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Nokia Lumia 925 review

Is this really Nokia's 'masterpiece'?

Nokia Lumia 925 review
Getting down with the Nokia Lumia 925

Our Verdict

The flagship 'normal' phone from Nokia - it's got a better design and still makes Windows Phone look better than ever, despite being underpowered and too chunky.


  • Premium build
  • Superb camera
  • Strong suite of native apps


  • Dated specs
  • Screen could be sharper
  • Only 16GB of storage

Nokia has done what we asked: released a Windows Phone handset in metal. Except it's not all metal. And it's very similar to the Nokia Lumia 920. And it's in the high-end price bracket... but does a stunning camera warrant the extra cost?

Last year's Lumia 920 was a decent handset. It married striking looks to a quality screen and an even better camera. However, while it was undeniably good there was still some room for improvement, as being a flagship phone many hoped for better specs, less weight and a more premium build.

Now the Finnish phone-smiths are back with the Nokia Lumia 925. It's only seen a small number boost in its name, and if you assumed that meant that not much had changed, well, you'd be right.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

While Nokia has equipped the Lumia 925 with a similarly brilliant camera and gone some way to addressing the build of its flagship, it hasn't really improved the specs, leaving the Nokia Lumia 925 in the curious position of feeling more like a tweaked handset than an all new one.

This used to be a problem when the handset was so expensive, but it's much more reasonable at £380 (around AU$674) now, making it a much more attractive buy compared to the now discontinued Nokia Lumia 920, although the older model can now be had for under £290 through some sellers.

With a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and just 1GB of RAM the Nokia Lumia 925 matches the Lumia 920 for horsepower and trails some way behind the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or Sony Xperia Z - both of which have double the RAM and quad-core processors.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

Arguably Nokia didn't need to go all out, since it doesn't have a huge amount of competition in the Windows Phone space - only the HTC Windows Phone 8X really poses much of a threat. But it seems like a missed opportunity to compete on a level playing field against the wider phone world.

At first sight you might almost not recognise the Lumia 925 as a Nokia handset. It has the same sharply rectangular shape that the Nokia Lumia 920 has, but where that was all brightly coloured plastic, the Nokia Lumia 925 has a shiny aluminium band running around the sides. It gives it a premium edge that is sorely lacking from other Nokia handsets, and it looks good for it.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

Unfortunately Nokia hasn't gone the whole hog and made a completely metal handset like the HTC One, and instead made the back from polycarbonate. It still looks decent and the fairly conservative colour options (black, white or silver) mean that it looks a lot classier and more grown up than the Nokia Lumia 920, but it doesn't come close to the premium look or feel of the HTC One.

Despite incorporating metal into its design, the Nokia Lumia 925 is actually lighter than the Nokia Lumia 920, coming in at 139g (4.9oz) compared to the 185g (6.5oz) Lumia 920. The weight was one of our key qualms with the Nokia Lumia 920, so it's good to see that it's been addressed.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

At a sleek 8.5mm (0.33 inches), the Nokia Lumia 925 is quite a bit thinner than its 10.7mm (0.42-inch) predecessor too, while the length and width remain almost identical at 129 x 70.6mm (5.08 x 2.78 inches).

It feels nice in the hand and it's generally quite comfortable to hold, though there are a couple of caveats to that. Firstly the position of the camera lens on the back makes it very easy to accidentally put your fingers over it, which is uncomfortable and could leave marks on the lens.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

And secondly, the corners aren't very curved, which means they can dig into your hand if you hold the phone in a certain way. On the plus side, the polycarbonate back feels soft and warm against your palm, which is a comforting sensation.

The front of the Nokia Lumia 925 is dominated by the 4.5 inch 768 x 1280 AMOLED screen. It's not quite edge to edge but it's not far off at the sides - although there's reams of plastic above and below, which seems a trifle unnecessary. It's a good size too in our opinion, big enough to use easily without becoming unwieldy.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

At 332 pixels per inch it also has a pretty good pixel density, though not one that will bother the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4. And in fact it's exactly the same size and resolution as the previous model, which is a little disappointing. However it does use the same impressive PureMotion HD+ ClearBlack technology as the Nokia Lumia 920.

Above the screen there's Nokia's logo, the earpiece and the 1.3 MP front-facing camera, while below the screen there are three soft touch buttons with icons for Start, Back and Search.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

Flip the Nokia Lumia 925 over and you'll find another Nokia logo stamped across the middle of the polycarbonate back, while above that there's an 8.7MP Carl Zeiss camera lens and flash, and near the bottom of the handset there's a speaker.

The plastic around the lens is raised, leaving the lens itself slightly indented. That gives it a little protection when putting the phone down, but it also makes the phone less comfortable to hold as your fingers will often stray over the raised area.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

The left edge of the phone consists of a strip of metal with no real features on it, while the right edge has the power button in the middle, a volume rocker just above it and the camera button near the bottom. The buttons are all quite raised and responsive, making them easy to press and easy to find by touch alone. They're also spaced out enough that there's no confusion over which is which.

The top of the Nokia Lumia 925 houses the micro SIM card slot at the left, the micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone port near the centre and the microphone to the right.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

The bottom edge is left unadorned, with just the metal band running along it.

You can't remove the back cover so there's no getting to the Nokia Lumia 920-matching 2000mAh battery and there's also no microSD card slot, so unlike some lower-end Nokia handsets (such as the Nokia Lumia 520), the storage isn't expandable. This leaves the Nokia Lumia 925 with just 16GB of memory, which is half what the Nokia Lumia 920 offers - although 32GB options are apparently going to be available.

The Nokia Lumia 925 is slimmer and lighter than the Nokia Lumia 920. It also has a more premium build and a slightly improved camera (more on that later) but with the same core specs, less storage space and a much higher price tag it's got an uphill struggle on its hands.