When it comes to looking for a mid-range handset many of us might be tempted to go for a known brand rather than consider a network operator's own brand. But Vodafone has done well enough over the years with its own branded handset range, and the 830 is another new entrant from the operator.
It is available free on contracts from £15 and up, and at that kind of price it sounds as though it ought to be something of a low-ender rather than a mid-ranger. But its specs are really not too bad at all, and perhaps even more importantly for those looking for a middle of the road phone, it is well built and easy to get to grips with. Oh, and it has a good screen too.
The 830 is a slider handset, though it doesn't follow the slim and short format of something like Sony Ericsson's W595. In fact, when I sat it next to HTC's new Touch 3G, I found that the two handsets are pretty much the same size. And that is with the 830's slide down.
For the record, then, this phone measures 13.3mm thick, 51.5mm wide and 103mm tall. Open the slide and it is a little over 135mm tall. It weighs 93g, which is an excellent weight for such a large mobile.
The 2.4in screen matches that of the Sony Ericsson C905 for size but whereas in that phone it looked a little lost in the generally bulky design, here it seems to fit in quite well. I'm putting that down in no small part to a more appealing overall hardware design which includes nice front buttons.
Those front buttons are a bit Samsung Steel-ish thanks to their brushed metal finish and general flatness. They are separated by silver bars which are not raised from the button panel, but which, thanks to an optical illusion, look as though they are.