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Microsoft Lumia 930 first impressions: the brand's salvo against Android flagships

|October 1 2014 |Nokia, Microsoft, Windows Phone 8, Nokia lumia

“While the Lumia 930 is surely a loaded offering, we feel that should have been launched in the country earlier

While Microsoft’s Windows Phone holds a considerable market share in the budget smartphones category, the top-end segment is ruled by Apple and Android devices. It’s not that there aren’t any Windows Phone devices in this price segment, but they are quite old (except the Lumia 1520) and hence can’t match up to the specs of latest Android-laden flagships. The 1520 (review) is a solid device, but many people aren't comfortable in using a mammoth device, thanks to its 6-inch display.

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That changes today with the release of the Lumia 930 in India – a fully-loaded WP smartphone. We were able to spend some quality time with the smartphone at its launch event and here’s how our experience went.

Unlike most Lumia offerings toting polycarbonate bodies, the Lumia 930 follows its predecessor, the Lumia 925 by offering a metallic band running along its edges. It not only lends an attractive look to the smartphone, but also offers a superb handling experience. Unlike the large screen of the 1520, the 930 features a standard 5-inch display. However, compared to most devices with this screen size, the weight of the handset is on the higher side at 165g.

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The rear of the unibody smartphone is constructed using polycarbonate, but it’s of high grade and doesn't look cheap at all. The device is available in a number of colour options such as white, green, orange and black. The rear also houses the primary camera unit and LED flash, along with Nokia branding in vertical position and a speaker mesh at the bottom.

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The 5-inch ClearBlack display of the Lumia 930 bears a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and in one word, it’s absolutely delightful. Colours look extremely pleasing to the eyes and text is also sharp. Couple that with Windows Phone’s live-tile based homescreen, and we felt in love with the screen at first sight. On top of the display, there’s a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, allowing it to survive scratches or minor knocks.

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Giving company to the display at the front is a row of capacitive keys at the bottom and an earpiece, front-facing camera and sensors above. The right spine of the Lumia 930 is home to all the buttons with the power button below the volume rocker, and a dedicated shutter key towards the end. Up top, lies an audio socket, while a micro-USB port is present at the bottom.

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Under the hood, the smartphone is fuelled by a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC, which also offers Adreno 320 graphics. The chipset is supplemented by 2GB of RAM. With such a powerful combination, the device should literally fly even while performing processor-intensive tasks and playing games. However, we weren’t able to try any of those during the event, so we can’t exactly comment on the actual performance aspect of the device just yet... though basic navigation and multitasking was a breeze.

Storage-wise, the Lumia 930 comes with 32GB of flash memory. After accounting for the space taken by the OS, users will be able to access about 26GB for adding their files or downloading apps or games. Sadly, you can’t extend it further since the handset lacks a microSD card slot.

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In the camera department, the Lumia 930 boasts of a 20.7-megapixel shooter with Zeiss optics and Nokia's highly-regarded PureView technology. We took a few shots with the device at the event, and we were quite impressed with the level of detail, but we will have more to say on the snapper’s performance in our review. The rear camera also has optical images stabilisation capabilities and is also able to record full HD videos. At the front, the smartphone has a 1.2MP camera that can shoot videos in HD resolution. The device promises to offer rich audio recording experience as well thanks to its four directional microphones.

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For connectivity, the Lumia 930 supports 3G (nano-SIM slot), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS along with support for wireless charging. The device sips juice from an embedded 2,420mAh Li-ion battery. Windows Phone 8.1 forms the underlying base and offers usual features such as live tiles, Glance Screen, and more.

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Microsoft has launched the Lumia 930 along with its new siblings well in time for the upcoming festive season and it will be going on sale starting October 16th. At the asking price of Rs 38,649, the smartphone is as loaded as it can get. However, we feel it comes a little too late, considering the device was unveiled way back in April during Microsoft's BUILD conference and made its way to India almost six months later. In that time period, the current crop of flagship devices have moved from Snapdragon 800 to Snapdragon 801 and from 2GB RAM to 3GB. Add the fact that Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo have spoilt us by pricing their top-end offerings at a mouthwatering prices, and the Lumia 930 seems quite pricey.



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