Channel 5

Nokia Lumia 925

Friday 14 June 2013


Rating of 4

The basics

Meet the Nokia Lumia 925, Nokia’s latest and greatest Windows Phone. While the company’s impressed with a few low price Lumia efforts recently, this one is the new flagship, designed to take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z. With a 4.5-inch HD screen, slimmer frame that ditches the plastic and full fat Windows Phone 8, it goes toe to toe with them, at least on paper. The big news though is the 8MP camera around the back, which Nokia’s paired with clever new Smart Camera tech to let you take fast motion shots and edit them how you like. Is this what you need to switch to Windows Phone? Let’s take a look.

Read our full Nokia Lumia 520 review now

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The good

Fed up of Nokia’s chunky plastic casing? You’ll be right at home with the Nokia Lumia 925, which trades it in for a thinner 8.5mm metal frame instead, which angular lines and a cool touch. It’s a step up from the ugly as anything Lumia 820, and the plasticky Samsung Galaxy S4 too, even if it’s still not exactly a work of art, like HTC’s exquisitely chiselled HTC One or Apple’s iPhone 5.

Making up for this is the screen however: though it’s a 720p jobby, rather than a full HD 1920x1080 panel as you’ll find on some new phones, frankly, it’s one of the best we’ve ever laid eyes on, with great colour reproduction and deep blacks courtesy of the AMOLED display tech, which can turn individual pixels on and off instead of using a backlight for the whole panel. Nokia’s made great use of that too with its new quick glance software, which shows the time and notifications when your phone’s screen is otherwise off, without draining the battery.

That’s just one of a several exclusive Lumia apps onboard the 925, including the essential Drive+ satnav app, and Nokia Music for streaming radio - and that’s all on top of Windows Phone 8 itself, which whizzes along on the fast 1.5GHz dual-core processor, its live tile homescreen as easy to use as can be.

The eight megapixel camera meanwhile excels, especially in low light: though there’s little clear improvement from the Lumia 920, it’s in a smaller shell, and still a cut above the competition, even Sony’s super Xperia Z cameraphone. What makes the Nokia Lumia 925 excel is the optional Smart Camera software tech on top of it: it’ll take a burst of ten shots over a couple of seconds and let you pick and mix the shot from it. It figures out what’s moved in the shot, and let you combine and even remove people and objects from the final snap. It’s a genuinely fun and useful tool, and one that’s not too tricky to get to grips with thanks to the simple UI - other Lumias are set to get the smart camera tech in an update this summer, so if you’re already a Nokia fan you won’t be missing out.

This is all good news, but there is just one thing to bear in mind however: while this Nokia camera excels, it looks likely indeed that another Lumia is just around the corner, and this one could pack the same 41 megapixel sensor tech as Nokia’s 808 PureView. Nokia’s teasing it for a July appearance, and it could very well blow the Lumia 925 out of the water - you might want to hold tight to your wallet for just a few weeks.

The bad

We have few to no complaints about the hardware, save for that we just wished the tank-like Nokia Lumia 920 looked like this last year. Our only criticisms are the platform: Windows Phone 8 is still very limited. Its keyboard lags behind the smarts of Android’s QWERTY options, and Internet Explorer feels clunky compared to Safari and Chrome for mobile.

Nokia’s done the best it could with what it had to work with, but the bottom line is that Windows Phone is missing many of the apps and games that anyone who has owned a smartphone of another platform before - and by now, that’s the majority of people - will take for granted. If you’re upgrading from a simple mobile for the first time, you’ll appreciate the ease of use, no doubt, but if you’re hooked on 3D iPhone games or clever Android hacks, there’s still no way you’d want to switch.

Read our full Nokia Lumia 720 review here

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The bottom line

The Nokia Lumia 925 is a handsome device with a gorgeous display and a superb camera, plus useful exclusive software that helps make Nokia phones the only Windows Phones worth bothering with. But as much as we like how easy to use Windows Phone 8 is - and how great it runs on low end hardware - in the top tier, the fact remains that Microsoft’s OS cripples any phone running it. The lack of apps make a Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One or iPhone 5 a superior all-around option, especially with iOS 7 on the way. Microsoft needs to figure out how to jumpstart its platform, because right now, it’s the only thing holding Nokia back from glory.

