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Nokia Lumia 930 Review


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


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

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £449.00
  • Snapdragon 800 CPU
  • 5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen
  • 20-megapixel camera

What is the Nokia Lumia 930?

First reviewed August 2014

The Nokia Lumia 930, also known as the Lumia Icon in the US, is the 5-inch follow-up to the Lumia 925. It is the first handset to launch since Microsoft’s buyout of Nokia’s mobile division in April 2014. It’s now available on contracts from just £22 a month and its SIM-free price has been slashed to £279/ $330. It would have required a heftier £449 outlay at launch, putting it head-to-head with the likes of the iPhone 5S and higher-end Android phones of the time like the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2.

This handset is an upgrade in almost all respects compared with its predecessor, the Lumia 925. Packing Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft’s slowly improving mobile operating system, it’s the nearest we’ve come to a Windows phone that can cut it with the best Android phones and iPhones.
Nokia Lumia 930 18

Nokia Lumia 930: Design

The Lumia 930 is a well constructed handset that feels built to last, though it lacks the trailblazing qualities of Nokia phones of old. The design is actually one of the few aspects of the phone that hasn’t improved. If anything it’s a backward step compared with the Lumia 925.

Like most Lumia phones the 930 embraces colour. Nokia has swapped out the chiefly metal design as seen on the 925, opting instead for a metal frame and polycarbonate matte black that’s available in bright orange and green. You can get the phone in a more subdued black or white, exclusive to Phone4U, but we imagine many buyers will be attracted to the louder, highlighter-style shades that Nokia is pushing.
SEE ALSO: Best Mobile Phones 2014 Round-up
Nokia Lumia 930 6Hand holding a Nokia Lumia 930 with an orange case
The 930’s squarer, chunkier body makes it much less appealing than many of its rivals. At 9.8mm thick, the Lumia 930 is considerably beefier than the Samsung Galaxy S5 (8.1mm), and its square edges make it feel chunkier than the more agreeably-curved frame of the HTC One M8 (9.35mm).

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

Hand holding a Nokia Lumia 930 displaying apps.

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.

SEE ALSO: Best Windows Phone Round-up

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.

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main phone for the review period

Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world testing

Always has a SIM card installed

Tested with phone calls, games and popular apps

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