Nokia Lumia 925 evaluate: plenty of modifications, however not a lot distinction

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

It has been simply half a yr since Nokia revealed its first Home windows Telephone eight system, and we have already received one other flagship to evaluation. The Lumia 925 marks a departure in design for Nokia — it seems to be nothing like its predecessors, barring an expanse of display and a few capacitive Home windows buttons. This time round, the telephone is housed in an aluminum body, making it Nokia’s first metallic smartphone since these heady Symbian days. This, alongside some hardware repositioning and (minor) specification modifications has been sufficient for the Lumia 925 to weigh notably lower than its 920 forebear — and we expect it is sufficient to really feel in your hand. As we juggled the 2 Home windows Telephones forward of this evaluate, our first impressions have been that the 925 was additionally a lot simpler to carry, regardless of solely a negligible distinction in thickness.

This, alongside some hardware repositioning and (minor) specification modifications has been sufficient for the Lumia 925 to weigh notably lower than its 920 forebear

Arriving in three comparatively restrained monochrome hues (white, black and gray), Nokia’s returned to OLED for its show tech, though it is the identical 1,280 x 768 decision as the remainder of the 920 collection and consists of the corporate’s anti-reflective display know-how for good measure. Its new Sensible Digital camera app debuts on the Lumia 925, standing alongside the inventory app and providing up some fascinating new image-taking choices.

In any other case, it is an terrible lot just like the Lumia 920, at the least on paper: there’s the identical lauded eight.7-megapixel digital camera sensor (with an additional lens factor), the identical twin-core 1.5GHz processor and the identical OS (albeit with some beta goodies). Nokia reckons that the telephone is geared in the direction of a special purchaser than those that purchased the Lumia 920, however alongside Verizon’s current US-solely Lumia 928, is there sufficient to get followers that skipped on final yr’s mannequin to purchase this time round? And is there sufficient to influence you not to carry out for what’s on the horizon?

Gallery | 33 Pictures
Nokia Lumia 925 evaluate

eighty five
Nokia

Nokia Lumia 925

Execs

  • Entertaining, addictive new Sensible Digital camera features
  • Improved digital camera outcomes
  • Skinny and lightweight, properly-constructed
  • Vivid AMOLED show, choice to regulate shade profile

Cons

  • Lacks constructed-in contactless charging
  • Disappointing app choice, nonetheless

Abstract

The Lumia 925 is best than the 920 in most, however not all methods. Nokia clearly made sacrifices for a slimmer design, however we expect they’re value it.

Hardware

Slim, understated and — dare we are saying — an entire lot extra Android-esque, the Lumia 925 does not seem like some other Lumia. Have been these vibrant colours not pulling in clients, or is Nokia merely making an attempt a unique tack?

The Lumia 925 feels lots safer, design-sensible, and, nicely, somewhat blander than what we have seen earlier than.

The corporate has stated that the telephone is aimed for those who needed one thing that stands out rather less, however we have got combined emotions on the present gray / black / white palette, even when it does go properly with the brand new metallic look. Within the grand scheme of up to date smartphone design, the Lumia 925 feels lots safer, design-sensible, and, nicely, a bit of blander than what we have seen earlier than. Nevertheless, it is one other properly-made telephone, and to be clear, we notably just like the end on the matte white mannequin.

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

There’s an virtually ceramic texture to the telephone that improves the grip and in addition lends it extra of a flagship really feel. And about that really feel: we talked about in our Lumia 920 evaluation that Nokia’s first Home windows Telephone eight system was a bit cumbersome, a bit too heavy. Nicely, this one is not. The Lumia 925 has shed round 1 / 4 of the load of the 920 (139g versus 185g), however that has additionally required some sacrifices: the brand new mannequin arrives with 16GB of storage (down from 32), and no constructed-in wi-fi charging. Should you’re on the lookout for some contactless charging, you will have to buy a canopy that provides that performance.

