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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  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Good to finally have a review, even if it's conveniently just in time to be buried by apple articles. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    That's my bad I received the phone at the start of August but was unable to review it for a while due to personal matters. Reply
  • jimbo2779 - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Lol I gotta say I did think this myself but am sure it is just unlucky timing.

    I am very glad that WP is starting to get some virtual column inches around here, there really isn't a best place to read reviews about phones or anything else tech related really.
    Reply
  • maximumGPU - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Yes thanks Brett for finally reviewing a windows phone. Hope they get more coverage. Reply
  • halcyon - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Shortest real-world battery life.

    Longest battery recharge times.

    Non-removable battery.

    Slowest / Stupidest web-browser for visiting web-pages and no real alternative on the whole platform (all are IE skins basically).

    And very little WP apps to combat the sucky browsing experience.

    Now, remind me again, why would I buy this as a smartphone?
    Reply
  • kyuu - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Real-world battery life is much better than the tests suggest. I'm not sure if there's an issue with how Brett is doing the testing or what, but it's definitely not right.

    Battery recharge time was skewed due to Brett not being able to use the proper charger.

    Harping on a non-removable battery nowadays is just silly.

    IE on WP doesn't have the best benchmark scores, but those benchmarks are largely useless anyway. They've all been optimized and cheated on by everyone. In real usage, I don't notice any difference in web page load times on my Lumia 920 (which has a much slower SoC than the reviewed 930) as compared to any flagship Android or iPhone.

    WP has plenty of apps, including some really nice ones that can't be found on other platforms. Harping on the app store thing at this point is ignorant.

    Buy whatever smartphone platform you like, but kindly don't cherry-pick a few tidbits from a single problematic review to support what is likely your preexisting bias against the WP platform.
    Reply
  • notposting - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    I upgraded from the 928 to the Icon, and putting them side by side running WP8/GDR3 with the same apps, performance is basically identical.

    The Icon pulls away in loading times, and has a slight advantage in browsing, but otherwise even the older dual cores run fine.

    Put the Icon up against the LG G3 I shipped out yesterday and web browsing was a wash.

    Of course, the camera on the 928 blew them both away in very low light situations, so there's that. :P
    Reply
  • Klimax - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    "One thing that Anand has harped on with regards to Windows Phone is that it is often on a much older SoC than competitive Android phones. This delta in performance is difficult to turn a blind eye to, even for supporters of the platform."
    What for. In general you don't need that power. (For exceptions there are some games like Total Defense 3D, which can slow down massively)

    Delta in performance often doesn't translate in better experience...
    Reply
  • suandantal - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    I just bought this device (live in europe) and I love it! Just sold my old company phone IPhone 5 which I've never really used that much, IOS just doesn't cut it for me I guess although I do love the Hardware. Currently I own a nexus 5 as well as this green lumia 930 as well as the old 920. Lumia 930 is definitely an upgrade over the 920, although battery life isn't as good as it should be. Everyone should give WP a try... so try a lumia 630/635 they're like 100-150$, yet really delivers a very good experience. Reply
  • dirtyvu - Sunday, September 21, 2014 - link

    It can't be emphasized enough how great the RAW feature is. I've personally not been impressed by most smartphone pictures. They're great... for smartphone pictures. But after running the 929/930 RAW pictures through Adobe Camera Raw, these are amazing pictures. Pictures I can show as equal or superior to "real" cameras. Reply

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