Microsoft’s affordable flagship smartphone costs only €330 ($435)
Microsoft announced today during the “More Lumia” press conference its first “affordable flagship,” the Nokia Lumia 830. While this does seem like a PR stunt, Microsoft went even further and compared the Lumia 830, Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s.However, they only showed a price comparison chart, which proved that Nokia Lumia 830 should be a lot cheaper than the other two so-called flagship smartphones.
But let’s see if in terms of specs, Microsoft’s claims are accurate enough. While some may agree that price matters the most, it’s also very important to know exactly what you get for that amount, so here is a quick rundown of the features that these three smartphones have to offer.
First of all, the Lumia 830 does feature a nice 5-inch IPS LCD display that supports HD (720p) resolution.
Even though it does come with ClearBlack technology, Lumia 830’s screen is no match for iPhone 5s' 4-inch Retina display or Galaxy S5’s 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display that features full HD (1080p) resolution.
However, those who opt for the Lumia 830 will still get some nice features for their display, such as Corning Gorilla Glass 3, Super Sensitive Touch, which allows control of display even with gloves and nails, as well as great sunlight readability.
Camera-wise, Nokia Lumia 830 is clearly the winner. Microsoft smartphone packs a 10-megapixels rear-facing camera with PureView technology, Carl Zeiss optics, and the thinnest OIS (optical image stabilization) sensor.
Even though the phone does not come with Xenon flash, thanks to some of the new features included in the Nokia Camera application, such as Dynamic Flash, Lumia 830 takes incredible pictures in low-light conditions.
The iPhone 5s' camera should be no match to Microsoft’s PureView camera, and as the Redmond-based company mentioned during its press conference, Galaxy S5’s imaging performance was even lower than iPhone 5s', so they weren’t worth mentioning.
When it comes to hardware, things are a bit trickier. Everyone knows that Windows Phone was optimized to work smoothly on even the lowest processors, but it’s how it handles various demanding apps and games that counts.
In this regard, Nokia Lumia 830 does not seem to be on par with Galaxy S5, that’s equipped with a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. On the other hand, iPhone 5s is powered by a dual-core Cyclone processor based on ARM v8 architecture, which is clocked at 1.3GHz.
For your information, the Lumia 830 is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, which has become the norm for mid-range Android smartphones these days, so there's no way that this would be more powerful than the other two.
When playing games that demand a lot of hardware power GPUs are what counts and the Galaxy S5 seems the clear winner. Samsung’s flagship smartphone is equipped with an Adreno 330 graphics processing unit, which is clearly more powerful than Lumia 830’s Adreno 305 GPU.
Apple’s iPhone 5s has a PowerVR G6430 GPU with four cores, which is powerful enough to dethrone Lumia 830’s quad-core GPU.
I would put this on par, as 2GB of RAM would not make too much of a difference for the Lumia 830, except for the fact that it would increase the outright price.
When it comes to storage, all three “flagship” smartphones have the same amount of internal memory: 16GB. However, the iPhone 5s is the clear loser given the lack of microSD card slot. Both Lumia 830 and Galaxy S5 offer users the option to further expand storage up 128GB.
Battery is another important aspect that comes to mind when talking about smartphones. There are few flagships that offer more than 1 day of usage, especially if they’re powered by Google’s Android OS.
The iPhone 5s definitely has a better battery life than the Galaxy S5, but Microsoft promises that Nokia Lumia 830 that comes with a 2200mAh removable battery should provide up to 22 days of standby time or up to 13 hours of talk time.
We doubt that a 2200mAh battery powering the Lumia 830 will be much better than Galaxy S5’s 2800mAh battery, especially that these smartphones have similar displays.
On the other hand, Nokia Lumia 830 comes with wireless charging embedded in the back cover, which is also exchangeable. Even though this might sound like just another gimmick, it really comes in handy when you also have a wireless charging plate at your disposal.
Although Windows Phone does offer better battery efficiency, it will take more than just optimizing software to make battery life better inside smartphones.
Qualcomm, Samsung and other components manufacturers should really find other technologies that make displays, chipsets and other hardware eat a lot less energy than they do now.
Nokia Lumia costs only €330 ($435) which makes the cheapest from the three, but ultimately it’s a matter of taste whether you want it to replace your Galaxy S5 or iPhone 5s.
I see the Nokia Lumia 830 as a great mid-range smartphone, but if I wanted to go for a flagship smartphone, I would definitely go for one with better specs.
Microsoft’s “affordable flagship” is definitely affordable, but it can’t replace a flagship, unless the only thing you want from a flagship smartphone would be its camera.
All in all, Nokia Lumia 830 scores points at camera and price, but all other features are either on par with Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s or lower.
So, there you have it. What are your thoughts about Nokia Lumia 830? Do you think that it will sell well as Microsoft’s “affordable smartphone”?