First off, I would like to make clear that this is a user’s review of the Lumia 930, not a device review, therefore do not expect me to list the hardware specifications or features/capabilities of the device. I will only highlight and mention specific items that helped shape my personal experience with the device. If you are after a device review, I happily recommend you to read my good friend Adrian’s Lumia 930 review on Lumia Journeys.
The Lumia range of smartphones have come a long way in the past year or so with Windows Phone 8 finally supporting some of the newer quad-core chipsets that high-end Android devices have been enjoying for a while now. And with the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, the Windows Phone OS has finally caught up with Android & iOS in terms of the crucial features/functionality one would expect from their current day smartphone OS – I won’t go into these details, as this is a review of the Lumia 930 and not of the Windows Phone OS.
If you know me, you’ll know I hate waiting (and who doesn’t?). Therefore speed & responsiveness are the two most crucial things I look in a smartphone; everything else comes second – and the Lumia 930 delivers on that.
Being a Lumia 925 owner, the speed boost from dual-core to quad-core – although this isn’t as noticeable during everyday use, the difference in speed is really noticeable during process intensive tasks such as starting and closing of large applications, installing updates, and starting up the phone.
As a person with a strong interest in Photography, the next most important thing I look for is a good camera – like the saying: ‘the best camera isn’t most expensive high-end DSLR money can buy, but rather the camera you have with you’.
The Lumia 930 completely outshines this requirement with its excellent 20MP Pureview camera. It goes beyond just allowing you to manually control the ISO and shutter speed; it also allows you to save your photos in a RAW file format. In fact, I’m so impressed with it, I decided to submit 6 photos I took with the Nokia Lumia 930 into the Australian Photography: Black & White Photographer of the Year 2014 competition instead of photos taken with my Canon 100D DSLR.
With such a great camera on board, it’s only natural that it also takes excellent videos – and make that surround sound videos! Yes! It can record 1080p videos at 30fps with Surround sound (Dolby Digital Plus 5.1).
I know nothing speaks better than actual photos and videos taken using a Lumia 930, so check out my Challenge 930 Flickr album for samples of both.
I do not normally care too much about the screen, as most modern high-end smartphone screens are all pretty good and for anyone to see any difference you will need really need to look hard at the device’s screen. But the reason why I would like to mention the screen in this review is, the screen on the Lumia 930 is super smooth! My old Sony Xperia Z felt a bit sticky and wasn’t very nice to slide your fingers across the screen – so definitely worth mentioning.
The last thing I look for is the overall design. I’ll be frank, I’m a very shallow person and how something looks aesthetically has a huge impact on how I perceive something.
When I first saw the design of the Lumia 930 – I was like, that thing is sexy! I love the size of the device, positioning and design of the buttons on the side, the location of the micro-USB port and headphone jack.
Then I saw the other side – the plastic back. I had this thought running at the back of my head – what is Nokia thinking?!? But after holding the actual device in my hands, my entire first impression changed. In fact, I love the plastic back now. I’ve become quite attached to it. It’s a kinda soft, but yet hard plastic that doesn’t feel cheap at all – it feels rubbery and premium due to the build quality.
And if there’s a way to describe the build quality that most people can associate with is Apple build quality; and I can honestly say, it’s at Apple build quality if not better (and no #BendGate issues here, the only thing that’ll break is your arm trying to bend the Lumia 930 :-)).
Other Noteworthy Extras
- Battery life is pretty good; even with slightly on the heavy side of use, it still lasts a day.
- Cortana is the best digital PA; it is very accurate in capturing what I say.
- Uses micro-USB for charging (no need to carry extra cables around or hunt around for dedicated cables).
- Ability to use phone as a mass storage device (Windows only).
- GPS seems to pick up location very fast compared to all other smartphones I’ve owned.
So far, I have just managed to find two things that I don’t quite like about the Lumia 930. It’s a tad bit on the heavy side and lack of the ‘Glance’ functionality. Other than that, I believe it is the best all-round smartphone currently available for purchase in Australia that can still be used single-handedly and comfortably fit in your pocket.