The Lumia 930 review – one of the best smartphones of 2014


  • Roughly R7500
  • What you need to know:
  • Full HD 5″ display
  • 20MP main camera
  • Built-in wireless charging
  • Weighs 167 grams
  • Available in green, orange, white or black
  • 32GB memory

What we think you should know:

I’ve sat for the longest time trying to determine some clever quirk or fun thing to add to this review. We usually take phones off to high tea or on road trips to try add some spice. I don’t think any amount of spicing will do this phone justice. It is, without a doubt, the best Windows phone on the market. While the Windows operating system may put you off it shouldn’t. Over the last few months Windows has been launching a host of your favourite apps for the OS and I found, after trawling the app store that most of my app needs were met. Other than Instagram for Windows not allowing video functionality I wasn’t left wanting.


Okay, enough about the operating system. This is a Lumia 930 review so best I review it right? Right out the box I was impressed with the phone. For starters, it is only 5″ which means it sits rather well in the hand. It doesn’t feel light and plasticky but rather sits weighted in your palm. Brendan Ambrose from Tech Human mentioned in his review that the Lumia 930 comes “in orange for professional clowns and construction workers”. I’ll be updating my LinkedIn profile accordingly because my review unit was orange and I loved the way the phone looked. I thought the pop of colour added a little bit of fun and funk to an otherwise dull coloured smartphone market. The Lumia 930 is also available in green, white or black (so the more conservative can let out a sigh of relief).


During our time together I dropped the Lumia not once, not twice and no not even 3 times. The poor phone hit the ground a total of 5 times in our time together. The photos you see here were taken the day I stopped using it – not a mark on it. I’m rather clumsy when it comes to my phones. I drop them a lot. The fact that the Lumia 930 could take a beating was a serious plus for me.


I record all Tech Girl’s videos on a mobile phone. It’s hit or miss sometimes on recording quality. I never missed with the Lumia 930. The video quality was exceptional and even in the bustling chaos that is the rAge Expo, I was able to conduct an interview, record it and still have decent sound quality. You can watch that video here. The photo quality produced by the Lumia 930 beat some cameras on the market but that was to be expected as Windows’ Phones are renowned for their camera capabilities.


One of the things that I need in a smartphone is GPS functionality. I can’t read a map and I forget road maps all the time. It’s so bad that I refer to Highways in Joburg as “the concrete/Soweto highway, the double decker and the airport road” (brownie points for anyone who guesses which ones those names refer to correctly). It’s important that my phone offers up decent navigation. The Lumia 930 didn’t disappoint. Windows has outdone themselves with HERE maps. Moving back to my regular Android phone and Waze was somewhat of a disappointment (Waze is also available on the Windows OS in case you were wondering). HERE maps have also been made available to Android users.


Because I use GPS navigation and the camera so frequently I did find the battery in the Lumia 930 a little lacking. When you’re constantly utilising the high definition display you’ll drain it quicker than you’d like. For the most part I got to about 3/4pm before I needed to recharge. Keep in mind I start my day at 4:30 am so a regular 9 to fiver you’ll likely find the battery life rather satisfactory.

I have a rather great opportunity in that I get to spend time with a host of smartphones. Every other week I’m changing devices. Let me tell you something about reviewing smartphones: there are ones you like, ones you forget and ones you buy. I’d buy this one.

So rad:

  • A good phone “size”. It fits comfortably in your hand and doesn’t push into phablet territory.
  • The camera is out of this world. Nothing compares.

Makes us sad:

  • Honestly? The Instagram app for Windows not being able to post videos.
  • I struggled with the battery. I need more juice.


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