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Review: Nokia Lumia 925

Review: Nokia Lumia 925

The Windows Phone OS has some annoying limitations but the Lumia 925 is the best Windows Phone yet

The Windows Phone OS has some annoying limitations but the Lumia 925 is the best Windows Phone yet.

Design & display

The Lumia 925 is almost 50g lighter than the Lumia 920 and is just 8.5mm thick compared to 10.7mm. The frame is aluminium, but the back of the phone is a polycarbonate piece available in black, white or grey.

The gap between the polycarbonate back piece and the aluminium frame detracts from the overall look and feel but build quality feels otherwise exceptional.

The Lumia 925 only has 16GB of internal memory compared with the 32GB of its predecessor, and the lack of an expansion slot will be an annoyance to many potential users.

Nokia says Vodafone will exclusively sell a 32GB model in Australia, but everyone else is stuck with the 16GB variant.

The speaker position on the back of the phone isn't the best location, as sound tends to be muffled when holding the device single-handedly.

The side mounted lock screen and volume buttons are well positioned for one-handed use, and the camera shutter key offers better tactility than its predecessor.

The Lumia 925's display now uses OLED technology rather than the Lumia 920's IPS panel, but it's the same 4.5in size and 1280x768 resolution.

The screen offers good colour reproduction, above average viewing angles and also performs well in direct sunlight.

A minor complaint is that text can often appear jagged in the Internet Explorer browser, so you'll need to get used to zooming in on large blocks of text.

Software & performance

Using the Lumia 925 is a very similar experience to most other Windows Phones. The software is fast, there's very minimal lag, and most apps run smoothly.

The Windows Phone 8 ecosystem might lack many third party apps but it does have some excellent and often overlooked core features.

The 7GB of free SkyDrive cloud storage, and the built-in Microsoft Office app are two of the best, while Nokia's preloaded apps include the excellent Here Maps and Here Drive.

Despite Nokia's excellent bundled apps, one of the biggest issues with the Nokia Lumia 925 and the Windows Phone OS itself, is the lack of popular third-party apps.

Many apps we use on a daily basis on iOS and Android simply aren't available on Windows Phone and the lack of quality third-party apps is an issue that we suspect will prevent most average consumers switching from iOS or Android to a Windows Phone like the Lumia 925.

Camera & battery life

The Lumia 925 has the same 8.7-megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation as its predecessor but Nokia says it has added an additional glass lens.

The best results are seen in low-light conditions, where the Lumia 925 is able to capture more detail than most other camera phones we've reviewed.

Minimal image noise, excellent colour reproduction and accurate detail are highlights. Video recording is also excellent, and the optical image stabilisation works well.

Windows Phone's default camera app itself is fast and slick but the Lumia 925 is the first Nokia phone to come preloaded with the company's Smart Camera app.

The capture and edit tool takes 10 images in burst mode and then allows you to select the best individual shot (Best Shot), combine multiple images and/or fade selected images (Action Shot), and select one or more items in your shot and blur everything else (Motion Focus).

There's also panorama lens to capture panorama shots, a cinemagraph mode that captures movement and turns still shots into a GIF file and a Glam Me lens that enhances selfies captured with the front-facing camera.

The Nokia Lumia 925 offers good battery life compared to other 4G phones we've tested. On most occasions, it powered through a full day of use before requiring a recharge, lasting between 15 and 16 hours on most occasions.

Unfortunately wireless charging is only possible with an optional wireless charging cover which clips to the back of the phone. The Lumia 920 had this feature natively.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is available through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone in Australia and also sells for $699 outright through various retailers.


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