Nokia Lumia 925 expert review
Geek Squad Agent Dale Collins has got a hold of the new Nokia Lumia 925 - find out how it compares against its predecessor, the Lumia 920?
- Incredible 8 mega-pixel camera
- Camera too low down
- Non-removable battery
- Limited 16GB memory that isn’t expandable
Design - NOKIA LUMIA 925
Nokia’s brand new Lumia 925 combines a similar design to their previous phones, the 900 and 920, but it has been refined and given a whole new feel. Moving away from their plastic uni-body devices, Nokia have given the 925 a strong metal edging with a sturdy plastic back cover and, together with the Gorilla Glass 2 screen, this design ensures that the 925 is the strongest that it could possibly be.
Measuring in at 129 x 70.6mm the 925 feels considerably smaller than its 4.5-inch screen would indicate, and with a thickness of 8.5mm, this is an impressive size considering the amount of power behind this device.
Buttons, outputs and inputs
Sticking with previous trends, Nokia have located the shutter button on the right side of the device alongside the power and volume keys, and made it pressure sensitive to focus photos by pressing it lightly and take photos by pushing down fully. The Micro-USB charging port, SIM tray and audio jack are all located on the top of the device, unfortunately there is no additional Micro SD slot which I find rather disappointing.
On the rear of the device is the loudspeaker with a dock connector located along the bottom. The dock connector could be used for many devices ranging from car mounts to speaker docks, and would be extremely nice additions to the device's overall premium experience.
Camera lens location
Surprisingly, the camera seems to be situated just above the middle of the device which I found took a while to get used to as my finger kept getting in the way when I was trying to take some snaps! Located just above the camera is a dual flash LED - now this initially seemed to be strange positioning, but combined with the shutter button on the right side it makes the 925 feel just like a digital camera which I found was a lot more comfortable to use.
Hardware - NOKIA LUMIA 925
The hardware found within the 925 is impeccable. I have absolutely no doubt about how well the 925 can perform and hold up to everyday tasks, even though it only has a dual-core processor. The hardware that can be found inside the 925 is as follows:
- 1-5GHz Dual-Core Snapdragon Processor
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB Internal memory
Upon powering the 925 on, I was overwhelmed as to how fast it loaded up. The device went from being in a completely powered off state to on and ready to use in a matter of seconds, I was beginning to feel the excitement of the device and I couldn’t wait to see how the processor would hold up.
After I started to play with the 925 it was clear that nothing was going to slow this machine down, it just kept pushing through every task I threw at it including launching all of the apps, switching between them, playing around with the settings and even streaming content to it. There wasn’t a single moment where I experienced any sort of slow down, it was impressive.
In terms of the amount of inbuilt storage I was a little disappointed that the 925 only comes with 16GB of space, of which around 13.5GB is free to use. The fact that I am unable to expand the memory leaves me a little disappointed as I would personally fill up 16GB in next to no time, although saving space is achievable through using Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud service and streaming music through Nokia Music.
As the 925 is a uni-body device it means you are unable to remove the battery, but Nokia have crammed in a whopping 2000 mAh battery in to the handset. Under heavy use you will be looking at around 8-10 hours of battery life, with moderate use I see it being charged daily and with light use every two days. I feel this definitely holds its own in and provides a fantastic all round experience without having to worry whether your battery will last or not.
To conserve your battery the 925 also has a Battery Saver feature; this can be accessed by navigating to the settings, tapping Battery Saver and switching it on.
This feature will then automatically enable itself when the battery gets low, it will switch off certain services whilst in standby and turn off auto sync for all of your email and social networking accounts, but you will still be able to receive phones calls and text messages. When battery saver is enabled you will see a little heart display on the battery icon.
With the 925 you have the option of charging the device in multiple ways. You can use the mains plug provided which will charge the device up in around 2-3 hours, the USB cable through a computer that will take around 6 hours or purchase an additional wireless charging plate and wireless charging case, using these to charge the device will take around 4-5 hours. With the wireless charging plate you can leave this on your desk and just place your phone on it whilst working to ensure you never run low on juice - quite handy if you ask us!
The 925 offers everything you would expect in a device of this calibre, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and LTE 4G. Nokia have added LTE capabilities into their entire range of top end devices, from the 820 onwards and now offer up a whole range of compatible devices. Also included is a service called GLONASS, which is the same as our GPS service we use here in the UK but only works in Russia, this could be a bonus to some people!
Audio is becoming the biggest game changer for a lot of people now and with competitors like HTC using Beats Audio, companies are forced to step their game up a notch and Nokia have done just that. Their latest ranges of devices come with Dolby Enhancement; this improves the clarity and range of music played through a Lumia device and is easily accessible through the Settings menu in the music app. If you want to see how much of a difference this makes simply disable it and enable it again, you will be pleasantly surprised!