Whereas thinner (a “volumetric” eight.5mm vs. 10.7mm) than the Lumia 920, the 925 matches so a lot better, a lot extra comfortably, in our palms. It isn’t fairly as skinny as Nokia would really like you to consider — for those who line up each telephones and consider the digital camera protrusion, the 2 are fairly shut. However when you grip the 925, you will perceive it is not in any respect clunky like its predecessors. The body itself is usual out of flippantly textured aluminum, with machined buttons within the typical Home windows Telephone locations. The 925’s digital camera button has a strongly discernible two-stage melancholy, so you will know once you’re focusing with a half-press or capturing a photograph with a full melancholy.

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

All of the ports (micro-USB and headphone) now belong on the highest edge, in addition to the micro-SIM tray. If we had any complaints concerning the telephone’s construct, we might argue it is not fairly as polished because the Lumia 920. We liked these micro-drilled holes for the speaker and mics, and the micro-USB port that sits slightly below the floor of the Lumia 925 lacks the black define we have got on our yellow Lumia 920. The headphone socket, oddly, does get that remedy. Inside the plastic backing panel, you will discover Nokia’s most up-to-date imaging delight and pleasure: its eight.7-megapixel sensor with optical picture stabilization, arriving with what seems to be an equivalent twin-LED flash (no xenon right here, sadly). The digital camera unit protrudes barely, however the lens is fortuitously barely recessed inside the plastic that surrounds it, providing some safety when resting on flat surfaces. There are some loudspeaker grille holes on the backside, though the place does blast the sound into your palms should you’re holding it in portrait mode. Above that may be a trio of contacts for that optionally available contactless charging cowl. The telephone itself is sealed, so there isn’t any entry to both the two,000mAh battery or any slot for microSD enlargement.

Melded into the aluminum body is Nokia’s new antenna system. The first one resides within the backside of the telephone, with two extra antennas within the prime edge. These black stripes then separate these antennas from the remainder of the aluminum physique — Nokia says it is ensured that the antenna “maximizes use of radio bands,” whether or not on GSM (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900), WCDMA (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100) or LTE (Bands 1, three, 7, eight, 20) — take a look at our efficiency part to see the way it fared.

Show

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

With the Lumia 925’s four.5-inch AMOLED WXGA (1,280 x 768) show, we’re provided one thing to match towards the prevailing Lumia 920, a telephone that went for an IPS LCD over OLED. You’ve got in all probability already heard our complaints about OLED, with the first one being that bluish tint affecting whites and different shades — and its one thing that also pervades this telephone’s show when viewing it at off angles. Nevertheless, Nokia’s tried to amend this by including a “Lumia Colour Profile” choice. We had ours largely set on enhanced colours and impartial white stability. You may recall an analogous selection on Samsung smartphones utilizing AMOLED from the Galaxy SII and onwards, however there’s not only a handful of profiles right here — Nokia leaves the settings in your arms to regulate. Additionally nestled inside the similar settings choice is the acquainted excessive-sensitivity contact choice that allows you to use gloves or faucet on the display together with your nails.

We want the AMOLED choice over IPS LCD, partially as a result of the black body surrounding your Home windows Telephone house display is almost indistinguishable from the bezel

We want the AMOLED choice over IPS LCD, partially as a result of the black body surrounding your Home windows Telephone residence display is almost indistinguishable from the bezel, a minimum of head-on. Higher nonetheless, AMOLED’s “black” pixels do not require any power, which means there’s more likely to be a minor battery-saving profit for anybody who goes for the black Home windows Telephone customization over the white one. Viewing angles are nice, and at wider angles, the display brightness diminishes much less on the 925’s OLED in comparison with the IPS display of the 920.

Nokia’s coined the phrase PureMotion HD+ to explain its excessive-response display and in follow, it means a show that does not blur a lot as you are scrolling by way of websites. For outdoor, there is a ClearBlack layer to assist readability, plus a excessive-brightness mode if you’re determined to browse the online outdoors. In one other effort to slim down, the telephone’s Gorilla Glass 2 display has shrunk to a 2.25D curvature (in comparison with the two.5D curve on the Lumia 920). This lesser angle means not as a lot glass is used, which helps the telephone shed mass within the type of each grams and millimeters. Even so, there’s nonetheless greater than sufficient curve to make swiping the display a cushty expertise.

