Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look

14 May 2013

Nokia has a new flagship Windows phone 8 handset in the shape of the Nokia Lumia 925, and it looks like a big step forward. The Lumia 925, which was launched in London, hot on the heels of the US launch of the 928 earlier this week, is far slimmer at 8.5mm and lighter than its predecessor, the Lumia 920, and eschews that phone's bulbous rear in favour of a sharper, sleeker, more modern look.

With the phones pictured side by side, the difference between the two handsets is clear to see. The new handset's display is the same size and resolution at 4.5in and 768 x 1,280, but the chassis has been completely redesigned.

For the most part it's still constructed from the same sensible and hard-wearing solid polycarbonate as before (in a variety of more muted colours), but with the Lumia 925 it's framed with a curved, matte-finish aluminium rim, which also acts  as the phone's antenna.


Physically, it's a huge improvement over the Lumia 920, and it's the phone we'd rather have in our pocket, although we'd have appreciated the addition of a microSD slot. Just like the 920, the 925 isn't expandable, storage-wise, and you can't replace the battery either.

Most noticeable about the 925 is how much lighter it is when you pick it up; at 139g, it weighs 46g less than the hefty 920. It looks fantastic, too; we only hope that the aluminium surround proves as durable as we've found the fully polycarbonate Lumia handsets to be.

The other key difference  is that the 925's display is an AMOLED unit instead of the IPS screen of old. It looks as bright and saturated as you'd expect of an AMOLED screen, but we'll only be able to tell if it's an advance when we get an official review unit; AMOLED displays tend to have lower brightness than IPS screens, making it more difficult to read in bright sunlight, so this may well represent a small downgrade.

For snaps, Nokia claims to have improved the camera technology, in particular the lens, which now consists of six elements instead of five, and the software processing. The resolution remains the same at 8.7 megapixels and it retains the optical image stabilisation technology from the Lumia 920, the f/2 aperture and the Carl Zeiss branding.

The phone also comes preloaded with a raft of new camera features. The Nokia Smart Camera app adds several new features, including Best Shot - where the camera shoots multiple frames that  you can choose between afterwards– and Action Shot, which is similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4's Drama Shot. It shoots a burst of shots then overlays them on top of each other. Motion blur keeps foreground objects in sharp focus, while blurring the background dramatically.

Change Faces is similar to the S4's Best Face function, taking multiple shots of a group of people, allowing you to pick the most smiley mugs from a range of facial expressions. And there's also a tool that will use the burst mode to remove annoying moving objects for you, for times when someone walks across the frame while you're trying to snap a picture in a crowded space. Again, this is similar to a Samsung Galaxy S4 feature - called Eraser.

Aside from that, it's typical Lumia fare. The Lumia 925 comes loaded with all the usual Nokia software bells and whistles, from Nokia Music for streamed music mixes to Here Maps, which offers free worldwide navigation with downloadable maps.

And, lastly, the CPU powering the 925 hasn't changed: a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and 1GB of RAM taking pride of place. This should prove perfectly sufficient for Windows Phone 8, which felt extremely slick and smooth on the new phone.

So when will the new Nokia Lumia 925 appear? In June, when it will cost around €469; the 32GB model will be available on contract exclusively from Vodafone.

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