Nokia announced its first flagship phone, the Nokia Lumia 920 last year along with Windows Phone 8 and we had done the detailed review of the device (Read: Nokia Lumia 920 Review). While Lumia 920 was a great device, there were few issues with the device, mainly the design as many felt it was heavy and also thicker than the competition. To address these issues Nokia launched their latest flagship phone, the Lumia 925 back in May this year.
While Nokia Lumia 925 came with almost similar specs as that of Lumia 920, there were few changes as well. Firstly the design was completely new and it had a design which no Lumia device had before. The materials used in Lumia 925 was aluminium, which made the device lighter and also slimmer. This also gave a premium feel to the device. Today, we are going to have a detailed look at the new Lumia 925 and also compare it with Lumia 920.
Before we go into the detailed review, lets first have a look at the specifications.
- 4.5 inches AMOLED display with 768 x 1280 pixels resolution and 334 ppi
- 1.5Ghz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960 with Adreno 225 GPU
- 1GB RAM and 16GB Storage
- 8.7 megapixels camera with Dual LED Flash and aperture size of F2.0 and Optical image stabilization
- 1.2 MP front camera
- Full HD video recording
- Wi-Fi, LTE, 3G, NFC, DLNA
- 2000 mAh
- Windows Phone 8
Design and Build Quality:
Lumia 925 is probably the first phone in the Lumia series which has a stand out design and it does not follow the normal design you find on other Lumia phones like Lumia 920, 820 or the Lumia 720. Lumia 925 is a lot slimmer and lighter than the Lumia 920. While the Lumia 920 was almost 185gms, Nokia has considerably reduced the weight to 139 gms, thanks to the aluminium design. The back portion of the device still has the polycarbonate shell and making a choice for colors including grey, black and white. At a sleek 8.5mm (0.33 inches), the Nokia Lumia 925 is quite a bit thinner than its 10.7mm (0.42-inch) predecessor too, while the length and width remain almost identical at 129 x 70.6mm (5.08 x 2.78 inches).
Here is a quick comparison of Lumia 920 with Lumia 925.
The buttons and ports have also have some changes. The USB slot and the speakers at the bottom in 920 has been moved in 925. The top portion of the handset has all the ports which includes microUSB charging slot, 3.5mm jack and also the SIM tray along with the secondary mic. The side profile is similar to Lumia 920 with the volume, power and camera buttons.
At the back you have the 8.7MP Pureview camera along with dual LED flash. There is also the speakers at the back along with three dots for wireless charging snap on covers.
Here is the unboxing video of Nokia Lumia 925:
Display on Lumia phones is one area where Nokia really excels. The clear back display on Lumia 920 was really good. When it comes to Lumia 925, the IPS display has been replaced with AMOLED screen along with Corning Gorilla Glass and Pure Motion HD+ clear black display. The AMOLED screen looks good and is easier to use than the IPS display. The screen on Lumia 925 was a tad brighter than the Lumia 920 when the brightness level was set to automatic on both the phones.
Along with this, the sunlight readability is seriously awesome. You wont really find any issues reading on the screen even when you are standing in bright sunlight. You can enable the sunlight readability from the Display + Touch settings.
Similar to Lumia 920, you can use Lumia 925 with gloves, thanks to the touch sensitivity. Overall, the screen is really good and will not have any issues.
Camera (Photos + Video):
Nokia Lumia 920 was one of the first phones to focus on camera and especially the low light photography. The Lumia 925 is an improvement over the Lumia 920 in many aspects. Firstly the Lumia 925 comes with a 6 lens layout compared to the 5 lens layout in Lumia 920. Further, Nokia has improved the algorithm on Lumia 925 and this makes it even better.
The camera has pretty good color reproduction in daylight photos and it did not have the yellow tinting issue found in Lumia 920. The low light photography is also impressive, but we found that when we used flash with low light, Lumia 920 produced better shots with good actual colors. We are not sure if it has to do with the flash on our review unit. Here are some of the camera samples.
