Nokia is taking to the stage today, and announced the Lumia 925, a pretty metal-rimmed Windows Phone 8 device, which was long-rumored under the Catwalk codename. We've got a 4.5" 1280x768 pixels HD AMOLED display with the ClearBlack filter, which Nokia said is its brightest OLED used to date, and can be operated with gloves. The phone is made of polycarbonate, but sports an aluminum side frame, which also serves as the antenna, and the 8.7 MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens, dual LED flash and optical image stabilization, as found on the Lumia 920. Nokia said the camera algorithms have been significantly improved as well, so all that is left now is to gauge what changes are there from the first samples. The wireless charging capabilities from its predecessor are here as well, but via a cover, hence the phone is much, much thinner and lighter than the 920, at 8.5 mm and 139 grams, respectively. There is LTE and HSPA+ 4G connectivity, a dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon inside, the typical 1 GB of RAM plus 16 GB of internal memory, and a 2000 mAh battery to back it all up.
Nokia has a new flagship Windows phone 8 handset in the shape of the Nokia Lumia 925, and it looks like a big step forward. The Lumia 925, which was launched in London, hot on the heels of the US launch of the 928 earlier this week, is far slimmer at 8.5mm and lighter than its predecessor, the Lumia 920, and eschews that phone’s bulbous rear in favour of a sharper, sleeker, more modern look.
With the phones pictured side by side, the difference between the two handsets is clear to see. The new handset’s display is the same size and resolution at 4.5in and 768 x 1,280, but the chassis has been completely redesigned.
For the most part it’s still constructed from the same sensible and hard-wearing solid polycarbonate as before (in a variety of more muted colours), but with the Lumia 925 it’s framed with a curved, matte-finish aluminium rim, which also acts as the phone’s antenna.
For snaps, Nokia claims to have improved the camera technology, in particular the lens, which now consists of six elements instead of five, and the software processing. The resolution remains the same at 8.7 megapixels and it retains the optical image stabilisation technology from the Lumia 920, the f/2 aperture and the Carl Zeiss branding.
The phone also comes preloaded with a raft of new camera features. The Nokia Smart Camera app adds several new features, including Best Shot – where the camera shoots multiple frames that you can choose between afterwards– and Action Shot, which is similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4’s Drama Shot. It shoots a burst of shots then overlays them on top of each other. Motion blur keeps foreground objects in sharp focus, while blurring the background dramatically.
Nokia Lumia 925
Change Faces is similar to the S4’s Best Face function, taking multiple shots of a group of people, allowing you to pick the most smiley mugs from a range of facial expressions. And there’s also a tool that will use the burst mode to remove annoying moving objects for you, for times when someone walks across the frame while you’re trying to snap a picture in a crowded space. Again, this is similar to a Samsung Galaxy S4 feature – called Eraser.
Aside from that, it’s typical Lumia fare. The Lumia 925 comes loaded with all the usual Nokia software bells and whistles, from Nokia Music for streamed music mixes to Here Maps, which offers free worldwide navigation with downloadable maps.
And, lastly, the CPU powering the 925 hasn’t changed: a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and 1GB of RAM taking pride of place. This should prove perfectly sufficient for Windows Phone 8, which felt extremely slick and smooth on the new phone.
Nokia has smartly – or stubbornly, depending on how you see it – stuck to a formula here. The Finnish phone maker has taken the best of the Lumia 920 and slimmed it down into the Lumia 925.
Otherwise, the same hardware that impressed before should impress now. The Lumia 925 has the company’s 8.7-meg lens that’s assisted by an optical image stabiliser, which helps avoid blur images. The camera is also one of the best to be mounted on a phone.
The specs that matter, the Lumia 925 has them. There’s 4G built in, a reasonably large 4.5-inch screen (at 1,280 x 768 resolution) and also near-field communications for tap-and-go wireless services.
The dual-core 1.5GHz processor may seem long in the tooth compared to quad- and octa-core monsters these days, but Windows Phone should run pretty well on it, as it has before with the older Lumias.
Design and build
Silvery aluminum trim frames the 925 in the first Lumia to use metal, but the matte plastic backing lashes it to the Lumia family of unibody polycarbonate phones. The design looks good: slim (0.33 inch thick) and clean with very few gaps, and black bands on the spines for accent.
The deep-black glossy screen looks lush and deep; and on the right, aluminum buttons that control volume, power/lock, and the camera button pop out to meet probing fingers. When I hold the phone, its wider dimensions -- 5.1 inches tall by 2.8 inches wide stretch across -- can make the buttons stick out into the hand, even though I like that they're not flush. Unlike the HTC One, the 925's back doesn't bow enough to curve into your palm, so it doesn't feel quite as snug.
