A Slim­mer Flag­ship

Nokia Lu­mia 925

HWM (Singapore) - - Lab Test -

With the 925, Nokia has par­tially ditched the thick and heavy poly­car­bon­ate monoblock that the Lu­mia line is known for. The phone uses a com­bi­na­tion of a poly­car­bon­ate rear and an alu­minum frame (which dou­bles as the an­tenna).

Com­pared to the 920, the 925 is about 20% thin­ner (8.5mm vs. 10.7mm) and 25% lighter (139g vs. 185g). The 925 is also thin­ner be­cause it doesn’t have Qi wire­less charg­ing built-in. If chunky de­scribes the 920, the word for 925 is svelte.

The switch to an AMOLED panel is an­other rea­son why Nokia is able to slim the 925 down. Colors are vi­brant and seem to jump out at you. Cou­pled with su­per-deep blacks and su­perb con­trast, it’s the per­fect match for the Win­dows Phone 8 (WP8) in­ter­face.

Out of the box, the 925 comes pre­in­stalled with Gen­eral Dis­tri­bu­tion Re­lease 2 (GDR2) up­date, which is the lat­est OS up­date for WP8, and part of Nokia’s own Lu­mia Am­ber up­date.

GDR2 up­date fea­tures Data Sense, which lets you track data us­age, and com­presses data in In­ter­net Ex­plorer 10 to min­i­mize data con­sump­tion; an FM-ra­dio; im­prove­ments and fixes for Xbox Mu­sic, Skype and In­ter­net Ex­plorer; the abil­ity to set an­other app as the de­fault cam­era app; and sup­port for Gmail’s CardDav and CalDav.

Nokia’s Am­ber up­date in­cludes Lu­mia-spe­cific fea­tures such as the Glance Screen (dis­plays a clock on the screen when phone is in standby mode) and dou­ble-tap-towake fea­tures, a Nokia Smart Cam app and some imag­ing tweaks.

The 925 re­tains the back­sideil­lu­mi­nated sen­sor of the 920, along with the Carl Zeiss-branded op­tics, F2.0 aper­ture, op­ti­cal im­age sta­bi­liza­tion, dual-LED flash and 1080p video record­ing at 30fps. What’s changed though is the ad­di­tion of a sixth lens el­e­ment, which should im­prove sharp­ness in im­ages.

But when com­pared to the 920, pic­tures from the 925 look slightly duller. Put an­other way, the 925 pro­duces more nat­u­ral and ac­cu­rate colors, which aren’t as eye-pleas­ing as con­trastadded im­ages at first glance. Low-light shots ap­pear nois­ier; Nokia seemed to have made the noise re­duc­tion al­go­rithm less ag­gres­sive to pre­serve more de­tails. In day­light, the 925 just edges slightly ahead of the 920. Im­age sharp­ness is a tough call be­tween the two phones.

Like the 920, the 925 is pow­ered by a Qual­comm Snap­dragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz pro­ces­sor and 1GB RAM. The user ex­pe­ri­ence on WP8 is still but­tery smooth.

For video play­back, the 925 posted 255 min­utes, about a quar­ter of an hour shorter than the 920. With mod­er­ate us­age on a typ­i­cal work day, the 925 lasted from 7AM to just be­fore mid­night on the same day.

Here comes the most im­por­tant ques­tion: should you buy the 925? If you are an ex­ist­ing 920 user, we say save your money. The changes, while good, aren’t sig­nif­i­cant enough for you to ditch an 8-month old exflag­ship. The 920 also has more in­ter­nal stor­age (32GB vs. 16GB).

How­ever, if you’ve al­ways wanted a thin, light and pre­mium Win­dows Phone then the 925 is for you.

Bat­tery life is some­what dis­ap­point­ing for the Lu­mia 925.

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