Digital camera

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

The hardware has been left largely unchanged because the Lumia 920, with an eight.7-megapixel sensor, ISO as much as 800 and 1080p seize at 30 fps, all by means of an f/2.zero Carl Zeiss lens. Inside that lens, there’s been some enhancements, nevertheless, though nothing fairly as progressive (or spectacular) as optical picture stabilization or lossless zoom. Alongside noise-compression algorithms and software program-based mostly tweaks, Nokia’s added a sixth glass component to the 5-lens Carl Zeiss setup seen on the remainder of the Lumia 920 collection. We have been promised that this may enhance the sharpness of photographs — one thing we did certainly discover throughout our 5 days of capturing.

Gallery | 29 Pictures
Nokia Lumia 925 pattern pictures

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

Along with this evaluate, we have been testing out the 925’s digital camera towards its 920 and 928 stablemates — anticipate to see a full comparability very quickly. For now, when pitted towards the HTC One and the Lumia 920, the Lumia 925 presents usually sharper pictures than its Nokia sibling, whereas colour stability and picture copy (recording what was in entrance of our eyes on the display) was higher on the 925 over HTC’s UltraPixel digital camera. Take a look at our pattern under, and you will see that whereas each Nokia telephones use the identical sensor, these behind-the-scenes enhancements yield sharper pictures, and (a minimum of on this instance) higher mild metering. Within the shot under, as an example, you will discover finer element on the pinecone texture. Hopefully it is that tumbler lens element at work.

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

Towards the HTC One in low mild, each units delivered good outcomes. If we needed to name a winner, the Lumia inches previous the One, with a extra dependable white stability and finer element, as a consequence of its larger megapixel rely. We targeting capturing within the night and in darker conditions to exhibit (once more!) the standard of photographs you are capable of snap with Nokia’s smartphone digital camera. We have been delighted with a number of the outcomes. Nokia even arrange a particular photograph session with efficiency group Limbo for journalists to place the corporate’s new telephone by way of its paces — and that is the place our pattern video comes from.

Optical picture stabilization actually kicks in right here, making your video footage look extra prefer it got here from a devoted video digital camera fairly than some slender smartphone. Nokia’s audio recording expertise additionally handle to deftly seize the usually raucous band enjoying alongside, whereas the autofocus was capable of hold the efficiency sharp regardless of some difficult lighting.

Nokia’s new Sensible Digital camera is value speaking about too, because it presents up new methods to seize and share what you see round you. It is the alternative for the burst-shot Lens app Sensible Shoot, and Nokia guarantees that the brunt of the options on show right here will seem on its different WP8 telephones, so in case you’ve already invested in a Lumia, please do learn on, since you’ll be getting comparable photograph-tinkering goodness very quickly.

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

You’ll be able to entry the Sensible Digital camera app both via its very personal icon or by way of the Lens sub-menu on the usual digital camera UI. In reality, there’s even a 3rd approach — you’ll be able to recalibrate the bodily digital camera key to launch into Nokia’s new sensible iteration moderately than the usual photograph / video app. This then takes you right into a sparse digital camera UI, the place you possibly can evaluate earlier photographs, swap to totally different Home windows Telephone Lenses and use a touchscreen seize button. As soon as you’ve got targeted, a round timer will present the period of the burst images. After a couple of seconds of considering time (we’ll come again to this unlucky flaw) you will be provided up a Greatest Shot, chosen by a person in a room Nokia’s imaging algorithms as the perfect of your 10-shot burst assortment.

Typically it is spot-on (it is higher with crowds of faces). Different occasions it fails to understand what you have been trying to give attention to. Positive, that brick wall might look crisp with good lighting, however you have been making an attempt to seize somebody flying previous on a scooter. That is when the second function kicks in: swiping down as soon as gives up Motion Shot. This was by far our favourite, because it’s able to combining 10 photographs towards a hard and fast backdrop. You’ll be able to then choose a number of frames, superimposing them on prime of one another. There is a fade toggle that lets you choose one main picture, with further layers then barely pale out. Higher nonetheless, the interface is uncomplicated. When you perceive that the background wants to stay fastened, you’ll produce some eye-catching outcomes.

