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nokia lumia 930 hands on 14

Nokia's Lumia 930 might spark a glimmer of recognition from especially keen tech-watchers. That’s because it was first launched in the USA as the Nokia Lumia Icon on the Verizon network way back in February.

Relaunched and renamed for the UK, the Lumia 930's specs and design are the same as its predecessor, but with the significant difference that it will ship with the new, 8.1 version of Windows Phone when it arrives at the end of June/start of July.

We took Nok-Nok's latest for a test drive. Here’s what we made of it...

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The Lumia 930 mobile phone to ship from Nokia with a full, five-inch, high definition AMOLED display. And it’s just great to see and to use.

The display performs especially well outside, with a bright screen that has great outdoor readability teamed with curved glass and minimal borders.

Fast and snappy could be this smartie’s middle name, with a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor at its heart, plus 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

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Coupled with the new Windows Phone 8.1 OS, this handset feels quick and very responsive – especially when compared to older phones, such as the Nokia Lumia 925.

That was the last top-tier Nokia phone, which this mobile now succeeds, with its dual-core CPU and 4.5-inch display.

First impressions and design

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The Lumia 930's rear houses a great camera, in the form of a 20-megapixel snapper that’s been brought in from the 1520 phablet.

It’s backed by ZEISS optics, with optical image stabilisation and PureView capabilities – as seen in the massive 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 camera phone.

All this allows great pictures to be captured, in one of the best smartphone snapper set-ups money can buy.

The back is also slightly curved, and the pic shows the new colours on offer, with green and orange now added to the high-end range.

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The 930’s side pic offers a glimpse of its full metal chassis, with a more sturdy build that’s akin to the HTC One (M8).

It’s bound to be a selling point and it’s certainly something that distinguishes the Lumia 930 from the more 'plasticy' designs of earlier Lumia kits.

Notifications and customisations

One of the key features of Windows Phone 8.1 is its new notification system, called Action Centre.

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This displays all the happenings from any app, whether pinned to the start screen or not.

It also provides access to the likes of WIFI settings, Bluetooth, Flight mode and a rotation lock, among other key functions.

Other mobile phone operating systems already have similar features, from Apple iOS's Control Centre to Google’s Android. So what Action Centre really does is put Microsoft back in the game with a like-for-like addition to its OS.

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The ethos of allowing more scope for customisation has been carried across to the start screen, where you can now have a picture appear in the background of all the titles.

More apps are said to be enabling this feature and there's even an almost-parallax view across all the tiles.

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Wi-Fi has seen some improvements. Not least in the form of Wi-Fi sense that can intelligently connect to free hotspots, exchanging the required user name and password and accepting the terms and conditions automatically.

It will also be able to share your own home Wi-Fi login details with trusted friends. In turn, they’ll be able to log-in when they visit without asking for your security details.

Data sense, which was a feature of the last update, is now more prominent and allows you to see how much data usage you use in a given month, even down to checking which apps are eating up your allowance.

You've got a new 'high savings' mode to look forward to as well, complete with image compression. There’s even said to be a feature coming where in the event that you reach your data limit, the software can buy in more data with your permission.

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A Word Flow Keyboard, operating rather like Swype, with its fast text entry, has been added to Windows Phone 8.1.

Swiping across the screen, without taking a finger off the display, is its key USP. Impressively, Word Flow recently set a new Guinness world record for fast text entry, previously held by Swype.

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Most evident is the difference in screen sizes, with the 930’s 5-inch 1080p display sitting next to the seemingly rather too compact 925’s 4.5-inch number.

What isn’t obvious in the pic is the 925's dual-core CPU set-up, compared to its newer sibling's quad-core processor. Nor is the fact that the older phone's eight-megapixel camera is comprehensively rubbished by the 930's 20-megapixel snapper.

However, those improvements become very apparent when you’re using the phones.

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Finally, here are three of the four colour options available, with only orange missing. The yellow colour option that marked out earlier Lumia phones was ditched after a Nokia study found that consumers preferred green and orange.

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