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Nokia Lumia 925 review

Is this really Nokia's 'masterpiece'?

The Nokia Lumia 925 is something of an oddity. For a phone that is presumably meant to be Nokia's flagship for the masses - as the name would suggest - it's been approached rather conservatively.

The specs are for the most part identical to last year's model and are really starting to feel a bit dated in the face of quad-core powerhouses such as the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.

In fact, in a few ways it's actually worse than the Nokia Lumia 920, because it has less built-in storage and no wireless charging.

There have been a few improvements, for example the build quality is now much more premium (though still not up to the standards of the HTC One) and the already great camera has been slightly improved. But that only amounts to two real changes, which isn't much at all for a new flagship phone, although at least the lower price tag is attractive.

We liked

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The Nokia Lumia 925 is a great looking phone. It's slimmer and lighter than the Nokia Lumia 920, the metal band running around the edge does wonders for it and it's the first phone the Finnish company has made in a long time that looks like it was designed for adults.

The camera is superb too, not only in terms of its raw performance but also in the sheer number of options, modes and effects you can play with. Some of it is gimmicky, sure, but there's so much there that you're bound to find something to love. It's not re-inventing the wheel though, as Nokia has lobbed this functionality in with the 920. It is better-packaged, though.

Nokia's HERE Maps and HERE Drive navigation apps are brilliant additions to the stock Microsoft offerings, while Nokia Music's Mix Radio puts millions of tracks at your fingertips for free.

Like all Windows Phone 8 handsets, the Nokia Lumia 925 also does a great job of contacts, messaging and social network integration. And it's a minor point, but we are quite fond of the Glance Clock, despite feeling like a lock-screen-on-top-of-a-lock-screen.

We disliked

The processor and screen resolution on the Nokia Lumia 925 are both distinctly lacking. Neither has seen any upgrade since the Nokia Lumia 920 and both are starting to feel decidedly mid-range. It's noticeable in use too, where things just don't look as sharp as they could and the phone will sometimes struggle with even minor things, such as navigating the Settings menu or rendering Nokia's Smart Camera... the latter particularly frustrating.

That aside, there's little else to dislike beyond the fact that it just hasn't seen much of an upgrade from the Nokia Lumia 920. By far the biggest improvement is build quality, but it's also a departure from the bright iconic colours Nokia has become known for, so it might not be to everyone's taste.

Even if you love the new build it's questionable whether that's really enough to justify the premium price tag, especially when the Nokia Lumia 920 can now be had for a lot less.

We're also really disappointed to see that in some ways the Nokia Lumia 925 is actually inferior to the 920, since its storage has been halved to just 16GB and wireless charging has been removed.

There's no microSD card slot either, despite the fact that even low-end models such as the Nokia Lumia 520 feature one, so you really are stuck with just 16GB of memory.

Final verdict

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The Nokia Lumia 925 is undeniably a great phone in its own right, but it's just not a big enough improvement over the Nokia Lumia 920 for there to be any reason to buy it if you own last year's model - although that is quickly being phased out.

With dated specs the Nokia Lumia 925 is definitely a case of style over substance. If it was priced around the same as the Nokia Lumia 920 that would be fine, but it isn't. And while it's still one of the best Windows Phone 8 handsets available, it's still got a long way to go to catch up to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One and even the iPhone 5, unless you're a particular fan of Windows Phone.

And now there's the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 on the market we'd suggest you check those out too - they might be bigger or more expensive but both have massive plus points over the Lumia 925.

Some call Windows Phone refreshing, but it does still come with limitations and lacks a certain fluidity that Nokia hasn't managed to fix with the Lumia 925. This is a good phone, sure, but as a flagship we need to have our socks blown off, and at last check they were still firmly on our feet.

First reviewed: August 2013

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
SAR Value0.81 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyLumia
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1700, LTE 1800, LTE 1900, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8.7 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameNokia
Battery Talk Time18.30 Hour
Product Model925
Screen Size11.4 cm (4.5")
Screen Resolution1280 x 768
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)139 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityChina RoHS, EU RoHS, REACH, WEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeMMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), SMS (Short Message Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density334 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.3 Megapixel
Height129 mm
Width70.6 mm
Depth8.5 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time440 Hour
ManufacturerNokia
Product NameLumia 925 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon S4
Product LineLumia
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Magnetometer, Orientation Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberA00011575
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.nokia.co.uk
Marketing InformationLow-light photos never looked this good.

Award-winning PureView technology, Carl Zeiss optics and six physical lenses. The Nokia Lumia 925 smartphone lets you capture the great moments, day or night. And the beautifully crafted design will turn heads wherever you go.

Nokia Smart Camera. Unleash your creativity.

Spend less time planning the shot. Nokia Lumia 925 Smart Camera mode lets you take a burst of photos, and then go back later and choose the story you want to tell.

All the action in a single photo.

Capture more of the action than your eyes can see. The Action Shot feature in Nokia Smart Camera lets you snap once to get a sequence of movements in a single high-quality image.

Package Contents
  • Lumia 925 Smartphone
  • Micro USB Charger
  • Charging and Data Cable
  • Headset
  • Quick Guide
  • SIM Door Key
Limited Warranty2 Year