The word “Lumia” in most people’s minds conjures up images of gloriously colourful phones with curved edges. So anyone who claps eyes on the Lumia 830 will get a bit of a surprise. For, yes, you do get the different shades (we still ended up with a white one. Luck of the draw!), but this is perhaps the most boldly metallic device we have seen in the Lumia range. Yes, there had been metal in the Lumia 925 too, but that device had curved edges, letting the carbonate and metal elements almost merge into each other.


The 830 is a very contrary beast in that regard. It is unabashedly metal at the sides, and seems to borrow a bit from its Asha cousins when it comes to its box-like appearance (something we noticed in the 630 as well). Yes, the back curves outward gently, but the sides are uniformly thick and are not curved. In fact even the edges are, well, edgy. The design is generally pretty minimalistic, we would with two of the four sides being plain metal – the top houses the micro USB slot and the 3.5 mm audio jack, while on the right are the volume rocker, power/display and dedicated camera keys. Thanks to the box-like design, it actually ends up looking a bit thicker than it actually is – it is a very respectable 8.5 mm in the phone slimness scales.

Speaking of the camera – it is a 10-megapixel PureView affair, and is lodged in the back, a circular island, pretty much as that seen in the Lumia 1020 and 925. The flash is a single LED one, incidentally, and there is a speaker grille at the bottom. While on the back, do note that the back cover comes off. And it comes with a number of contact points (or “teeth” as a friend called them), so removing and placing it back is a bit more tedious than expected – remember how you had to press in each contact point in the Samsung Galaxy S II? It is somewhat similar here.

From the front, this looks every inch a Lumia, with the 5.0-inch PureBlack display and three tough buttons beneath it. There is a 0.9-megapixel camera above it as well – Nokia saved the selfie muscle for the lower priced Lumia 730.

The phone feels very solid indeed, in best Lumia tradition. Some might consider it a bit heavy at 150 grammes, but we actually liked the feel of it, even though we do think it is a bit wide for single handed use if you have small hands.

In sum, it has decent hardware (Quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB storage which is expandable, and THAT PureView camera) and perhaps the most metallic look that we have seen on a Lumia. At Rs 28,799, however, it comes very close to the price being commanded by its metallic cousin, the Lumia 925, which also sported a PureView camera, and has an AMOLED display as well. Unlike the 925, the Lumia 830 has a more Spartan feel to it – more Leonidas, than Xerxes. We would not call it ‘premium’ in terms of appearance and feel, but in terms of feel and solidity, it does hark back to Nokia’s roots – substance rules style here. And in an era of phones that are long on features and price and short on solidity, we are not complaining, really.

We like our Spartans, really.

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Nimish Dubey has been writing for more than a decade now (well, Windows 3.1 was around and Apple was on the verge of being finished when he started). He has been published in a number of publications including The Times of India, Mint, The Economic Times, Mid-Day and Femina on subjects that vary from tech write -ups to book reviews to music album round ups. He managed to interview Michael Schumacher once and write two books for young adults along the way.