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Nokia Lumia 925 - Review


Nokia Lumia 925 - Review

When Nokia Lumia 925 is a beautiful smartphone which is both sleek and powerful. It has a 4.5 inch touch display, 16GB of internal storage, an 8.7 megapixel camera and a dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. While Android devices pack much higher specifications under their hoods, this Windows Phone 8 device is more than capable of matching all its competitors. Lets take a closer look at this handset and see what makes it stand out.



PROS CONS
  • Super Sensitive display which can be used with gloves
  • Camera has (OIS) optical image stabilization
  • 4G LTE connectivity
  • No microSD card slot of storage expansion


Lumia 925
The Nokia Lumia 925 was released as a followup to the Nokia Lumia 920. With their newer handset Nokia wanted to show that they could make their handsets both powerful and beautiful and we have to say they greatly succeeded. The Lumia 925 is built using a combination of metal and polycarbonate giving it a beautiful industrial feel while remaining light and easy to handle.

The best news is that Nokia has even managed to squeeze the powerful optical image stabilization technology into the device ensuring you Lumia 925 will capture the same gorgeous phones which made the Lumia 920 famous.

The Lumia 925 is available around the world through various carriers and can be purchased in the U.S. through T-Mobile or AT&T. The device is available in Black, White and Gray and I will be reviewing the white unit today.

Nokia Lumia 925 - First Impressions
The Nokia Lumia 925 is a premium Windows Phone 8 device with an impressive camera and beautiful display. The handset includes a collection of Nokia Navigation apps and Nokia Creative apps combined with a fast growing Windows Phone ecosystem


UNBOXING

Our review unit comes from the U.K. Nokia office and is therefore unlocked to work on either the T-Mobile or AT&T network. The Lumia 925 packaging is quite moderate like most smartphones these days. Sliding the box open reveals the handset itself tucked into a comfortable tray. Under the handset you will find the SIM tray opening tool and removing the top tray will reveal the manuals, a USB cable, headphones and a power adaptor



HARDWARE

The Lumia 925 itself looks and feels really great in the hand. The metal band which runs around the handset feels cool to the touch and has nicely been rounded so it feels comfortable in the hand. However I must mention that I personally prefered the way the Lumia 920 feels because the bulkiness is easier to grip. The overall package is a well rounded device easily capable of replacing a high-end Android or an iPhone.

Nokia Lumia 925 - Specs
The Nokia Lumia 925 which runs Windows Phone 8 features a 4.5 inch AMOLED HD display, 16GB of internal storage, an 8MP rear camera and a dual-core chip with 1GB of RAM.

The device has a 4.5 inch touch AMOLED display with a 768 by 1280 pixel resolution, which offers a 334 ppi pixel density. While this may not be the full HD found in some of the newer Android flagships, it is still a very capable display with reasonable viewing angles and color representation. However during our tests I did find that the Lumia 925 did not perform as well under direct sunlight as I am used to from Nokia handsets.


Above the display you will find Nokia's branding, the earpiece and the 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, which is capable of 720p video. The proximity sensor and ambient light sensor are also hidden in this area.


Below the display are the familiar Windows Phone keys which include a back button, the Windows button and the Bing search button.

The display neatly curves into the aluminum frame which runs around the device contributing to its premium feel. The new design has also resulted in making the Lumia 925 the thinnest Lumia to date at 8.5 mm, with a reasonable 138 grams weight compared to the 185 grams of the Lumia 920.

On the right side of the Lumia 925 you will find the volume rocker, power/lock key and the dedicated camera button. The buttons are well built and well placed, making it easy to manipulate while holding the device with one hand.


On the top of the device you will find the micro SIM tray, micro USB port and the 3.5mm universal audio port. The added tool is required to pry open the SIM tray and I am happy that Nokia provided a safe place to store the tool in the box.


The left and bottom of the device are void of any buttons or ports


Turning the device over you will find its backplate which is built using polycarbonate. Now the polycarbonate used in the Lumia 920 has a very premium feel making the device feel rich and solid, while the Lumia 925 backplate feels flimsy. I also noticed the white back easily picked up stains over the course of using the device.

The speaker is also located on the back of the device, a true inconvenience which muffles the audio when the phone is placed face up or if my hand is covering the speaker during gaming. Just above the speaker you will notice three pin points which are used to connect an optional wireless charging plate to the device. Unlike the Lumia 920 which had wireless charging built in, Nokia has chosen to separate this feature to shave off a couple of grams and millimeters from this handset.


The camera is placed in the top center of the Lumia 925 and slightly protrudes out of the back of the Lumia 925. I like the placement of the camera as it tends to stay clear of my fingers most of the time, but the oversized lens did manage to get my fingerprints on it during the course of the test. An LED flash is located on the top of the camera and should help light up those low light photos. I will get into details of the camera in the software and camera sections below.

Being a Windows Phone 8 device, the Nokia Lumia 925 follows the strict hardware guidelines set by Microsoft and is thus unable to utilize anything more than a Qualcomm dual-core processor. You have a Snapdragon S4 Plus chip closed at 1.5GHz with 1GB of RAM and Adreno 225 graphics. Fortunately Windows Phones don't require anything more to perform well, and the Lumia 925 will breeze through everything available in the Windows Phone Store.


However the 16GB of internal storage may become limiting because of the lack of microSD storage. While the internal storage should be enough for a general user, it may become an obstacle for users looking to download any storage hungry games or HD videos to your device.



