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

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The Nokia Lumia 930 is a tough phone to place in the market, as it has two skews to it. It's a Windows Phone first and foremost, and is designed to get people who already love the OS to think about sticking around.

It's less of a draw than the Android and iPhone competition, apart from on price, as it still lacks in certain areas (although wins in others) – but if you're considering it, here's how it stacks up against the best:

HTC One M8

Nokia Lumia 930 review

The HTC One M8 is a phone that prides itself on a few central tenets: a strong audio experience, decent build quality, a high-res screen and an alternative camera proposition.

The Nokia Lumia 930 competes on a number of these areas admirably, with its own iconic (if too fat) design, a decent audio experience, the same level of screen sharpness and a superior camera.

If it wasn't for the fact the app experience wasn't as up to snuff, and the design language wasn't so industrial, these would be two very similar phones indeed – although Nokia is still hampered by some of the limitations of Windows Phone.

HTC's also got a finger in the WP pie, and it shows the disparity between the platforms that the company is pushing so much harder with its Android platform.

iPhone 5S

Nokia Lumia 930 review

Why is the iPhone 5S a competitor to the Lumia 930? Well, it's got the same popularity of camera, for a start, and while it doesn't have the same colour palette as the Lumia (that's reserved for the iPhone 5C) it still shares a similar design in terms of sharper edges.

The Lumia 930 is a lot less well-endowed in the app space, but does have the advantage of being a lot cheaper with wireless charging built in, plus that larger screen to ape the best of the competition.

If you're choosing between these two phones, at least wait until September for the iPhone 6 – that's the one that will probably be more of a competitor.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Nokia Lumia 930 review

Samsung's challenger is in a different class to the Lumia 930 – not because it's better, but just because the South Korean brand is following its own path here.

Where Nokia's gone for iconic design, Samsung refuses to add any premium-feeling materials into its chassis, so while it also uses polycarbonate on the rear like the Lumia 930, the Galaxy S5 goes with a faux-metal band around the side, which many users aren't enamoured with.

It does pack more 'innovation' with the heart rate monitor and fingerprint scanner built in, but both phones have strong health apps on board.

Samsung's larger Super AMOLED screen is arguably the superior too, but there's not a lot in it – in short, this is a close contest once you take out the apps argument.


Nokia Lumia 930 review

LG's G3 is a powerful phone, that's for sure, and the one with the sharpest screen around. Its all-new interface is clean and tidy, giving a similar vibe to Windows Phone but with the added bonus of a greater degree of customisation.

The G3 has a much larger screen – at 5.5-inches, it's bordering on phablet – but also comes with a laser focus to supercharge the speed of the camera. However, I prefer Nokia's snapper for overall image quality.

LG has also packed in a much larger battery, although with the high res screen the power consumption is about the same. It also allows you to remove that battery and add in a microSD card, which the Lumia doesn't offer.

Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 930 review

It was tough to choose the 'other Lumia' you might consider, as there are so many out there. The Lumia 1520 is the closest in spec, but the larger screen means that's really for another market.

You might also want to save a lot of money and go for the Lumia 630, which has a lot of the same features shown here but at a fraction of the cost.

But the Lumia 1020 is a good other choice, as it's got a much more powerful camera but doesn't have the same design aesthetic. It's cheaper, and has the same Windows Phone 8.1 OS on board, which means functionally it's very similar.

The rounded unibody design is nice, but I prefer what Nokia's done with the Lumia 930. It's also got a better battery life and a quad-core processor, and if photography is your primary focus (and especially if you're thinking image manipulation) then the 930 is a much faster and more accomplished phone.

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.