Nokia Lumia 930 review: Is this the Windows Phone you've been waiting for?

Nokia Lumia 930 review: Is this the Windows Phone you've been waiting for?

Summary: Is the latest all-rounder from the Nokia stable your next business device of choice?


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  • When you think about Windows Phone handsets that make headlines, they're often one of two types: the low-end unit-shifting 520, for example, or at the other pole, the high-end palm-busting 1520 or imaging-focused 1020.

    But what about the mid-market smartphones? What's Microsoft, now the proud owner of Nokia's devices and services business, cooking up there?

    The latest addition to its mid-tier portfolio is the 930, a bigger and chunkier successor to the steady-as-she-goes 925. It may not have the low price tag of the 520 or the eye-catching specs of the 1020, but when it comes to enterprise devices, the 930 is where Windows Phone-curious buyers should be looking.

    Images: Jo Best/ZDNet

  • Design-wise, it's exactly what you'd expect from a higher-end Nokia: substantial and colourful.

    In keeping with Nokia's design language, the Lumia 930 is available in both staid black or white and eye-catching (bright orange, bright green) colours. The disadvantage of the eye-catching colour we tried was that it was dirt-catching as well — it showed up scuffs quite noticeably — so if you're a neat freak (or indeed not into 90s neon), you might be better off going for one of the more sober colours.

    Marks aside, it's a nice device to hold thanks to its smooth polycarbonate back and the decision to smooth out the 'pimple' around the camera sensor. Gone are the curves of the 920 in favour of a more blocky form factor. There's a solidity and heft to the device – the excellent build quality you'd expect, as well as 9.8mm of thickness. It weighs in at 167g, which is a little on the heavy side compared to the competition, but not unmanageably so.

    Design-wise, there's the usual three soft buttons under the screen (back, home and search) and three hard buttons on the side (the volume rocker, the camera, and power buttons), although the latter could have been more responsive on the device we tried.  

Topics: Mobility, Nokia, Smartphones, Windows Phone

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  • Release clouded by massive Job Losses….

    • Apple product releases were also clouded

      with massive Jobs loss.....
      • Re: Apple product releases were also clouded....

        And your point is ?

        I was merely pointing out that the takeover of Nokia came at a cost of mostly Nokia employees.

        Microsoft being unscrupulous at its best. Surely you cannot tell me you support such a policy.
        • Swoosh! I guess That flew over your head?

          "Apple product releases were also clouded with massive Jobs loss."

          As in "Steve Jobs" loss.

          As in they released products, yet people still focused on the loss of Steve Jobs and what that would mean for Apple's future.

          Hello? Anybody else around here have a sense of humor?
        • What?

          Ha, those people's jobs were going to be cut no matter what happened to Nokia. And the vast majority are in the manufacturing of devices, which almost none of the major OEMs do. Heck, Nokia even had their own mining employees, even geologist on the payroll. Nokia from a productivity standpoint was a mess and even if they stayed a standalone company the would have had to cut jobs just to survive. The only reason they did not was because they were so nationally tied to their country.

          Nothing "unscrupulous" about what business decisions Microsoft made.
          Rann Xeroxx
          • They're still around too

            Microsoft only bought the handset division so Nokia is still around for all their other stuff. It is true cuts are always the result of on acquisition because the efficiency improvement is what makes an acquisition worth the cost. Otherwise you could just let them run as-is and not pay anyone.
            Buster Friendly
    • good joke

      good joke since MS has not deported any one so far.
    • Overly simplistic analysis on your part.

      I did get a laugh out of the "Jobs loss" comment however. In regards to your incisive analysis of the result of Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia you fail to understand where Nokia was going. In 2000 the market value of Nokia was around 186B Euros, 10 years later it was down to 11B Euros. Nokia was facing bankruptcy. Without an infusion of cash the company would go under. Part of the deal with Microsoft was an immediate infusion of cash enabling Nokia to remain viable. The failure of Nokia would have resulted in about 25,000 out of work people, not laid off but out of work (if you know anything at all about how lay offs work in Europe then you might even realize the value that Microsoft is STILL investing in the European economy.

