Hands-on Review

Nokia Lumia 930: First impressions of the new flagship handset

Lumia 930 has a stunning good-looking screen

It's always exciting to get hold of a new handset, and we’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Lumia 930. Today, one found its way to WinBeta HQ. A full review will be coming up soon, but to kick things off, we thought it would be good to share our first impressions. Let's begin.

The very first thing you'll encounter is the box. Hardware packaging is usually fairly innocuous, but the Lumia 930's packaging is a little different. Look at the shape and you'd be forgiven for thinking it contained software, but the glossy photo gives the game away.

That said, the image is slightly confusing--it makes the 930 appear much larger and wider than it is in real life. Still, it a quality piece of packaging, slightly reminiscent of the attention-to-details more readily associated with Apple.

Lumia 930 packaging

Pull the phone out of the box and you're struck by a few things. Firstly, it is all but identical to the likes of the 925 and 928. Secondly, it's really quite heavy. Tipping the scales at 167g, it's certainly no lightweight, and the fear is that this will make the phone less pocket-friendly than some alternatives. It's pretty chunky, and it's hard not to compare it to more svelte options and wonder where all of the bulk has come from.

Lumia 930 -- Looking good right out of the box

The Lumia 930 has a very high-quality feel to it. Like other Lumia handset, it feels solid--very solid indeed--and this is a sense that is increased by the aluminum frame that surrounds the phone. The quality continues with the screen which looks simply amazing. It's a definite strongpoint, and something that will surely prove to be a major draw.

But the handset is not all that's in the box. In addition to the regular USB charger, there's also a wireless charging plate. The Lumia 930 is far from being the first handset to support wireless charging, but the decision to include the accessory as standard was a superb one--whoever made it is to be congratulated.

Lumia 930 wireless charger
Lumia 930 charging wirelessly

This is a Qi charger so you can use it will other devices that support the standard. The plate itself is nothing special to look at--and it's rather thicker than I would have hoped for--but using it is simplicity itself. No more fumbling for the end of a cable, just pop the phone onto the disc and the battery will be charged up.

There's a slightly magnetic pull that assures you that you have correctly positioned the handset, and a gentle white light lets you know that charging is underway.

The rear is very orange--and not removable

The rear of the phone is fairly unremarkable, save for the fact that the cover cannot be removed (and that the model Nokia sent us is orange. Sorry… ORANGE! Very, very orange indeed). The fixed back is not completely unusual, but it is annoying for anyone who like to carry a spare battery on longer trips.

Another slight disappointment comes when you look around the perimeter of the handset. Volume control? Check. Power button? Check. Dedicated camera button? Check. USB port for when you're away from the charging plate? Check. SIM card slot and headphone port? All present and correct.

What's missing, once again, is a microSD slot. You're stuck with the internal storage and there's no scope for expansion. Not a problem for everyone, but for anyone looking to house lots of music, videos and photos, it's something to keep in mind.

Lumia 930 has a stunning good-looking screen

It's hard not to mention the screen again--I'm looking forward to working with the phone because it's just so good to look at. Windows Phone 8.1 pre-installed is good to see, and the changes that this version of the operating system brings are immediately obvious right from the start. The home screen is now colorful rather than virtually monochrome.

We're going to test drive the phone for a little while to get a proper feel for it before publishing a full review -- so watch this space! If you’ve already got one of these handsets for yourself, share your thoughts and experiences below; we'd love to know what you think of it.

For those of you curious about the Lumia 930, sound off with your questions about the device in the comments below and we will try hard to address them in subsequent posts. Stay tuned!