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Will The Icon Convert You From Android Or iOS?

Nokia Lumia Icon & Lumia 930 Review: Windows Phone, Premium

Once in a while, a smartphone comes along that is so impressive, so technologically advanced, and so sublime, that it can draw you away from your previous operating environment of choice. Nokia's Lumia Icon/930 is not going to be the phone that gets you to switch from Android or iOS, though.

Don't get me wrong. It's great to look at, plenty fast by virtue of its hardware platform, and a pleasure to use in the real world. Even Android and iOS loyalists have to admit this package is tightly-built. If Windows Phone 8 already is your favorite, you can't do better than the Icon, which gets Microsoft on equal footing, hardware-wise, with some of the most advanced devices introduced thus far in 2014. Whether you're talking about its 5" 1080p AMOLED display, quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC, Adreno 330 graphics engine, or 20 MP camera, the Lumia Icon is a strong, well-rounded showing.

For a device to be truly...iconic, though, it needs to best the competition in a number of meaningful ways. As we look for fields where the newest Lumia excels, it only stands above the crowd with the ability to capture directional surround audio. That's a cool advantage, to be sure. But it's not a must-have feature. There might be a handful of folks willing to try Windows Phone 8 for the Icon's quad-microphone array, but Nokia isn't going to convert technophiles en masse like this.

It's certainly possible that the Lumia 1020 won over photography enthusiasts to Windows Phone. But those same folks won't find themselves now compelled to try the Icon. The 1020's camera is superior to the Icon/930 in every way, even though Nokia's new flagship is otherwise technically superior to its Snapdragon S4-powered predecessor.

No, the Lumia Icon and Lumia 930 are for folks who already own a Lumia 900/600/500-series phone, an HTC 8x, a Samsung ATIV, or perhaps a Windows Phone 7 device. It's for brand loyalists who already appreciate Microsoft's niche mobile operating system and want to step up to more cutting-edge hardware. For these users, Nokia's new Lumia represents a big jump forward in screen size, performance, and capability. It's a Windows Phone that you can be proud to pull out of your pocket; it's not one that you have to make excuses for as your more smug acquaintances flash their iPhones and Galaxies.

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