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

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.

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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.

Lumia6251

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.

Lumia6252

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

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33 comments
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  • Lumia 625

    I think this device will be extremely popular in countries outside the US. It already grabbed 1% of the Windows Phone market in Thailand since launch and it's sold out on Pre-Orders in India even though it's quite expensive over there.

    I have the Lumia 520 and will check this one out. However I'm actually holding out on upgrading until Nokia goes for 1Gb in their lower tier devices.

    Nokia is doing a great job. Windows Phone grabbed the second spot in South America, South Africa, Russia, Thailand and a few other places. This will only help.
    Dreyer Smit
  • ITs a low end phone

    So tell me another low end phone at that price with that size of a screen? Its getting to the point where even the low end smarthpones are plenty enough to do what 90% of the population wants / needs.
    schultzycom
    • Nexus 4?

      You could always get an Android phone for about that price.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Importing this phone to the US would be stupid.

        The price elsewhere is in the $200 range. And that's brand new. In places like South Africa where the Nexus would set you back $600 this is a really great deal.

        So this phone will sell extremely well
        Dreyer Smit
        • I wasn't aware of that

          Shows what I know.
          Michael Alan Goff
      • The Nexus 4 is at least U.S.$400 in Brazil

        ...running up to over $600, as a quick search on a local price comparison Web site has just shown. And that's only because the real, the Brazilian currency, has just been strongly devaluated against the US dollar. It would cost you at least $500 just a few weeks ago.

        The Lumia 620 can be found here from about the equivalent to U.S.$ 230 - unlocked, as selling locked phones is illegal in Brazil. If the 625 is priced in the same range, it will be VERY competitive in the Brazilian market. Nokia still has a lot of loyal customers and fans here, and it always sells well in what it's one of its leading markets (I would be one such fan myself, were it not for not feeling it's up to its former standards any longer, since several years ago).
        goyta
        • Once again

          I wasn't aware of that.

          Thank you for helping me out with that.
          Michael Alan Goff
      • Reasons for Nexus 4

        Even if I would have to pay a little bit more for a Nexus 4, I would still prefer Nexus 4 over Nokia Lumia 625. Nexus 4 has way more features and better specs - see this comparison for example:

        http://www.versus.com/en/nokia-lumia-625-vs-lg-nexus-4
        AdelaP
  • One More Con

    - Latest Windows Phone 8 software
    Gr8Music
    • What would be...

      your software of choice? Please don't say Android... it's a pile of crap that can't run on anything less than quad-core (I might be exaggerating a bit, but you get the point). Low end Windows phones have essentially the same experience as high end phones... without some of the features. You should try it before commenting... you may come off as intelligent that way :)
      kstap
      • Exaggerating a lot, you mean

        I run CyanogenMod Jelly Bean 4.1 on a two-year-old, 800-MHz single-core Motorola Defy with only 512 MB RAM, and it's pretty smooth - in fact, smoother than the stock Froyo (2.2) it used to run before (true that the Motorola bloatware went away when I updated the OS, but still, it shows that Android isn't as CPU-hungry as you claim it to be).
        goyta
        • Well, my experience...

          ...from two years ago on an HTC Evo, and my fiancé's on a Moto Droid were the following:

          1) Apps constantly forced closed, even built-in stuff like mail
          2) The phone would randomly reboot several times per day
          3) The longer I had the phone, the slower it ran
          4) Battery life on both phones under moderate use was about 4 hours; I had to get the extended battery for the Evo to get it to last all day, otherwise it was pretty worthless as a mobile device

          I moved to the HTC Titan running WP7 and experienced none of the issues I had with Android. My fiancé moved to the 8X and has had a similar experience. All day battery life, no force closes (only for poorly written apps), no random reboots, etc.

          So perhaps Android has improved, but I'm not willing to lock myself into a 2 year contract to find out. WP has been pretty much awesome from day one, even WP7.
          jumbledmess
          • Windows phones

            I have the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8. It has been running just fine. It's a beast, fast, tough, fantastic screen that never gets marked, always looks great. Plays video, captures great photos, plays music, takes video. Yes, it is not loaded with apps...but so what?
            Paul on the Mesa
          • battery life

            ...and the battery life is long, at least a day and a half, sometimes 2 full days before it needs charging.
            Paul on the Mesa
          • whoa!

            Whoa!, that would not be a good thing. Fortunately Android 4.2 and 4.3 doesn't seem to have such issues. Not saying an app will not freeze and have to be restarted -- they have thousands, as you know. Just saying in the coarse of a normal day, using a Nexus4, it works smoothly. I guess you may find some poorly done app which will crash more often, but I have quite a bunch of apps which run just fine each and every day. Battery life depends on brightness of screen and of course what you are using all day, but it seems to last six to ten hours -- like I said, depends on a number of things. I like a bright screen, so I plug it in each night.

            I like Nokia as a company making tough - rugged phones, and may try Windows some day. At least three major apps I like are missing in WP8, and some half dozen others I think I would somewhat miss in WP8. Will see how things shape up in a couple years.
            mytake4this
          • It depends on the manufacturer

            If you get a Samsung, a Sony or an LG then Android runs well. When I had Windows Phone on my Acer I had endless bugs and forced closes. Even the Phone history locked up the phone for minutes when you missed a call. However, before that I had a QTEK 9000 which is now HTC and it ran flawlessly. Depending on how a manufacturer sees the market he will either push out a buggy product or a flawless one. There are some Smart phone manufacturers, regardless of the OS, that I would never buy such as Motorola, Nokia and I also think that HTC is beginning to lose its quality.
            jsargent
          • And my experience

            Is the opposite. I have had my Motorola Droid Razr Maxx for almost 2 years now.

            1) I haven't yet had a forced close on any app.
            2) I haven't yet experienced a reboot that I didn't start myself.
            3) The phone still works as nimbly as it did the first day I got it.
            4) I can get nearly two days of moderate to heavy use before I have to charge it, but I typically charge it each night. No extended battery.

            When I got it, the phone was running Android 4.0. It has been upated to 4.1 now. The only real issue I have with the phone is that I haven't found a decent set of earbuds to use to listen to music while I work out.
            benched42
        • Reminds me of...

          When I read what you read I get a deja-vu feeling

          " (true that the Motorola bloatware went away when I updated the OS, but still, it shows that Android isn't as CPU-hungry as you claim it to be)"

          That got me to Think about Windows. Windows actually runs very stable and fine if it weren't for all the bloatware that all manufaturers put on the machines. But as people never removed the bloatware, windows was stained as a laggy buggy operating system... Guess Android is going down the same road. No normal user will put CyanogenMod on their Android phones so the OS will be tainted by the bloatware it contains...
          brhorv
      • apps

        A day without apps you need, is a day without a smartphone.
        mytake4this
    • One More Con

      Gr8Music's comments
      William Farrel