Last week, I had the opportunity to test drive the Nokia Lumia 830.
The 830 stands out from the crowd with the beautiful Windows Phone live tile OS and the sleek case design. It feels substantial in the hand, but not nearly as weighty as the 920.
Cortana, I love you. You are Siri-ous competition, my lovely. Cortana displays text as you go and also includes punctuation. Really brilliant. Setting up favorites to maximize the efficacy of Cortana takes some time, but it’s worth it. Cortana could change your mobile life.
Setting up the phone to use was very easy since I already had a Windows Live account, and all of my information loaded quickly. Setting up Gmail and Facebook took no time at all, as well.
I loaded some of our Windows Phone apps (Name Dice, TampaMom, Thinkamingo) to play with and they all looked very good. The processing speed is nice and fast.
The navigation apps on this phone were rubbish. Honestly, if it’s not Google Maps or Waze, I don’t have time for it. I tried HERE+ and it was not easy to use. There was another navigation app that I can’t remember the name of, but in order to really use anything worthwhile on it, it wanted me to upgrade or subscribe. Nope.
The camera. Wow. The camera on the 830 is spectacular. You will not be disappointed with it. The one good/bad feature is the manual camera button on the lower right side of the phone. I hold my phone in such a way that I repeatedly turned the camera on by depressing that button. If this was my permanent phone, I’m sure I would alter my behavior to accommodate that, but as it was my phone for a week, I couldn’t get past it. Sometimes, it’s awfully handy to have that button so that your phone feels more like a camera, but for me, it was a pain in the butt.
Being in the Tampa Metropolitan area, mobile service coverage is generally pretty good across the board for all providers. There can be some challenges on bridges across Tampa Bay, or in other topographically-challenged areas where the signal just can’t dip down into an area. On the whole, this AT&T phone had excellent LTE coverage in this area, making the whole experience fast and fun.
The overall sound and volume level was impressive. I setup my own MixRadio personalized station and was impressed by the acuity of picking music I might like.
This phone came with a neon-green back cover which was a little too bright for my taste, but would definitely be more fun for someone else. It was very easy to find in my dark purse!
Battery life was very good for my use. I didn’t notice any unusual battery drain or problems with an average day of using the internet, texting, and a voice call or two.
You can read other more detailed, more technical, and more biased reviews around the web, but here’s the bottom line. An average user would not be disappointed with this beautiful and powerful phone. The overall design is attractive and feels good in the hand. Windows has the most striking mobile OS with the live tiles and eye-catching contemporary design. Finally, Cortana is brilliant.
One area I didn’t talk about was the availability of quality Windows Phone apps. If you rely heavily on a specific app or set of apps for your work, you should buy a phone that supports those apps. As far as anything else goes, be flexible. What apps do you currently use all the time? If you don’t buy or download apps, then it’s a non-issue for you. If you are a casual gamer, there are plenty of apps that fit the bill in the Windows Store.
Overall, this phone is worthy of high praise on nearly every level. It would be a nice upgrade to my Lumia 920!
Disclaimer: I was given this phone to review by AT&T without any conditions or remuneration.