When Lumia 925 was launched worldwide, it was widely perceived as a lightweight variant of Lumia 920. It was even criticized by many for excluding “Built-in” wireless charging and coming with only 16 GB internal storage in most parts of the world. But, now months into launch and post launch of Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520, it is perhaps best time to review the device to understand its current standing in the Lumia range. It’s price has dropped substantially across the world, so those who consider it as an option for their next device may benefit from our review.
It is one of the most beautiful Nokia device ever created and that makes it one of the most beautiful phones ever made. That Aluminum slender frame which merges seamlessly with polycarbonate back tells a lot about craftsmanship of Nokia engineers. The display is vibrant and with Nokia’s PureMotion tech looks is simply one of the best you will find on any smartphone. Then there are a lot of options provided in settings to customize it according to one’s taste. It is very light and thin (8.5 mm) and thus is one of the most pocket-able and well-handled phone in your hand. Its size, thickness and weight really feels perfect for those who want a phone with larger display size than 4-inch but want it to be ergonomically good as well. The screen has 60 Hz refresh rate and being super-sensitive can be used with gloves, pencils, nails etc.
The Lumia 925 unit we have comes pre-loaded with Nokia Amber update and is as smooth and responsive as we expect a Windows Phone device to be. It has been rock solid as my daily driver and I have never seen it freezing or restarting even once during my long usage period. The browser is really fast with best-in-class panning and zooming. Pre-loaded native Nokia apps like Maps, Camera apps etc open much faster now as compared to Lumia 920 we handled long time back. Though we still have some complaints like lack of easy settings navigation, a file manager, separate sound controls which we imagine will be taken care by Windows Phone 8.1.
The apps and games scene has never been so good for owning a Windows Phone as it is now. Major official apps like Instagram, Vine etc have come to Windows Phone and other wise have very capable 3rd party alternatives. Many major games have come to Windows Phone in last few days along with their iOS and Android counterparts. So, with Lumia 925 you can really install any of the games and apps available on store and have a blast. This is where that non-expandable 16 GB memory starts giving you some fear of running out of storage. Though after loading nearly 90+ apps we have ample storage left on our Lumia 925, but those who like to keep all the videos on their phone only, may disagree.
Nokia exclusives experience:
Nokia has left no stone unturned since it adopted Windows Phone in ensuring best possible experience for Lumia owners. The Lumia exclusive apps and services fill the gaps left by slow development of Windows Phone and some of them like Here Maps and related services apps, Transfer my data, Nokia Music aka MixRadio are life savers. Some of them like Nokia Camera, Nokia Refocus, Photo Beamer bring unique rich experience for Lumia owners . This list doesn’t end here and there are many 3rd party apps which Nokia has brought to Lumias in collaboration with developers. Anyways, that’s where a device like Lumia 925 is required for taking full advantage of these exclusives.
We have tested Lumia 925’s camera in various conditions and it certainly has a solid camera on-board. It doesn’t disappoint in any lighting conditions with its OIS and 6-element lens camera. The video capture is very smooth and one the best you will find on any of the smartphone cameras. We compared video capture with Lumia 925 to that with 808 PureView in similar conditions and it captures smoother video than 808 due to its OIS though detail capture wise both cameras are on par. Even for stills, I am going to post a comparison soon (taking 808 as the ultimate benchmark), but overall Lumia 925 camera captures very accurate colors and images come sharp. So, you want a performer camera without hump of Lumia 1020 you can certainly trust Lumia 925.
Music, Video Playback and Gaming:
This section is very important to many buyers and Lumia 925 shines in both. It has a pretty loud speaker at the back and music output quality is excellent. If you use a headphone then you can enjoy the rich Dolby output, which is again one of the best from any phone. Video playback and gaming takes advantage of that 60 Hz screen refresh rate and dark blacks due to Nokia’s Puremotion tech. The colors pop up and video and gaming graphics look beautiful on the screen. One can argue this is same AMOLED screen used on Samsung Galaxy range, but Nokia’s own tech which brings CBD (Clear Black Display) and Puremotion (faster refresh rate) together to this display, enhances the experience many-fold.
I am getting 22-24 hrs of battery life with heavy “blogger” usage of the device which involves lots of browsing, apps testing and daily chores. Consider it beyond 24 hrs for a moderate to heavy use an, that is really impressive. Though for better battery life you may like to give our earlier posted tutorial a try.
- No MicroSD card support with only 16 GB storage on-board
- Usual Windows Phone 8 quirks like lack of quick access shortcuts for settings like Bluetooth, WiFi, Cellular data, NFC on home screen. Though “System Tiles have been a saviour for me)
- I simply dislike the fact that volume controls are not separate for various functions
- Awesome design and hardware.
- Ergonomic and pocket-able
- Solid camera with capability to shoot sharp in any conditions
- Windows Phone 8 is really joy to use. Addictive smooth!
- Kid’s corner still remains one of my most liked features on any Windows Phone
Final words and pricing:
Lumia 925 presents itself as a strong option for anyone looking for a high-end lightweight and easy to hold and work with smartphone. Especially those who want a display size of larger than iPhone 4-inch without compromising on display quality. Its price has dropped in nearly all markets and that becomes a differentiator as well. Amazon US is selling unlocked Lumia 925 for just $410. Amazon UK is selling unlocked Lumia 925 for as low as £299.00 and in India it is priced comfortably at Rs.25,499 (ShopClues).
In a nutshell, with better ergonomics and camera than Lumia 920 and significantly cheaper than Lumia 1020 it is placed very well in between. Not, everyone likes to hold a 6-inch Lumia 1520 in hand and may prefer a quality offering for one-handed operation. If you are one of them, Lumia 925 is for you. Perhaps, the best all-rounder Lumia yet!!