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User comments (4)

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iSwitched and I liked it… Fantastic design and feel by Nokia and Windows Phone 8 is truly a change to how Microsoft previously worked, very open feel also flexible for development. We have upgraded all three of our company handsets from iPhones to Nokia Lumia 925 and must say are very impressed with both Nokia Lumia and Microsoft Windows Phone 8, yes there was a migration process for us to do and there is room for improvement however overall since migration we’ve not had to turn our old iPhones back ON even once which is something I never thought we would say. Overall as long as you take into account that this is different ecosystem altogether therefore requires a few days with it to know your way around it and what they have to offer, in brief Microsoft and Nokia have done a great job in implementing the most essentials and many of the well-known Apps that may not be available currently have a third-party available which works rather well. Of course we didn’t just make the decision over night to make this move, over last three months we’ve been testing Windows Phone 8 in detail therefore we knew exactly what it had to offer also what apps are necessary and Nokia offers many useful apps as well as offline navigation which is a bonus. Based on rumours the next big update “Blue” (8.1) should bring many new useful features with it including unified notification area. Windows Phone design must be doing something correctly seeing that iOS7 is going to be copying parts of it including multi-tasking screens.

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Where is the best shop to buy it from??

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1st. the Keyboard on WP is one of the best on the market. 2nd. Chrome is less clunky than IE? NEVER! android as a wwhole is clunky and IE is a really good mobile browser. its not as good as Safari but its better than chrome

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I have a Lumia 820 and i have to say, i was quite insulted to read that they say that it is ugly as anything, i prefer it over iphone 4, 5 and galaxy s3 and 4! its a beautiful thing, simple and straightforward. i have it in white, and i truly believe it is up there with the best phones on the market. i cant praise windows 8 enough, it does things completely differently to iOS and android. the live tiles are an inspired idea, the people live tile especially is a work of art and the fact that you can have individual tiles for pretty much anything on the phone, be it contacts, songs, twitter followers, pretty much anything means it is miles ahead of iOS in my opinion. the way in which you can edit your main screen simply blows iOS and android out of the water. i can remember when everyone went crazy when apple introduced FOLDERS for iOS! we got excited for folders people! but in iOS, you are still extremely restricted in how your home screen looks. the grid hasnt changed, in windows 8 i can have all my tiles scroll down one side of the screen, or down the middle or resize them either to have them small, medium or large, depending on MY taste and MY decision, not depending on apples decision that everything needs to follow a rigid grid formation. i moved from an iphone 4 to a nokia 800 running windows 7 and i fell in love with it, then upgraded to the 820 and i would only change it for a 925, no other phone even remotely interests me anymore, and to end this rant, the old argument about lack of apps and the store not being what the apple store is (sometimes i wonder if apple and android pay the reviewers of windows phone 8 to mention this at every turn!!) other than football manager, i have every single app that i had, and used, on iOS. i have a facebook app that is miles ahead of the iOS one, a twitter app that is better than the web version in my opinion and the age old 'theres no instagram on windows phones' argument can be somewhat quashed, 'Instance' is a wonderful instagram client app that actually allows you to post pictures to your instagram account, imagine that!! add in the fact that twitter and facebook is incorporated into windows phones much much better than in iOS and andorid, once again the 'People' live tile is a revelation, as well as having your facebook pictures acting as your lockscreen wallpaper, being able to select from your own albums. its wonderful. simply wonderful! i do think nokia could do a lot more in advertising and making people aware of all the amazing features in the phones, instead of getting celebrities to endorse them, maybe focus on the live tiles themselves! i know i have said it a number of times, but the live tiles are a revelation! and the people tile blows everything else out of the water! the amount of people who were amazed by it when i show it off proves it. theres no mention of it in the advertisements, its crazy!! sort it out nokia and you will soon be fighting iOS and android for the number 1 spot instead of fighting blackberry (yuck!!) for the number 3 spot!

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