AT&T Lumia 830 vs HTC One for Windows – Which you should get
This morning, AT&T began to sell the new Nokia Lumia 830 (yes, it is still branded as a Nokia) and the HTC One for Windows, which thankfully lost its Verizon-exclusivity.
So, the big question for some people is which one to get? Naturally, this presumes you are willing to fork over money for a new Windows Phone today, as opposed to waiting until sometime in 2015 for a new 'flagship' Lumia. If you are in the latter group, feel free to skip this article.
Let me break the pros and cons of the Lumia 830 versus the HTC One down for you.
It should be clear that the HTC One for Windows is the clear winner in terms of raw power, at least on paper, but that does not tell the whole tale.
HTC One. The One for Windows has the fastest CPU yet for Windows Phone, a 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801 versus a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 found in the Lumia 830. The Lumia 830 runs fine with its processor, but let us not kid ourselves: the HTC One destroys the Lumia 830 in benchmarks, launching games and in general usage.
HTC One. The Lumia 830 comes with 16 GB of internal storage whereas the One has 32 GB. However, both can take up to a 128 GB micro SD card, so the difference is minimized.
Tie. The Lumia 830 has a decent 1280x720 HD LCD display with ClearBlack. The HTC One, however, has a 1920x1080 Full HD LCD. Both are 5-inches, though clearly the HTC One wins for resolution; having said that I find it difficult to see a remarkable difference between the two phones.
The Lumia 830 is a lower-resolution, but you do getClearBlack, sunlight readability, Glance, and super-sensitive touch; versus "just an LCD" on the HTC One (HTC One also has a double-tap to wake function).
While I am talking about display, let me also mention that the HTC One has on-screen keys versus 'real' ones for the Lumia 830. In practice, I do not have a preference but some people feel very strongly about it, so take into consideration.
Finally, the HTC One has its very cool Dot View smart case and screen, which works great for Cortana, notifications, and weather. The problem with Dot View is it sucks for everything else, like using it as a phone or typing.
Slight edge for the Lumia 830. This one is tough to compare. The HTC One has a much faster camera, built-in HDR, and some neat features. The Lumia 830 has a 10 MP PureView with optical image stabilization and a dedicated camera button.
Read my '5 reasons I really like the Duo Ultrapixel camera on the HTC One for Windows' for a deep dive into the One's camera.
Image quality on the Lumia 830 is reliable, but nothing amazing. Both cameras perform well in bright scenes, although the Lumia 830 are washed out and noisier at times, than I would have thought. In terms of low light, both do surprisingly well but neither are amazing.
The HTC One does have a 5 MP front-facing camera versus the Lumia 830's measly 1 MP. For some people, this is a big deal (Skype, selfies, etc.). Still, having a dedicated camera button on the Lumia 830 is also a matter of life and death for some of you. Pick your poison.
Lumia 830 has wireless charging and a removable battery; HTC One for Windows does not.
HTC One. The HTC One for Windows is made from a single piece of brushed, thick aluminum. The Lumia 830 has a metal frame with a polycarbonate back. Both phones feel great to hold, but the HTC One is borderline a piece of art in terms of quality of design. The HTC One is also 11 grams heavier, although it feels more than that due to its density.
I have already detailed what you lose if you go to the HTC One for Windows in terms of Lumia-exclusive apps. For some people, this is a big deal, for others, including myself, I really did not notice.
Having said that, I think it is clear that the Lumia gets overall better value for its software, so the default answer is to give it to the Lumia 830 here.
Oh geez, this is a big one. Microsoft bought the Nokia mobile division, ergo they now own the Lumia 830 too. In addition, it is on AT&T, who has repeatedly proven that they are the best Windows Phone carrier in terms of delivering updates. I would say the Lumia 830 is a shoo-in for OS updates, new firmware, and better support in the end.
HTC, although I respect them tremendously, do not have the best track record for updates and support. I would rate them as better than Samsung, but that does not say too much. Does the HTC One for Windows change things? After all, HTC and Microsoft worked closely together to bring this device to market. It is not as if the companies are keeping each other at arm's distance these days, so there is some hope there.
Still, it is hard to know their plans. For instance, does the HTC One get 'Hey Cortana' support? We have no idea.
Lumia 830 is the winner. You can buy it off-contract for $449 versus a jaw-dropping $669 for the HTC One for Windows. That is a $220 difference and is no joke. Regarding on-contract, you are talking $99 versus $199, making the difference less substantial.
Neither price is chump change if you are looking for a holdover device until Windows 10.
However, at least for a limited time, with the Lumia 830 you can snatch a Fitbit Flex fitness tracker for free, a $99 value. Plus, you get two back covers with the Lumia 830 in the box.
So which one?
To be honest, both phones are outstanding. The HTC One is the more premium of the two, although as outlined here it does come with some baggage as well. If you gave me either one for free to use, I would be proud to carry either.
The Lumia 830, on the other hand, is an impressive little device. Not quite amazing, although it is fun to use and it may surprise you.
In comparing the Lumia 830 to the Lumia 920, I rationalized it is more of a side-grade than a straight upgrade, and I stand by that assessment.
Both phones deliver a great Windows Phone experience and in the end, it comes down to money. I would not say either phone has a major weakness, although the better support with the Lumia, wireless charging, free Fitbit Flex, dedicated camera button, and Glance screen definitely gives that phone the edge.
Lumia 830 it is.
Agree or disagree? Let me know in comments.
Pick up the AT&T Lumia 830 starting today at your local store or online (opens in new tab) for $99; or grab yourself the HTC One M8 for Windows also from AT&T for $199 in store or online as well (opens in new tab).
Have questions or want more feedback? Jump into our dedicated Lumia 830 support forums or the one place for the HTC One for Windows!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
HTC one is awesome though.
Or a lower end Lumia 810/820/822
'Neither', 'Lumia 1030' or 'Lumia 1530'
you comparison is nonsense
A) wait for //Build/ & see how it goes ... My 8X is still running strong.
B) get a 930 ... I can go out & buy it right now ... No need to worry about Shipping Costs or Duty\Customs fees whatever.
Tough choice lol.
I will say I am willing to give the M8 a look. I love the style and the hardware options. Throw in most 8X users are completely happy which I think is a great sign for the M8. If I was given the choice, I actually think I would take a leap of faith and give HTC one last shot. I just like it a hair better on paper. Not gonna upgrade to the 830. So it is the M8 or Windows 10 for me.