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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  • kpkp - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    That's amoled, maximum brightness and static display for longer periods will leave the mark.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSw1hYzLtCg
    Reply
  • foxingworth - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    Brett, judging from page 7, it sounds like you're not adequately equipped for measuring the performance of any of these components. You tested the WiFi on an arbitrary N router and compared it to phones that were clearly connected to AC routers. You tested the cellular performance in an area without LTE and gave a single speedtest result on an unnamed carrier in an unnamed location. For sound, you gave a two line description which didn't have any quantitative results.

    It seems like if you can't accurately measure the performance of these aspects, you should really just explain that and leave the section out. Comparing a phone operating in poor conditions to other phones operating in optimal environments seems a little misleading.
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I addressed the Wi-Fi in a previous comment. As for the network connection, the 930 shipped to me for review did has no support for band 4 LTE which is the primary band for North America. The location I tested in does have LTE support.

    With the exception of the Wi-Fi I did not make any comparisons to other phones based on HSPA+ nor the speaker levels.
    Reply
  • just2btecky - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    Nice try, Brett Howse, but these graphs are dubious. I'm drowning in tech mumbojumbo... Reply
  • rwei - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    *Thank you* for mentioning the omission of Glance! None of the other reviews brought it up, and after I bought an Icon I was startled to see it wasn't included. Going from an 822 it never even occurred to me that the new flagship would omit it.

    The device is still so shiny and sleek that I'll keep it, but I was pretty peeved for a while.
    Reply
  • jimbo2779 - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    Is it still not available with the latest update? My wife's 620 even had Glance.

    If it doesn't or is not possible to be added in future then it is a shame.
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    The shame is that of all of the Nokia phones announced this year (530, 630, 730, 830, and 930) only the 830 supports glance. And with the next firmware update, additional features such as weather will be able to be displayed on glance. Reply
  • Reflex - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    It is not possible to add, unfortunately. Glance relies upon a technology called "Display Memory" which the display on the Icon does not have. As a result it cannot utilize Glance with any firmware or software updates. Reply
  • jimbo2779 - Tuesday, September 09, 2014 - link

    That is a real shame, I wouldn't say it is a deal breaker for most but MS have this decent feature and do not plan for it in most of their new line up of phones. Reply
  • maximumGPU - Tuesday, September 09, 2014 - link

    Agreed. It is very frustrating that a nice and differentiating feature gets shunned from most of their handsets.
    I assume it was to save pennies from the cost of the handset (since it requires a certain kind of display), which is ridiculous. Reminds me of laptop manufacturers implementing only single band 2.4GHz wireless on high end machines.
    Reply

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