Nokia Lumia 930 review

A colourful handset that battles against Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 930 review
The best Lumia, with great design and good helpings of power

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The camera sensor on the Nokia Lumia 930 is a very good one indeed, with the 20MP PureView sensor combined with the familiar Carl Zeiss optics.

The snapper is powerful, reasonably quick and allows you to doe some good post-shot editing too; when you add in the shutter button on top of that you can see why this is one of the better cameras on a phone.

Nokia Lumia 930 review

The main interface can be customised well

The only thing I'd really take umbrage at is the over long time for the shutter to focus and take a snap when using the shutter button. Most users' reflex is to hold and wait for the focus, which can make you think that the long time you'll need to wait here (which is due to the autofocus doing its thing with the LED flash) is the only way to do it.

However, the Lumia 930 is up with many other phones in shutter speed (the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 and HTC One M8) and has pretty clear focus when you full-press the button or tap the screen. In essence, Nokia's actually created a hurdle by making the camera more efficient to use, but that's a good thing, as it leads to users thinking about better pictures.

We rarely need to stop and capture a moving dog, but we often want to grab a quick snap of friends somewhere, and we can wait an extra second to make that picture better.

Nokia Lumia 930 review

Get your head around lenses and the benefits abound

The other issue is the confused camera app itself, although really I should say 'apps'. There are a number on here (not including lenses, which allows you to add other apps into the main app... stick with me here) that do the same thing, and yet aren't all obvious to the new user.

The normal camera app, the one started by pressing the shutter button, is OK. It's got some information on the side, and the aforementioned lenses, but you have to manually add in a flash on/off button to the mix, and to me this is one of the most crucial part of the interface.

Then if you want to use Nokia Camera, which adds in other pro elements and an HTC-Zoe-Like living image, as well as the chance to really get to grips with using more advanced photography skills (the tutorials really help here too, by the way).

Plus you've got the neat ability to drag the shutter and open up all kinds of exposure, colour balance, aperture settings etc, which is a really smooth gesture. By default, this was locked away in a simple app, but the good news is if you head into settings, tap applications, choose 'photos+camera' you'll be able to choose the default app.

It's good that the option is there, but I still don't know why these apps aren't combined. Imagine if that 'shutter slide' function activated Nokia Camera, instantly turning your snapping ability into something a lot more robust.

Both apps are great, and will yield good snaps – plus I love lenses, the ability to open the camera and then decide what I want to use it for – but there's still a step that Nokia / Microsoft can take to integrate the functionality here a little better. At least you can choose the way you want the camera to fire up when you start, plus the chance to add more in from the Windows Store in the future too.

Nokia Lumia 930 review

The post-snap experience is great on the Lumia 930

There's also the ability to film in surround sound thanks to the Dolby support onboard, and the multiple microphones spread around. In truth, I found that the video recording levels were strong, and didn't distort terribly, but who really wants surround sound on a home movie?

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice touch and Nokia should rightly laud the feature, especially as with headphones it sounds much better, but that's not something you do a lot - just accept that it makes the sound that comes into your phone during videos that much better.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.