The video recording at 1080p is also good, but we found an issue with the review unit, the continuous focus was having issues while focusing when compared to Lumia 920. We are not sure if it is the device issue. Here is a recording sample from Lumia 925 at 1080p.
Here is a demo of Nokia Pro Camera app on Lumia 925.
Call Quality and Phone Performance:
Nokia Lumia 925 runs the latest version of Windows Phone 8 along with the GDR2 + Amber update from Nokia. Nokia has added quite a lot of features to the platform including Data Sense, ability to block Calls and SMS, Glance screen, etc. along with FM Radio from Microsoft. While Windows Phone 8 is continuously evolving with features over the past one year, it still lacks behind Android in terms of features available. The number of apps available are also improving with many of the major players releasing official Windows Phone 8 apps.
Nokia Lumia 925 call quality was good, the signal reception was also good and there was no dropping of calls when we tested. The 3.5G speeds were also good on the network we tested. Since we did not have 4G LTE, we cannot really comment on the performance. Windows Phone has never been memory hog, so phones with 512MB RAM also runs smoothly. Lumia 925 packs a 1GB RAM and we didn’t notice any performance issues anywhere during our tests.
The Nokia Lumia 925 has most of the connectivity options you wanted on a high end device. There’s dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA support, the ability to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot, GPS, 3G and even 4G. There is also Bluetooth, but version 3.0 and does not have the latest 4.0. There is also support for NFC which enables you to share images, websites and more with other NFC-enabled devices by tapping them together.
One main issue with Lumia 925 is the storage as it bundles only 16GB of storage and no option to expand using microSD card. This is where Lumia 920 excels as many users might feel 16GB is a bit too low considering that smartphones are now used for variety of purposes. And with the awesome camera on board, recording video samples in Full HD (1080p) might easily eat up your 16GB, along with the other storage issue in Windows Phone 8.
Lumia 925 does not come with wireless charging out of the box like the Lumia 920, instead you need to buy the snap on covers available as accessory, which when snapped gives you wireless charging for Lumia 925.
Nokia’s addition of apps which comes for Lumia phones makes this phone even better, the camera apps, mapping solutions and host of other apps bundled are really good.
Lumia 925 comes with 1GB of RAM and this is sufficient for almost all games available in the Windows Phone store. We tested the graphics rich Asphalt 7 Heat on Lumia 925 and found no issues with rendering and there wasn’t any lag while playing or when opening the game. The game was a bit slow on devices like Lumia 720 which came with 512MB RAM, but here we did not see any issues. Overall, Lumia 925 is a good device for gaming.
Here is a video on the game performance.
The Nokia Lumia 925 has a 2000mAh battery which is exactly the same battery found on the Lumia 920. When we used Lumia 920, we got up to a day of battery with normal usage. Lumia 925 also has similar battery performance. Although there is slight improvement, it is not very much visible and you still get around 1 days of battery with normal usage and for an average user with not much Internet (3G) usage, you can sneak in a day and a half. Windows Phone 8 devices have never been a battery hog and Lumia 925 has pretty good life when compared to the competition.
Here is a video review of Lumia 925:
So is the Lumia 925 better than Lumia 920? That’s probably a tough call, while the design and built quality looks very premium with the use of aluminium and also the design has made it more slimmer and lighter, there are some negatives with Lumia 925 as well. The main issue is probably the low storage being offered in Lumia 925. We are really not sure why Nokia opted for only 16GB on this flagship phone. The camera on Lumia 925 is really good and excel in mostly all areas.
If you liked the color choices available in Lumia 920, then you will be probably disappointed by the fact that Lumia 925 comes only with white, grey and black colors and the brighter colors like Red, Yellow are missing here. Apart from this wireless charging is also missing in Lumia 925.
On the whole Lumia 925 is a pretty good device and if you liked the Windows Phone 8 with all the shortcoming and app limitations, then probably this is best device you can pick. The phone excels in good build quality, great camera and an excellent design.