Nokia Lumia 925 review

£499
Price when reviewed

Another advance is the addition of Nokia’s new Smart Camera software, which can be accessed via its own shortcut or through the Windows Phone 8 camera app’s Lenses menu. This offers a similar set of features to the Samsung Galaxy S4: it shoots a quick burst of photos, then allows you to either pick the best shot, remove moving objects automatically, overlay frames on top of each other to deliver what Nokia calls an “action shot”, or select the best faces in a group photo.

The difference with the Nokia app, apart from feeling a little sluggish in operation, is that it keeps all the original images, allowing you to go back and edit or create multiple different types of “smart” photo days, weeks or months later. It’s non-destructive editing in a similar vein to Lightroom on the PC. Using the Smart Camera does come at the cost of lower image quality, however. Images produced using the Smart Camera app are significantly grainier and noisier than photos captured by the normal camera app.

Ringing the changes?

There are other small changes with the Lumia 925, such as the Glance display, which (reminiscent of Symbian phones) shows the clock and charging status on the display while the phone is in standby, and the ability to double-tap the screen to unlock it. The core hardware, however, remains the same. The Lumia 925 employs the same size screen as the 920 with the same resolution – a 4.5in, 768 x 1,280 panel, although the technology is now AMOLED instead of IPS.

Nokia Lumia 925

Maximum brightness, as you’d expect from an AMOLED display, is pretty low at 270cd/m[sup]2[/sup], but with perfect black levels and contrast, this isn’t a massive problem unless the ambient light levels hit blinding levels. To give it some context, it’s around the same as the Samsung Galaxy S4, and half as bright as an iPhone 5.

Performance-wise, the CPU and RAM are identical. There’s a dual-core, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and 1GB RAM; only base storage changes, dropping from 32GB to 16GB. There’s a 32GB model, but this is currently exclusive to Vodafone in the UK.

The Lumia 925 clearly can’t compete in terms of pure clock cycles with the beefiest, quad-core Android phones, but it doesn’t need to. Windows Phone 8 handsets require less power to run smoothly than Android handsets, and swiping and scrolling around the OS, and Internet Explorer, is about as responsive as any phone we’ve used. It also plays HD video, both streamed and from local storage without breaking a sweat. In the SunSpider JavaScript test, a blazing time of 895ms shows it’s a powerful web-browsing tool.

Gaming performance is less impressive. There are no titles as demanding as Real Racing 3 yet available on Windows Phone Store, but although still playable, less demanding titles, such as Real Racing 2 and Asphalt 7: Heat didn’t run completely smoothly. Running the GFXBench T-Rex benchmark backs up these impressions, with an average of 6.3fp, some way short of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, which achieve 16fps and 15fps respectively.

Nokia Lumia 925

Just like its stablemate, the Lumia 925’s undoing is its poor battery life. In our 24-hour rundown test, during which we download 50MB of data, play a podcast for an hour, force the screen on at mid-brightness for an hour, make a 30-minute phone call and then leave the phone in standby synchronising email over 3G, the Lumia 925 had only 30% remaining on the battery gauge at the end of the day. It’s a result that’s well short of the average for big screen smartphones – both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One gained a significantly better 60%.

Verdict

In all, the Nokia Lumia 925 is a capable, high-end smartphone and we enjoyed our time with it. It crams all the core componentry from the Lumia 920 into a slimmer, lighter chassis, and has a slightly improved camera along with some fun extra features. It sports the full package of Nokia extras, including Here Maps and Drive, Nokia Music and Transport.

However, we can’t bring ourselves to recommend a phone with battery life this poor, no matter how much we like the rest of the device. And with its minimal changes over the 920, nor can we recommend it as an upgrade to its predecessor, despite the lighter, sleeker design.

Details

Cheapest price on contractFree
Contract monthly charge£29.00
Contract period24 months

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted12hrs 48mins
Standby, quoted18 days 8hrs

Physical

Dimensions71 x 9 x 129mm (WDH)
Weight139g
Touchscreenyes
Primary keyboardOn-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity1,000MB
Camera megapixel rating8.7mp
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes

Display

Screen size4.5in
Resolution768 x 1280
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes

Software

OS familyOther

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos