Nokia Lumia 930 review

Nokia Lumia 930 review V3Featuring a distinctive design, great display and top-end PureView camera, the Nokia Lumia 930 does a great job of showing off all Windows Phone 8.1's business benefits. However, its overall appeal is slightly let down by its below-average battery life.
Pros:
Vibrant display, good performance, great camera, Windows Phone 8.1 is full of enterprise perks
Cons:
Below-average battery life
Overall Rating:
4 Star Rating: Recommended
Price: £33 per month
 Processor: Quad-core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Display: 5in 1080x1920, 441ppi Amoled capacitive ClearBlack display
Storage: 32GB, 2GB RAM
Camera: 20MP rear, 1.2MP front
Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, 4G
Operating system: Windows Phone 8.1
Dimensions:  137x71x9.8mm
Weight: 167g

Targeting the enterprise market has been a staple part of Microsoft and Nokia's Windows Phone growth strategy for quite some time. As a result each new Lumia smartphone has featured a number of upgrades to its security and productivity portfolio.

Even so, Microsoft called this year's Windows Phone 8.1 its first ever "enterprise-ready" version of the platform. This makes the Lumia 930, which runs Windows Phone 8.1 fresh out of the box, a key player in Microsoft's 2014 endeavour to boost its share of the handset market.

Yet, with Windows Phone's market share having just broken the 10 percent mark in the UK, some firms have, understandably, wondered what features the Lumia 930 has to differentiate it from its more mainstream iOS and Android competitors.

Design and build

As is the case with all Nokia smartphones, the Lumia 930 has a striking design. Similar to its predecessor the Lumia 925, this is Nokia's second Windows Phone to feature a metal design. Specifically the Lumia 930 features metallic sides that frame its non-removable polycarbonate backplate and Gorilla Glass front.

The use of metal is a bonus for us. Not only does it make the Lumia 930 feel more top end than some of its purely plastic equivalents, it also makes the phone one of the most robustly built smartphones currently available. While the Lumia isn't IP certified, like many competing Android phones, the phone survived an accidental drop onto a hardwood kitchen floor chip and scratch free.Nokia Lumia 930 review three quarter
The one negative consequence of the Lumia 930's tough metal frame is that it makes the phone heavier than average, weighing in at a hefty 167g.

That said we never felt the 137x71x9.8mm handset was unwieldy or uncomfortable to use. This is largely thanks to the Lumia 930's intelligent physical button placement, which puts the phone's volume, power and shutter buttons on the handset's side so they are easy to reach one handed. The handset's ergonomic feel also has a lot to do with the phone's matte-finish, slightly curved backplate, which helps it sit neatly in the palm.

Display

There is currently a war raging within the smartphone community regarding screen technology, with each vendor trying to market their respective solutions as the best currently available.

In the past Nokia has been a big player in this area, thanks to its custom ClearBlack screen technology. ClearBlack is a technology Nokia debuted on its first Windows Phone, the Lumia 800. The tech works to makes screens look more crisp and sharp by producing deeper blacks, which make its primary colours pop out. The tech is great as it makes doing basic things such as reading text on the screen a more pleasant experience.

ClearBlack has been a great addition to previous Lumia handsets, which is why we're pleased to see it return on the Lumia 930, which has a 5in 1080x1920, 441ppi Amoled capacitive ClearBlack display.

Using the Lumia 930 in a variety of conditions, we found the screen one of the most vibrant we've ever used. Colours displayed on the screen pop out and are some of the richest we've seen yet; they are only possibly matched by the Samsung Galaxy S5, which features a Super Amoled screen. The Lumia 930 also features great brightness levels and impressively wide viewing angles.

The only issue we noticed with the Lumia 930 stemmed from its Windows Phone software. Icons and text are wonderfully crisp, but some Windows Phone menu screens can at times look fuzzier than we'd like. This is likely because Microsoft hasn't increased its resolution to take advantage of the Lumia's 930's stellar display technology.


Nokia Lumia 930 review action centreOperating system
The use of Microsoft's latest Windows Phone 8.1 operating system (OS) is one of the Lumia 930's best assets. As we noted in our full Windows Phone 8.1 review, Microsoft's mobile operating system is one of the most business friendly currently available.

The obvious reason for this is the inclusion of Microsoft's portfolio of productivity services. Key selling points include OneNote, Office 365, Outlook, Skype and OneDrive services.

OneNote and Office 365 make it easy for Lumia 930 users to take and record notes at events, or view and edit documents on the go. OneDrive allows users to then save or share these files on Microsoft's cloud. Outlook and Skype complement the features and make it easy to chat with people online, video conference with other workers and generally manage multiple email accounts.

Backing this up, though, Windows Phone 8.1 also adds a number of subtle, easy-to-miss, but equally important features. Chief among these are Windows Phone 8.1's security services.

Mobile security has been a growing issue for businesses, with hackers increasingly viewing smartphones as an easy way to infiltrate businesses networks, or mount things such as premium-rate SMS scams. Aware of this Microsoft has boosted Windows Phone 8.1's security by adding upgraded mobile device-management (MDM), VPN and Outlook S/MIME protection features.

The MDM feature gives IT managers more control over Lumia 930s being used as work devices, allowing them to block certain applications from being installed, for example, or remotely lock or wipe corporate handsets.

The Outlook update lets users encrypt email messages coming in and out using the S/MIME protocol, while the VPN support can set the Lumia 930 to browse the web only through an encrypted tunnel between the device and the chosen VPN provider's servers, meaning hackers shouldn't be able to steal or decrypt it mid-transit.

The combination of security and productivity services make Windows Phone 8.1, and the Lumia 930, a great choice for any business.

Our only qualm is that Microsoft still hasn't rolled out its Cortana digital assistant in the UK, and this won't be available until late 2014. This means, despite it having been around in the US for some time, people on this side of the pond still don't have access to the OS's voice-command services.
Nokia Lumia 930 review home screen

Performance

The Lumia 930 is powered by a quad-core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and features 2GB of RAM.

Tech aficionados will likely complain about the use of the previous-generation Snapdragon 800, not newer 801, chip. But thanks to Windows Phones' lightweight system requirements, we never experienced a performance issue using the Lumia 930.

Applications opened in seconds and the Lumia 930 smoothly transitioned between webpages on Internet Explorer 11, even with multiple tabs open. We also found the Lumia 930 easily ran even the most demanding of applications, such as 3D games, chug and stutter free.

Next: Camera


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About Doru Somcutean

Hello, my name is Somcutean Doru and I'm from Romania.

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