      That said it is also important to understand that Microsoft is NOT being altruistic in this, indeed a for profit company working solely towards an altruistic end is usually not a good investment when traded publicly. So what did Microsoft get out of this deal? Nokia was the last real manufacturer of Windows Phones. Without Nokia the Windows Phone becomes dead. Samsung no longer makes them. HTC no longer makes them. Nokia was all that was left. So purchasing Nokia was more a matter of 'must do' rather than 'may do' for Microsoft.

      For these reasons, if none else, the purchase of Nokia by Microsoft may have SAVED 12,500 jobs and given another 12,500 a soft pillow to land on.

      We also reap the benefit of having at least one other major player in the smartphone game and competition is a good thing for ALL of us. The reality is that without Microsoft and Samsung Apple would be able to get away with charging whatever they want due to the effective monopoly they have garnered in the smartphone market.

      Microsoft and Nokia will be able to harvest the benefit of collaboration to build a better ecosystem for their products. In all honesty the only real loser are those that have relied on Nokia to produce some of the world's finest and most robust feature phones. Hopefully Microsoft will continue to allow Nokia to keep its favored place in the overseas and third-world marketplace while introducing WP to those ready to upgrade as a viable alternative to Google and Apple.
      The Heretic
      • A very-well thought out response. Thanks

        M Wagner
      • Samsung no longer makes them. HTC no longer makes them...

        Actually, HTC is releasing a new windows phone in two months, Samsung just released the Ativ SE for Verizon and is just about ready to release the GSM version for the other carriers, ZTE, Sony, Blu, and Xiaomi are also getting close to a release of a Windows phone.
      • very good points

        And lets be honest. We new it was coming and for sure many Nokia employees knew it was coming

        But thanks for a clear comment
      • heretic, sorry to intrude on your comment but JO forgot something really im

        portant and I wanted to be as high as possible in the comments

        FOR everybody who considers the 930 in the US be aware it is not playing nice with LTE networks. This phone is made for networks outside of the US because Verizon has the ICON and for some time this will be the case (until releases come out as for the 1520.3) tis phone can not work on full capacity on bandwidth speeds (also something JO not KNOW missed) so if you want this phone the icon from Verizon is the best to get

        Just so JO know ;-)
      • Good reaply, but...

        HTC has a new Windows 8.1 Phone being released soon... Having used Nokias, I'd stick with the Lumia line, with Nokia maps, photo tech, etc., but that's just my opinion, and just because I think the Windows Lumia is a fantastic device (as do other people who've seen mine) I would never claim to speak for anyone else.
    • Mergers are intended to reduce costs. As massive the MS-Nokia merger ...

      ... was, job loss was simply unavoidable. Had there been no merger, Nokia could have gone under, and even more people would have been jobless.
      M Wagner
  • One thing Microsoft could do to help Windows Phone sales is to...

    ...get their various phones available on all carriers. Few people will switch carries to get a specific phone. Microsoft needs to get all their phones available on all their carriers.
    • Unfortunately not always up to MS

      I just bounced from Sprint after being with them since 98 just because they were not getting Windows phones. I am now with Verizon and using the Lumia ICON. I reallllly like it. People on Sprint forums were begging Sprint to get more options of Windows phones for several years. It all seemed to fall on deaf ears.
      As a side note I went from using Android phones. Windows has a great phone OS. If people would just think for themselves and try one they would see that, but they are too wrapped up in believing people who have no clue what they are talking about scare them away.
      Commander Bytes
      • That's why I said "get" and not...

      • Can't bring your own?

        I ditched Sprint simply because their coverage is so bad here. Don't they do a bring your phone these days? The US market, probably a lot due to T-Mobile, is finally getting away from the legacy contract model. I switched over to a 520 and will never go back to paying $600-$1000 for a phone with contract obligation when I can just grab a new one from $99 and swap in my SIM card if I break it. The only thing you really lose is a nicer camera but I can buy a pile of P&S cameras that are better for what one high end phone costs.
        Buster Friendly
        • Bring your own phone would do a lot to bring down prices on ...

          ... smartphones but, in the USA, buying a new phone from anyone but a carrier is very difficult. Phones should be interchangeable from carrier to carrier but they generally are not. This is why prices remain high.
          M Wagner
      • OEMS should launch their own phones with out contacting Service providers

        OEMS should launch their own phones with out contacting Service providers since all SPs are offering bring your own phone plans.