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Posted on May 14th, 2013 by Jonathan Bray

Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look

Nokia Lumia 925Nokia 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.

Nokia Lumia 925 vs Nokia Lumia 920

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.

Nokia Lumia 925

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.

Nokia Lumia 925

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.

Nokia Lumia 925

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.

Nokia Lumia 925

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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20 Responses to “ Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look ”

  1. Jack Ransome Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Once again – this blog post is not visible in Chrome even having disabled all extensions. It will only render when using incognito mode.

    As before, I can report this to the PC Pro webmaster or anywhere else if someone on editorial will provide a link. I don’t necessarily expect a solution – but an acknowledgement would be appreciated.

  2. james Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I am using firefox and the first half doesn’t appear until I select all and then the text appears. Have you tried that?

  3. Ryan Thomas Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    @Jack Ransome, it shows perfectly well here in Chrome with some 7-8 extensions loaded, so rather than hoping for PC Pro to fix it you may need to look back at your own setup again. There is something else afoot.

  4. Martin Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    A bit of consistency with these flagship devices, please? (Both reviewed by Jonathan Bray)

    Nokia 925:

    “still constructed from the same sensible and hard-wearing solid polycarbonate as before”
    “we only hope that the aluminium surround proves as durable as we’ve found the fully polycarbonate Lumia handsets to be”

    Samsung S4:

    “the casing’s still entirely plastic, and lacks the reassuringly expensive feel of the HTC One’s aluminium shell. It just doesn’t feel like a device worthy of a £500 price tag”

    So, is plastic (polycarbonate) sensible and hard-wearing or simply cheap, with no redeeming qualities to speak of?

  5. Graham Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Martin, I think it depends whether it’s been milled from a single block of polycarbonate or is just a flimsy panel. I own an S3 and agree entirely with PC Pro’s dislike of the materials – every time I pick my wife’s iPhone up I’m reminded of how bad the S3 feels.

  6. Tim Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Graham, I also own an S3 and the addition of a £5 Poetic leather case has fixed the feel issue. It also gets the thickness up to a comfortable level. Personally I would stick with the S3’s construction next time especially as it allows for a removable battery and card slot. Hopefully Nokia haven’t missed an opportunity to fit a bigger battery in the update.

  7. wyson9 Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    If you go to a shop and pick up a Galaxy S3 and then a Lumia, you will see what Mr Bray means. The unibody polycarbonate Lumia feels very solid, very high end. The Galaxy S3, a bit cheap and nasty. Not all materials are created equal. Just because its polycarbonate doesn’t necessarily mean cheap and nasty.

  8. Stuart Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Hey, Jack Ransome, you could always try using Internet Explorer. As much as it gets a bad press, IE9 and IE10 are pretty robust, and they’ve been around a lot longer than Google Chrome.

  9. David Wright Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    You don’t mention that the wireless charging is supposedly (ZDNet) not available on this model (but it is on the 920 and the 928).

    Can you please confirm one way or the other?

  10. Jono Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Stick Android on some of these new Nokias and we could be in business.

  11. Henry Edwards Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    @David Wright – wireless charging is available but you will need to buy a cover.

  12. Ian Tullie Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Meh – nothing new or interesting here. Even after this “big step forward”, Nokia is still some distance behind HTC and Samsung, arguably even Apple.

    Did they learn nothing from Antenna Gate? Woe betide anyone who hold’s it wrong!

    Finally, I personally wouldn’t buy a phone without a replaceable battery and expandable storage – I’ve kept my current phone for 18 months and had to swap out the battery, and a 64GB microSD card has proved invaluable to hold movies and TV series for long trips .

  13. WG Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Fine in Chrome … It is Your Machine Mate … Jack Ransome … You need acknowledgement for what

  14. saurabh Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    This lumia has a major defect…lack of memeory card slot and only 16gb internal memory. They should have atleast put on 32gb memory on this.

  15. sihaz Says:
    May 15th, 2013 at 9:16 am

    @saurabh 32 gb is available but a vodaphone exclusive at first

  16. wittgenfrog Says:
    May 15th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    An interim device.
    I see PCPro is still trotting-out the old built like a brick dunny cliché as though that were a criticism of the Lumia 920. Believe it or not I like it, that’s why I bought one….

    I’m sure that come WP ‘Blue’ we’ll see a range of thin\light Lumias, but these will still have (or at least aspire to) the existing 920’s high-quality ’solid’ build.

  17. Tony Cole Says:
    May 17th, 2013 at 3:43 am

    I don’t really see much of a “big step forward” here compared with the 920. The 920 probably has a brighter screen, has an excellent camera, high build quality and has a integral wireless charging.
    Sure this is thinner out of the box, but once you strap on the wireless charging case it’s probably fatter and uglier than the 920?
    The software it comes loaded with is also pretty much the same as the 920 and the improved camera software is going to be updated to the 920. So, it looks prettier out of the box and has a camera which is marginally improved over the already excellent 920 camera…
    I’d rather it had wireless charging and a removable battery because “form over function” seems to be winning the battle with phones these days and most of the smart phones out there have really poor battery life. Why not build a slightly fatter phone with a battery that can last for a few days…but no, poor “designers” win…

  18. Tony Cole Says:
    May 17th, 2013 at 3:46 am

    One more point…you can use the 920 with gloves on, is it the same for this phone?

  19. George Says:
    May 19th, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Why do reviewers compare the photo features of new phones to Galaxy S4 features? Reading this anyone would think that action shot, remove objects, best shot and best face were all dreamed up by Samsung for the S4. The HTC One has been able to do all this from day one, along with some cool video features (highlight reels and slow motion drama sections inside normal speed video are two good ones) which the others don’t seem to have yet.

  20. Jack Says:
    July 19th, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Windows is a pretty sexy looking OS. Although, maybe it would be good if they had a few mid range phones with Android.


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