Last Christmas, I purchased my first personal computer in a number of years. (Working as an engineer, I have a work-issued laptop that I can take home whenever I want. For personal use, I had an iPad, but found myself wanting more of a full PC experience, so I sold the iPad and purchased a Dell XPS 18.) It ran Windows 8.1 Professional, and it was my first experience with the new tile (or modern, as Microsoft would like you to call it) interface. Within days, I was in love: I could jump to desktop mode and work like I had for years, and with the touch of an icon, I could immerse myself in the touch-focused tile UI. A couple of months later, a deal prompted me to replace my more portable tablet with another Windows 8.1 device. I was immersed in the Windows ecosystem… except for my iPhone. I briefly considered replacing it with a Windows phone, but my carrier offered few Windows 8 handsets, and many of those were older models that would be replaced.
- 5 inch Display
- 10 MP camera
- 16GB internal storage
- 4G LTE support
- LED flash
- Quad-core 1.2GHz processor
- Qi wireless charging (built-in)
Nokia Lumia 830 Review
The phone is light; it feels almost too light for my preferences, actually. I like the interchangeable faceplates (the unit we were provided came with the green plate and an optional black one), although snapping them on and off repeatedly made me worry that they would crack or break. The phone was slower to boot than I would have liked, but once it was up and running, I was pleased with the responsiveness of the touchscreen and the processor. The camera was fantastic by mobile phone standards. Coming from a Windows 8.1 PC experience, the general look and feel of the UI is familiar and comfortable. I love the live tile implementation (in moderation, and only on certain apps – like weather – while on others it can be extremely distracting – like contacts). Add to that the integration of my Windows Live account details (like favourite weather locations, followed stocks and sports teams, etc.) across devices, and I was up and running in no time. (One small quibble… I have a few apps on my tablets that I know are universal – that is, they have phone counterparts – it would have been nice if those were installed or prompted to install on the new phone.)
Last summer I wrote about how I secure an iPhone for a child, a process that was quite involved and required the disabling of certain apps (like the web browser, for example) for all users all the time. Windows Phone 8.1 has, in my opinion, a far superior implementation than iOS or even Android has: Kid’s Corner. All that’s required is to enable the service in the phone’s settings, and then add apps to that corner. Then, when you want to allow a child to use your phone but want to make sure they don’t email your boss or google something inappropriate, simply swipe left instead of up and you will enter Kid’s Corner. (Another quibble: I have a passcode enabled on my phone, and this has to be entered to access Kid’s Corner. However, this may be a security setting forced by my company’s device management settings.) (One final aside from the parent perspective: on Christmas Eve, Microsoft enabled locating tracking for Santa Claus via Cortana. Whenever I asked her, “Where is Santa Claus right now?” she would respond with a city and country and a brief fact about one of them. When I asked Siri the same thing, she simply hung and did not respond.)
Overall, I really enjoyed using the Lumia 830. In all honesty, if I wasn’t so fully entrenched in an iOS ecosystem (all four of us in my family have some form of iDevice for iMessage and FaceTime, plus other extended family members like my mother, plus my entire company) I would probably use it as my daily driver (or maybe the Lumia 1520; I’ve become a phablet convert since I started using my iPhone 6 Plus). But bottom line, the Lumia 830 is a solid phone with a great user interface, especially for parents with small children.
This post was written by my hubby! He says he is “A husband, a father, and an engineer. In that order.”