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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  • pjcamp - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Not a dev. THE dev. Marcus Duarte himself claimed that users find two storage locations confusing.

    How we've muddled along with multiple storage locations on laptops all these years must confuse HIM to no end.

    Besides this is Linux. It is possible to make a single file system spanning multiple devices. There's no reason Android couldn't clear up the "confusion" that way.
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    This ^
    I guess they've never heard of lvm/MD/btrfs.
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    That's not limited to Linux. I mean heck there's multiple approaches, some are completely software agnostic.

    Anyway, MS tried something like that with Windows Phone 7. It creates another problem when the user wants to REMOVE the memory card any time they want (users are stupid, this was a common complaint with WP7 I kid you not, result was WP8 separating the two again). WP 8.1 has a better middle-ground solution. Keep the spaces seperate but make better (and easier) use of the memory card.
  • BMNify - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    Then get Lumia 1520 or 1320 or 630 or soon to be released Lumia 830 and 730, loads of options for MicroSD fanatics.
  • jimbo2779 - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    The issue is that this is meant to be the flagship phone at a reasonable size, the 1520 and 1320 are too big for the majority of users, the 830 is running a far inferior SoC, less RAM, poorer quality screen and camera, everything lower is in the same boat as the 830 or even worse so really the lack of SD card support here is it's main disappointment.

    I was looking forward to this phone so much only to find out it had no SD card support, any user of a Lumia (or other WP phone) with SD card support knows that it is so easy to use and allows for much more space than is available in a phone.

    Would you rather have a phone with 32Gb or 96Gb? I know which I would prefer and I definitely would have bought a 930 outright to replace my 925 as this is an upgrade in every way but for some unknown reason they decided to make it the only phone in this years line-up without SD card support meaning it is a no go for me.
  • Reflex - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    The question is what feature would you drop in order to gain that MicroSD slot? Because the 930/Icon is packed very tightly, it has everything that is in the 1520, yet in a full inch smaller package. Furthermore, it is barely larger overall than most 4.5" phones, so they really packed it tight.

    I am not willing to go with a larger phone. The features they did include are all very useful to me, I'd be pissed to lose, say, Qi charging, for a SD slot. I get that you want it all, but there are tradeoffs. Either you get the 930 with SD but without something else that takes up space, or you get it without SD support, or you get a larger phone that has all of it included (1520). The reason the 1520 exists is because there are some who are not willing to compromise. Quite frankly the 1520 is the phone you should be looking at, it was made with you in mind.

    Also, the 520 has a SD slot not because its a high end feature but because it permits them to sell a phone with very little integrated storage, putting that part of the cost in the hands of the buyer.
  • Samus - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    Most SD cards are slow, the controllers are slow, both add complexity and space to the PCB, most people rarely, if ever, use them, and most importantly, they drain the battery.

    If I were designing a small phone, I wouldn't put in external storage, either. Phablets and Tablets, sure...but with everything (especially WP8) becoming cloud-centric now, I don't see the need for physical media in a phone.
  • ummduh - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    The cloud this, the cloud that, cloud, cloud, cloud cloud cloud.

    Do none of you people ever go outside the city you live in? End up in the mountains? The woods? A back country road that just happens to not have a signal?

    I spend sometimes weeks on job sites out in the middle of nowhere with no signal. No wifi, either, since, ya know, it's a job site.

    The cloud is 100% useless in those situations. Yea it's a neat toy, and can be handy when you never ever lose service. And you're willing to pay more and more for less and less data service.

    Otherwise, you need storage on the device. 16GB, 32GB doesn't cut it. An endless supply is 64-128GB mSD cards, however, does. After apps are installed, I can only put a couple GB of music on my phone before it's filled. And then I get nagged to death by low storage warnings.

    The cloud can go screw itself.
  • Reflex - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    And in your situation that makes sense. However that is an edge case and the market really isn't, nor should it be, tailored to edge cases. Also, as someone who has compared coverage between carriers, I strongly suggest Verizon which tends to work just about everywhere, even in the backwoods, at least in the northern half of the country.
  • ummduh - Monday, September 8, 2014 - link

    So, I should pay extra amounts of money, every month, to stream the same data over and over to my phone, instead of carrying said data on my phone to begin with, and not keep incurring ever increasingly exorbitant monthly fees? What sense does that make?

    Pay to have the amount of data I'd need monthly (10GBish), over, and over, and over, and over.. etc. Or, $25 mSD?

    It's not market tailoring, it's data fees extortion.

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