Inspect-a-Gadget: Nokia Lumia 925

Updated February 12, 2014

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— Bilal Brohi/Spider Magazine Photo
— Bilal Brohi/Spider Magazine Photo
— Bilal Brohi/Spider Magazine Photo
— Bilal Brohi/Spider Magazine Photo
— Bilal Brohi/Spider Magazine Photo
— Bilal Brohi/Spider Magazine Photo
— Bilal Brohi/Spider Magazine Photo
— Bilal Brohi/Spider Magazine Photo

Like the name suggests, the Nokia Lumia 925 appears to be a follow-up for the Lumia 920 rather than a new phone altogether. Even though the internal components do not break any technological barriers, the look and feel of the device has been completely overhauled. It’s slim, it’s robust and it’s got all the necessary attributes that a modern day high-end smartphone should have – at least externally, the Nokia Lumia 925 is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor.

Design

Nokia leaves behind their critically acclaimed seamless polycarbonate uni-body designs, that were until now synonymous with the Lumia series, and branches out to incorporate a brushed-aluminium metal frame around its body, that compliments the contoured polycarbonate plate covering the back. A risky move on Nokia’s part since the end product is slim, monochrome and displays clear contrast in materials used as opposed to the colourful, fluid, single-piece polycarbonate design aboard the 920.

An ejectable micro-SIM port, a micro-USB port used mainly for charging and data transfers, and a 35mm port for the inline mic-headset can be found aboard the 925, encased within the metal frame on top. A volume rocker, power button and shutter key: the only hard buttons available are positioned along the right side within the metal frame. The quintessential Nokia layout adds to the Windows Phone 8 simplicity and aesthetic, making the user experience extremely fluid.

The back contoured polycarbonate cover is not removable, along it’s vertical centre you can see the dual LED Flash above the extruding camera housing which some may find slightly irritating due to its placement, since it’s easy to obstruct the lens while taking a portrait style picture. Along the bottom you can see a speaker grill and a curious trio of silver circular cut-outs above it. They function to connect the wireless charging exoskeleton to the battery housed beneath, since the cover is not removable. The Lumia 920 comes with integrated wireless charging which added a fair amount of weight which Nokia decided to shed for the 925 and thus, the wireless setup is now a supplementary expense.

The front has the Windows Phone 8 standard: back, windows and search soft buttons at the bottom and a slit on the top and centre of the 4.5-inch display for the speaker next to the front facing camera and light sensors.

Performance & Usability

The dual-core 1.5GHz Krait CPU with 1GB RAM powers the 4.5-inch 1280 x768 pixel AMOLED display, a 8.7 MP camera and runs Windows Phone 8. None of these specs made my head spin unlike Samsung’s Galaxy S4 or HTC’s One, but it must also be said that no Windows-powered phones have seen the likes of a quad-core processor, those will probably come around next year.

Most people that are buying new smartphones are constantly in a ‘spec war’ of sorts, most of them not realising that they do not need all that processing power considering they won’t be able to utilise even half of it. For instance, I’ve been using the 925 for the better part of two weeks, while multitasking as much as I can; playing games, streaming multimedia, reading etcetera – not once has the device behaved as if it needs a reboot or displayed lack of power.

Unfortunately there are not many if any games available that redline the 925 enough to see what all it is capable of. However, not enough can be said about the keyboard design, it is accurate, responsive and most of all there are no problems with predictive text ruining bilingual texts – a huge win in my opinion.

There are plenty of soft connectivity options even if there are few hardware connectors. Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, NFC and 4G options are up for grabs. The HERE Maps and HERE Drive apps feature plenty of satellite imagery, road maps, public transport and traffic maps. There usability is subject to geographic location but in essence with this in hand, you’ll have to try pretty hard to proverbially, get lost.

Display and camera

Unlike its predecessor but very much like most of the Lumia family, an AMOLED screen is used on the 925’s 4.5-inch display. AMOLED screens are considered to display vivid colours and have more contrast than IPS LCD but they also tend to over saturate colours and in turn, make images appear less natural than the latter. Nokia addressed this concern through the use of ‘Lumia Colour Profile’ that can be found within their settings menu. It allows the user to choose image saturation and colour temperature.

Another new feature on the 925 is Nokia’s PureMotion screen technology, designed to evade image ghosting. Fast moving images tend to leave a trail or flicker on OLED displays, PureMotion technology increases the voltage and increases the response time or refresh rate of the display to keep pace with Windows Phone 8’s swift navigation.

The Lumia 925’s display clocks in at 332dpi, well below the HTC One and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 (both 440+). The difference is visible when you compare the 925 with either of the others side by side, but for the most part the difference is minimal when viewed from normal distance.

The camera has a 8.7MP main sensor and a f/2.0 lens with a 26mm focal length, results are good, but they’re not brilliant. There are many modes and options to choose from, such as best shot, action shot, motion focus and additionally you can remove invasive objects. Even though the results are more detailed than competing phones in certain situations, the colour reproduction is not as rich.

The verdict

I really like the Lumia 925, in my opinion it’s everything that the Lumia 920 should have been. Nokia may have incorporated an OLED screen to shed weight and girth but they also addressed the weaknesses that come bundled with the technology. The Windows Phone 8 architecture is as fast and responsive as it is designed to be: never leaves you longing for more power or speed.

There are a few gripes that are worth a mention, The camera is good but results could have offered better colour reproduction, the PenTile display could be taken as a disadvantage if you critically analyze the screen and my biggest personal issue is not with the Lumia 925 per say but Nokia’s collective trend of consolidating all existing contacts into people which uses Hotmail to sync all contacts and e-mail.

All things considered, the Lumia 925 is great value for money, the risk Nokia took by incorporating the brushed metal frame panned out, the 925 looks and feels more like a premium phone than anything else in that price range.

Spicifications

Price: Rs.47,000 - 50,000
GENERAL
2G Network
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - all versions
3G Network
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 - RM-892
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - RM-910, RM-893 4G Network
LTE 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 - RM-892
LTE 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - RM-893
SIM
Micro-SIM
Announced 2013, May
Status Available. Released 2013, June
BODY
Dimensions 129 x 70.6 x 8.5 mm, 78 cc (5.08 x 2.78 x 0.33 in)
Weight 139 g (4.90 oz)
DISPLAY
Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 768 x 1280 pixels, 4.5 inches (~332 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 2
PureMotion HD+ ClearBlack display
SOUND
Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
Dolby Headphone sound enhancement
MEMORY
Card slot No
Internal 16 GB/ 1 GB RAM
DATA
GPRS Class B
EDGE Up to 236.8 kbps
HSDPA 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0 with A2DP
NFC Yes
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA
Primary 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilization,
autofocus, dual-LED flash
Features 1/3'' sensor size, PureView technology, geo-tagging, touch focus
Video Yes, 1080p@30fps, video stabilization
Secondary Yes, 1.3 MP, 720p@30fps
FEATURES
OS Microsoft Windows Phone 8, upgradeable to WP8 Amber
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon
CPU Dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait
GPU Adreno 225
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java No
Colours Black, White, Gray
SNS integration
BATTERY
Non-removable Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery (BL-4YW)
Stand-by (2G) / Up to 440 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 18 h 20 min (2G) / Up to 12 h 40 min (3G)
Music play Up to 55 h
Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
7GB free SkyDrive storage