Last night in Sydney Microsoft, Nokia, erhm, Microsoft officially trotted out the Lumia 830 for a gathering of media, with demos and activities. Food from “My Kitchen Rules” winners, Sammy and Bella. A motivational talk from acclaimed blogger and entrepreneur, Melissa Ambrosini, all to a soundtrack mixed by Internationally acclaimed DJ Alley Oop.
Behind all the pizazz, smoke and mirrors, the Lumia 830 was demurely introduced, almost played down in a way.
As a Windows Phone enthusiast, there was something poignant, maybe lost on many, casting a slight pall over the night. Is this the last “Nokia” branded Lumia to bolt* from the Microsoft stable? I was well aware that I was invited to an event by Nokia Australia, who earlier in the week had announced that today, their branding would evolve. If you haven’t already, follow @Lumia Australia [if you were following @NokiaAustralia this will be automatic]
It’s the completion of a long acquisition process by Microsoft, and although the Nokia purists may mourn, it’s the start of the next chapter for Windows Phone, Windows, Microsoft Lumia. Of course that shouldn’t/doesn’t at all take away from the Lumia 830, and while it has been marketed as
Microsoft’s new affordable flagship
there’s a lot about the phone that makes it feel, look, and perform better than the premium Lumia 930, which after some time with the 830, seems like the 830 prototype.
On to the Lumia 830 presentation itself, Stephen Baxter took the stage to introduce the device, in a succinct, Cortana managed, presentation. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the 830, it brings firsts other than being one of a pair [Lumia 735] of new Lumias to bring the Cortana Alpha natively to Australia on a device. It also comes with the Lumia Denim firmware pre installed.
There’s something about the descriptor, “ affordable” and the fact that for so long phones have been rated by, how many cores, and Gb’s of CPU and Ram, and on board storage, that the Lumia 830 confounds preconception. All along though one of the catch cries of Windows Phone users has been that the specs don’t really matter, because it’s the hardware and software working together that make WP the performer that it is.
There’s some things though that seem to be constant across all platforms, and have led to gripes. Users want [general] a removable battery, expandable storage and a great camera experience.
So the Lumia 1020 spoilt users for choice, but since then PureView tech has come a long way, and the 10 Mp shooter in the 830 does a great job, combine that with some new tech, the new Lumia Camera that will be released soon, and the Denim firmware, and you get a fast, available for any situation camera phone with a vast array of post editing options. Microsoft has addressed the major issue with Denim, the camera starts from phone locked in a quicker than anything I have seen before. [2 1/2 to 3 beats as counted by me]. you are up and running and shooting quicker than ever before. What we are waiting for, although it was demoed for us last night, is the new Lumia Camera, and best way to illustrate that is to show you a promo video.
There’s a lot to like and a lot to look forward to, two camera samples below
Close and far, with no editing, the camera performs really well. Waiting for the promised extra’s.
There’s one thing though that really makes the 830, Australian variation stand out, and that is that it supports Telstra’s 700 Mhz, 4GX bandwidth, and if you think 4G is fast then this is. will be when it becomes mainstream, one of the fastest mobile data mediums in the world. All for the price of a pretty average phone.
Oops, that might have been a glitch, but the new network should deliver speeds of about 70 Mbps, and I was getting an average of about 60 Mbps after I had run a lot of tests today,
Look, enough of the specs, enough of the flamboyant party, enough of flying with Tiger airlines ever again, [doesn’t the shot below look like something from a documentary that was filmed many years ago]
There’s something about the Lumia 830 that, defines that old saying “Less Is More”.
The fit and feel of the phone, even more refined than the build of the Lumia 930, it is slimmer, lighter, and yet the same size. The lack of a full HD screen, something you won’t notice. It’s just easy. It’s like the feeling you get when you turn up at the pub and your favourite musician is just there playing acoustically, and it just happens that David bowie, Mick Jagger, and the ghost of John Lennon popped in to do backing vocals, you know, on the off chance. [Close your eyes and select your own scenario and cast, OK]
There’s something satisfying in the thought that this is what Windows Phone was meant to be, a premium experience that is accessible wallet wise. Re-Inventing the idea of a mid priced phone and the experience that it can deliver. Not having to settle because of your budget.
Really, I’ve gone from Melbourne to Sydney to Melbourne in the course of thirty two hours, went to a party, hardly slept, played with the Lumia 830 hard core, and am suitably not, “non plussed”.
In this time of transition, first impressions are key, and it feels like the Lumia 830 unlocks the future of Windows Phone, in an odd sort of way, it changes the way of the competition. Affordable doesn’t have to mean “cheap”. There’s something going on here that is more about redefining the smartphone market, rather than overwhelming it. Maybe it’s a “tortoise and hare” thing. At this point it does seem Microsoft is into Mobile for the long haul.
For now, check out all the specs here for the Aussie Lumia 830, but info for the 700 MHz support is missing.
If you want t try the phone out, you can pre order at Telstra, The handset is the first windows phone able to use their 4GX service for blistering speeds of up to 75 Mb/s, and those who pre-order with a handset repayment plan will receive a free Microsoft HD-10 wireless display adapter while stocks last.
*being spring carnival here in Melbourne I had to work a horse racing reference into the post