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
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.

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  • Yeoman_guard - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    Hmmm. Good review. I'm quite a fan of windows phone & lumias. Shame about the battery life on this fella though - I would've expected a lot more. I own a 1320 and the battery life is ridiculous, and everything I've read suggests the 1520 isn't far behind despite its high-end spec. :/
  • Yassarian - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    Page 7 needs to be redone... arbitrarily comparing an ac capable phone at n speed and display it alongside a bunch of phones clearly connecting at ac speed is just plain misleading and lazy writing. If you do not have the gear to properly test it - then don't test it - don't put in some misleading chart simply because you need a chart there.

    Same goes for the cellular speed test - arguably the most important part for this phone, since I'm not sure 930 4LTE bands would even work on any of the US carriers - and apparently, neither does the tester.
  • snoozemode - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    Microsoft: Fix the screen calibration issues with next firmware update!
  • eddman - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    What's wrong with this phone's web browsing battery life?!

    I've seen sort of similar results in other reviews. Could it be that nokia/MS used a subpar, inefficient display?
  • frostyfiredude - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    Just speculating here, but I have a feeling they're using a panel like the Galaxy S 4's or even the same panel. It has the same meh to ok colour accuracy and high power draw characteristic giving mediocre web battery life. The S4 had a similar 5 odd hour battery life. Cost and the fact that this device was released in February (before the S5 and it's efficient AMOLED panel came out) as the Icon definitely is it.
  • jhoff80 - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    "The original image in its full resolution is also available on the device, but can only be accessed via a USB cable by connecting the phone to a PC."

    Are you positive about this? At least with the Lumia 1020, that has changed as of Windows Phone 8.1. Instead of automatically uploading the 5MP oversampled (and reframed) image to OneDrive when using Camera Sync, now the high resolution original gets uploaded. I really would prefer it worked how it did before - the high resolution original is pretty useless to me except for reframing.
  • Brett Howse - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    You are correct - the high res shots are now uploaded to OneDrive.

    I agree with you the 5 MP picture was often good enough. I wish there was an option.
  • jimbo2779 - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    There is an option for uploading "Good Quality" or "Best Quality" in the upload settings:
    Photos App=>Settings=>OneDrive

    I realise there is some ambiguity as to what is Good Quality and what is Best Quality but there is at least some distinction there.
  • coburn_c - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    I'll take a proper white level over good greys on an AMOLED anyday. My biggest gripe with AMOLED is the historically horrible white levels. Nothing wrong with blown colors either, I'm not going to print a proof.. or anything... off this display.
  • tom5 - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    I have stopped reading at battery life tests. This is a joke, not a flagship device.

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