Microsoft challenges Apple and Samsung with “affordable flagship” Lumia 830

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Microsoft has announced what it calls “the most affordable flagship” device at its IFA press conference today. Called the Lumia 830, the company says that this device is going head-to-head with the flagship devices of Samsung and Apple by making the entire argument all around price. In other words, the Lumia 830 promises to deliver the same – or better – experience and performance at a lower price.

Much of the press conference was focused on how the Lumia 830’s camera performs better than the iPhone 5S and the Galaxy S5 (which was not featured because – apparently – they found the image quality worse than the iPhone 5S and didn’t want to waste presentation space). Featuring a 10-megapixel sensor with ZEISS optics, the Lumia 830 comes with Nokia’s PureView and optical image stabilisation technology. It also has a 1-megapixel front-facing camera.

Most of the changes in the camera are software-based. The Lumia Camera (formerly Nokia Camera) is now “more intuitive” and faster to use. The Lumia 830 will now be able to record 4K video at 24 FPS, and will let you save individual frames of the video as high-quality images.

The Lumia 830 follows the same design pattern established in the Lumia 930 – a metal body with a polycarbonate back. Hardware specs include a 5-inch 720p Corning Gorillia Glass 3 display, 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 16GB of storage with a microSD card slot (that can support up to 128GB), and a 2200mAh removable battery.

It also comes with the Lumia Denim update – or what it calls Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1. This will include Live folders, a new Apps Corner, SMS merging and forwarding, a “Consumer VPN” to maintain privacy and security when using data in public Wi-Fi hotspot, and an updated Glance Screen. Australians will also be able to access Cortana for the first time (officially) as Microsoft has announced that it will come to a public alpha.

Lumia Denim will also come with “Hey Cortana” – which is pretty much the Windows Phone equivalent of “Hey Google” for Google Now. When you say “Hey Cortana” when the phone is idle, it will activate Cortana.

The phone will come out in September globally, with an estimated price tag of 330EUR (AU$464.53).

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