PSA: I am not a guy who usually writes Mobile Reviews or posts videos on tech sites for a living. I used to write for a Windows based blog but no longer do. This post is just an end user review for the international Lumia Icon aka 930 (Rm-1045) which covers things like daily usage on a US based carrier. The only reason that prompted me to do so is mainly to focus on the user segment out there who are not on a carrier which offers the Lumia Icon but like me would still like to get the phone and be able to use it.
If you want a full review of the Nokia Lumia 930 then I am afraid this is not the right place and I recommend you search online for a more “device centric” review from sources like Paul Thurrot, Windows Central, Pocketnow etc.
Now having said that I would like to make a few key pieces about this article clear. I am using the Lumia 930 Rm 1045 HK (Hong Kong) variant that I ordered from eBay. I am using this phone on Simple Mobile (carrier) which also happens to be a T-Mobile MVNO. No, I do not get LTE/4G and I am quite happy with HSPA+ speeds. Yes, I am on the Lumia Denim firmware update. Thanks to the phone being the HK variant. Find out if your region variant got the update or not here or here.
I spent a lot of time researching if this phone would work on my desired network or not. I took a lot of help by reading people’s responses on the Windows Central forums as well as on reddit. So after keeping all the info in mind, I finally plunged to go with the 930. There were doubts if the phone would only get Edge or 2G and I was 80% confident that the phone would get 3G/H atleast which is good enough for me. I do not care the 40mbps LTE speed and am quite satisfied with HSPA (3.5G) data speeds. So if LTE is something which is a dealbreaker for you I would advise you to not get this phone and look for other options. The logical choice here for me was to go with the Lumia 1520.3 which is a T-Mobile variant and is perfectly compatible with TMo networks including LTE. If you are on another carrier, I recommend you go check out the network specs and check if your carrier supports the network listed or not.
Day 1: Quite happy with the phone so far. Charged my phone last night and it was around 94% last night, came down to 88% this morning (7:00am). Then again this is the first night I have had this phone and I assume the battery caliberation process hasn’t fully completed it. I would give it atleast a week to comment on the battery life.
The screen is huge. Yes this is my first 5″ device and I come from the HTC 8X. One haned use is quite tough sometimes. (I have an average palm size). Havent really played much with the Hey Cortana feature and honestly didn’t even try it once. I can see myself not using it anyways and hence I don’t want to turn it on and consume power. Having the power button on the right does take some time in getting used to. I come from a HTC background and all my past WP devices were HTC (HD2..HD7 and the 8X) who have a design philosophy of keeping the power button on the top (even the M8 for Windows). Apart from that, nothing else really that I can think of at the moment, need more time with the device.
Completed a Week: been a week now and I can say I am thoroughly impressed with this device. Was indeed a good investment. The battery calibration is complete and it lasts me all day on a single charge I do every night. Below is a screenshot on what I managed to pull one day with moderate use.
— Siddhartha Kumar (@backlashsid) January 23, 2015
Apps resume fast and smooth enough. The only time I saw the “loading…” screen on app switch was with Spotify. The camera on the device is amazingly good. Night shots are clear as well and this can replace your point and shoot camera.
The only problem I once or twice had was that, this phone is pretty slick and has a tendency to slip off the palms, be careful while you take it out off your pockets. I was thinking of buying a case for it but it would only add more to the thickness. So instead I am just more careful now.