When one talks about flagship products that compete with Android and iPhone in the Windows Phone ecosystem, then there are slim pickings. That being true, but if there is anything that truly competes then it has to be the Lumia 930 which Microsoft launched in India on Wednesday.
Announced at BUILD back in April, the phone was supposed to land in India back in June, but for reasons only known to Microsoft, its launch in India has been delayed.
The Lumia 930 has every possible feature that will be the envy of a flagship class Android phone.
Its metal frame gives it a solidity that is not found in many phones. On the back, it has a plastic cap, which is offered in an assortment of fruity colours. In a way, it blends the best of what the Lumia brand is known for and some modern metallic panache offered by the likes of the iPhone and the HTC One. It is actually a thicker version of the Lumia 830. It has similar straight lines on the side, giving it a blocky rectangular shape.
It is also on the heavier side of things as it weighs 167 grams and is 9.8mm thick. Many users may find it a bit unwieldy.
Its 5-inch 1080P OLED screen is just delightful. It has vivid colours, stunning viewing angles, and good brightness levels. Admittedly, the phone does not have the most natural looking colours, but for most, this will just work fine. We did not test the legibility of the screen under direct sunlight, which we will test in the review.
The Lumia 930 will appease hardware junkies who normally complain about the lack of quality hardware on Windows Phones. It has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, which we have seen on phones like the Nexus 5 and it has 2GB of RAM. Frankly, newer Android phones have a better Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU, but this CPU is a marginal leap over the Snapdragon 800, so it is by no means a deal breaker.
The Lumia 930 has the same 20-megapixel rear PureView camera with optical image stabilisation and Nokia’s famed oversampling technology that we had seen earlier on the Lumia 1520. While, we have not tested the camera of the 930, if the camera of the Lumia 1520 is an indicator, then the imaging prowess of this phone will be really good.
With the Nokia Denim update and the new Nokia Camera app, the camera has also become wildly faster and it features a HTC Zoe like feature, which Microsoft calls Living Images.
It also has a 2,420mAh battery, with support for Qi-Wireless charging. So it ticks all the boxes right?
Unfortunately, the Lumia 930 has lost its edge in terms of design. Now newer phones like the Samsung Galaxy Alpha also feature a metal frame. Arguably, the Alpha has a better design because it is much more slimmer than the 930. The competition is also slowly catching up on camera technology.
Additionally, there is the age-old problem of Windows Phone, which again makes the Lumia 930 a hard sell.
At Rs 38,649, it may be cheaper than its rivals, but its battery life and camera performance remains untested. This is something we intend to find out once we test the product.