Lumia 930 vs. Huawei Ascend P7 – budget flagships

There have been quite a few new releases from various OEMs this year such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z3. The problem with all these flagships is that if you’d rather not get involved with a carrier and want an unlocked phone, you will have to muster up a lot of cash, all of these phones costing well above $500. If you are a convinced tech enthusiast and would like to benefit from the most the mobile technology world has to offer, you should definitely get your spending in check and spare that cash to buy your flagship of choice. But for those who are on a budget, we mustn’t forget about the Nokia Lumia 930 and the Huawei Ascend P7.

The Lumia Windows phone line has become quite popular, and the Lumia Icon is the best Windows phone you can find out there, not to mention the best smartphone camera on the Lumia 1020. Huawei has also become a pretty big brand worldwide, thanks to the affordable, yet powerful phones the company has been developing for their customers. The Huawei Ascend Mate 7 is one of the best and cheapest phablets you can find out there. But if you’re not into phablets, the Lumia 930 and the Huawei Ascend P7 should definitely be on your list of smartphones to check out.

The Lumia 930 and Ascend P7 offer flagship performance for a reasonable price. The Lumia 930 currently retails for $480, whilst the Huawei Ascend P7 is available for around $400, so they’re definitely cheaper than the $720 Galaxy Note 4, or the $650 iPhone 6 costs. Evidently, these are off-contract prices. If you are looking for a smartphone that offers great design and performance, but you’ve got a limited budget, you should definitely read on to check out how the Lumia 930 compares to the Ascend P7 and which phone would suit you best.

The Lumia 930 measures 137 mm in height, 71 mm in width and 9.8 mm in thickness, so it’s a pretty hefty phone, but you’re surely used to that if you’ve used Lumia phones in the past. If not, the thick solid build of the Lumia 930 might put you off at first. Nonetheless, it does have an ergonomic design with a flat back and a pop-out display which look and feel great. The Ascend P7 measures 139.8 mm in height, 68.8 mm in width and 6.5 mm in thickness. Clearly, if you would rather have a thinner phone with more maneuverability, the Ascend P7 would suit you better than the Lumia 930 would. The bezels on the two devices are more or less the same, so there won’t be any excessive space around your screen to bother you with either one. The Lumia 930 is also quite heavier than the Ascend P7, weighing 167 grams compared to the 124 grams the Ascend P7 weighs.

The Lumia 930 sports a 5 inch AMOLED display with 1080*1920 resolution and 441 ppi pixel density, which will give you a crisp and colorful experience whilst using Windows 8.1 with which the Lumia 930 comes with. The AMOLED display on the device offers bright and vivid colors and pretty good angles, although it’s not as sharp as the uber display on the Galaxy Note 4. The Ascend P7 has a 5 inch IPS LCD screen with the same 1080*1920 resolution and 441 ppi pixel density as on the Lumia 930. If you hold the two devices side by side, you might be able to notice that the display on the Lumia 930 is just a bit brighter, but otherwise, the IPS vs AMOLED difference is negligible so it shouldn’t be a major differentiating feature when comparing these phones.

Both the Lumia 930 and Ascend P7 feature Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancement, so the speakers on these phone will surely cater to your sound needs. Both smartphones also feature Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, microUSB and FM Radio, but neither have IR blasters, which might put some of you off. Nonetheless, if you don’t need a remote-enabled smartphone, connectivity-wise both the Lumia 930 and Ascend P7 will surely satisfy your needs.

As for OS, it remains up to you to decide whether you like the Windows 8.1 on the Lumia 930 or the Android KitKat with Emotion UI on top on the Ascend P7. Both Windows 8.1 and Emotion UI are very colorful and bright, but you need to decide whether you would like to benefit from the Windows features or from Android features. I would choose the Ascend P7 because I have an unnatural affinity for Android, but only on smartphones. I prefer Windows when it comes to tablets, for example. Nonetheless, the Lumia 930 and Ascend P7 both run their respective operating systems without any lag or inconvenience whatsoever.

As for processing power, the Lumia 930 features a quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU with Adreno 330 GPU and 2 GB RAM, backed by 32 GB internal storage, but no microSD card slot. The Ascend P7 makes use of a quad core HiSilicon Kirin 910T CPU with Mali-450MP4 GPU backed by 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage, expandable to 64 GB via a microSD card. Both phones have the same kind of GPU with similar clock speeds, although the Ascend P7 CPU is clocked at 1.8 GHZ whilst the Lumia 930 has a 2.2 GHz clockspeed. Nonetheless, both run graphics intensive games without a glitch, but the Snapdragon CPU on the Lumia 930 is a bit more reliable in the long-term in my mind. On the other hand, the absence of a microSD card slot on the Lumia 930 favors the Huawei Ascend P7 because 32 GB space is usually enough, but it doesn’t hurt to have the possibility to extend that space.

The ┬áNokia Lumia 930 camera is superior to that on the Ascend P7 camera, mostly because most Lumia phones are designed with the camera as one of the most important features. The Lumia 930 sports a 20 MP rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilization, dual LED flash and autofocus, face detection, geo-tagging, panorama, PureView technology and dual capture. The front camera on the Lumia 930 isn’t very interesting though, with a 1.2 MP sensor. The Ascend P7 ┬ácamera seems inferior with its 13 MP sensor featuring autofofus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, smile and face detection, panorama and HDR. The selfie camera on the Ascend P7 is superior to that on the Lumia 930, with a whopping 8 MP sensor, putting it in line with devices like the Oppo N1, Nokia Lumia 730 and Sony Xperia C3. That being said, you should think about what kind of photos you take on your phone usually. If you prefer selfies, the Ascend P7 should be perfect for you. If you prefer using your rear camera, though, the Lumia 930 is clearly your best choice for under $500.

The batteries on both the Lumia 930 and Ascend P7 are pretty good, with a minor difference between them. The Lumia 930 has a 2420 mAH battery whilst the Ascend P7 has a 2500 mAH battery. The Ascend P7 does have power saving modes that can help the phone last for up to 14 hours of mixed used, whilst the Lumia 930 will only hit the 12 hour mark. That’s not a bad performance taking into account the pretty power-consuming screens both these devices have. Windows OS is said to be more battery efficient in some cases, but Android KitKat works just as well on the Ascend P7. In my opinion, battery life is yet to become optimal on smartphones, but the Lumia 930 and Ascend P7 have acceptable endurance times.

Overall, the Nokia Lumia 930 and Huawei Ascend P7 both have their ups and downs, but they both perform really well and offer flagship features for half the price. They are not waterproof like the Galaxy S5, and they don’t have 4K screens like the Galaxy Note 4, nor fingerprint sensors like the iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4. But these are premium features which you will have to pay a hefty price for. In conclusion, if you are on a budget, but still want a phone as close to a flagship as possible, both the Lumia 930 and Ascend P7 should do.