Summary

Our Score

8/10

Pros

  • Bright, well-built design
  • Camera good in low light
  • Good collection of Nokia apps

Cons

  • Average battery life
  • Uncomfortable square design
  • Comparative lack of apps and games
  • No HDR camera mode

Review Price £449.00

Key Features: Snapdragon 800 CPU; 5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen; 20-megapixel camera

Manufacturer: Nokia

What is the Nokia Lumia 930?

The Nokia Lumia 930, also known as the Lumia Icon in the US, is a 5-inch Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone that’s the first handset to launch since Microsoft’s buyout of Nokia’s mobile division. The successor to the Lumia 925, it’s available on contracts from £30 a month, so it’s competing with the iPhone 5S and top-tier Android phones like the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2.

It's a step up in almost every department on the 925 and with Windows Phone 8.1, the latest version of Microsoft’s slowly improving mobile operating system, it's the closest we’ve come to a Windows phone that can compete with the best Android phones and iPhones.

Nokia Lumia 930 18

Nokia Lumia 930: Design

Overall, the Lumia 930 is well constructed smartphone that feels built to last. It isn't, however, the trailblazer that previous Nokia phones were. Indeed, if anything this design is a small backward step compared to the Lumia 925.

Nokia has gone big and bright with the Nokia Lumia 930, swapping the predominantly metal design as seen on the 925 for a metal frame and polycarbonate matte back that comes in bright orange and green. You can go for more conservative black or white, which is going to be exclusive to Phones4U, but Nokia’s pushing the more eye-catching hues that certainly give the Lumia 930 a unique look.

SEE ALSO: Best Mobile Phones 2014 Round-up
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The other, less successful, way it stands out compared to rivals is the squarer, chunkier body. At 9.8mm thick, the Lumia 930 is significantly thicker than the Samsung Galaxy S5 (8.1mm), and its square edges make it feel chunkier than the curved frame of HTC One M8 (9.35mm), too.

Consequently, the Lumia 930 is one of the less comfortable phones to hold we've reviewed, even if the slightly raised back rests nicely in the palm. The 930 also weighs 167g, making it heavier than the M8 (160g) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 (145g), though the weight difference is less problematic than the rather boxy body.

The button and port layout is fairly conventional. The headphone jack is on the top edge; the microUSB charging port at the bottom below the physical touch keys; and the volume rocker on the right edge, along with the on/off button and a dedicated camera button. The nanoSIM card slot is well disguised next to the headphone jack, where a fingernail instead of pin is suitable to open up the tray.

Like the 925, there’s no expandable memory, which is going to disappoint many given Android alternatives routinely have them, though of course the iPhone doesn't have one, either.

SEE ALSO: Best Android Mobile Phones 2014: Round-up

Nokia Lumia 930: Screen

The Lumia 930 follows the big phone trend by jumping from the 4.5-inch screen in the 925 to a larger 5-inch Full HD AMOLED display. It has an impressive 441 pixels per inch (ppi) pixel density and is toughened up with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Of course, AMOLED screens are famous for their deep, inky blacks, so it's little surprise the Lumia 930 has Nokia's 'ClearBlack' label.

Those deeper blacks are immediately obvious when you glimpse at the Live Tile user interface. It’s an extremely bright screen as well and like the 925, the contrast and vibrant colours really impress. Colours can have a habit of a looking a tad oversaturated, as is common with AMOLED displays, and some early users have reported a purple tint on white pages, but neither issue is hugely detrimental.

Nokia also includes a comprehensive set of display settings where you can can adjust the screen’s colour profile to standard, vivid or cool. There’s also the option to tinker with colour temperature, tint and colour saturation in the advanced settings and see how the adjustments look in a series of images before they are applied. Additionally, you can also adjust brightness, switch on a sunlight readability mode or reduce screen brightness when the Battery Saver mode is active.  

If we are being really picky, the display doesn’t quite match the LG G3 or the Samsung Galaxy S5. The Quad HD screen on the G3 has a ludicrously sharp 534 ppi spread across a larger 5.5-inch screen, while the work Samsung has done fine-tuning the S5’s Super AMOLED really shines through, but even so the Lumia 930's screen is very good.

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