Hands on: Nokia Lumia 930 – My sixth Windows Phone

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My biggest dilemma was the colour. Not the brand, the OS or the form factor… the colour.

Having decided categorically that a Nokia Lumia 930 was next on the device purchase list, my decision criteria was vetoed by my incessant ‘availability checks’ at various communications outlets and telco carrier stores.

I’ve committed to the Windows Phone platform, and six phones in, I have not regretted my decision as yet. The OS and integration suit me just fine. I’m not going to cover whether or not this device would be better off with another OS or why you should explore WP8 as your next OS. I’m already convinced and choosing the hardware manufacturer is the only ‘negotiable’ part.

Plus, the age old complaint of a lacking app catalogue fall on deaf ears with me. I have all the apps I need and USE daily. MS integration with my personal and corporate mail and collaboration tools is superb because guess what? It’s all Microsoft. With a spate of updates on WP8.1 and the personal assistant beta in Cortana (for users setting region to US to access), I could not be happier.

Finally, on July 18th 2014, I purchased my sixth Windows Phone handset. In white.

If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ll know how important aesthetics is to me. Sure, I’ll admit, the Lumia 930 does kinda remind me of an Apple iPhone 4S with the aluminum band around the edge, but the Lumia 930 is much more than that. We’ll talk about the extras in a bit.

So, aesthetically, the device is a beautiful piece of tech, the back face made of the same polycarbonite found on previous Lumias and that most Lumia owners know and love. Its matte finish makes it easy to grip. The aluminum band around the phone houses the volume rocker, power button and dedicated 2-stage camera button on the right side face.

Then, the front face: a sculpted piece of edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass 3. Its a very minimalist approach to the device design and the white back-face adds to the sterility of a minimalist device. Can’t speak for the green or orange variants!

More on minimalism: besides the phone, the kit contents consisted of a small paper booklet and a wall charger and USB cable. No headphones. Even the box was minimalist for a Nokia handset!

The 930 weighs in at 167 grams – only 7 grams heavier than the HTC One M8 and 55 grams heavier than the iPhone 5S. With that extra weight, the Lumia 930 gives me built-in Wireless Charging via Qi (neither HTC or Apple variants have this) and NFC connectivity (HTC One M8 yes; 5S no).

On a practical level, it is a solid performer. I use my 930 as my primary work phone now; 7am to 7pm during the week. Rarely have I needed to charge it during the day. I use a bluetooth headset and WiFi auto connects at work or home. Mail and social apps are all set to push notifications, but I do have Battery Saver and Auto Brightness turned on. Getting a full day of use out of it is no hard task.

The screen is superb. A 5″ full HD Gorilla Glass 3 panel with ClearBlack and OLED tech. The resolution is 1920×1080 and of course, touch – with the ability to operate even with gloves on. Speaking of Apple, the pixel density of the 930 is 441 ppi vs iPhone 5S Retina at 326 ppi. Soooo I don’t know if that’s important to Apple users anymore, now that it’s no longer a differentiator (nor has it been for some time).

On the topic of pieces of glass, the camera is delicious. It’s a 20MP PureView camera with optics by the regular offender: Zeiss. Using the Nokia camera app, you can point-and-click or you can tamper-and-change settings like ISO and shutter speed, manual focus and white balance. Up to you. I like point-and-click. A dedicated hardware camera button makes that a reality.

I noticed the loudspeaker has improved from the 920 (definitely!!) and even the 1520. Placing a call on loudspeaker or listening to playback (music or video) is even more clearer and louder than before. I don’t know if the speaker tech is better or if the positioning and firing of the speaker mixed with the device’s internal layout offer better sound, but its noticeably better to me.

I’m still using the Wireless plate charger (DT-900) that I purchased for my Lumia 920 but Nokia is releasing a number of updated accessories of the wireless and NFC nature. I’m undecided on the jacket accessory, since I find the front flap annoying to pin back when on a call or hold away from the camera lens when taking a pic. Happy to evaluate if #Nokia sends me one :).

To view the full specifications of the Nokia Lumia 930, please visit Nokia Australia’s site here.

Will you be getting one? Comment with your opinions and questions below.

 

 

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