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

The outcomes aren’t all the time good — you will typically get some awkward ghosting when the digital camera cannot fairly detect the thing in movement, however it’s the standout addition for us. Movement Focus (seen on our Tube shot) is one other new choice, which detects your shifting object, then blurs the encompassing space. There is a selection of a low- and excessive-blur results, however anticipate mild sources to typically spoil the phantasm. Change Faces tries to make sure group photographs come out with everybody’s eyes open. You’ll be able to tweak an image individual by individual, choosing everybody’s greatest smile from the ten photographs captured. Lastly, Take away Shifting Objects, er, does what it says it can — erasing that automotive that spoiled your lovely cityscape. Once more, just like the Motion Shot, you will have to have taken a set of static photographs, and the Lumia will then work out what you won’t need within the photograph. One of many largest drawbacks for us is the a number of-second load time essential to get Sensible Cam up and operating. It defeats the purpose of capturing one thing in movement if the 925 is languishing making an attempt to get the app open. We’re hoping Nokia makes it a precedence to shave the app’s begin-up time, as a result of it deserves the eye.

Software program

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

Home windows Telephone. It is nonetheless not there. Readers will convene on the remark part on the finish of this assessment to say they do not want the likes of Google+, Dropbox and Instagram, however these omissions symbolize a bigger image. These app makers aren’t notably bothered that they are lacking out on Home windows Telephone, and as such, it is probably that future apps you do need will not make it to Microsoft’s OS, even when they’re already out there on iOS and Android. So, it is just about the identical ecosystem state of affairs as we outlined in our Lumia 920 evaluation, besides Spotify’s now made it to WP8 and you may anticipate to see a Halo recreation or two sooner or later.

Gallery | 34 Photographs
Nokia Lumia 925 screengrabs

Home windows Telephone. It is nonetheless not there.

Proper, in order that half’s coated. Now on to the highlights. The excellent Nokia Right here maps are… right here, as is Nokia Music and its accompanying free offline playlist function. New additions embrace an FM radio tuner, which, like Android variations, requires some headphones to double up as an antenna. Additionally current is Knowledge Sense, not a Verizon-solely function and providing up an analogous expertise (and statistics) to apps discovered (once more) on Android — a measurable means of maintaining a tally of your knowledge consumption. There’s additionally the nonetheless-beta Look display that got here put in on our assessment system, with Nokia giving a nod to its Symbian previous with an all the time-on clock. There’s even a really trendy purple iteration you possibly can select throughout night time hours, though we might like to see Nokia broaden on what kind of info is displayed right here, past charging standing and time. There’s now the power to get up the telephone with a double faucet — a Meego function that is reappeared. It is a good little trick, though having to then swipe upwards to unlock the telephone appears a bit redundant.

Not all of the modifications are for the higher, nevertheless. Getting your Google account to work on the Lumia 925 additionally takes somewhat bit of additional work. Google Mail makes use of an outgoing SMTP e mail server, quite than the system nonetheless used on the Lumia 920. Technicalities apart, which means the telephone solely polls for brand spanking new mail each quarter-hour — and that is the shortest interval. In the meantime, on our companion 920, the telephone downloads new content material because it arrives. Google says it’s going to help its sync service for Home windows Telephone till the top of July and has stated that “it is now potential to construct a seamless sync expertise utilizing open protocols (IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV) for Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts.” Sadly, that is not but the way it works on the Lumia 925. With some assist from Nokia, we did handle to determine a workaround by way of the telephone’s superior setup for e-mail, which downloads new content material because it arrives, nevertheless it’s sadly extra difficult than it must be.

