reception. Other 1520 users have noticed this too compared to some other phones, though.

    As mentioned, I streamed video to test out the H+ speeds. I streamed some live sporting events using the Flash Sports app and quality was totally flawlessly. There were 0 interruptions, 0 buffering, 0 lags. I tested this on several occasions, and with just 3 bars of signal strength where I was at. It was so good that if I ever do experience any lags streaming sports on this app in the future, I'd bet for sure that the problem is with the source of the stream and not my H+ speeds on T-Mobile.

    MMS and visual voicemail also worked flawlessly right out of the box.

    Display

    The display is nothing short of solid. The only time I can tell it's 720p and not 1080p is with really large font, i.e. basically never. The 1520 and 830 both rock IPS LCD displays, but it really is tough to beat the former's. I've seen great displays, I've seen poor ones. The 1520's is very good, almost stellar, while the 830's falls just short but is more than admirable. It certainly crushes my Lumia 920's display, especially with viewing angles. Blacks are a little bit deeper on my 1520 than the 830 and whites are a little bit whiter, but it's barely noticeable. Nothing beats the depth of the 930's blacks though. Still, having the deepest blacks is no where close to being worth sacrificing Glance in my opinion.

    Charging and Glance

    The Lumia 830 is working flawlessly with my trusty Nokia wireless charging stand that I've had since buying my Lumia 920 in November of 2012. Charging starts immediately and is quite rapid, both wired and wireless.

    glance.jpgstand.jpg

    Performance and battery life

    I will say that though performance with video streaming was flawless, the battery obviously didn't handle it quite as well as the behemoth Lumia 1520. The Lumia 830 still handled it decently well though, with probably a 5-7% hit on the battery per 15-20 minutes of streaming (very rough estimate and dependent on many factors).

    I had a work function to go to about 40 minutes away today which offered a perfect opportunity to test out HERE Drive. Performance was once again flawless, from registering my location, to finding my destination, to finding my route, to the trip itself.

    I began my trip with 96% battery life after making some phone calls using speakerphone. Following 40 minutes of HERE Drive and about 15 minutes of taking pictures and video I was down to 71%. Not bad at all.

    Usage was heavy earlier in the day, and moderate the rest of the day. So, with moderate-to-heavy usage for about 10 hours I'm still sitting here at about 50% power. Given my usage today, my 1520 would have probably been at about 70-75%. Believe it or not, I can see myself getting close to 2 days out of this thing with light-to-moderate use, which would be most days.

    batlife.jpg

    In terms of rapidity, there is almost no difference between my Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM-powered 1520 and this Lumia 830 when it comes to performing the most common tasks... I'm talking launching the camera, launching apps, etc. The only time I noticed any difference in the power of these devices is when performing very power-hungry tasks, like during initial set-up. The 1520 would have been done syncing and installing more quickly. Also, the 830 gets warmer (I wouldn't say "hot") more quickly than the 1520 doing these power-intensive tasks. With most common operations though the phone stays as cool as a cucumber.

    Voice/speaker quality

    Everybody I spoke to said calls were as clear as could be. It was the same with my 1520, so no drop-off on the other end as far as that's concerned, including with speaker.

    The speaker phone is quite loud, which I'm relieved about. I was afraid I'd miss how how loud it was on my Lumia 1520. I'd say max volume is comparable, believe it or not, though the sound is a bit richer on the 1520 as you might expect.

    Camera

    I haven't played with all the features yet as I was more concerned with quality. I'm very pleased with the performance thus far and haven't really noticed a drop-off from my Lumia 1520. I used Nokia Camera with its default settings on both phones to take these pics.

    outside1.jpg
    Outside with the Lumia 830

    outside2.jpg
    Outside shot again with the Lumia 830


    lowlight830.jpg
    Low light shot with the Lumia 830 (no flash)

    lowlight1520.jpg
    Low light shot with the Lumia 1520 (no flash) (for comparison)

    front.jpg

    Front facing camera shot with the Lumia 830

    Operating system

    I've thus far noticed no bugs with Lumia Denim. Haven't noticed many new additions either, aside from neat little improvements like being able to delete individual texts (not threads) in list form rather than one at a time by long pressing (just tap the far left part of the screen).

    Other than that, it's Windows Phone 8.1 of course, and it's as elegant and zippy as always.

    delete_text.jpg

    denim.jpg

    Conclusion

    For all the fuss about specs when this phone was released, this thing holds its own. I'll give it a full week before I decide for sure, but my day 1 experience and observations point to me keeping my 830 and selling my 1520.

    While it's true that in terms of specs this is a mid-range device, in terms of performance, it certainly lives up to it's "affordable flagship" moniker.
    Last edited by hasasimo; 10-04-2014 at 01:23 AM.
    10-02-2014 10:20 PM
  2. sahib lopez's Avatar
    This is how I feel with my 830 ( rm 985) so you have my approval of this review :) !


