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

Microphones And Video

While the Lumia Icon's camera isn't groundbreaking, Nokia appears to be pushing audio technology forward with a quartet of microphones. You'll find two unidirectional mics in front and a pair of multi-directional mics around back. This setup (shared with the Lumia 1520 phablet) allows the phone to capture directional sound and minimize background noise. And it actually works, as you'll see in the video embedded below (assuming you have stereo sound hardware to play it back on). We captured the same intersection at the same time using both HTC's One (M8) and Nokia's Icon/930:

Lumia Icon Directional Audio

The One (M8) does capture stereo audio. But it doesn't preserve surround information or cancel out background noise nearly as well as the Nokia. With the Icon, it's clear where the audio source comes from, and that it's moving toward. Nokia boasted excellent microphones on previous models, but this is an impressive advancement.

Video quality is good as well. The clip above should be indicative. After all, it was captured on the Nokia and duplicated for both phones. I simply swapped the audio to represent HTC's One.

As with snapping stills, though, the Icon takes a comparatively long time to focus. You're able to choose between 1080p or 720p at 24, 25, or 30 FPS, to select a preferred audio bass filter (off, 100, or 200 Hz), and toggle directional audio. During video capture, the LED, white balance, and focus can be controlled manually in real time.

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  • Amdlova
    only problem on this phone is (verizon)... if you wanna spend 150us and a 1000 years contract. =) is right that numbers on benchies ? direct 3d working?
  • silverblue
    Sorry for the possible double post, but this comments section is bugged to hell, so...

    I'm surprised by the bloat. My 1020 (with Windows Phone 8.1) has 32GB, of which 29 is available, after O2's (slight) footprint.
  • vaughn2k
    I have a Lumia 925. I will wait for the Windows Phone 8.1 update, that it seems promising... So the question if I will switch from IOS/Android to WP, then I guess I did, the 925 seems also a great phone, and the 'Store' has already a quite considerable amount of programs (or Apps)....
  • aldaia
    Wait, a "flagship Windows phone" powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. Intel push into the smartphone market is certainly doomed.
  • tomfreak
    We just need Lumia 1020 sucessor = Lumia 1030 with snapdragon 800 to handle the 40MP picture. A 40MP Lumia 1030 with snapdragon 800 CPU + 2GB RAM + 32GB storage + SD card expansion + a 3000mah battery will be the killer phone that no one is able beat it. Photography takes a lot of battery drain, since thats how Lumia 1020 good at, I just hope Nokia/Microsoft put a much bigger battery inside for successor.
  • megamanxtreme
    All is well, I still got my Lumia 1520, and it still reigns the king. 920/930 with bigger screen, for the win.
  • Aoyagi
    Yeah, nice toys. About what the reviewer wanted, by the looks of it. But using these things as tools rather than toys for consuming media and maybe reading mail? No way.

    (I had been using Lumia 920 before I returned to 808 PureView. I still have it for testing purposes)

    267802 said:
    I'm surprised by the bloat. My 1020 (with Windows Phone 8.1) has 32GB, of which 29 is available, after O2's (slight) footprint.


    Most of that is the OS itself.
  • satish12321
    Dude, how could you forget LIVE TILES. This single handedly put Lumia ahead of its competitors. Especially the new updates that will make it more informative.
    Android and iOs are like a graveyard of dead icons. If they font adapt, their fingerprint sensor, eye recognition and waterproofing wont be able to protect it.
  • Au_equus
    Don, the specs listed in the table (first page) do not match the description given in the article.
  • jasonelmore
    why the hell does Verizon think they must put their logo on the phone? my god i would never buy a phone that had carrier branding on the front or back of the phone. Plus Verizon's logo is Fugly
  • cknobman
    My comment sucks. (Happy to edit out unnecessarily hostile sentiments for you. Keep it a little more pleasant or the comment will disappear entirely. :)

    You did not even mention one of the coolest and most useful features that this phone offers that no other on the market does.

    The icon/930 comes with software that adapts every element on screen to the lighting conditions it is exposed to. Whether picture, text, or video it will analyze every pixel displayed and either lighten/darken/change contrast to make it perfectly view-able in any lighting condition.

    I saw this feature in person against my own GS4 and an iPhone 5s and it absolutely annihilates the other phones. I took a picture with my own GS4, sent it to the other phones (iphone, nokia) and then compared side by side. In shade the picture was visible. In bright light both the GS4 and iPhone 5S the picture was washed out and darker parts not visible. The 930 software detected the light, analyzed the picture, and dynamically adjusted the picture to make it look the exact same in bright light as it did in the shade.

    Hands down the coolest and most useful feature I have seen on a phone in the last couple of years.
  • shaun_shaun
    still Windows Phone has long way to go. windows apps store still needs lots of improvements with official app support from big developers, optimized apps and regular updates.
  • RedJaron
    418932 said:
    Wait, a "flagship Windows phone" powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. Intel push into the smartphone market is certainly doomed.

