Nokia Lumia 930 vs Lumia 925: What's the difference?

Windows Phone is becoming a more and more compelling smartphone choice, with Nokia particularly leading the charge in bringing innovative features to Microsoft's mobile platform.

The newest flagship device in the portfolio is the Nokia Lumia 930, announced by Stephen Elop on stage at Build 2014 in San Francisco. 

The new handset logically steps in to replace the Nokia Lumia 925, one of our favourite Windows Phone devices. But what exactly is the difference between these two handsets?

Design: Lumia 930 is beefy

The Nokia Lumia 930 is the global version of the Lumia Icon launched on Verizon in the US recently. It moves from the Lumia 925's curved build to one that has a squarer profile. 

However, it sticks to the same design language, offering a metal frame into which the coloured polycarbonate back and glass front fits. The Lumia 930 is a beefier-looking device, the Lumia 925 is one that fits more naturally into your clasping hand.

The Lumia 930 measures 137 x 71 x 9.8mm, an expansion in all directions over the Lumia 925's 129 x 70.6 x 8.5mms. That beefing up is reflected in the weight too: the 930 tips the scales at 167g, the 925 was a mere 139g, some 28g lighter. 

Display: Lumia 930 is larger, sharper

Device updates are about progress and a lot has happened in Windows Phone since the Lumia 925 launched. Support for full HD displays is one thing and the Lumia 930 arrives with a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution display, 441ppi.

The Lumia 925 offered 1280 x 768 pixels over 4.5-inches, 334ppi, so the Lumia 930 is larger, sharper and 16:9 rather than 5:3. Both are topped with Corning Gorilla Glass.

The Lumia 930 competes with flagship Android devices for size and resolution, but the 925 display is pretty good, the 5:3 aspect suiting the smaller size.

We particularly liked the AMOLED display of the 925 and we'd expect the 930 to offer the same sort of colour palette.

Camera: PureView muscle

The Nokia Lumia 925 launched to counter the criticism of the bloated Lumia 920 and brought with it the same excellent 8.7-megapixel PureView camera. As a camera it performs well, offering access to plenty of clever Nokia photo features. 

The Lumia 930 takes PureView to the next level with a 20-megapixel sensor, as found previously on the Lumia 1520. It's a good performer, good in low light, with plenty of advanced features.

Both cameras are supported by optical image stabilisation to keep things blur free, as well as a dual LED flash.

Power: Lumia 930 is built for speed

The Nokia Lumia 930 has a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and 2GB of RAM. We'd expect the same sort of slick experience we had on the Lumia 1520 to be found on the 930. 

The Lumia 925 lags behind in every sense, with a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and 1GB of RAM.

Additionally, the Lumia 930 has a 2420mAh battery compared to the 2000mAh of the 925. We found the 925 lasted most of a day, but not as long as we'd like; the 930 should perform better, but also comes with built-in Qi wireless charging. The Nokia Lumia Icon offers good battery life and we'd expect the 930 to follow suit.

Storage

Neither the Nokia Lumia 930 nor the 925 offer storage expansion: there's no microSD card slot.

The Lumia 930 has 32GB of internal storage and the standard 7GB of OneDrive cloud space. The Lumia 925 comes in 16/32GB models, again with 7GB OneDrive.

Software

The Nokia Lumia 930 launches on Windows Phone 8.1, along with a range of Nokia software tweaks. We're yet to see all of what this device offers, but Nokia has detailed new Living Images and an updated Nokia Storyteller app. 

The Nokia Lumia 925 is currently on Windows Phone 8 with Lumia Black, however Nokia has already confirmed that it will be updated to 8.1, so we wouldn't expect a huge software difference between the two devices. 

As the Lumia 930 is so new, it's software we know the least about at the time of writing.

Summing up

The Nokia Lumia 925 is a great handset, we really like it. It offers great design, a good camera and plenty of features from Nokia to make Windows Phone more enticing.

The Lumia 930 offers more in every direction. The resolution of the camera and the display, as well as that powerful SD800 chip and new software will steal headlines, but the beefier, squarer, design might deter some.

The Nokia Lumia 930 will be available in June 2014. We will bring you a full review as soon as we can.