During my review of the Lumia 925, I loaded several games onto the device to test its performance. The device in no way disappoints in how it loads or runs games, I did find that the Lumia 925 would get heated after playing for a considerable period of time. Even though this is an issue I faced during my Lumia 290 review, I found it extremely uncomfortable handling the Lumia 925 as its metal band would become unbearably hot during heavy gaming.


SOFTWARE

The Nokia Lumia 925 was released with Windows Phone GDR2 and Lumia Amber update. The GDR2 update for Windows Phone 8 brings several improvements, including access to your FM radio, a Data Sense app which helps you track the amount of data you are consuming and set usage limits, and support for Google's CardDAV and CalDAV protocols.

On top of that Nokia has bundled in a whole lot of improvements for their devices with their Lumia Amber update, which include new image processings algorithms, the Nokia Pro Camera app, Nokia Glance Screen, and Call and SMS blocking.

What's new in Windows Phone GDR2 and Lumia Amber updates
In this article we hope to offer an in depth guide to the new features and improvements offered in the Windows Phone 8 GDR2 update and the Nokia Lumia Amber updates.Both the GDR2 and Lumia Amber updates have started rolling out, but are not yet available for all devices.

Other than for these enhancements you get the familiar WIndows Phone 8 experience which is made up of its Start Screen Live Tiles, Xbox games and Office mobile with support for Office 365.


Windows Phone 8 - Here's all you need to know
Windows Phone 8 is the successor to Windows Phone 7 and the second generation of Microsoft's modern mobile operating system. This means you will have the same Live tiles which display dynamic information on your Start Screens. Here's all you need to know


Nokia Lumia handsets get the advantage of a huge collection of Nokia apps and services including the offline Nokia Maps, Nokia Music and Nokia's Photo Lenses and camera enhancements.


Nokia Collection for Windows Phone 8
Nokia as the biggest Windows Phone manufacturer has really stepped forward to offer a very rich experience with their camera and navigation suites for Windows Phones. Check out are detailed review of each of these applications and see how they can benefit your WP experience


You can always download new apps and games through the Windows Phone Store, which has a steadily growing catalog of content. With Nokia recently announcing that Instagram and Vine will be available for Windows Phones, their is no reason why you wouldn't want to make a device like the Lumia 925 your next smartphone.


CAMERA


You get an 8.7 megapixel PureView camera with optical image stabilization brought to us by Nokia's floating lens technology. Nokia has added a sixth lens element to the Lumia 925, which has enabled the use of ISO 3200 when taking pictures. Theoretically, this should allow you to take better images in places with insufficient lighting, though be warned that results may vary.


The Nokia Smart Cam application was something which debuted on the Lumia 925. The app takes a series of pictures of the same scene and then allows you to remove unwanted people from the shot, choose the 'best faces' of the people you've been photographing, or produce a kind of an 'action shot' image, where you can observe the different stages of a quick movement. 

We really like the interface of the Smart Camera application, as it lets you quickly switch between the different effect-modes and check them out after you've taken your image.

Now we have a new Nokia Camera app for the Lumia 925 which combines Nokia Smart Camera and Nokia Pro Camera which debuted on the Lumia 1020. The Nokia Camera offers the Pro camera interface which lets you bring up an advanced menu for advanced photography.



When Nokia unveiled their Lumia 925, they promised improvements to its image processing. The device does not disappoint, with decent sharpness and exposure. While outdoor photos were generally beautiful, I did notice that there was significant noise when viewed in high resolution.



I personally prefered the indoor photos, with ample lighting proving the best results, while poorly lit situations would provide more noise in the photos. Using ISO 3200 will definitely not save you in such situations, so your best bet will be to try and get as close as you can to your subject and hope that the LED flash will be enough to illuminate it/them.


I did however have issues capturing a panorama image. It was hard to move the camera to align with the next image and even when I finally managed to capture a panorama, it would not be stitched well.


The Lumia 925 captures 1080p HD video at about 29 frames-per-second. The video output is mostly fluid with no visible lag during my tests. Check out some video sample captured by the Lumia 925 camera below



AUDIO QUALITY


As we mentioned before, the Lumia 925 features a single speaker located at its rear. Having faced a similar issue on my Lumia 521 review and Nexus 4 review, I am really disappointed by this placement. The incoming call sound and music playback feel muffled when the device is placed face up. It was even frustrating when my hand would sometimes cover the speaker when watching a video or playing a game and have my audio get muffled. We wish that Nokia will take a design cue from HTC in their future devices.


The call quality on the other hand is something I was impressed with. Having read some negative reviews on other sites, I worried that the Lumia 925 will let me down, but the calls were decent on both ends. The Skype integration also works well, allowing me to receive and take Skype calls as I would take normal calls.


BATTERY LIFE

The Lumia 925 boasts over 12 hours of talk time over 3G and 18 days of stand-by on its 2000 mAh battery. This is a luxury most Windows Phone owners get to experience over Android users. The device can easily take you through two to three days on a single charge with moderate use. However gaming is something that I found was a quick way to deplete a fully charged battery.


CONCLUSION

With the Lumia 925, Nokia has managed to offer the right balance of power and beauty. Its combination of aluminum and polycarbonate in its design gives it a premium look, and its beautiful display combined with its wonderful camera make it trump many of its competitors.


Would you consider making the Lumia 925 your next smartphone? You can support our website by purchasing it from Amazon using the following link:



If you already own a Lumia 925 leave us a comment below and tell us what you like most about this handset.

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