Which is better on T-Mobile in SoCal - Icon or 930?

Steven Penner

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May 29, 2014
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Hi all - looking to get either Icon or 930 for use on T-Mobile in San Diego. From what I have read, with both devices I should get SMS, MMS, VVM, and HSPA+. With the Icon, I might be able to get LTE but there may be issues with receiving SMS if I can get it and put LTE as my selected speed. Is all that correct? Any special configuration/setup considerations if buying used?

With Lumia 830 coming in at $450, One m8 having a poor camera, and Lumia 735 missing 3G, 4G, and LTE bands on T-Mobile, there don't seem to be any other current gen choices besides the Icon and 930 in the 5" size.

Thanks in advance!


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Nov 12, 2012
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Neither of those will get T-MoUS LTE... The Icon has the right LTE frequencies on the radio, but the wrong class. Neither has the valuable 1700 frequency on the H+ radio for use in areas that have not been upgraded to LTE... You'll constantly find yourself much slower for data than any T-Mo branded phone, no matter whether you are in a refarmed area or not.

If you can't wait till spring to see what comes down the pipe, get a 1520.3. Complete frequency match for all data speeds available on T-MoUS. Seamless Data/SMS/MMS/VVM... The only thing you give up is WiFi Calling, but you do that with any non T-MoUS phone you bring.

Don't let the 6" screen throw you off. It's easy to get used to. 1520.3 equals or surpasses 930/Icon in every regard except ppi (which @ 441 {930} vs 367 {1520} you would have to put the phone ridiculously close to your face to distinguish between) or Gorilla Glass 3 for 930 vs GG2 for 1520.

Plus: 1520 gives you Glance and a microSD slot which 930/Icon doesn't have. The battery on the 1520 is astounding. Most users get 2 days easy.

Nokia Lumia 930 vs. Nokia Lumia 1520 - GSMArena.com

B&H Photo usually has the best price around on the Factory Unlocked 1520.3... And no matter where you go, it is almost always less than the 930!!!

Nokia Lumia 1520 RM-938 32GB Smartphone A00016717 B&H Photo

Make sure it's an RM-938. Some searches bring up the Euro version or the Asian and those are a no go for data speed matching.


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May 11, 2013
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My two cents: I purchased the 930 International Version off Amazon (FGS Traders) and I am LOVING this. Was previously using an unlocked 1020 ATT.
No, there is no LTE, but the processor is so damn fast in the 930 that unless I bench measure, it is really hard to tell the difference between HSPA+ and LTE!
SMS, MMS, Browser, Phone, WiFi - Flawless Operation
Since it's not a T-Mobile device, no WiFi calling - HOWEVER..
On my AT&T Lumia 1020, Internet Sharing would not work except resetting the networks with a foreign SIM card - which worked nicely until the 8.1 Cyan firmware update, which killed the workaround and any chance of Internet Sharing.
The 930 Int'l Version - Internet Sharing on T-Mobile works beautifully!!!

I love this, haven't looked back.
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