Nokia take pride in producing picture perfect cameras and have once again done the same with their 925 which boasts an 8 mega-pixel rear camera and a 1.3 mega-pixel front camera. Although compared to some manufacturers, 8 mega-pixels can seem low but the addition of the Carl Zeiss optics within the 925 proves to be more than enough for this behemoth to hold its own. Producing clear, crisp and colourful images the 925 is definitely a worthy handset if you are wishing to use it for photos and the shutter button on the side proves to be a dominant feature here.
The Lumia 925 is also capable of recording full 1080p HD video using the rear camera and 720p HD using the front facing camera. The Optical Image Stabilisation improves low light performance by allowing for a longer exposure, whilst also letting you produce the best videos possible by counterbalancing any movements you make whilst moving, meaning the video is as stable as can be when played back.
The camera app itself is extremely clean and provides an easy to use experience whilst offering the best preview possible before taking your shots. Using the camera app provides the ability to switch between different shooting modes such as Panorama and Cinemagraph. Panoramic shots are taken by following the little circles on screen and pressing the tick once finished; the phone then stitches all of these images together in to one to create a complete wide angle shot. Cinemagraph takes a three second video clip, detects any sort of movement and allows for you to enable movement in those areas by tapping on the little square, I personally have found no use for this yet but I could see it being useful in the future.
Nokia haven’t yet jumped on the Full HD bandwagon with their devices, but they don’t need to. The screen on the 925 hosts its own set of beautiful specs:
- 4.5-inch display
- 768 x 1280 resolution
- 332ppi (Pixels Per Inch)
- PureMotion HD+ ClearBlack Display
I found the 4.5-inch screen on the 925 to be the ideal size for this device - any larger and it would have felt odd and lost a lot of its quality. It offers a gorgeous rich, sharp and colourful image across all content, this is down to the 768 x 1280 resolution and even though it is not full HD it felt like there was nothing better out there whilst using it. Nokia have implemented their PureMotion HD+ which allows pixels to light up twice as fast as other displays and offers up the best quality image on moving content. Also implemented is Nokia’s Clear Black Display, this reduces reflections on the screen and ensures the blacks that you see are just the blacks, meaning you shouldn’t see any glare on the screen.
Software - Nokia Lumia 925
The Lumia 925 comes preloaded with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8, the latest version of Windows Phone that is soon to be upgradable to Windows Phone 8.1. Alongside this incredible operating system is a whole bunch of state of the art features, some of these are:
- Microsoft Office
- Data Sense
- HERE City Lens
- Nokia Music
Microsoft Office is a huge part of day to day life for the majority of people, either for checking emails in Outlook or writing documents with Word. The ability to use Microsoft Office on a smartphone takes it to a whole new level! Office gives you the ability to edit Word documents, spreadsheets in Excel, Powerpoint presentations and even provides access to Office 365 which is a separate service Microsoft offer supplying Office wherever you are in the world and regardless of what device you are on.
Data Sense is a new feature that has been added to the 925 that lets you monitor the amount of data used on both Wi-Fi and mobile internet with the ability to cap the usage for each of service. You are able to set if your plan is either pay monthly, pre-paid or unlimited and even select the date on each month that it reset. This can either be measured in Megabytes or Gigabytes. Once you have set this your screen will display how much data you have remaining and how many days until it resets, if you hit your data cap it will instantly switch off and stop working preventing you from going over and incurring any additional charges. When Data Sense restricts your background data its pinned tile will display a heart icon similar to the Battery Saver feature.
HERE City Lens is an augmented reality app that uses the camera to view a whole variety of local attractions such as restaurants, shops, hotels, landmarks and public transport, also if you tilt the device so the screen is facing up it shows a full map of locations around you. Once you select a destination you are also able to use the built in navigation app to find your way there easily. I found this to be extremely handy as when you are looking at a map it can be difficult to work out what direction you need to travel in.
Nokia Music combines your personal music library with an unlimited streaming service. This streaming service is free but has certain conditions, these are that you are only able to skip past six tracks per hour and the music quality is slightly lower than it would be if you were to pay for the subscription. This feature is an absolute treat and has opened me up to a whole bunch of artists I had never discovered before and is definitely a service I would be willing to pay for.
Who is this phone for?
This phone is ideal for business use and personal use. Media users will be able to use Nokia Music and the camera to fulfil all their needs whilst a business user can edit their documents with Word, send emails with Outlook and use HERE City Lens to arrange a nearby venue for a meeting. All of this combined in to one tiny package makes the Lumia 925 the ultimate smartphone for the varied user.
The Lumia 925 has combined everything Nokia has previously done well and pushed it to the next level by creating this visually stunning handset. The build quality is superb and has no rival in this market whilst maintaining a sense of class and elegance. The camera button is always a stand out feature for Nokia allowing for the digital camera experience in a small, lightweight and powerful package. I give this phone a 9/10 as it is incredible and provides an unmatchable experience in the Windows Phone market.