A Slimmer Flagship
Nokia Lumia 925
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.