Nokia has always been a stable phone manufacturer. You could buy one of their phones and it could survive a nuclear bomb blast. I had a Nokia has my second phone - it was the indestructible Nokia 3315.
It was the most popular phone of the time. Everyone had a variant of it – you either had the slightly older 3310 or the slightly upgraded 3315 (I could never tell the difference in the end). You had the ability to buy polyphonic ringtones of your favourite songs, you could customised the black and white pixelated home screen image, and – most importantly - it had Snake II.
It lasted me three years in high school. It survived a battering, many drops, and several different colourful cases. Some people (not me) even replaced a ball with their phone and played catch. Sometimes it would smash into the ground and the case might’ve fallen off, but it still worked and never suffered any damage. It was the most sturdy phone I ever owned and it served me well until I made a conscious uncoupling and upgraded to something with a few more features.
In those days, Nokia dominated the market. But as the years went on, they didn’t keep up with the play too well. Other mobile phone manufacturers came in and started to outdo each other. Nokia tried to adapt, but started to lose the market. When the iPhone 3G finally arrived in New Zealand, following soon after by a mountain of Android devices over the years, Nokia tried to fight back but couldn’t.
Why do I go on about this? Over the last month or so I’ve been trialling the Nokia Lumia 830. The reason it’s such a big deal is it will be the last high-end phone to carry the iconic Nokia name. All those years of history are about to take on a new name with a history that is relatively short by comparison. Nokia’s roots started in 1865 in a wood-pulp mill in Southern Finland, and they expanded out to making rubber products in the 1920s including gumboots.
The design is slick, with its bevelled-edge screen and matte finish. It’s not as large as other phones but it is a tad larger than compact smartphones. It looks good, and feels good in your hand.
The camera is ok for a smartphone but is below par when comparing it to other smartphones. It boasts a Carl Zeiss optics camera, but falls short on the resolution at only 10 megapixels. The photos turn out ok, but it’s not the best out there.
A couple of test shots from the Lumia’s Carl Zeiss optics camera.
One area that Nokia has really taken charge (no pun intended) in the wireless charging. You can get an optional wireless charging plate, allowing you to place your phone on it and start charging it without having to be connected. Of course you can choose to plug it in to the wall directly, but having the ability to just place the phone on the desk and charge it for moments at a time without having to fiddle with cords is great. The battery life is also outstanding, lasting just under 9 hours 20 minutes in normal use according to phonearena.com.
Of course it also has a MicroSD slot for storage, allowing you to get as much storage as you need without having to settle on either a 32GB, 64GB or 128GB model of the device – something that Samsung has recently taken a step backward with their S6 (more on that next week).
The big drawback I think is that it runs on Windows. Windows has been a strong performer for PCs and Microsoft’s own brand of tablets, and no doubt more devices will start to run on this operating system as the functionality to link all your Windows devices inproves. But at the moment Andoird and iOS have more apps being developed for them and it’s only growing. Don’t get me wrong – I like it and it is a case of learning the new interface just like we all had to when Windows 8 first launched for PC. But personally I just don’t like it as much as the others.
Overall it’s a good phone, it works well, and it’s a slick and sturdy device that lives up to the Nokia name. The price for a phone with these specs isn’t too bad, retailing for $599 without plan. However it will take a bit of getting used to and isn’t one I’d be rushing to get. Let’s just hope that Microsoft can bring the Nokia name back to its former glory in the new Microsoft Lumia range and once again start to dominate the market.
Nokia Lumia 830
Screen resolution: 720x1280 pixels
Battery capacity: 2200mAh
OS: Windows Phone 8.1
Rear Camera: 10-megapixel
Front Camera: 0.9-megapixel
Price: $599 from Spark with free wireless charging plate