Nokia Lumia 930 vs Lumia 735

Nokia's selfie snapper goes head-to-head with its flagship phone

In perhaps its last hurrah under the Nokia branding, Microsoft has two Lumia handsets fighting it out for your hard earned cash. Running Windows Phone (currently sitting at 8.1 as Windows 10 adds the final touches to its battle armour) there is little, if anything, to differentiate on the interface front. These two phones might have the same OS and Lumia branding, but the Lumia 930 and 735 couldn't be more different.

Microsoft's flagship Lumia 930 unsurprisingly packs in a lot more than its smaller brother, but the Lumia 735 packs some surprising weapons. Want to know which is best for you? Well, step on up and check out our handy guide.

Style AND substance?

It's immediately obvious that both the Lumia 930 and the 735 come with wholly different design languages. Like nigh-on every smartphone to date, the screens dominate proceedings. Big glass fronts and black bezels are the order of the day, but there's little other resemblance between the two Lumias.

Given its higher price tag and its desire to compete against the HTC One M8 and the iPhone 6, Nokia's Lumia 930 is fitted with a hard edged metal chassis. It does still offer a plastic back, coming in a variety of colours to suit your personality.

This isn't swappable though, so make sure you pick the right one.

With a cheaper price tag, the Lumia 735 comes enveloped in a rounder plastic chassis in the same colours as the Lumia 930; a very bright green or orange, or the more muted black and white. These are theoretically changeable though, so will suite the younger crowd who chop and change like the weather.

If you're after a handset to be noticed green and orange are the way to go, but for the professional on the go it would be a mistake not to go for the black or white.

Your pocket cinema

Looks aren't just about the body though. Screens take over the front of smartphones, so investing in the right one is important. Again the best tech has been saved for Nokia's flagship, a 5-inch Full HD AMOLED screen. This makes it perfect for watching movies on the go, with the ClearBlack technology offering brilliant colour reproduction.

The Lumia 735 also comes with a HD screen but has been shrunk to a 'mere' 4.7-inches and lacks the same 1080p resolution. Nokia has felt fit to bless it with an AMOLED ClearBlack screen though, so movie watching might not be as wondrous as on the Lumia 930 but it is still very pleasant.

To fight its high powered competition, Microsoft has also given the Lumia 930 high powered processors. A 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC and 2GB RAM help its cause, ably running heavy apps and aiding in the swift movement throughout the device.

The same can't be said for the Lumia 735, with its 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 often struggling to really turn you into a power user. Rolling through high-powered apps is more than possible, but loading screens soon become a little too familiar.

A costly selfie

Nokia's place in the cameraphone market is too long and unwieldy to run through here, but suffice it to say it would be a complete disservice to the Nokia name for either handset to come with mediocre snappers. Thankfully there is help in the form of Carl Zeiss optics sitting on both.

Showing its flagship qualities, the Lumia 930 comes with a whopping 20MP on the back although the front sports a slightly subpar 1.2MP. That means selfies won't come out amazingly, but will be enough for random Snapchat messages and cheeky Instagram posts.

The real photographic talent lies around the back, with all those pixels adding up to build a camera capable of rivalling even the best Androids, such as Sony's Xperia Z3. The image quality we noticed shows that Nokia's PureView technology in the 930 creates shots that are rendering compact cameras obsolete.

Selfie lovers are well covered with the 735. While there's a 6.7MP sensor on the rear, capable of delivering sufficiently clear shots to share online, the real love has been given to the front. A 5MP sensor matches the higher end and will certainly deliver some awesome shots of your face, although it won't make you prettier (we'll leave that job to the HTC Desire Eye).

In battery stakes there is little difference, at least in terms of size. Where the 930 comes with a 2420mAh supply, the 735 comes with 2200.

This small difference in size translates massively in use though, but not how you might expect. The lower power and resolution of the Lumia 735 provides a much lesser strain on the power pack. This means that despite the Lumia 930 coming with a really impressive battery, it was still beaten by its smaller brother in terms of life between charges.

One of the biggest differences between the two Lumias is the price tag. The flagship handset unsurprisingly comes with a flagship price tag, available free on contract from £26.50 per month. This makes it almost double the price of the £14.50pm Lumia 735. That price difference is matched SIM free too, with the £400 Lumia 930 doubling the £200 Lumia 735.


Both the Lumia 930 and Lumia 735 are decent handsets in their own rights, bringing their own charms and personalities to the market.

Those after a flagship will immediately gloss over the Lumia 735 with the Lumia 930 being an attractive proposition; the metal build is fitting, the rear camera takes some decent shots and the high powered processors breeze through heavier apps with aplomb.

Its bright colours aren't ideal for those trying to fit in within the corporate world, but thankfully a black version is available.

With a cheaper price tag, it is clear that the Lumia 735 is being aimed at the younger market. A 5MP front camera should also be a massive clue. Nokia hasn't left the Lumia 735 wanting though, its HD screen is ideal for watching YouTube and the battery life is nothing short of impressive.