Nokia Lumia 625 Review: Big screen, small specs, low price

Summary:Nokia released their largest display Windows Phone device. However, the affordable price comes at a cost to the internal capabilities.

Nokia Lumia 625 Review: Big screen, small specs, low price
Image: Nokia

I have been very happy with my Nokia Lumia 1020 and the 4.5 inch 1280x768 resolution display. Nokia recently released their largest display in a Windows Phone device, 4.7 inches, on the Nokia Lumia 625. However, the affordable cost means most of the internals were cut down to support the large display strategy.

Hardware

The Nokia Lumia 625's primary focus is the large display. It comes in at 4.7 inches with a resolution of 800x480 pixels (201 ppi), which is the resolution of the first generation of Windows Phone devices. It is an IPS LCD with super sensitive touch technology. Windows Phone displays have always looked great, even at this resolution. I've been spoiled lately by higher res displays and we expect that even higher resolution displays are around the corner for Nokia and Windows Phone. While the large display doesn't have very high resolution, it is still well designed with glass that curves down all the edges to give it a great look and feel.

I was sent an orange Lumia 625 to check out and note that you can also buy them in black, white, yellow, and green. The color is only on the back shell piece that also wraps around all the edges. Starting from the bottom front you can pop off the back and see that you can exchange the one that comes with the device with another color if you want to change out the look of your device. The plastic shell feels quite durable and gives the device a rather rugged appeal.

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When you pull off the back you will see that there is an interesting SIM card and microSD card slot arrangement where they are stacked on top of each other on the right side. The battery is not removable, but I see a few screws on the back and imagine you may be able to take it apart to replace the battery down the road.

Nokia has a focus on imaging, but the camera is pretty basic on the Lumia 625. It comes with a 5 megapixel camera without Carl Zeiss optics or anything too fancy. The front facing camera is also a measly VGA quality camera. Photos from the rear camera don't look bad though and are perfectly acceptable for social networks and digital sharing.

All the traditional Windows Phone buttons are on the right side, the headphone jack is on the top, and the microUSB port is on the bottom. There is nothing on the left side. The small flash is found just to the left of the camera lens centered on the upper back.

Like original Windows Phone devices, the Lumia 625 is responsive and I did not notice any lag or performance issues. With just 512 MB of RAM though, I wouldn't count on being able to play lots of high end games. You are limited by the integrated storage of only 8GB, but you can store media on a microSD card.

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Software

The Nokia Lumia 625 ships with Windows Phone 8 and the latest Nokia Amber update. This includes software such as Nokia Smart Camera, HERE Maps suite, Nokia Music, FM radio, Nokia Video Trimmer, and Nokia Video Upload to YouTube.

The device is currently not available in the US, but is being sold as an international unlocked device. With the evaluation AT&T SIM card in the device, AT&T featured apps appear in the Windows Phone Store so you can install them if you desire. There are no AT&T apps installed by default though.

I have covered Windows Phone quite a bit over the past three years and there is nothing particularly new or unique in the Nokia Lumia 625.

Pros and Cons

To summarize my experiences and the specifications of the Lumia 625, here are my pros and cons.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • MicroSD memory card expansion slot
  • Latest Windows Phone 8 software
  • Excellent Nokia apps and services
  • Durable and colorful shell

Cons

  • Low resolution display
  • Limited RAM
  • Low internal storage memory
  • No wireless charging

Pricing and availability

The Nokia Lumia 625 is not being sold in the US by any carrier. However, you can find it from importers, including for just $342.50 at Negri Electronics. It is not yet available in other countries, but is coming soon.

The competition

Most Windows Phones are 4.3 or 4.5 inches in size and the Lumia 625 is the largest display device so far. There are plenty of large screen Android devices, but few that are as affordable as the Lumia 625. If you need a large display for viewing content then the Lumia 625 is a good low-priced option.

Specifications

As you can see in the raw specifications, there were several trade-offs made to lower the price of the Nokia Lumia 625.

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.2 GHz processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage and microSD card slot
  • 4.7 inch 800x480 pixels resolution IPS LCD
  • 5 megapixel camera and VGA front facing camera
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 + LE
  • 2,000 mAh removable battery
  • Dimensions of 133.2 x 72.2 x 9.2 mm and 159 grams

Conclusion

The Nokia Lumia 625 isn't going to blow you away and isn't going to compete for the best Windows Phone title. However, it is designed to be a low cost Windows Phone with a large display and it succeeds in that regard. I am giving it a rating based in large part on the low price that goes along with the device. If we look at the Lumia 625 across the entire Windows Phone spectrum, not considering price, then I would give it a 5 out of 10.

Contributor's rating: 7 out of 10

Further reading

Topics: Mobility, Nokia, Reviews, Smartphones, Windows Phone

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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