Nokia Lumia 930 review round-up

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Nokia continues to push the Windows Phone experience despite stiff competition from Google and Apple, and its new Lumia 930 is a flagship offering that looks to take on the big hitters in the market.

A quick run through the key specs reveals a powerful beast – a 2.2GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor should keep things moving nice and smoothly; it features a 5” OLED full HD (1920×1080) display at 441ppi, 32GB of storage (non expandable) and a meaty 2420mAh battery that claims to deliver 15.5 hours of talk time on 3G, or 75 hours of music playback.

Notably it also boasts a whopping 20 megapixel PureView main camera with ZEISS optics, a recurrent highlight of the Lumia series, which together with a Full HD camera underlines its ambitions to appeal to smartphone snappers. Rolling out with the Windows Phone 8.1 update this summer, the 930 looks well prepared to show off the full extent of the mobile OS’ capabilities, so we scoured the internet to see what others thought of its potential.

TechRadar got hands-on with the Lumia 930 and was pretty impressed, calling it “the most complete Windows Phone to date”. The display excites here, as does speedy operation from the power-friendly Windows Phone OS, but the plastic build and generally blocky design left it suggesting that the 930 would have to undercut Samsung, Sony and HTC on price to prove a worthy adversary.

The design and feel of the phone may be a rather subjective judgement because The Inquirer quite liked it, noting that the aluminium edging added to an overall robust impression. It is rather uncertain about the Windows Phone 8.1 update however, saying that they found the new custom wallpapers “a little busy at first, [though] it does make Windows Phone 8.1 look much more personal than before”. It was too soon to give the camera a full workout, but The Inquirer did note that “early impressions suggest that it will produce images of similar quality to those taken on the Nokia Lumia 1520, a camera that impressed us due to its crisp and natural image-taking abilities”.

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PC Advisor did test the camera in its hands-on, albeit briefly, noting that “our test shots on the Lumia 930 looked decent and since it’s the same as the 1520, we can confidently predict that you’re in safe hands with it”. Other areas of interest include directional audio through four high-performance microphones dotted around the device, which should be a boon to those who like to record video, and the built-in wireless charging, with Nokia including a wireless charger in the box. Though generally impressed with the 930 and various associated software tweaks to the new Windows Phone OS, it still lauds the issue of a lack of apps in the Windows Phone market, which while improving, is some distance behind Apple and Android.

Finally, DigitalTrends says what we’re all thinking by pitting the Lumia 930 up against the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5S, complete with a handy specifications comparison of the three. It’s a mixed bag here, with each phone effectively “specialising” in certain areas. The Lumia takes points for its impressive camera and in particular the ZEISS optics, but the overall conclusion suggests “get your hands on each before you make your decision”.

The Lumia 930 seems impressive, then, and could well be the best Windows Phone smartphone to date. Whether or not it can take on the big boys is likely to be down to the choice of OS however, so the overall conclusion here seems to be the same – Microsoft needs to work hard on the Windows Phone app store if it’s ever going to truly compete with the big boys in terms of volume.