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Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Reviews, Technology | 0 comments

Lumia 830 vs iPhone 5

Disclaimer: Microsoft sent me a Lumia 830 phone at no charge for the purposes of review.  All opinions are very much my own.


Hi There!

I’ve been using a Microsoft Lumia 830 for the past 6 weeks as part of the #LumiaSwitch campaign.  It’s been my primary phone to do all tweeting, posting, everyday internet browsing, and yes calling people!  However, I’ve been rocking an iPhone 5 for the past three years.  Actually, I’ve had an iPhone since 2008, with an iPhone 3 and 4.  So, how does the Lumia stack up?  Will I actually trade-in my iPhone for a Windows phone?  Read on, my friends!

Microsoft Lumia 830

First things first, let’s talk specs.

iPhone 5S 
Display: 4″
Storage 16GB (base model)
Replaceable Battery: No
Camera: 8 Megapixel
Video Recording: 1080p
Talk Time (3G): 10 hours
Operating System: iOS
Assistant: Siri
App Store: iTunes
Unlocked Price: $549
(I actually have the iPhone 5 rather than the 5S, however my model is no longer for sale in the Apple Store.  Both are nearly identical with some small exceptions.)

Microsoft Lumia 830
Display: 5″
Storage: 16GB with expandable Micro SD card up to 128GB
Replaceable Battery: Yes
Camera: 10 Megapixel
Video Recording: 1080p
Talk Time (3G): 16 hours
Operating System: Windows
Assistant: Cortana
App Store: Windows Phone Store
Unlocked Price: $449


The Lumia is definitely bigger than the iPhone 5.  At first I was concerned it was going to be too big for my hand and pocket.  I’ve found that I really like the size and prefer it over the 4″ screen of the iPhone 5.  For reference, the Lumia 830 actually has a slightly bigger screen than the iPhone 6, but smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus.

Lumia 830 vs iPhone5


Navigation & Customization
Both the iPhone and Lumia 830 have customizable options.  On the iPhone you can sort apps on pages, or place them in folders.  You can also choose a photo for the backdrop or lock screen.  Notifications appear as a number in the top right of the app square.  Such as 1 new notification on Facebook.

iPhone 5 Home Screen

On the Lumia, you have Live Tiles on your home screen or choose from an alphabetical list on the secondary screen by swiping left.  The Live Tiles show notifications like “Sam commented on your photo” or news like “President Obama signs new law”.  The Live Tiles are customizable in size and to some extent color.  Some are transparent so you can see a custom photo behind them.  Global color schemes can be changed, and apps downloaded to create a specific look.  The lock screen also shows basic notifications and can be customized.  For me, the Live Tiles are clearly better, everything you need to know is at a glance.

Lumia 830 Home Sceen


The camera on the Lumia 830 is also clearly superior. It is 10 megapixel vs 8, and from my experience sharper and less likely to result in a blurry photo.  You can also get geeky and change the aperture and other settings.

Lumia 830 vs iPhone 5 Camera


The iPhone wins this one big time. The Windows Store does have Xbox, but the store is tiny compared to that of iTunes or Google Play.  What’s preventing it from growing is that fact that Windows phone market share is currently very small and developers are focusing resources into iOS and Android.  Let’s talk about what is available in the Windows Store.  Windows has all the basics like Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Amazon, Kindle, Pandora, CNN, Vine, WhatsApp, Skype, Yelp and lots more.  Instagram is in beta, and while it works just fine, it doesn’t have the same functionality as the iTunes version does.  The Pinterest app is developed by a 3rd party (not Pinterest directly), which is also fine, but it does have advertising.  If you manage a Facebook page, there is a 3rd party app (not developed by Facebook), but it’s definitely not preferred.  It works, but the layout is odd and it doesn’t show stats, at least in the free version.  I’ve replaced my Etsy and WordPress apps with pinned Internet Explorer pages.  Actually, these pages show more information than the iTunes apps, and I like that better.

What was mind-blowing to me is that there is no Target Cartwheel app in the Windows Store.  Whaaat!?  How will I get my savings?  Panic ensued.  I thought long and hard about this one.  Eventually, I looked at how much I actually save with Target Cartwheel.  It’s really very small.  While adding items to my barcode seems wonderful, 5% off on a pack of $3.00 hot dogs is 15 cents.  15 cents!  I save money by using the Lumia; the phone itself is cheaper, and so is the plan if I choose to switch from my current iPhone plan. This far outweighs the 15 cents I might save on that pack of hot dogs.  In fact, I’m sure I won’t save the kind of money with Target Cartwheel that will pay for tax on a new iPhone 6.

Also not wonderful, the My Disney Experience app is not available in the Windows Store.  This app is essential on a trip to Disney World.  It basically runs your MagicBand.  Disney says you can use the mobile site instead; however I found the mobile site to be awful.  It wouldn’t load and when it did, the information was displayed incorrectly and wouldn’t function.  I would pull my hair out on a trip to Disney World.  Disney if you’re listening, please support a Windows phone app! 🙂

Let’s talk what the Windows Store does really well, apps developed specifically for the Windows phone by Microsoft and Nokia.  I’m not sure I can live without the News app.  It’s my favorite.  Each morning I read news from multiple sites to get up to speed on current events.  This app has everything I want to read, from entertainment gossip to the crisis in the Middle East.  And, if I want different political perspectives, there are articles from CNN, Fox News, Washington Post and more.  I can also include local news from The Seattle Times.  I’m never at a loss for something new to read.