Battery life and efficiency Nokia Lumia 925 Nokia Lumia 920 HTC Home windows Telephone 8X WPBench 216 227 221 Battery rundown three:fifty five 2:fifty five 2:30 SunSpider 1.zero(MS) 905.four 903.2 914 (on zero.9.1) AnTuTu (*GPU check off) eleven,819* eleven,457* eleven,775 SunSpider: decrease scores are higher

Operating on the identical twin-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor seen on its predecessor, the Lumia 925 copes simply positive flipping between apps within the multitasking menu, or pulling up media-dense web sites. Operating SunSpider 1.zero to check Web Explorer on the brand new telephone resulted in an honest rating of 905.4ms, which is almost similar to the 903.2ms we acquired on the Lumia 920. The Lumia 925 does a great job dealing with what’s sometimes a reasonably mediocre workload — there is no GTA three right here to push that Snapdragon processor to its limits, and nearly all of video games or apps out there on Home windows Telephone can, if obtainable, run on any mid-vary Android system.

There’s additionally 1GB of system reminiscence, a normal function on most prime-finish WP8 telephones, alongside 16GB of storage. When you might argue that is half of what was delivered on final yr’s Lumia 920, 16GB continues to be comparatively ample — however we might have paid slightly extra for the choice of some microSD enlargement. If Nokia can craft a micro-SIM tray, why not supply one thing elsewhere on the telephone’s perimeter for extra knowledge storage?

If Nokia can craft a micro-SIM tray, why not supply one thing elsewhere on the telephone’s perimeter for extra knowledge storage?

With the identical battery, processor, decision and display measurement (if not know-how), we anticipated a battery rundown to supply comparable occasions to the Lumia 920 on th similar 2,000mAh battery, and we have been proper. As we have performed with it during the last 5 days, we observed that actual-world use was truly longer than what we have been anticipating from a Nokia Home windows Telephone. Whether or not that is because of the AMOLED show (and the way it handles black output with out expending a lot energy) or that all the time-on clock that meant we weren’t as obsessive with powering the gadget on on a regular basis, we have been capable of final a very good day and a half on a single cost.

There isn’t any contactless charging constructed-in; you will need to pay an as-but undecided quantity for that pleasure, however it could possibly be well worth the funding. The covers are light-weight, though they (like most telephone instances) do damage the cleaner strains of the bottom hardware, including to the thickness of the telephone. However we like our Lumias with no less than a little bit of shade, and an enormous chunk of purple or yellow definitely helps there. Throughout our velocity checks on an EE 3G connection, we discovered that the Lumia 925 did in reality carry out higher than our polycarb-clad 920. Presumably because of the work completed on the antenna, the aluminum mannequin sometimes bested it by 1 Mbps on common. Speeds on HSPA+ circled round 6 Mbps down, and simply shy of 1.5 Mbps up, consistent with different smartphones on different networks. The Lumia 925 additionally gave us reliably clear, secure voice calls — as we just about anticipate from Nokia.

Wrap-up

Nokia Lumia 925 review: lots of changes, but not much difference

Nokia has fastened a number of of the most important complaints leveled on the Lumia 920. In truth, the Lumia 925 seems like a Home windows Telephone pitched at individuals who assume they are going to purchase an Android telephone subsequent. The colours and design are extra understated; the hardware is thinner and lighter, and arguably simply as spectacular because the HTC One or the iPhone. Our complaints concerning the Home windows Telephone ecosystem nonetheless stand, and we do not see that altering a lot within the subsequent six months. Regardless of that, Nokia has improved on the software program to make sure that whereas the Lumia 925 stands out from the remainder of the collection at launch, all of its smartphones will profit from notable enhancements just like the Look display and the Sensible Digital camera app. It is excellent news for Lumia telephone house owners, however makes the 925 a trickier promote over the 920, which is now £one hundred fifty cheaper off-contract within the UK. To not point out, the additional storage and constructed-in contactless charging you are dropping once you select the 925 as an alternative.

There’s yet one more shadow hanging over the 925: EOS.

Moreover, there’s yet one more shadow hanging over the 925: EOS. Nokia has unabashedly used its imaging pedigree as a serious promoting level, and we have continually pointed in the direction of the lossless zoom-succesful 808 PureView digital camera sensor as what we need to see on its Home windows Telephones. The rumors recommend we’re swiftly approaching its arrival and we might advocate readers wait and see precisely what Nokia’s obtained deliberate earlier than placing down cash for the Lumia 925.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.

 Cover Feedback zeroFeedback