July 9, 2014

Nokia Lumia 930 Hands On Review

Nokia Lumia 930 Review

Nokia Lumia 930 Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Battery Power
Overall Score 4G.co.uk grey star



Premium build Bland design
Powerful No microSD slot
Good camera Lacks innovation

Verdict: The Nokia Lumia 930 is a great all-round handset, with few real flaws, but it doesn’t go above and beyond. While it ticks all the right boxes it does nothing to stand out.


Nokia Lumia 930 Hands On Review

The Lumia 930 is arguably Nokia’s most well-rounded handset. It has a lot of power, a good screen, an even better camera and a high end build, but you could say the same thing about any number of handsets, so is that enough?


Nokia Lumia 930 Photo 2

The design of the Nokia Lumia 930 is a mixed bag. On the one hand it has an aluminium frame, which gives it high end appeal, but the metal only gets to shine through along the edges, while the back of the phone is covered in plastic.

That makes it look like part of the Lumia family, as all Lumia’s have polycarbonate backs, often in colourful shades, but it also makes it look less premium and less unique. Things aren’t helped by the fact that it has a blocky design and indeed at 137 x 71 x 9.8mm it’s a little chunky.

It’s not a bad looking phone and stands up well to the Galaxy S5 for example, but it doesn’t fare so well when put up against the Sony Xperia Z2, while the HTC One M8 and iPhone 5S are in a whole other league.


Nokia Lumia 930 Hand On ReviewThe Lumia 930 has a 5.0 inch 1080 x 1920 AMOLED display with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. At 5.0 inches it strikes the perfect balance between usability and portability. Sure, some people will want something bigger or smaller but 5 inches is likely to be a popular size.

As well as being a good size it’s also a good quality screen. Obviously at 441 pixels per inch it’s as crisp and sharp as you could hope for, while it uses a ClearBlack display, which ensures that it has great contrast and isn’t very reflective, so it’s easy to see outdoors.

It has impressive viewing angles too and it uses Gorilla Glass 3 to help it survive scrapes and falls.


The Lumia 930 has impressive performance too. Most previous Lumia’s were somewhat lacking when it came to raw power, but not the 930. It has a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, so it’s well equipped to deal with anything a smartphone could reasonably be expected to.

It’s not quite as powerful on paper as some of the latest Android phones, which have started including up to 3GB of RAM and slightly faster processors, but on the other hand Windows Phone doesn’t need as much power to run well, so in practice there shouldn’t be much difference.

Of course like any good flagship the Lumia 930 also supports 4G LTE, so not only is it powerful but it’s also lightning fast at using data, whether for web browsing, streaming, downloading, or even playing online games.


Nokia Lumia 930 Hand On Review

Nokia has become well known for the calibre of its cameras and it doesn’t particularly disappoint with the Lumia 930. It’s not up to the sky high standards of the Lumia 1020, but then that was a phone which almost entirely revolved around its camera.

Compared to almost any other smartphone though the Lumia 930’s photographic skills impress. It has a Carl Zeiss lens with a 20 megapixel sensor, optical image stabilisation and a dual-LED flash. So it’s equipped to take detailed, high quality photos in various lighting conditions, while avoiding blur from camera shake.

It can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps and there’s a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera. That secondary camera is slightly less impressive, at 1.2 megapixels it almost seems like it was included just because it’s expected, so this isn’t a great camera for selfies, but for almost everything else it really shines.


Windows Phone has a rather different interface to either of the other two major smartphone operating systems, opting for live tiles, rather than app icons. The Nokia Lumia 930 is one of the first Windows Phone handsets to ship with Windows Phone 8.1, so users can enjoy the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system.

New features include Action Centre, which lets you swipe down from the top of the screen to display a menu with missed calls, unread messages and other new updates, as well as fast access to various settings, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. So essentially it’s Microsoft’s take on Android’s notifications screen and it’s an incredibly useful and long overdue feature.

Of course Windows Phone 8.1 is also home to Cortana, Microsoft’s impressive new voice activated assistant. Unfortunately it’s not currently available in the UK, but it’s expected to be added before long.

Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity

The Nokia Lumia 930 has a 2420 mAh battery, which Nokia claims can last for up to 432 hours on standby, 15 hours and 30 minutes of talk time or 75 hours of music playback, which are some reasonably impressive stats. Like so many other phones it also has a battery saver mode which you can use once it runs low to keep it going for even longer.

There’s 32GB of memory built in to the Lumia 930, which is a solid amount to get out of the box, but it’s necessary as there’s no microSD card slot.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, with the only thing it’s really lacking is an IR blaster.

Our Verdict

The Nokia Lumia 930 is a high end phone through and through. The slightly bland, plastic heavy design doesn’t make a brilliant first impression but once you actually start using it you’ll find a great screen, a superb camera and a powerful underbelly, not to mention a solid amount of built in storage, good battery life and a decent selection of connectivity options.

But while it does very little wrong and is easy to like, it’s difficult to love, as it doesn’t really stand out. Its camera is great but there are other phones with equally good snappers, it’s powerful but not the most powerful, it has a metal frame but a chunky plastic body, it has a lot of storage but no microSD card slot and it has none of the extra bells and whistles that some of its rivals include. There’s no fingerprint scanner for example and no waterproofing.

But those rivals that outdo it are mostly Android or iOS phones, so if you want Windows Phone specifically then this is just about as good as it gets. The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a better camera, but this is a far superior all-round handset. Its only real Windows Phone rival is the Lumia 1520, but that phone’s phablet sized screen won’t be for everyone, leaving the Lumia 930 as the clear choice for the majority of Windows Phone buyers.


Nokia Lumia 930 Specification
Dimensions : 137 x 71 x 9.8mm
Weight: 167 grams
Screen size: 5.0” AMOLED (1080 x 1920)
Screen Resolution: 1080 x 1920 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 441
Processor: 2.2GHz Quad core application processor
On-board Memory: 32GB
Camera: 20MP (rear) 1.2MP (front facing)
Operating system: Windows Phone 8.1
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes/ Yes
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ Yes
Battery capacity: 2420mAh
Colours: Bright Orange, Bright Green, White, Black
Launch Date: Summer 2014
Price: TBC