In an attempt to show it hasn’t lost its touch with its customers, Nokia has been releasing a series of stunning devices — especially in the Lumia range. Tech journalist Richard Annerquaye Abbey looks at the features of the Lumia 930 and whether they are enough to survive in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.
Nokia, now Microsoft Devices after being acquired by Microsoft, is trying hard to regain its position as a leading phone manufacturer having been overtaken by rivals at Samsung, Apple and even HTC.
Recently, the company released its Lumia 930 in response to the up-market appetite mostly dominated by iPhone and Samsung.
It is obvious quite a lot of investment in both time and money has gone into the Lumia 930. But will it be enough to turn around the Finnish-based company’s fortunes? Much as the functions of the Microsoft flagship device have been lauded, will it be able to hold its own against market-peers?
So what makes Microsoft think that the Lumia 930 will be such a sellout? I will start by dissecting the phone’s features.
Windows phone 8.1 OS
The phone, unlike its predecessor Lumia 925, runs on the Windows Phone 8.1, an upgraded version of the Windows Phone 8.
The OS has come a long way in four years, and it’s not surprising its tile-based user interface is becoming increasingly friendly and intuitive.
A quick glance at a Windows Phone 8.1 screenshot will tell you that Microsoft has not fundamentally changed how Windows looks on a phone.
The most important interface change Windows Phone 8.1 brings is that it lets you display more Live Tiles on your home screen than before. A Show More Tiles mode squeezes three rows of normal-size Live Tiles onto your home screen rather than the normal two.
One key benefit of tiles on the home screen is that it you can pin your favourite apps there to put them within easy reach so you don’t have to search for them in the menu.
The next obvious interface change in Windows Phone 8.1 is that you can now put an image behind your home screen.
Action Centre, a drop-down notifications bar, is a feature hitherto absent on all previous versions of Windows Phone. After much clamouring, Microsoft decided to include it in the 8.1.
You can even access Action Centre from the lock screen. And in the Settings menu you can choose the feature toggles that go into the drop-down, and the apps that get access to Action Centre.
There’s lot of resemblance of this feature to that which already existed on Android OS. Much as the Lumia 930 has lots of interesting features, the Action Centre is not one of them.
Traditionally, the Windows Phone is not particularly receptive to app developers. But this is fast changing, considering that the Store now is home to some 300,000 apps.
That notwithstanding, this number is comparatively small compared to what is available on the other stores — particularly Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, with each having at least 800,000 apps.
Of course, Microsoft will hope that its justification of a non-liberal-app community due to its fixation with security for its users will not soon be embraced by smartphone users.
The device comes with a 5-inch display: a 1080p AMOLED Clear Black panel nestled under a sheet of Gorilla Glass 3 and weighing 167 grammes. The thing about the Gorilla Glass3 is that not only is it scratch-resistant but you can be sure to pick up your phone in a single piece when you accidentally drop it.
The Lumia 930 has a full HD screen and comes with Nokia’s clear black display technology, which allows seamless sunlight readability — you won’t have to squint to see what’s on your phone’s display when you out there on a sunny day with your Lumia 930.
For the lovers of Instagram and other social media, the new Lumia should excite you. On the imaging front, the 930 has a more-than-capable 20-megapixel PureView camera with f/2.4 aperture.
Windows Phone is designed to run smoothly on super-cheap hardware configurations, so with a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 and 2GB of RAM to work with, the 930 does it better than any.
The Lumia’s 2,420mAh battery will keep the phone going at least a full day, even with intensive use.
At a time when innovation in the smartphone market is dying out, it is refreshing to know Microsoft remains one of the few companies to keep coming out with lots of innovative features on their device.
Much as the Lumia 930 remains a wonderful piece of creation, Microsoft may have to consider the weight of future models in the Lumia family, as the 930 feels a bit clunky when you holding it.
Also, Microsoft may also have to take a second look at the aesthetic design of its gadgets, and next time come out with more distinctive models. Other companies are already doing this and Microsoft could take a cue.
These aside the Lumia 930 remains one of the most sought-after smartphones of its generation, and per its features it’s worth the buy.