Nokia Lumia 925 review

Nokia Lumia 925 review

Summary: The Lumia 925 is a slimmer and lighter Windows Phone 8 handset than its 920 predecessor, with a neater and more ergonomic design. It lacks integrated wireless charging but supports LTE and NFC, and has an excellent 4.5in. AMOLED screen.

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  • Editors' rating:
    8.0
  • User rating:
    5.4
  • RRP:
    £392.00

Pros

  • Slim, lightweight, ergonomic design
  • High-quality 4.5in. AMOLED screen
  • Includes some excellent Nokia apps

Cons

  • Could benefit from a higher-resolution screen
  • Wireless charging now an optional extra
  • Extensive software bundle eats into internal storage
  • No MicroSD card slot for storage expansion
  • Expensive

Nokia's Lumia range of Windows Phone handsets now runs to twelve models listed at the company's UK website. All except one of these, the recently announced Lumia 1020, sits beneath the Lumia 925 in the pecking order of specifications and price.

The Lumia 925 updates the Lumia 920, which had a mere six months at the top of the Lumia range. That will surely irritate those who purchased this high-end handset expecting a year or so of top-end status.

The Nokia Lumia 925 costs around £470 (inc. VAT; £392 ex. VAT) SIM-free; it's also available free from Vodafone, with an exclusive 32GB (rather than the standard 16GB) of storage, on a £34-a-month contract.

nokia-lumia-925-1
Nokia's slimmed-down Lumia 925 is 2.2mm thinner and 46g lighter than its 920 predecessor. (Image: Nokia)

Design

The 4.5-inch Lumia 925 is considerably slimmer and lighter than the 920 — 70.6mm wide by 129mm deep by 8.5mm thick and 139g versus 70.8mm by 130.3mm by 10.7mm and 185g. This makes the new handset a lot easier to carry and use one handed. The shiny plastic chassis of the 920 is gone, replaced by a design that marries metal edges with matte, rubbery and tough plastic. That makes the Lumia 925 is less interesting to look at than the 920, but more usable.

Nokia's attention to detail in the build is praiseworthy. The camera lens on the back sits in a slightly raised circular section. This affords it some protection from scratching, but is probably also due to the fact that the handset is just 8.5mm thick and the camera requires a little additional depth. The required few millimeters have been carefully designed in.

The metal edges are four separate pieces. Rather than simply connect them so that we can see the join, Nokia has used differently coloured strips of material that themselves become a design feature. They stand out most on the white version of the Lumia 925; they're hardly noticeable on the black model.

nokia-lumia-925-back
The Lumia 925's 8.7-megapixel camera lens protrudes, stylishly, from the backplate — which is not removable. (Image: Nokia)

The Lumia 925's backplate isn't removable, so your SIM sits in a caddy on top of the chassis. As usual, you access the caddy by poking a tool (an opened-out safety pin will do) into a small hole. In many handsets the caddy pops out completely, but here it's hinged so it can't fall out. However unlikely, such mishaps do happen.

The Lumia 925's ports are on the top edge: alongside the SIM card slot there's a MicroUSB port and a headset jack. The buttons — volume rocker, power and camera — are on the right side. It's all quite minimalist and ergonomic.

The Lumia 925's screen measures 4.5 inches across the diagonal, which is a compromise between the 4in. common on low-end and mid-range smartphones and the 5in.-plus you'll find on flagship phones like Samsung's Galaxy S4. One-handed use may elude those with small hands, but it's a good size for media-rich activities such as video viewing and game playing. Professional users will appreciate the amount of text you can accommodate on-screen, which makes the Lumia 925 a good platform for email handling and website browsing.

The Lumia 925's AMOLED screen delivers excellent image quality. Its resolution of 1,280 by 768 pixels (332ppi) is the same as the 920's, but the latter uses IPS LCD technology rather than AMOLED. If necessary, you can tweak the colour saturation of the 925's screen to your preference.

nokia-lumia-925-angle
The Lumia 925's 4.5in. screen is an AMOLED unit, in contrast to the 920's IPS LCD. Both have the same 1,280-by-768-pixel resolution. (Image: Nokia)

Features

With a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM, the Lumia 925 is a capable handset. When you've downloaded an app it generally runs smoothly, and we found the Lumia 925 to be a responsive and snappy performer during the review period.

