Nokia Lumia 925 review

18 Jun 2013

A well-designed Windows Phone 8 handset, but not enough of an improvement over the 920, and battery life is poor

Price when reviewed 
499
Buy it now for 
4

The Nokia Lumia 925 is a departure for the Finnish smartphone manufacturer. After a year or so spent forging a strong identity for its Lumia range, it's decided to move on from eye-catching colours and solid polycarbonate shells to something more understated.

Ostensibly, the Lumia 925 is Nokia’s new flagship handset – the follow-up to the Lumia 920 – but it couldn’t look more different. While its predecessor sported a high-quality, but chunky, all-plastic chassis with a high-gloss finish, the 925 has a silver metal frame, which curves gently around to meet the screen at the front, and a coloured plastic panel filling the gap at the rear.

Nokia Lumia 925

On the positive front, this phone feels very comfortable to pick up and hold; it’s far from the bruiser its predecessor was. In fact, it weighs a highly pocket-friendly 139g and measures 8.5mm from front to rear. That doesn’t sound like a lot of difference, but it sits in your pocket far more comfortably than the bulky, 185g Lumia 920.

On the negative side, the fit and finish of that plastic rear panel isn’t particularly impressive, with uneven, unsightly gaps running around its full circumference. The gaps are large enough that it’s possible to prise one end of the panel out of its moorings with a fingernail, but it isn’t designed to be user removable, as we couldn’t get any further for fear of breaking something important.

Nokia Lumia 925

As a result, you won’t be able to swap in a replacement battery yourself, and there’s no microSD slot for expanding the onboard storage. Nokia has also toned down the palette of colours available to purchasers of the Lumia 925. It’s only available in understated white, black and grey – no bright blue or hot pink this time – more’s the pity.

Lights, camera, action

The camera is the only other area that has seen an upgrade, although it’s a small change – the number of lens elements has increased from five to six. The resolution has remained the same at 8.7 megapixels, as has the aperture of f/2 and the phone retains the optical image stabilisation of its forebear.

Nokia Lumia 925 vs HTC One

In terms of image quality, the changes aren’t big either. The Lumia 925’s camera is still excellent. It produces the cleanest images we’ve seen from any smartphone, with lower grain and less noise than the superb HTC One. Its optical image stabiliser helps it to capture super-smooth 1080p video hand held, and generally, images are crisp and full of detail.

Again, though, there are issues. It has a serious problems with flare when the sun is just out of shot, reducing contrast noticeably, and its auto-white balance often gets things wrong, producing overly warm or cool images under mixed lighting. On balance, we prefer the HTC One’s snapper.

Details

Price ex VAT £416
Price inc VAT £499
Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £29.00
Contract period 24 months
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 12hrs 48mins
Standby, quoted 18 days 8hrs

Physical

Dimensions 71 x 9 x 129mm (WDH)
Weight 139g
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard On-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 1,000MB
Camera megapixel rating 8.7mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 4.5in
Resolution 768 x 1280
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Other

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