Images of Nokia's 830 smart phone

For years one of Microsoft’s advantages was that it wasn’t a hardware maker. It sold billions of copies of Windows without having to make a desktop,  laptop or server, thanks to deals it made with manufacturers — who couldn’t sell their devices without the operating system.

Working hand in glove with Intel, Microsoft was able to keep ahead of hardware advances to tailor Windows to meet the demands of those users.

But when new non-Intel based platforms of smart phones and tablets emerged, Microsoft was caught off-guard. Not satisfied since then with what its OEM partners have been doing with mobile devices, Microsoft decided to get directly into the action, first with the Surface tablet and most recently by buying out the handset division of Nokia.

With Microsoft-branded smart phones expected to be revealed next week, looks at the Nokia Lumia 830, a 5-inch device sold at Rogers, Bell, Telus and Fido. It competes against iPhone 5c, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 mini, the HTC Desire 510, the LG Nexus 5, Sony Xperia Z1 and others. Rogers is selling it outright at $399, a price that might drop when Microsoft-branded devices start appearing.

Reviewer Daniel Bader note the handset’s 720p screen is not comparatively high-resolution, at 294 ppi pixel density.  But, he adds, colours are rich and blacks are some of the best he’s seen on an LCD panel. “Indeed, it’s often hard to tell that the panel is not 1080p, which reinforces the notion that density — the number of physical pixels crammed into a display — is not the most significant metric one should look at.”

Running WinPhone 8.1, it includes the Cortana personal assistant, a 10MP camera, 16 GB of memory, a microSD card slot and a quad core CPU.

“Some have better cameras, others superior screens, but the Lumia 830 is a compelling option,” he concludes.



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