    Um, because Intel and MS are supposed to be attached at the hip? So, just because Intel isn't in the newest WP product, it's doomed? Surely that means nVidia is also screwed since their Tegra didn't make it into the 930.


    182819 said:
    why the hell does Verizon think they must put their logo on the phone? my god i would never buy a phone that had carrier branding on the front or back of the phone. Plus Verizon's logo is Fugly

    Nearly every carrier puts it's logo on all its phones. Verizon is no different here.


    59464 said:
    You did not even mention one of the coolest and most useful features that this phone offers that no other on the market does. The icon/930 comes with software that adapts every element on screen to the lighting conditions it is exposed to. Whether picture, text, or video it will analyze every pixel displayed and either lighten/darken/change contrast to make it perfectly view-able in any lighting condition.

    This has been in most Lumia phones, and I'm a fan of it. The auto-brightness setting works very well regardless of the lighting situation you're in. My 925 is perfectly legible in just about any conditions.
  • silverblue
    Quote:
    Yeah, nice toys. About what the reviewer wanted, by the looks of it. But using these things as tools rather than toys for consuming media and maybe reading mail? No way. (I had been using Lumia 920 before I returned to 808 PureView. I still have it for testing purposes)
    267802 said:
    I'm surprised by the bloat. My 1020 (with Windows Phone 8.1) has 32GB, of which 29 is available, after O2's (slight) footprint.
    Most of that is the OS itself.


    My original post was wrong; on my 1020, there's 29 of the 32 available to start with, of which 2.82GB is taken up by the system. Assuming a couple of gigs of apps and data, that still seems a bit better than what you get on the Icon. I suppose the lack of O2 bloat on my phone is because I didn't get it directly from them, though had I done so, it would've been the 64GB version... :|
  • cknobman
    Quote:
    This has been in most Lumia phones, and I'm a fan of it. The auto-brightness setting works very well regardless of the lighting situation you're in. My 925 is perfectly legible in just about any conditions.


    You are in for a treat then because they have enhanced it and it is even better for the 930.

    They had a 920 and 925 on display there as well and while they did a decent job of auto adjusting it was 10x better on the 930. The representative said they reworked the software's algorithms to do a better job.
  • BranFlake5
    What's the appeal of a windows phone over an android counter part?
  • Cryio
    Quote:
    What's the appeal of a windows phone over an android counter part?


    In the case of this device: Perfectly smooth performance no matter what you do. You can forge the phone all the time and with how many apps you want, this thing will not slow down, compared to Android. Plus the scrolling is butter smooth. Flawless 100% of the time.

    It's also easier and in my opinion more fun to use.

    Also, like iOS, you can't screw you device installing/running too many apps.
  • shaun_shaun
    too many Windows fanboys talking nonsense about Android. just try a custom ROM like CyanogenMod without bloatware if you think Android is slowing down in mulch-tasking. I'm sure Win Phone 8.1's notification center and other improvements will bring much more improvement in the near future. but as I said before you cant deny the fact that windows phone store still lags far behind compared to the competition. yes there are some good apps but overall its like a deserted island.
  • KungMagnus
    Very sad about this review. Was looking for a reason to replace my 4s which I was never very happy with, not yet I guess.
  • nebun
    this phone has so much junk on it...this is one reason why i love my iphone 5s, clean and junk free
  • red77star
    Great device with a wrong OS on it.
  • agnickolov
    Icon is of little interest to me since it only works on Verizon. The real question for me is whether Lumia 930 will work on T-Mobile and will it be offered in the US.
  • DragonSage
    I own the Icon and would like to add some things here:

    The OS takes up about 3GB, most of the space used on the phone when its purchased is HERE maps. All of the US maps came installed but you can delete them and just download what you need. Verizon's crapware is almost all either removable or able to be easily disabled as well.

    The Icon is not as bulky as they make it sound, in fact I find it to be rather thin, light, and well balanced.

    I highly recommend it, its the perfect Windows Phone and I have no complaints with it. Installing WP8.1 makes it much more usable as well.
  • Antonio Java
    More accurately, based on Nokia's naming convention, the Lumia 930 is the successor of the Lumia 920, if that much isn't obvious. The 930 is the "full-featured, high-end smartphone" of Nokia, as with all 9XX models (like the 920 and its variants the 925 and 928, and the older Lumia 900 running Windows 7.8). The 8XX (820, 822, 800) are the medium-high, the 7XX are the middle, 6XX for the med-low, and the 5XX as entry level. The four-digit models are specialized niche-market models, the 1020 catering to the photography niche, the 1320 for the business users (similar role to the venerable Nokia Communicators and E-series), and the 1520 for the multimedia phablet user.

    Therefore, a true successor to the 1020 would expectedly be named the 1030, likely sporting an improved version of the 41-MP sensor, just as the 1020 was the successor to the old 808 (that one used the old, pre-Lumia naming scheme).