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Nokia Lumia 930: Quick View

The Nokia Lumia 930 has officially landed in New Zealand, and I've had an opportunity to play with the new Windows Phone flagship - and I came away impressed.

Aside from the gigantic Lumia 1520 (which isn't officially available in NZ) the 930 is far and away the most powerful Windows Phone device currently available, packing a 1080p screen, quad core Snapdragon 800, built-in wireless charging and a 20mpixel PureView camera - it is the first Windows Phone to take on Android phones spec for spec.

The design of the 930 is conceptually closer to the 925 than most other Lumia handsets thus far, with a metal band and polycarbonate back panel. In the all-black version that I tried this looked very classy - with the deep blacks of the OLED screen meaning that the device has an almost Sentinel like look, black blends into black blends into black drawing your eye to the black. If black doesn't float your boat then one of the very colourful other options will probably be a better choice for you.

In the hand the 930 feels just right - no uncomfortable edges, a nice grippy back so you don't feel like it's about to leap from your hand; and a good weight. Not so heavy that you'll tire of holding it, but heavy enough to make it feel like a quality item in the hand. This phone is a tactile success.

In operation it feels like any other Windows Phone - slick and smooth in operation. The areas where the 930's high specs make themselves felt are in the fast app resume - which finally feels fast - and in launching the camera, which matches the launch time seen on other platforms, finally.

Whilst the camera doesn't pack the massive 41mp sensor of the 1020 it more than makes up for it with the speed of capture. Whereas the shot to shot time of the 1020 is between four and five seconds (saving that massive 41mp image being the culprit here) the 930 is a much more reasonable at around the one second mark. 

The 5" 1080p screen is the highest resolution on a Windows Phone (now matched by the HTC One M8 for Windows) and like all Nokia screens before, it's bright, has great colour tone and deep blacks.

As things stand this is the best Windows Phone that you can buy right now, even the arrival of the new HTC device probably won't change that. As an all-rounder device it has pretty much everything you could ask for and more - the quad microphone setup, for example, should provide outstanding audio clarity in video recordings.

What it probably won't do is convert you to Windows Phone if you weren't wavering already. Hardware has never been a stumbling block for Microsoft and good as the 930 it isn't going to bridge the gap that Windows Phone has to Android and iOS.

However, the hardware advances present in the 930 (and the 1520) added to the advances being made with each iteration of Windows Phone, mixed up with more and more support from third party developers add up to a gradual closing of that gap. 

At NZ$800 the 32GB Lumia 930 is significantly better priced than its direct competition, whether that will be enough to gain significant penetration into the Samsung-dominated Kiwi market is questionable. However in those markets where Windows Phone is doing well already I can see this leading a charge to even greater market share.


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