MSN News Headlines News App

Another notable Windows phone app is Fresh Paint, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an app like it.  It mimics real paint closer than anything I’ve used.

Microsoft Windows Fresh Paint App

HERE City Lens is also super cool.  It uses GPS and the Lumia’s camera to tell you what food, entertainment and shopping is close by.  It will also give you directions if you need them.  What would make this the best app ever is if it included Yelp or Urban Spoon reviews.  It currently has reviews posted from within HERE.  Still, this app is essential in any big city.

Nokia HERE City Lens App Windows Phone

MixRadio is awesome.  I like it better than Pandora.  The navigation is better, and there is no advertising.  However, I can’t give it 5 stars because it crashes a whole lot.

Mix Radio Windows Phone App

OneNote creates lists with check boxes.  This is much better than Notes on iPhone.

Windows Phone OneNote App

Office is also available on Windows Phone.  It has basic access to Excel, Word and Powerpoint.

OneDrive is the cloud-based server which all of your Office documents are saved.  It also backs up the photos you’ve taken.  You can then login to from your laptop and download all of those photos and documents instantly.  I’m sure this is possible on Apple’s iCloud, but I’ve never used it.


Cortana vs Siri
There’s a lot of talk in who’s better; Cortana or Siri?  Cortana is the virtual assistant for Windows and Siri for Apple.  I’ve used both now.  Both ladies can tell me the current weather, search the web, and set reminders. Both can also bungle a request, and both have sent me to the wrong destination.  As far as who’s better, I give the slight edge to Cortana, as she sounds more like a real person, and well, she can sing..

Windows Cortana Sings Virtual Assistant


Overall Analysis
I like the Lumia 830, I really do.  The phone excels with the camera, Live Tiles, screen size, customizability, and navigation.  The app store leaves a lot to be desired in the availability of 3rd party apps.  However, those created by Microsoft and Nokia are really good.  If you’re in the market for a new phone, and do typical stuff like check Facebook, read email, search the web, this phone is great.  It’s less expensive than an iPhone 5S, the screen size is much bigger, and beyond some apps, you’ll get more out of it.

So, it’s time to put my money where my mouth is..


Will I make the Lumia Switch?
Honestly, I’ve been on the fence about whether or not I was going to give up my iPhone 5.  I’ve been building up my music database in iTunes since college.  I’ve literally been using an iPhone for 7 years.  Oh, I should also mention I have the unlimited data iPhone plan from AT&T that is no longer available, and is definitely not coming back.  Our house is full of Apple products, I’m typing this on my MacBook, I have an iPad sitting next to me, and we just purchased an Apple TV to replace cable.  Having everything in the same ecosystem makes sense.

Here’s the truth, I haven’t upgraded to the iPhone 6 for a couple of big reasons.  With my unlimited plan I have to pay for the phone outright, or be subject to additional fees.  I’ve also been playing a shell game on my iPhone for years.  I never seem to have enough storage, and I’m constantly deleting one thing to download another.  16GB of storage just isn’t enough.  That means purchasing the 64GB iPhone 6 for $749.  Hubby wants the 64GB 6 Plus, which is $849.  With tax and fees, it’s a tremendous chunk of change.  It’s a commitment we haven’t wanted to take when our iPhone 5’s work perfectly well.  The iPhone 6 isn’t revolutionary against what we currently have.

Here’s the other thing, I don’t need the unlimited data iPhone plan from AT&T anymore.  I stay at home with my daughter, so the primary data use is actually done over wifi.  There’s no such thing as an unlimited plan anymore, either.  If you hit a certain data threshold, AT&T will throttle your speed.

So, what am I doing?  I need to put on my big girl panties on for this one.  Here goes…  I’ve found over the past 6 weeks, I reach for the Lumia over my iPhone 5.  The thought of loosing the News app terrifies me, and I actually do like internet browsing better on the Lumia.  The screen size and Live Tiles sealed the deal.  I’m keeping the Microsoft Lumia 830 as my primary phone.  I’m also going to purchase a MicroSD card to store my photos, which makes the 16GB Lumia phone totally fine.  As far as the apps and music I’m giving up, I still have my trusty iPad to store them.  We’ll save boat loads of money on a new data plan, and the phone itself is less expensive when we do decide to upgrade.

Oh, I might even treat myself to the wireless charging plate-

Microsoft Lumia Charging Plate

How cool is that?

So yes, I’m making the Lumia 830 my primary phone!  Have you considered a Windows Phone?  Let me know in the comments!

UPDATE- (6/15) Hubby has been dragging his feet in switching our AT&T plan.  I still bring the Lumia 830 with me everywhere, and use it on Wifi.  The photos are superior to that of my iPhone, so whenever there’s a photo opp, I pull out the Lumia.  But, there are a couple of things that have been driving me crazy.  First, Instagram doesn’t support video yet, and lots of the filters and tools available on my iPhone aren’t there.  Second, adding photos to Facebook is much easier on my iPhone.  I can switch photo order, add a caption and more.  So, I find myself emailing photos from the Lumia to my iPhone to post.  Even still, I plan on switching, as soon as Hubby decides on the right plan… 🙂


Disclaimer: Microsoft sent me a Lumia 830 phone at no charge for the purposes of review.  All opinions are very much my own.

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