    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk
    10-02-2014 10:41 PM
  3. Verkunder's Avatar
    Gah, wish I had a green shell. Hopefully they're listed on Amazon soon.
    hasasimo likes this.
    10-02-2014 10:49 PM
  4. bozza72's Avatar
    Nice review thanks, I too have a 1520,I was thinking about the 930 or 830 but wasn't sure about the 830 processor & 10 mp camera.I may now look again
    Thanks
    hasasimo likes this.
    10-02-2014 10:54 PM
  5. zack251's Avatar
    Thanks for the review, I could not put better words than yours. I agree with you especially on the heat part. I have noticed that the phone does not heat like my 820 which was really annoying that I had to use a flip case to cover my ear because of the heat.
    hasasimo, iamakii and prasath1234 like this.
    10-02-2014 11:06 PM
  6. hasasimo's Avatar
    Gah, wish I had a green shell. Hopefully they're listed on Amazon soon.
    I hope so. All I see is the flip covers. I plan on getting every color back plate I don't have (green, black, white). Am I crazy?
    10-02-2014 11:12 PM
  7. hasasimo's Avatar
    Nice review thanks, I too have a 1520,I was thinking about the 930 or 830 but wasn't sure about the 830 processor & 10 mp camera.I may now look again
    Thanks
    You really can't go wrong with either. Hard to resist the 930 if it's almost the same price as the 830 right now. But if you're as reliant on Glance as I am, the 930 isn't an option. So far the 830 is as good as I could have hoped.
    10-02-2014 11:14 PM
  8. sketchy9's Avatar
    Thanks for the review, I could not put better words than yours. I agree with you especially on the heat part. I have noticed that the phone does not heat like my 820 which was really annoying that I had to use a flip case to cover my ear because of the heat.

    My prototype RM-985 is shockingly cool. My 920 would get blazing hot just with web surfing. This seems like some futuristic technology, it's so different.
    hasasimo likes this.
    10-02-2014 11:19 PM
  9. hasasimo's Avatar
    My prototype RM-985 is shockingly cool. My 920 would get blazing hot just with web surfing. This seems like some futuristic technology, it's so different.
    I second that sentiment. I too owned a 920 and the heat dispersal on this thing is night and day better. And aside from just the dispersal, it simply doesn't get as hot.
    10-02-2014 11:26 PM
  10. Chris_Kez's Avatar
    Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. How does the display and Gorilla Glass cover compare to the L920? I always liked the 920's display but thought the touchscreen panel itself was set too deep into the phone. When viewed from an angle it looked like there was a good two millimeters or so between your fingertip and the actual display. If you look at a newer iPhone, or even the iPhone 4, there appears to be almost no gap. Especially on new ones the screen feels like it is *right on top*. Such a minor thing, I know, but it's funny all the little things you notice when you're looking at one of these devices every single day for months and months. I really think this is my next phone, and the pressure is on after cracking the glass on my 920 last week. I can't believe we're looking at another month before it's released on AT&T (though I'm leaning towards the RM-985 variant so I can keep Qi, and kind of hoping the price comes down a few dollars once it's more widely available here).
    10-02-2014 11:29 PM
  11. hasasimo's Avatar
    Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. How does the display and Gorilla Glass cover compare to the L920? I always liked the 920's display but thought the touchscreen panel itself was set too deep into the phone. When viewed from an angle it looked like there was a good two millimeters or so between your fingertip and the actual display. If you look at a newer iPhone, or even the iPhone 4, there appears to be almost no gap. Especially on new ones the screen feels like it is *right on top*. Such a minor thing, I know, but it's funny all the little things you notice when you're looking at one of these devices every single day for months and months. I really think this is my next phone, and the pressure is on after cracking the glass on my 920 last week. I can't believe we're looking at another month before it's released on AT&T (though I'm leaning towards the RM-985 variant so I can keep Qi, and kind of hoping the price comes down a few dollars once it's more widely available here).
    Hi Chris,

    I actually edited my review later to add a blurb about the display, I'm not sure if you saw that part. I actually directly compared it to the 920 as I remember the 920's display being fine, but the viewing angles were awful. The 830 is much better in this regard, as the display panel is set considerably more shallow vis a vis the Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It's almost as good as my 1520 I'd say. In fact, if we're speaking strictly in terms of how visible the display is from various angles, test out the 1520 at any AT&T store... it'll give you a good idea of how the 830 holds up in that aspect.
    10-03-2014 12:46 AM
  12. sketchy9's Avatar
    Glad you're enjoying your new toy. Couple of questions:

    1. Since you have a production unit, do you have the new camera app and enhancements? Are they all they're cracked up to be?
    2. Are you able to change the tile layout under "theme" in settings so that you have two medium tiles (or one wide tile) across? The prototype is unable to change this and I'm not sure if it's a pre-production issue or just the new default going forward.

