The Lumia 830 is a mid-range Windows Phone that offers decent value for money at a decent price. It isn't the best phone we have tested, but it is far from the worst. See also: best smartphones: The best phones you can buy in 2014.
The Lumia 830 costs £319 inc VAT SIM free. Design-wise it is good to see a handset that breaks from the black-slab Android norm. The colourful backside is available in several colours, and is actually a thin plastic cover. Detachable, this gives you access to the battery, SIM and micro-SD card slot. But it is wafer thin and feels a bit cheap and plasticky when you are attempting to remove- and reattach it.
The Lumia 830 smartphone is chunky and thick, but not entirely in a bad way. It's easy to use with one hand, and comfortable to hold for lengthy periods. We like the silver finish around the sides.
The Lumia 830 comes with a 5in IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen. With a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels the Lumia 830 has a 294 ppi pixel density. Both size and level of detail are middle of the road. The Lumia 830's display makes photos look good. It works well with the bright colours when navigating Windows Phone 8.1, too.
Lumia 830: disappointing performance
With a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core CPU and 1GB RAM performance is okay without being sparkling. At least it is for low-load actions. When doing not a great deal - processor wise - it is fair. But put it under load and things start to drag. And forget about gaming, beyond the most simple games apps. Performance is a disappointment.
The Lumia 830 comes with only one storage option: 16GB. On our Lumia 830 that left us with 10.8GB to play with out of 14GB available in total. Clearly that isn't enough for any serious smartphone user. Fortunately, that has been thought of. The Lumia 830 has a microSD slot, via which you can add up to 128 GB.
The main camera is a 10 Mp snapper that captures up to 3520 x 2640 pixels. It has image stabilisation and LED flash. 1080p video is captured at 30fps. Around the front we find a 0.9 Mp selfie camera, that can grab 720p video. In use we found the main camera did a good job on a well-lit scenes.
The Lumia 830 comes with a removable battery, offering just over seven Watt hours. This is a relatively small battery, but it is powering a relatively underpowered device with a relatively low-resolution display. And it shows. The Lumia 830 offers very good battery life. It also offers Qi wireless charging.
The Lumia 830 comes with Windows Phone 8.1 - the latest version of Microsoft's mobile operating system. If you haven't used Windows Phone before, don't be afraid. It is a simple-to-use and feature rich OS, as secure and locked down as iOS. There are relatively few apps in the app store, but these days you can find most of the things you need for Windows Phone. See also: What’s new in Window Phone 8.1: release date and new features.
Overall then the Lumia 830 offers decent value for money at a decent price. It isn't the best phone we have tested, but it is far from the worst. (See also: 16 Best Windows Phones of 2014/2015 UK.)