The Lumia 830 and the Lumia 930—two of the last devices to have the Nokia brand name on them. We’re going to be checking out the differences between the two devices hopefully to answer whether or not it’s worth paying more for the 930.
Looking at the design first the Lumia 830 is 2.5mm taller and 1.5mm thinner than the Lumia 930. It also weighs about 17g less. But in design, at least from the front and on the surface, it looks almost identical to the 930. But when you get in close, you do see a few differences. It has a similar metal chassis with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and it also has the same flat edges and the same physical buttons all along the right hand edge for your volume, power, and camera. But if you look closely at the glass, you’ll see that the 930 has a more angular taper towards the edges whereas the Lumia 830’s glass has a very slight curve. The 830 has its micro USB port on the top while the 930 has its SIM tray, which is removable from the top edge.
But the biggest differences is when you turn it around to the back. The Lumia 830’s camera and LED flash are embedded in this round glass panel. And that’s because the back is removable. It’s a removable plastic shell. And when you remove it, you get access to your microSD expandable memory. You also get access to your interchangeable battery and your SIM card slot. But both come in bright colors and both of them feel incredibly well-made, solid and durable. Despite its removable back, the 830 doesn’t feel any less solid than the 930. But because it’s slimmer, it does feel much nicer in the hand.
If we move on to the displays, both of them are 5-inch panels. The 830 has a 720p LCD clear black display whereas the Lumia 930 has a 1080p AMOLED display. There are differences, obviously it sounds like one should be incredibly sharp compared to the other one. But really, you don’t notice that. When you’re looking at texts or images, both of them look pretty much as sharp as each other. Because the 830 is only about 6ppi shorter than the magic 300 number that we all talk about a lot. The Lumia 930 has over 400ppi but really, you don’t see that much. And it's almost certainly because it’s AMOLED vs LCD. And that does make a difference in terms of colors as well.
What you’ll notice on the 930 is that the colors are a lot more vibrant, sometimes a little bit oversaturated on the whites or warmer; whereas on the LDC panel on the Lumia 830, the whites are much cooler, maybe a little bit too cool. Sometimes the colors come across as being a little bit faded and not given enough life. But it’s still a good display. And of the two, I actually prefer the LCD panel. I prefer the cooler to the warmer.
The cameras are different too and this is perhaps the one area where the 930 properly outshines the 830. It’s a 20MP Pureview lens. But it’s not just more pixels—it’s a bigger sensor size and the pixels are actually bigger. What that means is that they can capture more light and more detail and you can actually choose to save the files at a much higher file size or much higher resolution. So when you’re looking at them, they don’t seem as digital (if that makes sense). It’s a more natural picture with more sharpness.
That said, the 10MP camera on the 830 is fantastic. They both are in fact and most of that is down to the mild controls you get with the Lumia phones. If you’ve got the time and energy to sit through and make sure all your settings are manually set to be ideal for whatever situation you’re in, you can create fantastic images. And if you can keep your hand really still or mount it to a tripod, you can get some brilliant shots in low light and create all sorts of effects like light trails with cars or writing with light yourself.
Looking at the performance and battery life, again there’s a lot of difference in terms of specifications. The 830 has a Snapdragon 400 Quad-Core processor. The Lumia 930 has a Snapdragon 800 processor. and it’s 2.2GHz vs 1.2GHz, 2GB of RAM vs 1GB of RAM, 30GB of storage vs 16GB of in-built storage. Here’s where they differ—the 830 lets you expand that storage up to an extra 128GB so it gives you that extra flexibility. And in actual daily use, loading apps, switching between screens, using the device for everything that you want to use it for, the 830 doesn’t feel that much slower than the 930. In fact, I didn’t notice it to be any slower at all.
And when it comes to batteries, you would expect the lower capacity battery to perform worse than the higher one but that’s actually not the case. Because the screen pixels are denser on the 930 and because the processor’s a lot more powerful, it uses more battery juice. So you actually get more battery life out of the 2200mAh battery in the 830 and that’s despite the fact that it’s more than 200mAh off the capacity of the 930. What that means in actual daily use is that you should get a few extra hours of standby time or at least a few extra hours between charges. Both devices are easy to charge. They’ve got wireless charging capabilities built-in.
So out of the two devices, I actually prefer the Lumia 830. And that’s mostly because of the price. There is quite a big difference in what you would spend to buy an 830 outright compared to a 930. It’s thinner, feels nicer in hand, more versatile because you can expand the storage and swap batteries. It performs just as well in most tasks. In fact, the only way it really falls short is in the camera.