Microsoft Devices, formerly known as Nokia's phone division, is no slouch when it comes to its device lineup. Lately, it's been focused on refining the top and bottom of its Lumia Windows Phone lineup, but the phone maker came to IFA in Berlin with a couple of devices to freshen up the middle of the pack. The company's strategy: Bring the PureView brand, which has typically been associated with Nokia's premium phones, to a more affordable price point on the Lumia 830. In fact, Microsoft bills the 830 as "the affordable flagship." The device looks a lot like the Lumia 930 because it comes with the aluminum frame and subtly curved polycarbonate back. While it uses the PureView name, the rear camera's 10MP resolution isn't quite as good number-wise as the 930 or 1020, but it's understandable given the lower price point. Still, the device will come with plenty of extra software enhancements to improve the experience.
The device will ship with the Lumia Denim update, which is Microsoft Device's specially packaged version of Windows Phone 8.1.1 (Update 1). That refresh comes with the ability to activate Cortana hands-free, as well as a new version of Lumia Camera, which comes with more burst shot capability, faster shot-to-shot and pocket-to-picture times and several other enhancements to the imaging experience.
One interesting feature in the new Lumia Camera is the ability to take two pictures: One with flash and one without. When editing the final image, it offers a slider that lets you change the flash effect up in the picture. In other words, if the flash was too bright, but the image is too dark without the flash, you can now tweak the end result to somewhere in between.
As for the hard specs, the 830 comes with a 5-inch 720p display, Gorilla Glass 3, slightly curved (2.25D) glass, a 2,200mAh battery and a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400. At first glance, it's hard to discern the 830 from the 930, largely due to the aluminum sides. However, it's actually quite a bit thinner than its bigger brother, at 8.5mm, and the PureView camera module mimics the circular black one on the Lumia 1020, complete with a slight and subtle bump causing it to stand out above the rest of the chassis. It also comes with a removable polycarbonate back. Even though it's a thinner device, it's still just as easy to hold and looks sleeker than the 930.
Fortunately, the 830 retains the hardware shutter key prevalent on the other PureView devices. It's on the lower-right side of the phone, which on this particular device sits right where my pinky finger rests. This makes the holding experience slightly awkward, but I imagine it'll be easy to get used to altering my grip a bit after enough time using the device.
The 830 will come in green, orange, gray and white and start shipping globally this month at 330 euro.