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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  • Reflex - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    Actually it has to do with panel availability. I believe only LG makes panels with display memory, it is a proprietary technology. Unfortunately LG does not have a 5" 1080p panel available at this time. Reply
  • Brett Howse - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    In the interview with wpcentral.com that I linked to in the article, they specifically called out cost as the issue - which likely has to do with supply as well. If they have to get a custom panel made, it's going to cost more. Still, it's a big sore spot with this device and on something that is supposed to be a flagship, it needs to have it. Reply
  • jjj - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    It might be still early but you guys need to add some CPU benchmarks at some point. The focus on browsing and GPU doesn't seem enough.
    I also think it would be good to test... lets call it "touch latency" (or hand to eye or input lag or w/e seems right).
    Took a long time to add storage tests and battery life in gaming (missing here) , hope it won't take that long for more (needed) benchmarks to be added.
    The focus mostly on pics and very little on video doesn't seem ideal either, wish there was a bit more about video.
    Almost forgot , at least in some cases looking at temps would be useful too, the race for more and more perf is pushing things too far sometimes..
    Reply
  • wolrah - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    Am I missing something, or does this:

    "With the 930, Nokia has launched a phone which was on the most current SoC at the time of launch"

    not fit with this:

    "MSM8974VV"

    Wouldn't the Snapdragon 801 at least be required to call it a current SoC, even a few months ago when this apparently launched? The One M8 had the 801 on Android three months before the 930's release and beat this review to bring it to the Windows Phone platform. This thing runs the same processor as the nearly year old Note 3, far from what I'd call current in the fast moving phone market.

    There are already a few Snapdragon 805 devices available in Korea and the Note 4 is soon bringing it to the masses, which'll make the 800 two generations old.

    Windows Phone really needs a proper flagship, but so far they've only had what feel like warmed over revisions of Androids from 6-12 months ago.
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    Hi Wolrah.

    Thanks for the feedback. I've updated the wording of that to include the identical Lumia Icon, which I referenced in the first page. When the Icon shipped in February, Snapdragon 800 was the top. Yes it was not the top for long, but it was at least at the top.
    Reply
  • Yofa - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    the only thing worse than a windows phone is a riders fan.

    boo!!!
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    boo back :) Reply
  • Drumsticks - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    Wow, excellent review! It's nice to finally see a full featured review of a flagship Windows Phone device on Anandtech. Hopefully if Microsoft comes through with rumors of planning more Lumia 1020-esque cameras, we can get one of those on Anandtech as well! Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, September 08, 2014 - link

    It was even a semi-review of the 1020! If we see a true successor to the 1020 that decreases the camera load times, I'll buy it. The 1020 is pure camera joy otherwise. Reply
  • gg555 - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    Yeah, it's amazing how far ahead of it's time the 1020 (and 808) remain. It's such an under appreciated phone. Reply

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