Microsoft has been chipping away at Apple and Google in the mobile market and its latest Windows Phone effort is the Nokia Lumia 930. See also: The best phone you can buy in 2014.

It will set you back around £435 on a SIM-free basis which is a good price for a new flagship smartphone. Read: Nokia Lumia 930 gets UK price and release date.

Since jumping on the Windows Phone band wagon, Nokia's handsets have had a particular style. On the most part, this continues with the Lumia 930 which looks pretty standard from the front, but flip the phone over and you'll be reaching for your sunglasses as Nokia has gone for some neon colours.

As well as green, there is a bright orange but users not wishing to stick out like a glow stick in a dark room can choose a black or white model.

Most Lumia devices are entirely plastic but the 930 has a flat aluminium frame running round the edge which gives is a premium feel. The rear cover is nicely contoured and has a soft finish which feels nice but is very slippery.

The downside is that the Lumia 930 is a bit on the chunky side at 10mm thick and 167g in weight. See also: Nokia Lumia 630 review: Affordable Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone.

Windows Phones have been improving on the hardware front over time and the Lumia 930 is one of the best we've seen – starting with the superb 5in screen with uses AMOLED technology and a Full HD resolution.

There's a decent 32GB of storage as standard which is double what is normally on offer but there's no microSD card slot for added more. It's good to see 4G support and the latest 11ac Wi-Fi but if you want addition features such as a fingerprint scanner or IR blaster, you'll have to look elsewhere.

In the engine room is a competent Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor which we've seen in many high-end Android smartphones and 2GB of RAM. Performance is great and Windows Phone 8 runs like a dream on the Lumia 930.

Battery life is always a concern, especially with a big, bright OLED screen. However, the 930's battery lasts pretty well. Unless you're hammering it with videos and games at high brightness, you'll get through a day and beyond.

Another big part of the hardware line-up is the camera which, in the past, Nokia has excelled at – and the 930's 20Mp PureView camera is no exception. It shoots in high res and 5Mp at the same time.

Although the auto focus struggles at times and the metering system tends to underexpose, photos can be excellent so the 930 is a decent choice if you’re looking for a phone with a good-quality camera.

The Lumia 930 is the current flagship smartphone for Windows Phone 8.1 and the latest software is a much more compelling alternative to iOS and Android than previously.

That's because Microsoft has added much needed features like Action Center – a proper notifications system which also has quick settings. It also has a more customisable start screen with more tiles and wallpapers.

When Cortana launches in the UK, users will be able to take advantage of the personal digital assistant.

These are good strides but Windows Phone still lags behind its rivals in terms of apps, especially when you need one to control third-party gadgets like an activity tracker or smart heating system. Developers continue to prioritise iOS and Android in this area.

The Lumia 930 is a step in the right direction with its semi-metal design and decent hardware line-up. We like the screen and camera but it's lacking additional features and doesn't have expandable storage. Windows Phone 8.1 vastly improves things on the software side but the platform is still not top priority for developers.