Introduction

Nokia has once again refreshed its Windows Phone lineup with the release of the Lumia 930, which is the spiritual successor to the Lumia 920 which first launched with Windows Phone 8.0 way back in November 2012. But like the Lumia 630, it takes cues from more than just the Lumia with the closest model number. The Lumia 930 is an interesting combination of many of the other Nokia Windows Phone designs from over the years all wrapped up into a striking package that certainly gives it a new take on the polycarbonate bodies of all of the higher end Lumia devices over the years.

The Lumia 930 was first launched in the USA in February as the Lumia Icon. The Icon is practically identical, with only a few key differences. Being a Verizon exclusive, the Icon of course must support the Verizon CDMA network and has the correct LTE bands for that provider. The Lumia 930 has support for different frequencies due to it being designated for a more international audience. The other key difference is the Lumia 930 ships with Windows Phone 8.1 and the Nokia Cyan firmware, while the Icon first shipped with 8.0 and Nokia Black firmware and the update to the latest OS and firmware version is currently “under testing”. Those two differences aside, the Icon and the 930 can be mentioned practically interchangeably.

The Lumia 930 is the highest end offering currently available from Nokia, with a 5” 1080p AMOLED display driven by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, which in this case is the 2.2 GHz quad-core Krait 400 version with the model number MSM8974VV. The Snapdragon 800 platform also includes the Adreno 330 GPU at 450 MHz, support for up to a 21 MP camera, and the cellular baseband built in. The Snapdragon 800 platform is certainly something we are used to seeing, with it powering most of the flagship smartphones from last year.

  Nokia Lumia 930
SoC Qualcomm MSM8974VV 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Krait 400
RAM/NAND 2 GB LPDDR3, 32 GB NAND
Display 5" 1920x1080 Pentile ClearBlack AMOLED
Network Cat 4 LTE 150 Mbps DL 50 Mbps Upload
LTE network bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20
WCDMA network 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 2100 MHz
WCDMA DC-HSPA 42.2 Mbps DL, 5.76 Mbps UL
GSM network 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz
Dimensions 137 x 71 x 9.8 (mm)
Weight 167 grams
Camera 20 MP rear camera, 1.1 µm pixels, 1/2.5" CMOS size, F/2.4, 26 mm focal length, Dual-LED Flash, OIS
1.2 MP front camera, wide angle, f/2.4, 1280x960
Battery 2420 mAh 3.8 V (9.196 Whr)
OS Windows Phone 8.1 with Cyan Firmware
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0 LE, USB2.0, MPT, DLNA, NFC FM Radio
Location Technologies Cellular and Wi-Fi network positioning, A-GPS, A-GLONASS, BeiDou
SIM Size nano SIM

Hardware wise, the Lumia 930 actually shares a platform with more than just the Lumia Icon. The Lumia 1520 which was launched in late 2013 is a 6” Windows Phone with identical hardware specifications. Practically everything except the display, battery and form factor are shared between the 1520 and the 930 with the exception of microSD card support which is present in the 6” 1520, but not available in the 5” 930. Other than microSD, the Lumia 930 ticks most of the other boxes for a high end smartphone, with built in 32 GB of NAND, a 20 MP camera with Zeiss optics, Qi wireless charging, NFC, Wireless AC, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and something that is unique to the Lumia line at the moment – four High Amplitude Audio Capture (HAAC) microphones which allows not just stereo audio recording, but Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 as well. The HAAC microphones have been a staple of the higher end Lumia series for a while, and they enable a higher dynamic range of audio to be recorded without distortion. We’ll see how it works later in the review.

Design
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  • milroy - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    "The power button placement is certainly in the right location when compared to a phone with the power button on the top which gets awkward to use especially on a larger phone such as this."

    This is actually one of my main gripes with Lumia designs. The power button is so easy to access it is difficult to grip the phone without accidentally activating it. I have inadvertently turned my phone off countless times. With the current design you have to be very careful how you hold it by the sides Otherwise you need to hold it glass to back.

