Short review: Nokia Lumia 830 and Lumia 735

This is a short comparison of the Nokia Lumia 830 which I bought some time ago and the Lumia 735, which I had the pleasure of using for a bit more than a week now. We all know these two belong to the very last with the proud Nokia brand on them. In this review I give you a general impression and share a bit more about my experience with both cameras.

Now that the very last Nokia devices have been released, we know Nokia has produced at least 400 different GSM devices between 1992 (Nokia 1011) and 2014 (Lumia 830) - based on devices mentioned on (where they appear to have missed the Nokia 1011 by the way). So the Lumia 735 and 830 really are the end of an impressive area. 
The Lumia 830 arguably has the most luxiurious design of the two. With its aluminium side, it looks a lot like the Lumia Icon/930 but is a bit thinner, longer and lighter. The fact that it's more affordable than the Lumia 930 has a few consequences.

The bright 5 inch IPS LCD display has a lower resolution - although 720 x 1280 pixels doesn't strike me as "too low" at all. Big advantage over the Lumia 930 is that it has a micro-SD expansion slot (supporting up to 128GB) and you can change the battery (2200 mAh). Moreover, the Lumia 830 offers a "Glance screen” and wireless charging. You won't find a headset in the package, but you won't find that with the Lumia 930 either.

The Nokia Lumia 735 is about  €100 cheaper and looks a bit "cheaper", although I still know people who are very fond of the design and material. The Lumia 735 has almost the exact same design we first saw in the Lumia 800, the one that started the Nokia Lumia range.

The specs are less different from the 830 than you might suspect: its OLED display is a bit smaller with 4.7 inch but offers the same resolution, the smaller battery has the same power, RAM is 1GB on both devices, both run on 1.2GHz processors. It offers wireless charging as well as a Super Sensitive touchscreen, so you can "wake" the phone by tapping the screen twice. Last but not least: both devices run on the newest version of Windows Phone, Lumia Denim (link will take you to

Internal memory is smaller on the Lumia 735 (8GB in stead of 16GB), but you can use a micro-SD with it as well. You won't find a headset in the package of the Lumia 735 - not even a data cable (at least not where I live). So apart from price and design, the most important difference between both is... the camera.

Camera Lumia 830
In previous posts, i've already shown the Lumia 830 shoots surprisingly well with its 10MP sensor. It carries the "PureView” brand because of OIS - I've already posted about its amazing result in extreme bad light circumstances. Unlike the more expensive PureView devices, you can't choose for "dual capture" (like 5mp/34MP on the Lumia 1020). After the update to Lumia Camera it will be possible to save a shot in raw .DNG format as well however (not sure if that will be a single or dual capture).

Camera Lumia 735
The Nokia Lumia 735 has the same camera module as the Lumia 720 (which was a lot more expensive last year): a 6.7MP front camera - no OIS. Moreover it lacks a physical shutter button to start the camera and shoot pictures. So it's not labeled as "PureView”, but it still uses the same Nokia/Lumia Camera app: also with the Lumia 735 you can realize shutter times of 4 seconds, and I was really surprised to see the result in the same extreme night test (I wrote an update on that post, you'll find all those night shots in a  Flickr album).

What sets the Lumia 735 apart is a much better front-camera for video calling and the inevitable selfies. Of course the Lumia 830 has a front-camera as well, but it's 1MP (1280 x 720). The Lumia 735 offers a 5MP front camera (2592 x 1956 pixels) and of course the results are noticably better. With the "Lumia Selfie" app (which works on any other Lumia of course) it has become quite tempting to work on your self-portrait. You can use 16 different filters and it offers a few funny ways to suggest you're kind of important even - I'm not much of a selfie person myself, so I'll just share one of those ;-)

With Lumia Selfie you can also make subtle changes in your portrait - enlarge your eyes, make you lose weight or even smile a bit more. And you can save all the results in high quality.

Picture comparison: Lumia 735 vs Lumia 830
I'll give a few examples of shots I managed to capture today. You'll see the shot coming from the Lumia 735 first, the Lumia 830 second. Directly after that, you´ll see crops from both shots. To make the crops as similar as possible, I resized the shots from the Lumia 830 to 5MP (the size the 735 uses in 16:9). First shots are take outside on a very grey day (white balance set to "clouded")

The second scene was captured inside the great central hall of the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. Lumia 735 first, Lumia 830 second (all settings on automatic).

I think that with these few shots already, I've shown that the Lumia 830 with its bigger sensor offers better colours and less noise. Also, you can see - especially in the shot with the ships - the Lumia 830 captures a bit wider shot than the Lumia 735. You'll find these original shots - and a few more - in a dedicated album on Flickr.

Below, Bigley Ling - who is one of the regular guests here at the club  - pointed out the if you don't resize the results from the Lumia 830, it will show much more detail in the crops. And of course it makes sense: the comparison may look fair, you will loose some detail indeed. So I decided to make new crops from both shots - and I'll even add two other shots from the same trip and crop those as well. You've already seen the shots from the ships and the museum (above) so I'll share the new crops here directly. Lumia 735 first, Lumia 830 second.

And the new shots I'd like to share with you now that I'm updating anyway. In the same old square as above, now a picture in portrait. Lumia 735 first,

And the 640 x 360 crops from the far end of this scene

So now you've seen indeed the Lumia 830 will capture a more detailed scene than the Lumia 735 is able to. No wonder, you might say, but I think it's good to know that sensor size actually does matter (something some companies tend to deny)

So, which one to buy?
If you need to choose between these two, the choice is mainly between price, design and camera. The Lumia 735 is a fine Windows Phone for a very reasonable price. It might look a bit less "expensive", but I still know quite a few people that love the design that even dates back to the Nokia N9 :-)

Also, the Lumia 735 weighs less which many find an important advantage. The 735 camera is alright, but it's obvoius the Lumia 830 offers much better imaging quality and has the physical shutter button which I'm quite fond. Personally I do prefer the look and feel, and the bigger and better display of the Nokia Lumia 830 - and the better camera of course. The Lumia 735 has a much better front camera though, which might be just the thing for just about everyone by now.

I still have one thing to add though. I bought the Lumia 830 to test Rich Capture as soon as possible. I was surprised to learn that - although the device is running on Lumia Denim - it didn't come with the Lumia Camera application Nokia/Microsoft promised during the launch (see Windowscentral). The latest update of Nokia Camera has recently been renamed to "Lumia Camera Classic" - still without Rich Capture. And slowly, my initial surprise changes into frustration. It's hard to believe I spent that kind of money on something that still doesn't bring what was promised, even now that some updates have been rolled out. Microsoft should really be getting its act together on this one I think. What do you think? Please let me know below.