There's 16GB of internal storage — unless you get your Lumia 925 from Vodafone, in which case you'll get 32GB. Our review sample was a 32GB Vodafone unit, and out of the box had 26.5GB free. The remainder is consumed by the operating system and Nokia's range of preinstalled apps. There's no MicroSD card slot for expanding the on-board storage, be it 16GB or 32GB, but you do get 7GB of free (SkyDrive) cloud storage.

The Lumia 920 had integrated wireless charging, but this is not present in the 925 model. It can be added via an optional charging cover, which will increase the phone's bulk and price. As well as Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth (3.0) and LTE (up to 100Mbps down, 50Mbps up), the Lumia 925 supports NFC (Near Field Communication) and has an FM radio.

Windows Phone 8 is as familiar enough, its blocky live tiles comprising the main screen and giving the Lumia 925 exactly the same generic appearance as any other modern Windows Phone 8 handset. You can vary the live tiles on show and change the colour scheme, but that's all you can do by way of personalisation.

Nokia enriches the Lumia line with its own apps, although the navigation ones have been renamed HERE (HERE Maps, Drive+, Transit and City Lens) and made available to other Windows Phone makers. Nokia is therefore diluting one of the factors that makes its handsets stand out from the Windows Phone crowd.

There's further bespoke enhancement in the camera. Windows Phone can use software add-ons to enhance the camera features, and the Lumia 925's main 8.7-megapixel camera is supported by an app called Smart Camera. This shoots a sequence of images over a very short period and then performs functions like combining shots to add in multiple iterations of someone or something that's moving, or letting you select the best smiles for everyone in a group shot, or removing unwanted items from a shot.

Other Nokia additions include the free streaming music service Nokia Music which, when used in a Wi-Fi environment, is a superb alternative to standard internet radio apps.

Battery life

Like its 920 predecessor, the Lumia 925 has a non-removable 2,000mAh battery. Nokia claims 12.8 hours of 3G talk time (18.3h 2G) and 440h on (3G) standby. Claimed network browsing time is 6h on a cellular connection and 7.2h on Wi-Fi. You can expect 55h of music playback time and 6.6h of video watching. Comparable numbers for the 920 model are 10.8h of 3G talk (18.6h 2G) and 460h on (3G) standby, 9h network browsing on Wi-Fi, 74h of music and 6h of video playback.

Conclusion

The Lumia 925 is a slimmer and lighter handset than its 920 predecessor, with a neater and more ergonomic design. It lacks wireless charging but supports LTE and NFC, and has an excellent 4.5in. AMOLED screen. However, with the Lumia 1020 already announced and set to take the 925's place as Nokia's flagship Lumia handset, many may want to wait and see what the 1020 brings.

Specifications

General
Dimensions (W x H x D) 70.6x8.5x129 mm
Weight 139 g
OS & software
Operating system Windows Phone 8
Processor & memory
Clock speed 1.5 GHz
Processor model Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (dual-core)
RAM 1024 MB
Storage
Internal 32000 MB
Connections
Ports MicroUSB 2.0, audio jack
Networks
2.xG GPRS, EDGE
2G GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
3.xG HSPA
Wireless
Wi-Fi 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n
Short range Bluetooth 3.0+HS
GPS technology
Accuracy enhancement system A-GPS
GPS receiver yes, plus GLONASS
Input devices
Touchscreen Yes
Camera
2nd camera front
Flash Yes
Main camera rear
2nd camera resolution 1.2 megapixels
Main camera resolution 8.7 megapixels
Power
Battery type Li-polymer
Removable battery No
Battery capacity 2000 mAh
Claimed battery life 7.2 h
Standby time 440 h
Talk time 12.8 h
Miscellaneous
Accessories AC adapter
Expand

Prices

Price
Price GBP 392

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

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Talkback

16 comments
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  • hmmm

    1.0

    Overpriced tat...........the mexapixel myth was exposed by another site recently where it shown that the S4 blew the Lumia away regarding pictures.
    DejaVu2
    • Which site?

      I've never seen anything that shows the S4 blows away the Lumia. There are some situations that the S4 is slightly better and others where the Lumia is substantially better.
      LiquidLearner
      • this

        Site

        Was technobuffalos

        S4 quality was waaay better in EVERY shot
        DejaVu2
        • Here

          There is no direct comparison between 925 and S4 on that site. There are 920 vs S4 and 920 vs 928. 925 should be similar to 928, except that 925 doesn't have xenon flash.

          http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/04/25/samsung-galaxy-s4-vs-nokia-lumia-920-camera-comparison/

          Quote: "There’s no picture comparing low-light performance (in a restaurant or bar), but I can tell you that the Lumia 920 absolutely spanks the S4 in situations like that. No contest."

