Lumia 930 Reveiw
The Nokia logo may remain on the front and back of the Lumia 930, but this is very much noqw a Microsoft product. The Lumia 930 represents the first big launch for Microsoft since it subsumed Nokia earlier this year.
The Lumia 930 will be the flagship smartphone for the company in 2014 and as such will go head to head with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z2, LG G3 and whatever Apple launches with the iPhone 6.
But is Microsoft's smartphone ready to compete at this level? Let's find out:
Lumia 930: Design
The Lumia 930 continues Nokia's drive to bring some colour back into the smartphone market. While the phone is available in black and white, I have to say the green and orange options (those being the colours of the season apparently) are very attractive, and if you were to buy a Lumia 930, then surely you would want to go all out and choose one of these.
Aside from the colourful polycarbonate rear covers, the Lumia 930's design is rather unattractive I'm afraid. The chunky metallic band around the screen may help protect the phone, but it does nothing for the aesthetics.
The phone feels clunky when held one-handed and despite the use of premium materials felt rather cheap. It is thicker than last year's Lumia 925 and heavier, meaning you will notice the bulk.
Lumia 930: Screen
The 5in screen on the Lumia 930 is bright and sharp and while the 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution won't match the likes of the LG G3's ultra-sharp screen, but is is perfectly acceptable for watching video, reading text and it displays the colourful Windows Phone interface at its best.
The screen is also covered with curved Gorilla Glass, which makes swiping and navigating the interface that much easier, and helps the screen blend in with the rest of the phone.
Lumia 930: Hardware
The Lumia 930 features Qualcomm's 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 chipset paired with 2GB of RAM, meaning this is phone offers performance equal to most high end Android smartphones on the market.
The phone does perform well, but opening and closing apps, as well as navigating the Windows Phone interface is still not as responsive as Android or iOS, but that's more down to the software than the hardware.
You get 32GB of on-board storage (along with 7GB of OneDrive cloud storage) but there's no microSD card slot to augment this.
The Lumia 930 features the usual array of wireless connectivity options, including Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi N along with support for all the UK's 4G networks.
The Lumia 930 also features a chip to allow it take advantage of the SensorCore SDK, essentially turning the phone into a fitness tracker, monitoring your movement throughout the day.
Lumia 930: Battery & Wireless Charging
Powering the phone is a 2,420mAh battery. For most of my testing the battery just about lasted a full day's use, however a couple of times during my week with the phone the battery ran out by 6pm - which is not a good sign.
What is a good sign - for UK users at least - is that Microsoft is offering a wireless charging pad to all customers who buy the new phone. If, like me, you are sick of blindly trying to charge your phone at night in the darkness, then a wireless charger is a godsend.
Widespread adoption of wireless charging is some way away still (due to lack of agreement over standards and other issues) but kudos to Microsoft for trying its best to push it forward - now, if only it could improve the battery.
Lumia 930: Camera
As well as being known for colourful phones, the Lumia series is well known for having great cameras, and the Lumia 930 is no different.
While it can't match the 41 megapixel sensor in the Lumia 1020, the 20 megapixel sensor included here does a very good job at capturing accurate images in most lighting conditions.
The Nokia Camera app allows you to tweak all the settings manually if you want, but the full auto mode will suffice in most situations.
Low light performance is good - though not great - and in good lighting conditions you get crisp, sharp images with lots of detail. Auto-focus may not be as quick as the laser-guided one on the G3, but it's not bad, and the optical image stabilisation really helps steady your shots.
Lumia 930: Software
The Lumia 930 is the second smartphone to come with Windows Phone 8.1 following the launch of the Lumia 630 last month.
With the 8.1 update come a ton of new features, the vast majority of which are excellent additions.
Windows Phone 8.1 brings a notification centre called Action Center - something sorely missing from previous versions of the operating system - and more customisation options on the home screen including more icons crammed onto the screen and the ability to put a picture behind those icons.
Another big improvement is the Swype-like keyboard called Word Flow which is excellent.
The headline feature of Windows 8.1 is Cortana, the voice-activated personal assistant but it won't be available in the UK until later this year (though there is a way around this for those interested).
While Windows 8.1 is certainly a big improvement, the main problem with Windows Phone 8.1 remains - a lack of apps - or more specifically a lack of good apps.
Microsoft has worked hard to close off most of the major gaps in its app catalogue, but the problem remains that the apps that are there just don't work as well as their Android or iOS cousins.
Until the Windows Phone store gains something approaching the breadth and depth of the App Store or Google Play, this will be a big negative for all Lumias, from the budget Lumia 630 up to premium devices like the Lumia 930.
Lumia 930: Value & Verdict
At £480 the Lumia 930 is not cheap, though it is a step down in price from the likes of the Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 5s. It is on a par with the Lg G3 however and in pretty much every department the LG phone bests the Lumia 930.
Don't get me wrong, the Lumia 930 is not a bad phone. It has great build quality, colourful design, a superb screen, wireless charging and decent performance.
However a so-so battery, inelegant design and of course the Windows Phone app issue means the Lumia 930 is likely to appeal to those who want something different rather than those who necessarily want the best phone.
- Screen 9/10 – Bright and sharp with great colour reproduction
- Camera 8/10 – Decent performance in all conditions
- Software 8/10 – Windows Phone is getting better...slowly
- Design 7/10 – Not for me. Despite attractive colour options, just too clunky
- Build quality 9/10 – Excellent
- Overall 8/10 – A good effort from Microsoft/Nokia but still lots of work to do to challenge the market leaders
- Wireless Charging
- Great screen
- Colourful design options
- Windows Phone app selection
- Poor battery life
- Clunky design