    I’ve had the 925 and now the 1520 and both have been excellent.
    Reply
  • siberstorm - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    It would be great if you added some sort of camera consistency benchmark for future reviews. It's something most reviewers don't do. Actually I don't think I've ever seen it before. Take a dozen pictures of the same scene back to back. Mark off the ones that you consider "good" and give the percentage. Also do the same test when changing scenes quickly. The biggest reason why people like the iPhone's camera is because of its consistency. Nokia's camera's are technically better, but most people aren't looking for max potential. They want the first shot to be the only shot. This is also a problem for camera's that use their inbuilt OIS too liberally. The shutter speed is too slow and a moving subject, which is often the case, will just end up a blur. A noisy shot is much better than a smeared blurry shot. Reply
  • croc123 - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    The more I read about the newer phones with good-ish cameras, the more I am tempted to get a new Nokia 808... While I still can. (Maybe two.) Reply
  • saliti - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    The battery life test of Anandtech is horrible and not representative of real life battery life. I don't even use it as reference. GSMArena's battery life test is more balanced. Reply
  • leopard_jumps - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Shoot a video with passing cars (i.e. fast moving objects) , go to some flowers , buildings . We need to know the quality of the video abilities . Reply
  • boostern - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Sorry but this is one of the worst review ever made on anandtech.
    I really hope that is not the course that anandtech will take with the departure of Anand, because even a week ago a page like that of WiFi tests would be never been published.
    Reply
  • boostern - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    The more I read this review the more i found it flawed.
    Even in the battery life pace I see flaws, the subjective comments at the end where you say that in your tipical day the battery life was OK, what does it mean? How is your tipical day? What kind of activities you do in your tipical day?
    Finally, there is too few data in this review compared to the Anandtech's standard...and too few comments on data outcomings.
    Brett I don't want to attack you, but please read carefully one of the review made by Anand, Brian or even Joshua...
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Hi Boostern,

    First off, I don't take it as an attack. Our readers demand a high level from us which is fantastic. If we don't meet that then we need to get better. Let me address a couple of your points:

    The Wi-Fi was clearly a mistake. Without an ac router (which I am working on obtaining now) my options were test 802.11n, or not test. I chose to test n because I'd say the vast majority of people have n anyway, so they aren't going to see the huge speeds from ac. Clearly that was an error, and may people have pointed it out. In the future, I'll likely do both n and ac testing.

    As for the battery life, our battery life test is really a worst case for this phone. I had to make the point that even though in the chart it shows < 6 hours, the average person on an average day is not going to need to charge the phone in 6 hours. The white backgrounds really hurt this AMOLED generation. My typical day and your typical day are not the same of course, which is why we can't test a "typical day". Perhaps we can look at doing some sort of different battery life testing and it is something we can discuss internally.

    Also, not all of the benchmarking tools we use on other platforms are available on Windows Phone. It's just a reality of 3.5% market share and two dominant players in front. We are working on our own tools, but they take time and they are not available yet.

    As for the comments on data, Anand had 17 years of experience and this is my second phone review, so I'll try better next time.

    Thanks for reading - we all do appreciate the readers of the site. We know you expect the best and if we don't deliver it, then you have the right to ask for better.
    Reply
  • boostern - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Thank you for the response.
    Regarding the battery life page in the article, I think you should also take into account the differences in Snap 800 vs Snap 801 and the inherently power differences of these two SoCs. If you compare the 930 with other phones you should also explain the differences in the results, the majority of phones you compare against the 930 are based on Snap 801 platform that brings some optimizations in power comsumption. Nonetheless you should also compare the 930 with phones based on the same platform (for example the Nexus 5) and point out that the optimization job done made by Nokia was bad and is not the state of the art. The bad result are not only due to the display adopted (surely this is a reason), but also these results comes from the adoption of the Snap 800 and the not so good job in the optimization. Another advice: are the good result obtained in Basemark battery life a result of the worse performance obtained in this test VS the competitors? As Anand and Brian showed us in the recently past this could be an explanation of the results, in that the CPU stays in lower states for a longer amount of time. Take it only as an advice ;)
    Reply
  • snoozemode - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Also, why not use a EU -> US wall plug converter so that you could use the included 1.5A charger? Now the battery charging time is irrelevant. Reply

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