          You can compare the rest of the photos yourself.
          Earthling2
        • I think you are confused

          The pictures taken by the S4 were the ones that said "Samsung Galaxy S4" on the bottom.
          baadminton
    • Seriously?!

      9.0

      If techbuffalo is the site you are referring to, the 920 beats the S4 in all the photos, except maybe two so if a previous iteration blows the S4 away, as even the writer says about low-light scenarios at least, how can you claim that the S4 is better than the 925?

      Whatever people may say about Windows Phone, as far as cameras are concerned, Nokia is by far the best smartphone manufacturer.
      Anonymous1a
  • The boat went that-a-way

    back in the 1990's, I and others were talking to Nokia about producing a decent smartphone - the technology was there, it was just a bit big. Sadly, they have still got it wrong.

    The battery is too small - as with most phones, it won't last a day if you use an app for a few hours. We were working on open source until some numpty decided to jump ship and in with Microsoft, thus sabotaging so much work and effort on cool stuff. On top of that, Microsoft software hijacks your phone and pc and starts to move all your files to where it wants them, not where you put them - WHY????

    Both companies are on the way out, sad but true and they will be replaced by Chinese companies, a new one every few years as they leapforg with the newest ideas

    Yes, it looks good but that is all. Even when you turn the phone roaming off, it still tries to do various things that waste your download allotment.
    michealrand
    • msn 10.5 sabatoges windows phone's

      3.0

      try to get email on any windows 8 phone it ain't gonna happen. Not unless you can sign in while driving down the highway. As a business man relying on emails, not good.
      reg_tur@...
      • Bullshit

        You are lying if you say that you have to sign in each time, I never had to do that. Ever.
        Unbiased4You
  • PLEASE

    1.0

    Get Rid of Donald Trumps Ugly face from "You May Also Like"
    sightsandsounds
  • Love the look and feel but can't recommend

    7.0

    After years on Android I decided to give Lumia 925 a try about a month ago. I love the software look and feel, I really love the hardware. But I can't recommend it for someone who has used a smartphone before due to some odd misfeatures and plain bugs. Just to name one the much talked about CalDAV support in GDR2 that this phone comes with is just broken as reported here (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/winphone/forum/wp8-wpemail/new-calendar-event-creation-is-completely-broken/977bb5bd-ca27-4fe8-b228-70b3ffaddafa). Shame really as it could be such a great phone...
    kaarels
  • Lovely thing

    8.0

    My wife just got one. Pictures are excellent, does everything she wants, even down to easily looking at Office docs on screen so she doesn't HAVE to lug her albeit quite light laptop with her on trips to London. Quite disappointing that some fanboys on here give it a 1.0 for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I can understand preference, but if you are going to rate, at least try and be a bit objective rather than a plank please?
    dc@...
  • Fantastic

    9.0

    This phone has been great since the day I picked it up. Was in a wedding this weekend and Android and iOS users were impressed to the point that they may switch. Another member if the wedding party had a 928, which compared nicely.
    Fuhrer D
  • Windows Phone just sucks

    1.0

    Even if the hardware is extraordinary nice- which it is in this case - the operating system just sucks. Tiles, and completely closed operating system, no security since everything is send into the MS-cloud and finally, no real USB-mode to circumvent the cloud and a lack of internal memory.
    Nokia should really consider releasing this device with MeeGo and more internal RAM, and it would be a bomb!
    hacho
  • Just got a 925

    8.0

    I got this phone about 2 weeks ago. I was already a Windows Phone user, so I had no usability issues with the interface and my apps transferred across almost perfectly, along with everything else.

    I have to agree the battery life is not what I wanted, but given that my colleagues around the office have their iPhones plugged in to heavy charging bricks and I don't, I do not see this as anything different for any smartphone unfortunately. The Camera works well, the driving app has never crashed on me and all seems good.

    I would and have recommended it to others.
    david_overton@...
  • Nokia Lumia 625 priced at Rs 20,000

    7.0

    Glad to hear for the launch of new series from Nokia Lumia mobile.
    This Windows 8 phone with 4.7" screen size & resistance for viewable display in direct sunlight makes it more unique for other Lumia phones.
    Alankar_1988