Lumia 830 and 730 Hands-on

Nokia has introduced a couple new mid-range smartphones this week that try to toe the line between hardware proficiency and price. Do they?

The Nokia Lumia 830 is being billed as an affordable flagship by the Lumia team. Flagship might be too strong of a word, but it’s not a bad phone. The Windows 8.1 phone is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC, which is about what you would expect from a mid-range smartphone right now. The 5″ 1280×720 display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.0, and can be used with gloves. It’s also the thinnest and lightest Lumia phone, at 8.5 mm thick and 150 grams (about 0.33 pounds).

As always with the Lumia line, the rear camera is particularly nice. It’s a 10 MP PureView camera with optical image stabilization and Zeiss optics, and is probably the most premium feature on this smartphone. The front camera might underwhelm selfie enthusiasts, with just a 1 MP sensor.

The 2,200 mAh battery is also about right for a mid-range smartphone, and is good for about 10 hours of video playback. The nice thing about the Lumia line is that it has embraced wireless charging fully. The battery can be charged wirelessly using the Qi standard. You can also buy the Nokia Wireless Charging Plate, which charges your phone, lets you know when your battery is running low, and uses a blinking light to alert you to incoming notifications while your phone is charging.

The Lumia 730 is the selfie specialist, which is perfect in a time when everyone seems to be making a selfie specialized phone. In this case, that’s in reference to the 5 MP front camera, which has a wide-angle lens and can shoot and stream video in 1080p. The rear camera is a step down from the 830, with a 6.7 MP sensor that goes without optical image stabilization and the more premium Zeiss optics. It’s also a smaller phone, with a 4.7″ 1280×720 display. It has a 2,220 mAh battery that is also compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard.

The basic Lumia design is mostly unchanged, although the glass screens slope downward at the edges. The 830 and 730 will be available in white, green, black, and orange. The 830 will be available in a 16 GB model, with the 730 coming with 8 GB of storage. Both include 15 GB of free OneDrive cloud storage, plus a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 128 GB. The 730 also has a dual-SIM version, so frequent travelers take note. Both also have 4G LTE connectivity, but not for the dual-SIM version of the 730.

Both the Lumia 730 and 830 are scheduled for worldwide launches this month. The 730 is being priced at 220 unsubsidized, while the non-4G LTE, dual-SIM version will be sold as the Lumia 735 for 200. The 830 will cost 330 unsubsidized.