    Thanks!
    10-03-2014 01:05 AM
  13. Darthbobcat's Avatar
    All of these positive reviews have made up my mind. I haven't read any complaints about it, outside of the price, yet.
    10-03-2014 01:39 AM
  14. hasasimo's Avatar
    Glad you're enjoying your new toy. Couple of questions:

    1. Since you have a production unit, do you have the new camera app and enhancements? Are they all they're cracked up to be?
    2. Are you able to change the tile layout under "theme" in settings so that you have two medium tiles (or one wide tile) across? The prototype is unable to change this and I'm not sure if it's a pre-production issue or just the new default going forward.

    Thanks!
    I have some of the new enhancements but for the life of me can't figure out where Dynamic Flash is or how to use it. I can't find instructions anywhere either. Any ideas?

    As for your second question, I do not see that option under "start+theme." Here's a snapshot of that screen.

    wp_ss_20141003_0001.jpg
    sketchy9 and Douglas_B like this.
    10-03-2014 01:39 AM
  15. hasasimo's Avatar
    All of these positive reviews have made up my mind. I haven't read any complaints about it, outside of the price, yet.
    Yeah, it's early still but so far there don't seem to be many complaints. Compare that with the Lumia 930 launch which was riddled with problems.
    Last edited by hasasimo; 10-03-2014 at 02:47 AM.
    10-03-2014 01:41 AM
  16. zack251's Avatar
    My complaint so far is I expect more for the battery life. I have not yet able to get more than 15 hours of usage but still better than my 820. Also the Nokia Camera is a bit slow to operate compared to Microsoft Camera. If Nokia Camera is the Denim Camera, I will not use the features because it is not fast enough.

    All of these positive reviews have made up my mind. I haven't read any complaints about it, outside of the price, yet.
    10-03-2014 02:15 AM
  17. hasasimo's Avatar
    My complaint so far is I expect more for the battery life. I have not yet able to get more than 15 hours of usage but still better than my 820. Also the Nokia Camera is a bit slow to operate compared to Microsoft Camera. If Nokia Camera is the Denim Camera, I will not use the features because it is not fast enough.
    That's strange, sorry to hear your battery life has been poor. Is the phone constantly searching for a signal (i.e. are you in a poor reception area)? Do you have bluetooth and/or NFC on all day? How many apps are you running in the background?

    I have not charged my phone since writing my review. I have 9 apps running the background, bluetooth and NFC off, Glance and double-tap to wake always on, had that heavy usage early in the day, then moderate the rest of the day, then light usage overnight and I'm sitting at 32% 17 hours into this charge.
    10-03-2014 04:08 AM
  18. zack251's Avatar
    How many hours do you get? Perhaps I have to wait a few weeks more until the novelty wears off. Currently I am frequently checking it to look at the beautiful live tiles updating.

    That's strange, sorry to hear your battery life has been poor. Is the phone constantly searching for a signal (i.e. are you in a poor reception area)? Do you have bluetooth and/or NFC on all day? How many apps are you running in the background?

    I have not charged my phone since writing my review. I have 9 apps running the background, bluetooth and NFC off, Glance and double-tap to wake always on, had that heavy usage early in the day, then moderate the rest of the day, then light usage overnight and I'm sitting at 32% 17 hours into this charge.
    10-03-2014 04:27 AM
  19. Edward Baylon's Avatar
    I am amazed by the 830's low light result it yields much better than 1520, I am not sure but as far as I can remember 1520 has better raw camera specs, so was it the denim update that making that much different?
    If yes that would be a big wow from a software making that much change. Imagine 1520 with denim update.
    10-03-2014 05:11 AM
  20. deadwrong03's Avatar
    What is ur review on the front camera after playing with it's .9mp ?
    10-03-2014 08:59 AM
  21. ShinraCorp's Avatar
    Just wanted to tell you a little something. You can delete individual messages without the Denim update. I believe it's in 8.1 or 8.1.1 since I can do it on my 920 :P
    Aniruddh Sharma likes this.
    10-03-2014 11:11 AM
  22. LumiaIcon's Avatar
    Am I reading that the 1520 and 830 take similar quality pictures?? How is that possible? Or are you saying that the 830 is just better than you expected?
    10-03-2014 11:29 AM
  23. Marty89's Avatar
    Your review is fantastic... Now I know that I really want this phone but which color... orange or green... both are beautiful!!!
    hasasimo likes this.
    10-03-2014 11:47 AM
  24. sketchy9's Avatar
    The beauty is you can get both! Just get a couple different back covers and you're good to go.
    hasasimo and rain620 like this.
    10-03-2014 12:14 PM
  25. grininja's Avatar
    I'm thinking black or orange. But here's the problem, I can't just say that I'll buy the cover and that's it. The edge is black on black version and silver/metal on others. After solving this I will know what my next phone will be.
    10-03-2014 12:31 PM
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