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Nokia Lumia 925 review

Verdict

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

Review Date: 18 Jun 2013

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: Free, on a £29.00 per month, 24 months contract.

Buy it now for: £222
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
3 stars out of 6

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.

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User comments

Just 3 stars for performance?

This paragraph suggests more than 3/6 performance:

"The Lumia 925 clearly can’t compete in terms of pure clock cycles with the beefiest, quad-core Android phones, but it doesn’t need to. Windows Phone 8 handsets require less power to run smoothly than Android handsets, and swiping and scrolling around the OS, and Internet Explorer, is about as responsive as any phone we’ve used. It also plays HD video, both streamed and from local storage without breaking a sweat. In the SunSpider JavaScript test, a blazing time of 895ms shows it’s a powerful web-browsing tool.

Read more: Nokia Lumia 925 review | PC Pro http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/smartphones/382489/
nokia-lumia-925/2#ixzz2WYDVVcBB"

By elee73 on 18 Jun 2013

Just 3 stars for performance?

This paragraph suggests more than 3/6 performance:

"The Lumia 925 clearly can’t compete in terms of pure clock cycles with the beefiest, quad-core Android phones, but it doesn’t need to. Windows Phone 8 handsets require less power to run smoothly than Android handsets, and swiping and scrolling around the OS, and Internet Explorer, is about as responsive as any phone we’ve used. It also plays HD video, both streamed and from local storage without breaking a sweat. In the SunSpider JavaScript test, a blazing time of 895ms shows it’s a powerful web-browsing tool.

Read more: Nokia Lumia 925 review | PC Pro http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/smartphones/382489/
nokia-lumia-925/2#ixzz2WYDVVcBB"

By elee73 on 18 Jun 2013

Power

Big disappointment over the 920 is that wireless charging has been dropped, especially given the crappy battery life. When you can just sling a phone on a charging pad life becomes so much easier.

By PaulOckenden on 18 Jun 2013

Overall Judgment

I just have to say this is the first, even remotely negative review I've read. I plan on getting the 925 as soon as it is available. But I personally feel this review is not accurate.

By xilan on 18 Jun 2013

@xilan

have to agree - i've only seen gushing reviews elsewhere. hoping these are better than pcpro think and that they are going cheap by november when i can swap providers :-)

By sihaz2 on 18 Jun 2013

@PaulOckenden

Wireless charging has not been dropped. You can purchase a cover that includes wireless charging.

By Macer71 on 18 Jun 2013

@ elee73

but this doesn't suggest the same sort of performance ...

Running the GFXBench T-Rex benchmark backs up these impressions, with an average of 6.3fp, some way short of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, which achieve 16fps and 15fps respectively.

By TimoGunt on 18 Jun 2013

Battery life - you charge it nightly - is that a problem

PC Pro seems to obsess about battery life on phones. I get this if you compare a phone that needs charging every night with one that lasts a week or so, but with most smart phones you struggle to get a full two days use, so get used to charging up every night. Once you are on this routine whether it has 30%, 40% or even 60% at the end of 24 hours does not seem like such a big deal. I have had one of the older Nokia Lumias (800) for almost two years now and I travel with it both in the UK and abroad. I can't remember the last time it ran out of juice. Maybe I ma not typical. I don't play games on my phone, and I probably don't make 30 minute phone calls or hour long podcasts. But I use it fairly intensively for short calls, texts and email and (when on wifi) the Internet.
I am not saying battery life is insignificant, but honestly - you seem to put this above issues, like 'is the phone any good?'.
My wife has the Nokia 920 and my next upgrade will probably be another Nokia. The fact is, if you use your phone rather than play with it, they are very good. This review looks a little on the sour side.I worry about your potty training sometimes!

By PeterMcIntyre1 on 19 Jun 2013

Honestly, I only posted that once!

By PeterMcIntyre1 on 19 Jun 2013

Oh dear

Pcpro you really should have learnt.... Don't dis Microsoft or risk upsetting the fanboys!

Seriously guys get a grip its just a phone, by no stretch of anybody's imagination the best on the market just but good enough for some!

By dja74 on 19 Jun 2013

What about using it as a - PHONE

I wonder if… just once, someone, anyone, could mention the phones features that relate to – well phone issues: -

Keeps loosing signal, terrible reception, sound quality and all other issues that relate to using it as a phone?

Why is it that the above are never mentioned in any smartphone reviews?

By dholbon on 20 Jun 2013

What about using it as a - PHONE

I wonder if… just once, someone, anyone, could mention the phones features that relate to – well phone issues: -

Keeps loosing signal, terrible reception, sound quality and all other issues that relate to using it as a phone?

Why is it that the above are never mentioned in any smartphone reviews?

By dholbon on 20 Jun 2013

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