Like the other 920 series phones, the 925 has a 4.5 inch WXGA screen with a 1,280x768-pixel resolution. It has the ClearBlack filter for reducing outdoor glare, Gorilla Glass 2 for scratch resistance, and a sensitive touch screen you can navigate with long fingernails or gloves. The AMOLED screen technology means colors pop bright and blacks look rich and deep. Microsoft's graphical Windows Phone design looks great in this treatment, and so do photos, videos, games, and images on Web sites.
Below the display, Windows Phone's three capacitive buttons handle navigation and pull up extra tools, like voice search and task-switching. Above it, you'll find the front-facing camera. Nokia has been making phones for so long, it's a little disappointing that the 925 and other Lumias lack an indicator light on the front to clue you into charging status and alerts.
Keeping it classy, the 925 groups its headset, charging, and Micro-SIM card ports up top. On the back, the stylized camera module pops out slightly, topped by a dual-LED flash.
OS and features
Running Windows Phone 8, the 925's software doesn't deviate from the other Lumia phones. There's NFC support, Bluetooth 3.0 (which could soon turn into Bluetooth 4.0), and the whole host of connectivity and OS features.
One difference from the 920 and 928 is that there's no integrated wireless charging, which is part of what makes this phone slimmer around the midsection. Instead, you can purchase an aftermarket snap-on cover, which does come in screaming colors if you miss them.
On the apps front, Nokia continues to give its phones an edge with the OS, offering up a heap of Nokia-only apps and services, like Music Mix radio. Its Here maps app just recently made the jump to all Windows phones, not just Nokia's. You can find more details on Nokia's apps in the Lumia 920 review.
Camera and video
With each new Lumia 900-series phone, Nokia has subtly changed and incrementally improved the camera's image quality. Like the rest, this one has an 8.7-megapixel lens with PureView processing algorithms.
Instead of the 928's Xenon bulb, the 925 returns to LED flash; two of them, in fact. This time around there's a sixth lens in the Carl Zeiss optical assembly, which Nokia says will take clearer daytime shots. In addition, you have a backside-illuminated image sensor, autofocus, and 4x digital zoom.
The camera app is pretty plain by default, but like all Nokia phones, it includes lenses for panorama and Nokia Smart Cam, which adds a load of effects you also see on top Android phones. You'll be able to edit photos as well.
Nokia Lumia 925
This 8.7-megapixel shooter has a sixth lens and great lowlight capabilities.
Nokia continues to dominate the field in the quality of low-light shots that it takes. Even in very dark rooms with uneven lighting, the Lumia 925 uses its focus flash and image chips to the best effect, with HTC and the iPhone 5 a close second, and Samsung trailing behind, even when set to night mode.
PopupWindows Phone 8
5.08 x 2.78 x 0.33 inches (129 x 70.6 x 8.5 mm)
4.90 oz (139 g)
the average is 4.7 oz (135 g)
768 x 1280 pixels
16 777 216
Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Scratch-resistant glass
Focal length (35mm equivalent):
Camera sensor size:
PopupBack-illuminated sensor (BSI), Auto focus, Touch to focus, Optical image stabilization, Face detection, Exposure compensation, White balance presets, Digital zoom, Geo tagging, Panorama, Macro mode, Night mode, Scenes
1920x1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)
Optical image stabilization, Video calling
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960
Dual core, 1500 MHz, Krait
1024 MB RAM
the average is 12 h (736 min)
18.0 days (432 hours)
the average is 20 days (490 h)
Talk time (3G):
the average is 12 h (738 min)
Stand-by time (3G):
18.3 days (440 hours)
the average is 20 days (470 h)
Not user replaceable:
Album, Artist, Playlists
Album art cover, Background playback
FM, Stereo, RDS
Internet Explorer 10
Built-in online services support:
Facebook, YouTube (upload), Picasa/Google+, Twitter
850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
850, 1900, 2100 MHz
800 (band 18), 900 (band 8), 1800 (band 3), 2100 (band 1), 2600 (band 7) MHz
LTE Cat3 Downlink 100 Mbit/s, LTE Cat3/4 Uplink 50 Mbit/s, HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s
GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, Cell ID, Wi-Fi positioning
Turn-by-turn navigation, Voice navigation
specifications continue after the ad
802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz
Mass storage device, USB charging
NFC, DLNA, Computer sync, OTA sync
Haptic feedback, Music ringtones (MP3), Polyphonic ringtones, Vibration, Flight mode, Silent mode, Speakerphone
Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass
Voice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording, TTY/TDD
14 May 2013